Toxic Relationships, Love & Accountability

By Sheena Serrão
Posted on July 31st, 2017

From a spiritual perspective every relationship we develop, from the most casual to the most intimate, serves the purpose of helping us to become more conscious. Some relationships are necessarily painful because learning about ourselves and facing our own limitations are not things we tend to do with enthusiasm. We often need to be spiritually “set up” for such encounters.
— Caroline Myss, Ph.D., Anatomy of the Spirit

Just a heads up before you get to the good stuff, when I use the word relationship, I am referring to any type of interpersonal relationship; platonic, intimate, familial or otherwise. And when I use the word love, I am referring to the energy of love; the true essence and meaning behind that small, but powerful word. So please keep that in mind as you make your way through this!

Lately I’ve been having a lot of discussions about relationships of all sorts, with so many friends. Friends with varying backgrounds, who grew up in and around diverse tribal units (i.e. families and peer groups). They live in different parts of the world, and have completely different lifestyles. But the topics that have surfaced repeatedly over the last month have been uncanny; toxicity in interpersonal relationships, love and accountability.

I’m a pathological lying narcissistic manipulative problematic self centered sarcastic messy fucking bitch.
— Joanne The Scammer (@joanneprada) August 8, 2016

These are not uncommon topics, but the timing of it all and the opinions of everyone being so unanimous has made them stand out in undeniable fashion. There seems to be a lot of people channeling “Joanne the Scammer” these days!

I’m talking both men and women; friends, co-workers and lovers. They may not be running around lifting people’s wallets in disheveled wigs and fur coats, but they’re definitely wearing masks, disguising their motives and stealing energy (our life force) from others!

Issues worth addressing!

Overall, the conversations have revolved around a handful of key questions:
1) Should we be held accountable when we say we love and care about someone?
2) Should people be held accountable when their behaviour is hurting others?
3) What does that accountability look like?
4) How and when should we address these issues?

I can't expand on each of these questions in this post, but I will say a few things on the matter. I'll just be touching on the use of the word love, the choices we make, and the responsibilities that comes with that. Also, there are so many quotes from Caroline Myss that touch home for me, and tie in with this, so I've shared a few of them throughout this blog. Let's take this one below:

Choice is the process of creation itself…. Make your choices wisely, because each choice you make is a creative act of spiritual power for which you are held responsible….learn what motivates us to make the choices we do. In learning about our motivations, we learn about the content of our spirits.
— Caroline Myss, Ph.D., Anatomy of the Spirit

There’s so much truth to that. What we choose to think, say and do matters. If there is a disconnect between spirit, body and mind, our most well-meaning intentions are lost on the world around us. And the Universe loves nothing better than to wave huge red flags when we have veered off track! We may be thinking one thing, saying another and choosing to do something else! When the pieces of the puzzle don't match, the truth will always find its way back to us, because it is the natural order of things. We may try in vain to go against the laws of the Universe, but we will inevitably fail. That's when things become toxic.

Energy information is always truthful. Although a person may verbally agree to something in public, his energy will state how he really feels, and his real feelings will find their way into some symbolic statement. Our biological and spiritual systems always seek to express truth, and they will always find a way to do so.
— Caroline Myss, Ph.D, Anatomy of the Spirit

We often see these red flags, billowing in the proverbial sky of our mind's eye, and yet we choose to ignore them time and time again. Trust your intuition, always. Do not look to other people to validate your impressions. People lie, energy does not. The only way to trust your intuition and separate it from the dishonesty, opinions and beliefs of other people, is to get to know yourself. To really grow in understanding about who you are, what you need and how you give and receive the energy of love, you must learn to trust your own thoughts and feelings. Get quiet and feel. Forget other people. What feels true about a person or situation, to you? Go from there and remember, your intuition serves to protect you, always.

Clear intuition requires the ability to respect your own impressions. If you need another person to validate your own impressions, you interfere tremendously with your ability to intuit.
— Caroline Myss, Ph.D., Anatomy of the Spirit

You will tire of me saying this, but I can’t help but believe that no matter what we are discussing, if our intentions are not grounded in compassion for both ourselves and others, it will be very easy to lead ourselves and the people we claim to love and care for down a defective, and ultimately painful, path. I know this from experience. And to be grounded in compassion means that we check in with our spirits regularly to see where our thoughts, words and deeds are stemming from when interacting with others. And when we check in, we must do so vigilantly, because the choices we make are a reflection of the health of our spirits, the health of our hearts and the health of our minds.

As for our choice of words, especially the word love, I have always felt people use it too casually, not understanding the responsibility that comes with it. Words have so many connotations and I don’t think words should be used to imprison us, but if you really mean it when you use the word “love”, you should at least comprehend that there are some basic and ubiquitous characteristics of any kind of love.

And the basics start with being mindful of how your energy, intentions and choices are affecting other people around you. To be kind and understanding of another person’s feelings and points of view. To act from a place of integrity. To respect people’s feelings and boundaries, and either accept them fully and work to incorporate them into your relationship, or move on if you disagree or cannot provide what is required. These are fundamental to a healthy expression of love and consideration. Without really understanding this, it is unlikely that you will experience balanced, healthy relationships in your lifetime.

The opposite energies that surface if we are not in touch with the true energy of love are fear, blame, dishonesty, lack of empathy, energy vampirism, emotional abuse and co-dependency. In a nutshell, toxicity and drama; Joanne the Scammer loves nothing better.

Not only our minds and spirits but our physical bodies require love to survive and thrive. We violate this energy when we act toward others in unloving ways. When we harbor negative emotions toward others or toward ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources.
— Caroline Myss, Ph.D., Anatomy of the Spirit

Drama is draining, steals our power and serves no one.  Over the course of our lives we must put ourselves to the test, hold ourselves up to the light and conduct rigorous self-inquiries. Because if you do not understand yourself, and recognize where you are disconnected and what requires healing, you cannot meet another healthy soul half-way and reciprocate the kind of love everyone deserves to have in their life. I leave you with one last quote from Caroline Myss and I hope my dear reader, that you find not only the courage and determination to heal, but also reciprocity in love, in all areas of your life!

Healing requires taking actions. It is not a passive event. We are meant to draw on our inner resources, to find the material strength to leave behind our outmoded beliefs and behaviors, and to see ourselves in new and healthy ways—to take up our beds and walk.
— Caroline Myss, Ph.D., Anatomy of the Spirit