More often than not, when we think about challenging relationships, we envision the ones that make us suffer.
The ones that constantly make us question our worth, doubt the trust within the partnership, make us fight for time together, wonder where their heart is, second-guess why they’re taking so long to text back…
Need I say more?
And while those relationships definitely provide a certain type of challenge, they are not the most challenging relationship that you will face.
I recently came across a tweet by singer Iman Europe that read, “The most challenging relationship is the healthy one after the toxic one.”
Read that again.
Now, you might wonder—why? How does that even make sense? Wouldn’t the healthy relationship be a breath of fresh air and refreshing?
Well, sure, you’d think so. But what you’re failing to recognize is that when all you’ve been used to is toxic behavior in relationships, you cling to that story and create a pattern that will ultimately become your biggest hurdle.
To sum it up in one word: sabotage.
When you enter a healthy partnership after experiencing the opposite, your challenge will be unlearning toxic traits or behaviors that you’ve otherwise deemed as “normal.” You’ll get triggered. You’ll assume the worst. You’ll concoct a different version of what’s going on in the relationship in your head so that it coincides with the outcome that you’re used to, because that’s all you know.
He hasn’t text back. He’s gonna ghost me like all the others. I knew it. They always leave.
When in reality, they’re just human beings who aren’t available at every second of the day to answer your mundane text about who knows what. And it’s nothing personal.
Ring a bell?
Listen, I know this life all too well. And when I saw that tweet, I felt like someone reached through the computer screen and slapped me on the face.
Regardless of all the self-work I do, it wasn’t clear that my “story” still had a hold on me until other people entered the picture and I was constantly triggered. It’s easy to feel healed and good when you’re on your own, because there isn’t someone else bringing out the sides of you that still need some love.
That’s why relationships are so important. How do you know where you are on your healing journey if all you have to base it off of is the convenience of living life on your own terms?
When the Dalai Lama was asked for the secret of a happy relationship, he said to ask someone else, because he’d never had one. Osho once said that “monks and nuns are cowards,” which I know can sound some type of way, but what he was referencing was the fact that they “took the easy way to enlightenment” by never having to participate in partnerships with others.
So, you see, while relationships, even healthy ones, can seem challenging, and while you may find yourself feeling defeated and hopeless when you continue to find yourself in less than favorable situations, take a second to acknowledge that you’re doing work that many others refuse to do out of fear.
You’re allowing yourself the gift of experiencing love and partnership, regardless of how scary that might be. You’re allowing yourself the gift of tapping into unhealed parts of you, regardless of how frustrating that might be. And last but not least, you’re allowing yourself the gift of letting your toxic story go, so that you can begin to live one that actually gives you the happy ending you deserve.