Lifestyle, Self-Help

The Power of Healthy Relationships

A codependent focuses on others and their problems to such an extent that the codependent’s life is often adversely affected. 

~ The Red Book, Adult Children of Alcoholics, pp. 6-7 ~

We have seen and felt the sting of unpleasant power of unhealthy and toxic relationships. When we take upon ourselves the burden and responsibility of other people’s responsibility, that we become a martyr, is unhealthy. It is also unhealthy when the person blames another by attempting to shift responsibility toward that person. A mindful and spiritual recovery program helps us understand the nature of taking personal responsibility for our own thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. It also teaches us how to engage in and cultivate powerful and healthy relationships.

Bad relationship concept. Man and woman in disagreement. Young couple after quarrel sitting back to back. Outdoor
Picture from Power of Positivity | How To Release Emotional Attachments to Toxic Relationships

In toxic and dysfunctional relationships, we mistakenly thought we were responsible for the other person’s moods or attitudes and falsely believed we had the power to do something in order to change the particular circumstances (Redbook, p. 7). What we begin to discover is that we are not responsible for other people’s emotional affect, nor are we responsible for their attitude. We come to accept the reality that we are incapable of making any necessary change in the particular circumstance. This is difficult as our codependency stems from the toxic and dysfunctional relationships we had with our parents:

As children, we took responsibility for our parents anger, rage, blame, or pitifulness. We were children but we unknowingly took responsibility for our parents’ feelings and poor behavior. This mistaken perception, born in childhood, is the root of our codependent behavior as adults. By living with a blaming and shaming parent, we developed a dependent false self. Our false self constantly seeks outward affection, recognition, or praise, but we secretly believe we don’t deserve it. Meanwhile, the Inner {Self} is driven inward into hiding. The false self is the adult personality … an overdeveloped sense of responsibility… . This behavior is a disguise to get the love we never received as children. Red Book, p. 7

For us, our recovery is coming to a place where we are mindful in that we take full responsibility for our own emotions, attitudes, and beliefs. It does not mean we do away with any negative emotions, thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. Instead, we are focusing on managing those challenging and negative thoughts, emotions, attitudes and beliefs in a healthy way.

We begin to recognize those perceptions where we may play the victim role in a given relationship. Through healthy responsibility, we cultivate and inspire healthy relationships and are able inspire others to take responsibility for their own emotional experience, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions. If we keep playing the role of the victim and see others as victims and come to their rescue, we will not get to a place of being healthy.

Today, we are tasked to make a fearless and moral inventory where we search for any ways in which we may perceive ourselves as a victim. We also search for ways in how we may perceive others as victims and begin to realize healthy relationships begin with the following perceptive attitudes:

  • Today, I will focus on making clear agreements with others
  • Any agreements I enter into with others, I do so with clarity and mindfully
  • I am capable and empowered to honor my own word in what I say I will do
  • I am also capable and empowered to honor my own word in what I will not say and do
  • I am fully empowered to manage situations where I may need to break agreements
  • I am fully empowered to manage situations where others may need to break agreements
  • I am fully empowered and capable of managing situations where I may need to recognize agreements are not beneficial and do not fit within my values and beliefs
  • I take full responsibility for my life and the things I am full invested in

The above adapted from Gay Hendricks

365 Daily Inspirations for Creating a Life of Passion and Purpose

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Detaching ourselves from emotional attachment and codependency

There is no easy way to painlessly detach ourselves from an emotional attachment. Despite our emotional distress and suffering. There is a sense of sick comfort we have developed in those toxic relationships. This may be due to the fact that there is some security and protection within that toxic relationship, or, our inability to realize our capability of being able move past the toxic relationship. Regardless, our greatest fear is finding ourselves isolated and alone – feeling rejected and abandoned

The excruciating hardships one faces – both during and after a toxic relationship – cannot be overstated. Often, these individuals have been subject to control, criticism, judgment, and abuse; yet, despite these extremely adverse circumstances, some may find it hard to move on. A good heart continues to long for the other person; with memory of the “good times.” (How to Release Emotional Attachments to Toxic Relationships).

While we focus on those intimate and romantic relationships, one wants to also bear in mind that any relationship may become quite toxic and co-dependent. In my own personal experience, I have shared with patients about a toxic and co-dependent relationship with a drinking buddy of 8 years. We were the best of friends, almost like brothers. 

It was years later that I came to discover and see the toxic aspect of this relationship. The co-dependency involved and the gas-lighting and victimization that had occurred. This included the manipulation and control factor involved. To the point that any pursuit of a romantic relationship appeared to have been a threat. Or, any healthy relationship with others became a threat. 

Detaching from this was quite painful and difficult. And, for many of us, we begin to see the powerful influence of various toxic relationships we have cultivated over the years. Much of these relationships are rooted into the very toxic relationships we’ve cultivated with our parents. When it comes to emotionally detaching from our parents toxicity there is serious consternation.

Healthy relationships begin with self

One of the most fundamental truths I relate to many of my patients is to seriously take the time necessary to get to know one-self. This is where I work with them in exploring who they are as an individual. Most of us define ourselves through our family, ethnicity and culture, religious (or non-religious) upbringing. Our identity is essentially tied up in other people’s views of how we are. And, let us be honest here – our fundamental flaw and reason for toxic emotional attachment is toward others is because of our lack of understanding and knowing who we are. Therefore, our recover brings us to understand and know who we are as an individual.


Discovering our authentic self means we discover our own natural personality traits, knowing our own strengths and weaknesses, what we like and dislike, and how we are able to experience joy in life. It comes down to discovering our own personal values and beliefs. These guiding principles ground us to begin moving forward in a way that helps us live true to our authentic self.

Once we establish a healthy relationship with our own sense of identity, begin to live out our own life guiding principles, we are motivated and empowered to begin building healthy relationships with other people. In fact, having a strong foundation of authentic values and beliefs disinterest people who are toxic. The healthier we become the more toxic people do not want anything to do with us.

The challenge is to be patient as one works toward self-discovery and finding their meaning and purpose. This is a life-long and worthy pursuit.

1 thought on “The Power of Healthy Relationships”

  1. I see the view you are using about toxicity. But I do not see the reasons used for it as necessarily true.
    Yes, I am dysfunctional, yes I have had troubles as well as everyone else has had then too.

    For me, as I grow in learning truth over errors in troubles I have been in and might go through again, I still see that God does just love me and everyone else too. As it is not easy to see that, whenever in troubles now, have been and could be again.

    I look at the book of Job, seeing his troubles, and not letting go of belief to God, Not denying God, through each and every troubles that came up on him. God said Job would not deny him. And guess what, I believe God says this about thee and all that will turn to him in belief to see.

    So it is a short journey here on earth in troubles, compared to Eternity with Father and Son.
    I am in adversities every day in this flesh body of mine, back, hands, and other mental stuff to accept it is what it is.

    Holding onto God, for me, keeps me sane, I am responsible to me for how I react to me and others, not as under Law. Under Grace, forgiven forever in his love and mercy of Son

    So there is a Movie I want to suggest for all to watch or get the book and read it.

    called “The Shack” A lot of people I have heard of have turned this movie away. because God showed up as a woman in the beginning. And another woman as the Holy Spirit, with Jesus as a man.

    If anyone can let go of biases, and just trust God to teach them, I see it as very deep, wide and high as we are told about this in Eph. 3:16-19

    Thanks facing one’s demons, is for me needed as have done and still do, trusting God Father for his lead teaching me truth over error. Listening two ears one mouth, for me top listen twice as much to God than self or others, and not fight or argue either, as if I am right.

    God is to me the one and only one good. I hear Luke 6:32

    And yes I am wrapped up in scriptures, not so much that others have to be either,

    God just asks for us to choose to believe him or not?

    Free choice is given to us all, for anyone to take away free choice is what I see God Father gets pissed off about and righteously so.

    So let people be themselves as you just said in your post, Thank You


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