“If toxic love is so miserable, why is the thought of losing it more miserable?” ~ Dr Antonio Borrello, @eDatingDr
Today’s blog post is inspired by Dr Antonio Borrello and the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin.
In the opening stanza of Aretha Franklin’s hit song titled, “I Never Loved A Man”, she sings;
“You’re a no good heart breaker
You’re a liar and you’re a cheat
And I don’t know why
I let you do these things to me
My friends keep telling me
That you ain’t no good
But oh, but they don’t know
That I’d leave you if I could.”
That, my friends, is clear evidence of a toxic relationship. The Queen of Soul goes on to sing;
“Some time ago I thought
You had run out of fools
But I was so wrong
You got one that you’ll never lose
The way you treat me is a shame
How could ya hurt me so bad
Baby, you know that I’m the best thing
That you ever had.”
Toxic, Toxic, TOXIC!!! We have all been there right? In a relationship that we know is not healthy for us. In a relationship where we are abused emotionally, physically, financially, and even sexually. We know we should leave. And yet we stay. We stay for a myriad of reasons. I stayed because I never loved a man the way that I loved him.
I thought he would change. I prayed he would change. I hoped he would finally see and understand the depth of the love that I had for him. I wanted him to be so overtaken by the love I had for him and was showing him, and that he would finally come to his senses and profess his undying love for me and we would sail off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Ok, that’s a bit too Cinderellaish. But I honestly wanted this man; the one that I exposed my heart for and every bit of my soul, to love me as I loved him. But it never happened. At least not right away.
When I read Dr Borello’s quote it resonated with me. I was in a toxic relationship and yet I couldn’t imagine being without him. The relationship wasn’t toxic to the point where I was in danger; but simply because I felt sad, anxious, lonely, and hurt more than I felt anything else; and that alone made it toxic. And yet, even though I knew God was telling me to walk away, I could not on my own strength. I was paralyzed by the thought of life without him. I was a slave to the love I felt in my heart for him. And no amount of toxicity was going to allow me to simply walk away. I knew this. I recognized it in myself. But I had enough sense to know that when I call on the name of Jesus, HE will do what I was unable to do. So I did just that, and I prayed “Lord, I am not strong enough to walk away. You are going to have to remove him.” And God, in his infinite power and wisdom, and the depth of his love for me, did just that. He removed what was toxic.
It hurt. It hurt like hell. I was so deeply wounded that as I processed the stages of grief, I became angry. Angry at him, yes. But I was more angry at myself. Angry for being so weak that I was unable to walk away from a toxic relationship. But then I remembered God’s promise that His power is made perfect in my weakness.
And so my road to healing began. God massaged my heart. God bound up my wounds. God gave me peace in the anxious moments. God held me when I cried and wiped away my tears. And when I said I missed that man, God asked me why? What did you miss? Do you miss feeling lonely? Do you miss feeling sad? Do you miss the hurt and pain? What exactly do you miss? And in that moment, I humbled myself and asked God to forgive me. I praise God for healing. I praised God for restoration. I praise God for doing for me what I often struggle to do for myself.
And that man? He did come to his senses. He did realize exactly what he had in me. And he did profess his love for me and how stupid he was. But as my mother would say, “You don’t miss your water until your well runs dry.” Its a shame. But its no longer my concern.