How can we heal toxic and difficult relationships?
This post reflects information found in Chapter 25 of my book, Living on Earth: A Guide To Help You Achieve Health, Happiness, and Sucess.
I have always been looking for ways to heal my difficult and toxic relationships.
Relationship issues are a real pain; they can totally take their toll on us physically and emotionally.
Fortunately, over the years after lots of reading and practicing the tools outlined in this post, I have been able to make amends and heal successfully some of my toxic relationships.
From a spiritual perspective, we enter into significant relationships to work out our major issues.
We choose our partners, parents, bosses, and anybody else in a significant relationship with us because they resonate with the same underlying emotional patterns that we hold.
Our relationships hold the key to something we need to resolve and heal.
There is a valuable lesson in every difficult, toxic, or painful relationship. If you do not see the lesson, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Many of these karmic relationships, often love-hate relationships, are from past lifetimes which our soul brings back into our lives so that we can finally resolve, absolve the karma, and move on.
As well as coming to learn our own lessons, we also come to Earth to play a part in the drama of other’s people lessons.
Many of these lessons were contracted on a soul level with each other before we made to Earth.
We chose and joined in life with our parents, siblings, spouses, and close friends.
There is always a reason to be at the end of pain or pleasure from a close relative.
This is the soul’s way of pushing us to the next level in our evolution.
All the painful and traumatic experiences we create in a relationship are carried in our soul memory and on to our next relationship.
When we try to turn away from a relationship without fulfilling our contract, we might be predisposed to attract another one with similar traits.
This is why we seem to re-create the same scenario repeatedly.
When we enter a new relationship we project all our hurts and disappointments from the previous ones, and then we leave it before we learn the lesson.
This is one of the main reasons divorce rates increase for second and third marriages.
In most cases, we are attempting to walk away from an aspect of ourselves that we don’t like.
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus is a short work that contains a phrase that is well-known in occult circles: “As above, so below.
As within, so without.” It is the second principle of the Kybalion, the Principle of Correspondence: As above, so below.
“As within, so without” means that what goes on in our lives (externally) is a reflection of what is going on in our inner world.
The universe and our surroundings rearrange themselves to bring us what we believe, and to reflect our existing reality.
Understand Difficult Relationships; The Law of Reflection
The Law of Reflection is tied to “As within, so without.”
What goes on internally is mirrored back to us.
Everything is a reflection.
We need to look at what the mirror of people and life is telling us; and if we don’t like it, we need to try to make the necessary inner changes.
We should never try to change anyone else because they are reflecting us.
Have you ever wondered why some personality traits bother you greatly and others don’t? It is not chance; it is because the things you notice are the things you have to work on.
Change the inner self and you will start seeing results.
The same principle applies to the traits you like in people; they mirror back the parts that you like about yourself.
A very kind person might see a lot of kindness around them.
Soul mates and romantic relationships
Much has been said and written about our “other half” or “soul mates.”
The notion of the “other half,” as in literally needing somebody else to be “whole,” is a very disempowering statement.
It is not healthy or healing from a spiritual point of view because it makes us dependent on something or someone outside of us to achieve happiness and fulfillment.
Our “soul mate” breaks up with us and we think we won’t be happy ever again.
There is also a misconception that only one soul mate exists.
Sometimes we enter relationships with the false expectation that others can complete us, but they can’t.
The key ingredient for relationship success is to not need it but to be wholly complete unto ourselves.
If our partners are not whole unto themselves, they won’t be able to supply what they don’t have either.
It is not necessary to have a relationship to be, do, or have what you intend, but of course, it is a desirable experience to have someone with whom to share your life.
There is only one important relationship, and that is you with yourself. All romantic relationships must begin with us.
Once we are happy and complete with ourselves, then we will be able to have all the other relationships we want.
The same applies to non-romantic relationships.
The more desperate we are to attract friendship, the more we repel it. The happier we are with our circumstances, the more we attract goodness.
We have to take care of ourselves first and foremost; nothing else will happen until that is done.
Tools to heal difficult and toxic relationships
Conflict exists strictly as an opportunity to raise our consciousness. — Carl Jung
Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian method for healing. It means “to make right” or “to correct.”
Ho’oponopono is based on the understanding that anything that happens to us is entirely our responsibility, which doesn’t mean it’s our fault, but it means that we are responsible for healing ourselves in order to heal whatever or whomever it is that appears to us as a problem.
A Hawaiian psychiatrist named Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len discovered a technique that helped his mentally ill patients get better.
He took on their pains and problems as if they were his own, and worked on healing those issues within himself.
Dr. Len would think of his client, take his file case, and repeat over and over:
“I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
Ho’oponopono works because we are all energetically connected and, as we have seen in the Law of Reflection, the world is a reflection of what is going on inside us.
If we are experiencing upset or imbalance we need to look inside ourselves, not outside at the object we perceive to be causing our problem.
Ho’oponopono asserts that every stress, imbalance, or illness can be corrected just by working on ourselves.
I have used Ho’oponopono many times with my relationship issues and I have experienced great results.
I think of the person I’m having a relationship problem with, I picture him or her clearly in my mind, and then I say to the person in my mind, “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
It doesn’t matter who started the argument, who said what, who is “right” or “wrong.”
I do this regardless of who I perceive to be “at fault.”
If we start the blaming game, we will never be in the vibration of the solution.
Also please note that if it doesn’t seem to work, you might have not yet learned the lesson that the issue is providing.
Your highest self might continue to bring issues with this person until you figure out what you need to learn from it.
To heal difficult, toxic relationships you can do various things:
1. Every time you find yourself worrying, over-analyzing, or going over the conversation or issues you have with this person stop what you are doing and quickly visualize white light, or love, going out from your heart to him/her. This will soften the friction and replace negativity with love.
2. If you want somebody to be kinder to you, instead of criticizing them – which they will pick up energetically – you can visualize them talking to you more nicely next time.
We can always control our vibrational output.
You might do this in conjunction with Ho’oponopono.
I recommend a great video, it is 47 minutes long but it can really help you with your visualization efforts. It is called Meditation For Freedom From Toxic, Negative, Dysfunctional Relationships; Become Your Higher Self
3. Visit your troubled relationships in your sleep
You can talk to people’s higher selves directly.
Just ask your higher self, guides, or angels to take you to see him (or her). Explain in your head, or write a letter, with what you want to achieve with that discussion.
People are more receptive to solutions when they can see the higher picture (on a soul level).
You might not remember the conversation, but it will happen, and it will be recorded in the subconscious mind of each person to act upon, as needed.
In the previous example, you might find that the person becomes less aggressive towards you, or stops picking on you altogether.
4. Put yourself in their shoes
Compassion: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
Look at things from both sides and make your best effort to understand where the other person is coming from.
It is often said that two people don’t fight if one doesn’t want to.
Most of the time people don’t mean to harm or hurt us; they are in our world for many reasons:
1. They are simply there to facilitate our growth.
The quicker we are able to understand what we are learning from a person or situation, the quicker we can leave it.
For example, some people come into our lives to play out our beliefs. If we believe we are lonely and nobody loves us, we might attract a relationship with someone who betrays us or leaves us.
2. People sometimes don’t know another way to behave than to get angry.
Confucius said: “To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”
To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. —Confucius
3. They are also hurting, and they might be feeling that they can’t get through to you.
Do you listen – truly listen – to what your partner, friend, or parent has to say? Do you watch how you say things to them? Do you have to be right every time? There are always two sides to the story.
Watch your own behavior.
We all know how and when to push each other’s buttons. Don’t make things worse; you don’t have to fight and lower yourself to the same level.
Make sure you are in a good place and everything else won’t matter to you so much.
5. Know when to walk away
There is never a good enough excuse to tolerate being physically or verbally abused, so make sure to stand up for yourself and ask your guides and angels for guidance on your next steps.
Change is uncomfortable.
Leaving something we know, even something that makes us miserable, still means leaving the familiar and embarking on the unknown but sometimes the best way to avoid negative influence from others is to remove ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This applies to all people: partners, family members, and friends.
Sometimes we convince ourselves that we have to stay in a broken relationship because we believe we share karma, and we have been told by our parents, or other authority figures, that the right thing to do is “to work things out” and “compromise.”
Our parents might have been conditioned to think that marriage is forever, but they don’t and can’t know the higher picture as to why we entered into that relationship.
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. —Lao Tzu
Make choices for yourself; nobody else has walked or will walk in your shoes.
Relationships sometimes end because one of the partners has mastered one of the primary lessons they came to achieve.
Not all relationships are contracted or desired to be long-lasting.
I’m not saying either we have to leave at the smallest problem, or that compromising is not good. What I’m saying is that you don’t need to prolong a relationship when you are suffering.
It is incorrect to think that suffering will pay our karma back and at some point we will be free to move on.
It has the opposite effect: By staying in a painful relationship we might be avoiding the life lesson we came to master; for example, to stand up for ourselves. We can’t work out karma “together.”
The problem you have with your partner might just be a way to show you that you can be well and content by yourself.
Resolving karma and overcoming our life lessons are things we do on our own. We only have responsibility for ourselves and our small children.
If you hang out too often with people who make you feel depressed, who don’t treat you well, who constantly complain about the economy and say that all their problems are somebody else’s fault, then it is probably best to move away from them.
I’m not talking about removing them altogether, or not being there for a friend in need of help; I’m talking about choosing to spend more time with people who support you, uplift you, make you happy, and empower you.
I’m talking about a mutually beneficial relationship. You give and receive.
The Principle of Association says that we are influenced by those around us. If we hang out with people who are kind, helpful and have an overall positive attitude, it is more likely that we will develop those traits.
Inner peace means releasing attachments to everything, from having a person act the way you want or to having the world work the way you expect.
When you let go of those attachments, you will find your life working even better than you could have expected or planned.
It is healing to practice detachment and not take things personally.
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says:
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you.
What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds.
You eat all their emotional garbage, and now it becomes your garbage. But if you don’t take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell.”
People project their own fears, pain, and sadness.
Someone who feels loved doesn’t project hate.
Just remember that people who are being nasty are hurting inside. However, as I mentioned earlier their behavior does not excuse being abusive.
Don’t take anything personally, but don’t tolerate abuse. Move on.
6. Cut the cords of toxic relationships that bind you
Cords are emotional strands of energy that form regardless of time or space.
When we consistently direct our thoughts and energy to a particular person, place, or thing, we begin to establish an energetic cord connecting us to that object or person.
We all know when someone is staring at us – we sense it.
We are all interconnected in the Field of Consciousness, and thoughts travel inside the field, connecting one to another.
When we have constant thoughts about someone, it is likely that they are connecting with us in some way.
They might be thinking about us, or it could also be our own repetitive obsessive thoughts because the more we concentrate on a thought the more we attract the same type of thoughts.
The more we send our energy to somebody, and the more we think about them, the thicker and bigger the cord becomes.
The stronger the emotional connection, the stronger the bonding.
We also create energy cords when we make conscious or subconscious vows, contracts, or promises with other people.
It is particularly strong in parent/child, husband/wife, past lovers, siblings, doctor/patient, teacher/student, past and present friends, and enemies.
Cords can be formed quickly when we become dependent on people.
Healthy cords create a nurturing sharing of information and energy; for example, the cords created between mothers and their young children.
Unhealthy cords can be a way to gain control of another person, but at no point are we victims of circumstance; we won’t have unhealthy cords unless, for example, we agreed to be the controller or the one who is controlled.
Energy follows thought through intent. If you have a situation where your ex doesn’t leave you in peace (whether physically or you feel it energetically), you should consider cutting the cords to that person.
Cords are formed and linked through our chakras.
You might have multiple cords attached to one person; for example, one in the second chakra which represents sexuality and desire, and another one in your solar plexus (third chakra), which represents the seat of your emotions.
We can cut the cords to our husband or wife and still be married (or friends). You might want to cut the unhealthy, controlling, interdependent behavior if that is something that you think is an issue for you.
Sometimes we have heart chakra interdependencies; for example, marrying for money, or out of loneliness and insecurity. When we love for the sake of loving, unconditionally, we create healthy cords that won’t need cutting or healing.
In the end, cords can be very draining. You might be divorced (separated) physically but not energetically, and it will benefit both parties to cut the cords that bind them; this enhances your relationships and brings more joy into your life.
You might want to cut the cords to a person or situation if you feel it is having a negative influence on you.
This way of cutting cords works well for me:
1. Say a prayer to God, the Universe, your guides and angels.
If you don’t believe in any of them you can also pray to your higher self, which is the part of your soul not reincarnated who provides guidance to you while on Earth.
Your prayer might be something simple, like this:
“God (angels, higher self, etc.) I want to cut the cords to ….(explain who or what) Because … (briefly explain what is the core of your issue). Please help me cut the cords today for the highest good of everybody involved. Thank you.”
2. Think of the person, feeling, or situation you want to cut the cords with.
3. Mentally tell this person or situation that you are going to cut all negative attachments because it is holding you back (you don’t necessarily need to say why you want to cut them, it is up to you).
4. Ask your intuition to show you the cord or cords in your mind. Try to visualize them as best as you can. They might look like a long chain, a rope, or a tube. How do they look like? Where are they located?
5. If you believe in angels, you can call in Archangel Michael to cut the cords with his sword of truth.
You might want to visualize it like a sharp laser sword beaming light. Visualize him cutting all the cords that bind you, and see them being dissolved into thin air.
His sword is so powerful that when it severs the cords they break down in ashes and dissolve. See them completely gone from both ends.
6. If you don’t believe in angels you can imagine your higher self, or inner self, being present and doing the same exercise. You might use gold scissors or something similar.
Your higher self can access the tools that are needed. Your visualization here is the most important part, just visualizing them being cut, or burned, will work.
7. I have read that for some people it might be more appropriate to gently pull the cords, not severe them.
You visualize wherever they are located and you remove them one by one. This might be best if you feel they are not completely gone.
8. Regardless of the cord cutting methods chosen, it will probably leave some ethereal open scars. Visualize soft white light filling the spaces. Do this until you feel comfortable that your scars are healed.
9. You are done. Feel the relief you get from it.
I would suggest you listen to your body afterward and see how it feels. It might be thirsty, or hungry, or needing a nap. You might just feel relieved and perfectly fine.
I usually feel empowered because I know I’m doing something that was very needed for my inner peace and health.
Healing difficult relationships – Cutting Cords books
If you want to delve into more cord cutting information and techniques, I believe you will enjoy reading Cutting the Ties that Bind: Growing Up and Moving On
I also recommend The Healing Power of Mind: Simple Meditation Exercises for Health, Well-Being, and Enlightenment, by Tulku Thondup (Specifically, Chapter 8, Exercise 11: Cutting the Bonds of Unpleasant Relationships).
The visualizations for letting go of sadness and to focus the scattered mind are great too.
A final note about unhealthy cords: don’t become afraid of them and feel that you are doomed until you cut them.
I believe we can heal from unhealthy cords without intentionally cutting them. The better we get physically and emotionally, the healthier and stronger our aura becomes.
We can choose a myriad of ways to feel better.
For example, we can improve our thoughts, the food we eat, or the company we keep. We can have more playtime; we can let go or forgive, and we can generally become happier.
This post: 11 Powerful Self-Healing Practices for Your Mind, Body, and Soul will probably help you.
Cutting the ties that bind us is just another tool to help us heal our relationships and ourselves.
The tools outlined in this post have worked very well for me in multiple cases to heal toxic relationships. I hope they will be useful for you too.
You might also enjoy reading the posts listed below.
Have you used any other tools to heal your relationships? Please let me know in the comments below