Slowly, surely… Walking away from broken love.

I was inspired by a Jill Scott tune last night and it got me thinking about all the good women in my life with such beautiful voices, hearts and spirits who have been survivors of broken relationships, harmful histories and hurtful connections on so many different levels. I wanted to write something to empower women today to tell them that love does not hurt. Love heals. Love strives to protect and to build you up, not bring you down.

I often struggle with how much personal life history to reveal in my blog. Since I felt called to write this today, I will say that I struggled with a co-dependent mindset for many years as a teenager into my early 20’s. (It is actually still a part of me, but now I know I am only fully responsible for my choices, my life and my health and personal well-being. I can help others only after, I, myself, am properly cared for, loved, and nurtured.) I truly believed, as many women and some men, of course, also now believe, that they are capable of changing another person. Their heart may be in the right place, but what usually happens is their spiritual, mental, emotional and perhaps even physical resources are depleted in an effort to “help fix” or “heal” a broken person struggling with an issue such as drug and alcohol addiction, an incorrectly treated mental health diagnosis, or explosive or violent behaviors. It is impossible to change another person. What happens with a co-dependent mindset is that you place a lower priority on your own needs and treat the other specific individual or number of individuals above yourself. You begin to harbor guilt, hurt, and low self-esteem when you find (ultimately) that you have no control over another’s addiction or diagnosis.

Codependency affects people in a variety of ways. Common characteristics of Codependents include:

  • Excessive Care-taking: Codependents feel responsible for others’ actions, feelings, choices and emotional well-being. They try to anticipate loved one’s needs and often wonder why others do not do the same for them.
  • Low self-esteem: Codependents are people who need to be needed. They will only feel important and valuable when they are helping others, and blame themselves for anything that goes wrong.
  • Denial: Codependents typically ignore, minimize or rationalize problems in the relationship, believing that “things will get better when…” They stay busy to avoid thinking about their feelings.
  • Fear of anger: Codependents are afraid of both their own and their loved one’s anger, because they fear it will destroy the relationship.
  • Health problems: The stress of Codependency can lead to headaches, ulcers, asthma and high blood pressure.
  • Addictive behavior: Codependents may themselves develop addictions in an attempt to deal with their pain and frustration

I know many people who have struggled with this, but since this blog is mine I don’t feel comfortable writing about their stories. My first relationship and my dive into the world of “love” was with a person who struggled against his own drug and alcohol addiction. I was young, naive and hopeful. There were several people around me who nudged me and told me truths, which I chose to ignore in my co-dependent mindset. The relationship lasted four years until I knew nothing would change and that all I could do was done. Feeling broken, lost and confused, I turned from faith and began living a kind of numb, shallow life on the inside, though on the outside I was still pursuing education, bettering myself, travels and learning. I was blessed with the support of great friends and family members, which I know many women stuck in wrong relationships may not have access to. I believe all along the spark was still inside of me to come through my pain, although I did not fully recognize it. I stumbled through other empty relationships and unsafe behaviors with men until I began dating my husband, who has been on the journey of healing with me. I was blessed by our relationship, as we were friends long before we began a romance. He knew me in my “co-dependent days” and he knew me as I grew out of them. I never thought I’d be one of those girls to marry her best friend, but I have. I count myself truly blessed.

It was put on my heart to write this today –  if you feel you are being abused emotionally, psychologically, verbally or physically you must reach out to a trusted friend or relative. If you are struggling with a co-dependent mindset and you put your own health and and worth below another’s, you must reach out for help and begin to see how truly special you are. Look up resources in your community, whether it be a church, women’s organization or a domestic violence hotline. Talk with someone.

When women thrive, the world thrives.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 it is written… 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

“Slowly Surely” by Jill Scott

Slowly surely,

I walk away from 

that old desperate and dazed love 
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love
thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love I just don’t know
Where i should go
Slowly surely
I walk away from
constantly hurting me love 
deserting me love
you said, I said, we said
butSlowly surely
I walk away from 
confusing love 
misusing love 
abusing love
this can’t be

Slowly surely
I walk away from
self serving
constantly hurting me love

I just don’t know
where I should go
I just don’t know
know, know, know
Where I should go

Slowly surely
I walk away from
that old desperate and dazed love
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love

thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love

I just don’t know where to go

Slowly surely
I walk away from
I walk away from
Slowly surely
I walk away from love
slowly, surely one step at a time
but surely
I will pass the old love aside
and love me
surely I walk away from
slowly surely I walk away from desperating love
caught up in the maze love
crazy crazy craze of love
slowly surely, I walk away from [repeat 5 times]
Slooooooowly Suuuuuuurely, slowly surely

“Man has not invented God; he has developed faith, to meet a God already there.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yes, I have found that It is so much more powerful to approach each other with our own strong light. I have been on both sides.
Sometimes it is less important what we say and do to help. Just being with them with our own, strong, healing light is helpful.
I also appreciate your writings on mental illness. I was able to heal myself and now I am able to help my family members who are struggling with this in different forms.
Much love-

Comment by lauriesnotes

Thanks, Laurie. So true – just being there often is enough sometimes. I’m glad you’re a returning visitor here – as always, thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 Mental health is so important. A strong, positive outlook will not change all our circumstances, but it can help us to face them…

Comment by simplyenjoy

I’ve recently had to do that. I know how hard it can be. Great post!

Comment by Jessica

Thanks for saying so, Jessica!

Comment by simplyenjoy

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