Cultivating a Healthy Relationship

I was looking over the subject topics as I embark on this journey with The Survivor Manual, and this one popped out at me.  “Healthy Relationships”.  What is that?  Well, as a champion of unhealthy relationships in the past, and one who is working everyday to make my current relationship “healthy”, I had to think about what the word “healthy” means to me.   To be healthy, indicates that we are in balance physically and mentally. That we are taking care of ourselves.  As abuse survivors, this is not easy.  We were conditioned to believe that we didn’t matter, that we were here to be used, and abused for someone else’s pleasure.  This is a major untruth that sits in our psyche.  It rots away any positive thoughts, or energy that exists within us. It ruins our self esteem and self love.  In turn, it effects our relationships with others.   What if we could learn to change that self image — to change our thinking, and see ourselves as whole, happy, and beautiful? What if we could shine unconditional love upon ourselves?

The premise that we are here to love, be loved, and be needed, is true.  So, if we can start this process by loving someone else — while also knowing that they love and need us — it would help us incredibly.  I love my wife unconditionally.  She is not perfect…but she is to me.  Even with all of her flaws, she is perfect.  I can see that, and I tell her so.  She has told me that I am beautiful, and that I am perfect.  She loves me unconditionally.  I didn’t believe her, at first.  It has taken a long time for me to believe her.  But once I did, everything started to change.  Because that simple yet difficult thing, loving someone unconditionally — acknowledging yet accepting their flaws — means that you can also do it for yourself.  I always believed that a healthy relationship with another human being starts with a healthy relationship with yourself.  While, finding the most healthy version of ourselves, is the presumed goal, it may not be the starting point.  Someone who has been abused has to work through so much to get to the point of healing.  They have to cross many bridges and barriers to find their true selves.  A possible shortcut would be to really love and accept someone else first.  Of course recognizing someone whom encompasses these traits, would be a whole different topic in itself.  But truly, someone who loves you, warts and all —  they can shine a light on you like no one else can.


  1. Ellieannnayc says

    Great post…gave me a new perspective. Although through various mind-body modalities I have grown immensely from my own trauma, I would be waiting a lifetime if I had to love myself unconditionally first. The perspective of this not being the starting point but the end goal is wonderful. There is nothing more beautiful than getting there by loving someone else unconditionally and somehow that is not so hard to do. In many cases survivors hearts have been tested so much they have cracked open, and yet for all the pain, they can and do overflow with love for others

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