So I was watching an older season of “Biggest Loser” last night on Hulu as I tend to do from time to time and something really upset me. There was a contestant on there who was married and her partner had been voted off a few weeks prior. She, however was still “hanging in there” and even had the opportunity to meet the First Lady, Michelle Obama! Mrs. Obama looked this woman in the eye (along with the other contestants) and told her what an inspiration she was. She affirmed her and honored her. The woman was so in awe, as she knew she herself should be saying these things to the First Lady, not the other way around. But because she was on a path of healing and health she was given this amazing opportunity to be in the presence of greatness and have greatness speak into her!
Later on that night she decided to contact her hubby and see how he was doing back at home. When she did, he lamented about his loneliness. He said he wanted her to come home. She was so anxious and burdened by his request she actually fell into a binge eating episode on national tv. After stuffing herself, she lay on her bed, depressed, and though physically full, still emotionally empty. Well, the next day when it was time for the contestants to weigh in, she didn’t just fall below the yellow line, she actually gained 2 lbs! She was then voted off the show and had to return home.
I was so upset at the turn of events because it was so clear to me how selfish and needy her husband was being and the price she paid for enabling his neediness. Earlier in the season when he was still on the show they actually brought up his “codependency” but in a lackadaisical way. They knew it was an issue but did not have a desire to change. Here she was in a position to get healthy emotionally, mentally and physically and her growth was cut short because of an unhealthy relationship she had with her spouse. I saw so clearly there is no way you can hope to stay physically healthy and you are not emotionally healthy. Being dependent on another individual will always cause you to follow their lead. When they are happy you are happy, when they are depressed, you are depressed. This is toxic.
Toxic relationships are just as harmful as toxic foods. The only difference is, toxic foods usually result in weight gain, physical illnesses and even emotional affects on the individual consuming them. Toxic relationships can be more subtle. Here are a few red flags I have found in my own experience with toxic relationships:
1) Inability to not be around that person constantly; when not around them feeling fearful/needy/rejected/abandoned. This is due to an addiction and dependency on their presence.
2) Letting that person influence you in a way that you lose your identity or compromise your convictions/values.
3) The relationship does not bring out the best in you; brings out unattractive characteristics in you.
After watching that episode last night I had a renewed urgency to work on my own mental and emotional health. I had a clear picture of the consequences to remaining in toxic relationships when I saw the blessings that the woman experienced while on a path of health and what she lost when she chose to engage back in unhealthy behaviors.
As believers we have an advantage in growing in knowledge wisdom and understanding. The Holy Spirit’s job is to lead us into all truth and teach us His ways (which are healthy). Let’s take advantage of His desire to help us walk in freedom.
There is wealth in wisdom.
We simply cannot fathom the greatness we will experience by traveling this path of life. We could even find ourselves dressed to the nines and waltzing into the open doors of the White House 😉.