Toxic relationships are harmful for anyone involved. They become a home for the pain bodies of the people involved to feed off each other. Either remove yourself or use the relationship as spiritual practice.
What Is A Toxic Relationship?
The term toxic relationships attempt to describe a relationship that has turned harmful towards any of the people involved - physically or mentally. This article is based mainly around romantic relationships, however the ideas raised can apply to any toxic or dysfunctional relationship.
They seem to be more common in romantic relationships. The most common is what we observe as two people who may even claim to be in love, yet continue to endure a relationship full of drama and conflict.
The relationship becomes a home for the pain body to thrive and activate. There is a kind of addiction to the drama, conflict and unease. This provides a certain kind of aliveness and sense of self that attempts to replace the true feelings of deep joy and aliveness that is part of everyone's true nature, but has been covered up by the ego.
These toxic relationship may well include highs as well as lows, which is another thing that the ego is addicted to. A massive argument holds potential for an enjoyable "make-up". When things are good they are going great, both people involved feel very happy.
Suddenly this changes - one person is no longer making the other happy or providing what they want. A comment is made, someone does something the other does not like, a demand of one is not fulfilled by the other - then great happiness turns to great misery. The pain bodies are activated, and drama ensues.
Dependence on "things going great" for happiness in the relationship means that there is a fear of loss of this circumstance, as well as potential for unhappiness. This in itself can cause a lot of suffering for an individual concerned.
How To Break Free
Awareness is the key. If you become aware that there is any awakening of pain body or egoic behaviour within yourself regarding your relationship, then you are instantly free - you are the awareness of the thought or emotion, not the thought or emotion itself.
Be alert for the awakening of pain body in your partner - a sudden complete change in mood or personality, as if something else has taken them over - which it has. Whatever someone does in this state should not be taken personally - it is just the pain body acting out, looking for anything to attack.
When you recognise pain body or ego for what it is, you are less likely to take it for who the person actually is, or who you are. This means you will be less caught up in the drama, and able to resolve any conflict more easily should you need to.
Notice all the demands, insecurities, fear and general negativity surrounding any aspect of the relationship. Part of you may believe that the relationship needs to be a certain way before you can be happy or at peace. The truth is you merely need to go deeper into yourself to truly be at peace.
Going deeper into yourself means knowing yourself as the awareness behind your thoughts, emotions and sense perceptions. Within this still awareness is everything you need - peace, joy and love. Do not demand it from anyone else. Relationships can be great spiritual tools if used to find yourself in this way.
You may find yourself leaving the relationship. If you remain in it, use it as spiritual practice to transmute your ego and pain body into conscious presence. You can use it to see what you are not, and therefore realise what you are.
Extremely Toxic Relationships - Physical Abuse
If the relationship involves physical abuse, you may feel trapped in it. Realise to what extent your repetitive thought and emotional patterns make you feel like this. For a moment, do not take your thoughts too seriously. Go within, use present moment awareness, inhabit the inner body, use the breath. A solution will arise from here if any action is required on your part.
Do not let the egoic mind grip you into a state of non-action through fear. Non-action may be fine, but if it is from fear, this may be preventing an effective solution arising to your dysfunctional relationship.
You may still believe that you are "in love" with someone who abuses you. This requires self enquiry. Is it real or is it a kind of clinging dependence on someone else for something such as self esteem, pleasure (despite the pain), happiness or security?
Of course more resources are available for help with this. You may wish to seek professional or legal help if the situation requires it. This article is just attempting to explain the nature of egoic and pain body behaviour that underlies these toxic relationships, so they can be better understood.
You Have Two Options
Leave the toxic relationship and do not deal with any more drama, or stay in it and bring presence into it, use it to dissolve your ego. If you can not do either, you may be unconsciously addicted to the pain or drama - this is the pain body in you.