The Ties That Bind – Releasing Toxic Relationships

the ties that bind - releasing toxic relationships
Image © Sunny Strasburg –

By Jennifer Deisher

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it” ~ Rumi

Toxic relationships come in all forms and can be detrimental in so many ways, but they also offer the greatest opportunity for growth and learning. It’s within the mindset of growth that we can begin to navigate and resolve relationship toxicity issues in order to release and move on. This can be a very difficult thing to accomplish since the toxicity is much like a drop of ink that spoils the entire well, leaving a cellular toxicity, much like an allergic reaction, to this kind of abusive relationship. The poisoning of the well leaves us feeling “tainted” and eventually leaves behind a continuous cycle of grief in the emotions of denial, bargaining, anger, and pain – a cycle that can never lead to the Acceptance we seek in the form of Unconditional Love.

In the big picture, no one has “permission” to bring toxicity into our energy field unless we allow it. However, sometimes the toxicity sets in on a cellular level when this kind of relationship is born in childhood, before we have earliest memories or have even learned to communicate in some cases. It can become a challenge, learning to separate one’s own “energy” from the energy of the poisonous relationship, so it’s important to have insight into how to let go and/or navigate the relationship in a new and different way.

The Cycle of Toxicity

If one has never experienced Unconditional Love on an energetic level then one can become easily fooled into thinking they have found “love”, but oftentimes find it to be quite the opposite leaving behind a feeling of guilt or shame or fear, coupled with a feeling of being “unlovable”. This becomes especially apparent when one has suffered from some sort of abuse in childhood and never experienced the emotion of Unconditional Love. How can one know if we’ve truly found something we’ve never experienced?

Our relationships are a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves – our own Self Worth – and when we vacillate between toxicity and “love” we truly find ourselves in an unhealthy situation. The toxicity shows up in the form of hostility, aggression, conflicts, quarrels, judgement, and criticism among other things. The Clarity that we tend to find in these type of relationships typically comes in the form of the negativity it brings rather than a Positive, Loving outcome. Like a junkie seeking heroin, we find ourselves in an addictive situation alternating between the high when things are going well and the low when the shit hits the fan.

Many times we finds ourselves trying to “fix” and/or communicate with the other person, all while defending oneself against the “judgement” the relationship brings on – both judgement from the other person and judgement of Self for being in that situation in the first place. Usually both parties who participate in these relationships bring a great deal of emotional deflection and projection, meaning that they project their emotions onto the other person when these emotions are actually coming from Self. This pattern is ironic as they typically also deflect or are in denial of the very emotions they are projecting onto the other person. It’s a truly ruthless cycle to break.

These relationships are indeed a great distraction from focusing on Self and finding the painfully missing piece one lacks withIN. One has to be willing to seek awareness of and identify with their own patterns, in order to Heal and become Whole. We have to remember that there are other addictions besides “substances”, and just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it’s good for us.

It Starts Within

Forgiveness is key in any relationship that has had turmoil or is “ending”. However, just because we have found the Art of Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean we can continue to indulge in the relationship without being vulnerable, much like mixing oil and vinegar. First, we have to recognize that which we are bringing to the table and learn to separate it from what the other person is bringing. Next, we have to realize that we are ALL worthy of Unconditional Love, and if the relationship is energetically toxic we may have no other choice but to walk away with Love and Gratitude in our Hearts.

The key is a deep understanding that sometimes we don’t get to have the relationships we were always hoping for with certain people in our Lives, but we experience them for a reason.

In order to manifest Unconditional Love into our Lives we have to be willing to receive it, no matter what form it takes. Frequently, when we cannot make a relationship work the way we want, we tend to think of the relationship and ourselves as having “failed” at Love. This is just a matter of perspective and can be shifted if we Allow ourselves to release all conditions and expectations in the relationship, while looking at the relationship as an opportunity to remove the blocks that keep us from finding Unconditional Love, specifically in the form we are looking for.

Everything we seek to find can be found withIN so it’s important to create boundaries, both energetically and otherwise. Remember, no ONE can hurt you emotionally without your permission so it’s essential to separate oneself with Intention. This can be done by declaring to Self that this person no longer has your permission to speak or act a certain way since they do not have your best interests at Heart; this declaration should also be done on a Spiritual level and/or in meditation etc.

Intending a separation of energy is crucial because the way the toxicity presents itself is usually a very chronic process whereas our Awareness of the situation becomes clouded slowly. This is confusing because although the relationship tends to start off as seemingly Happy it progressively becomes unmanageable, leaving one wondering when and where things went “wrong”. This is precisely the reason why continuing to indulge one’s SELF in the negativity cannot possibly bring the Loving relationship that you seek.

In the Art of Bushido a true “warrior” is asked to find Gratitude when a weakness is exposed, as it gives them an Opportunity to reinforce their armor, if you will. A toxic relationship is where we find the same kind of opportunity for Gratitude and Growth. But we must remove our own energy from the energy of the poisonous interaction, and change it, in order to release the ties that bind.

Remember, we are all Worthy of Loving and Healthy relationships. Wherever you find yourself in your relationships today, please Remember that you are so very Beautiful, Worthy, and Loved.

Previous articles by Jennifer:

Updated November 2014

About the author:

Jennifer DeisherJennifer Deisher is an empath, intuitive, emotional healer, spiritual transformation artist, and the writer of the Moon Hippie Mystic blog. Aaron Deisher is a psychic medium, shaman and intuitive specializing in behavioral and paranormal aspects of spirituality. Together they founded Blueprints For Butterflies as a safe, loving space to support people who are awakening and making a spiritual connection with their Higher Self. Offering professional healing and reading services, they work to help others confront their ‘demons’, realize their divine spiritual, emotional and creative blueprint, and create a life that resonates with each individual’s unique energy signature.

For more information or to book a session, please visit

This article adapted for Wake Up World by Andy Whiteley and Jennifer Deisher.


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  • Sandy

    I feel like I am a toxic person due to the fact that I have major depression that hasn’t responded to tons of medications I’ve tried. Wanted ECT terribly, but since I’ve had 3 back surgeries, the doctor refused to do it. So, I spend my life in my bed because not many people understand how I feel, and I don’t want to be a downer to others.


    • Aurataya

      Dear Sandy,

      I know I do not fully understand your personal situation and even though we have never met in person, I want you to know I care about YOU. I have been through pretty severe depression myself and know very well what the experience is like, pretty earth shattering to say the least so I feel deeply for you and would love to wrap my arms around you right this minute to let you know you are not alone.

      Sandy you state that you do not want to be a downer to others and believe it or not I totally understand that comment but may I offer you another perspective to ponder. Sandy you are a human being with a beautiful heart and you also have a brilliant mind that due to your personal experiences in this particular life experience understands some extremely complex emotions and thought patterns. No matter what state you are in Sandy, you always have something to offer and probably way more than you even think is possible at this point in time. I know it may not feel that way to you just now but I am just sharing with you my perspective because I have been in similar circumstances. Some of my greatest understanding of this life experience came from experiencing severe depression for many years and believe it or not I am so very grateful I now have that understanding because it helps me help others. No matter what your experiences are in this particular incarnation Sandy your gorgeous heart energy cannot be taken away from you. It may feel like it’s temporarily lost in a little haze or fog but that precious gorgeous energy can never be extinguished. It’s right there within YOU just waiting for that perfect moment to break from a long slumber and begin to unfold in all its amazing gorgeous beauty. I’m not sweet talking you Sandy, that it the truth. You know it and I know it and I am positive you can feel it.

      You obviously need some assistance Sandy and I am praying that the right person reads your comment and comes forward to lend a helping hand. I am not qualified in any area of medicine but I am just going to hold your beautiful energy in my thoughts and heart centre and assist that way if that’s ok with you.

      Sandy, no doctors or medication got me through my many years of severe depression but I will share with you what did. I finally woke up to the fact that I was worth something. I stopped living my life through other people’s eyes and started living to suit myself and discover what made me happy. Those that chose to judge me I no longer permitted to have an impact on my reality. I took my power back and will never relinquish it again.

      Sandy, I hope I have not annoyed you with all my chatter in this post. I just wanted you to know that I probably do understand some of what you are experiencing and wanted to help lift you a little and maybe help to brighten your world a touch. Please remember these words that come from my heart to yours. You are a precious beautiful tender soul and you always have something to offer. I care about you and I love you. May a new path unfold before you now Sandy blessed with an abundance of love, joy, peace, harmony, happiness, understanding, acceptance and contentment which you so very much deserve precious soul.

      My love is offered to you eternally Sandy

      • Maya

        I feel a similar way. I am currently deciding on whether to keep seeing this person or not, even though we have had an unhealthy, toxic past. It is a lot better now but my mind still feels a bit clouded by him at times and there is a ‘blockage’ there somewhere. I feel as though if my life would be easier and flowing without this person.

        I feel I am dragging things on and not tying up any ends. I don’t just want to cut him out of my life just like that but I don’t know what I really want. I just want to be free, and decisive and not have anything toxic restricting me and my potential.

        I think I will use this opportunity to resolve deep-rotted issues I have, if I can. It is a tricky situation to be in.

        • Maya

          *deep-rooted, not rotted

    • Glowerth

      Hi sandy to better your life condition I suggest you learn reiki for healing yourself . You will really benefit from it. It’s a hands on healing technique.
      Second I would suggest you read about soka gakai organisation . It’s a faith practise which involves chanting a mantra nam yo horenge kyu… Meaning I now to the law of karma and cause and effect in my life and accept it. No ritual required you can do it while u r in bed till ur illness … Google it and read how miraculously it helps curing depression and other ailments. So cheer up and fight your karma change it . Chanting you start now once u feel better you can learn reiki too

  • Lisa

    For Marisa and Anthony

  • Lilla

    Hello Sandy, I don’t think you’re a toxic person, they are usually not the ones depressed, but the ones causing other people get depressed because of their manipulative behaviour. Depression is a deep separation with Self, where you don’t feel you have a place left to go, within and without. It’s a grieving process and the goal is to re-create yourself in the grandest version of who you are and not according the expectations yourself and society have imposed on you. You are infinite love, force and wisdom deep in your heart. Find peace with yourself first, accept your depression as ‘birthing pains’ and all the rest will fall into place.

  • Thanks to Jennifer Deisher, this beautifully written article has helped in giving me the rest of my missing answers for peace and closure within a past, yet recent, toxic relationship.. Expressing things in ways we can someday hope to learn and define together. With such words, to the extent that herself and others out there like Jessica, are currently radiating deep within our amazing souls. Reflecting upon each other! 🙂