Love is the most compelling force in the universe. It has the power to nourish and sustain; it has the strength to soothe, comfort, and even heal. Love is the stuff of miracles.
But love should come with a warning label; used inappropriately, love is toxic. Toxic love has the power to destroy instead of build. It can be the rocket fuel that helps you soar – or the fuel that explodes and burns your house down.
What’s the difference between healthy love and toxic love?
Two factors determine whether love is life-giving or life-draining:
- The motivation of the lover
- The source of the love (organic or GMO)
The motivation of healthy love is you and your good, not me and my good. Healthy love is the way I meet your needs – for protection, affirmation, correction, trust, and security. (http://www.trueface.org/) Because healthy love is about you – it’s very important for you to trust me. Without trust, you won’t receive my love, no matter how much love I have to give you.
Healthy love is calcium for your bones and protein for your muscles; it’s all the good stuff you need to grow into who I already know you to be. It’s the fence around the backyard; it’s a curfew. It’s a shoulder to cry on, and the hand on your bicycle seat that helps you keep your balance.
The primary motivation of toxic love is me – not you. It’s not the way I meet your needs; it’s the way you meet mine. I need you to help establish my well being; performance is more important than being real.
Toxic love is manipulation. It’s the attention that comes only after you make good grades, or get the promotion and pay raise, or lose weight. Toxic love makes you prove yourself – over and over again.
Toxic love doesn’t build a fence and doesn’t like to set boundaries – because if you’re happy with me, then I feel good about myself. Toxic love gives in when you pitch a fit. Because toxic love is about me – it’s very important for you to like me. Trust is optional.
The source of healthy love is God; it’s not surprising that the love that’s good for us is the organic kind. Any other source of love is the GMO kind; no matter how good it tastes – the nutritional components are missing and the extra ingredients are deadly in the long run.
Consider unconditional love. It’s just not human. I want revenge, not restoration. I want to hurt you, not forgive you. I want to win, not help you win. If there are any feet getting washed around here, I want them to be mine. Without divine intervention, I can’t love you the way you need to be loved.
But God. He exists to love us. He knows His love can restore – and then revenge will seem like a dumb idea. He knows we’re going to struggle and need help – and he never charges for His strength. When we screw things up completely – His forgiveness is ours just because we ask. He’s washing our feet – and our hearts. He calls this “grace.”
And He gives us this love in so much abundance it can’t help but pour out of us, too. As we play with giving this love away, we learn its amazing properties. Now we can bring beauty from ashes, too. Now we get to watch dry bones come to life. No longer a slave to fear, we get to show others the way to freedom, too – if they trust us.
Science is proving the power of healthy love – and the devastating effects of toxic love. Read more about this research by Dr. Caroline Leaf on the GOOD STUFF page of this website. http:///www.janetnewberry.com/
Please comment and share your story to inspire others; how has real love changed your life?