Whether it’s providence or destiny that frees us from a toxic, dysfunctional relationship, be it with a family member, lover, friend, or foe, it is the practical act of gaining distance from the painful relationship that, in time, helps us see that it takes two to tango, it takes two people to have a feud or a fight; and nobody gets more than fifty percent of the blame.

It doesn’t matter how we are pulled into the dance because life is clearly a dance and we are born to dance. So, once the dance begins the partners communicate, overtly or subconsciously, exactly how they want to be treated; every word or act informs our partner about our strengths and weaknesses.

People don’t normally start off a relationship abusing or getting abused by the other, (in any kind of relationship); there is a period of communication that may be a short time or a long time but in time the ground rules are established for us and our partner. (for we are both teachers and students at the same time, communicating what we want and what we are willing to give)

We may be blood-related or mentally or physically attracted to the person God has brought into our lives to have a relationship with but however wonderful it might be at first it may devolve into something not very pretty because, very often, a taker takes too much or a giver will give too much and things can get sour and bitter pretty quickly. But, if, in the end, we can see that we let the relationship move too fast and that maybe our motives were self-involved and immature, we will have gained a very valuable lesson and end up with a new kind and much better relationship with the person.

I remember a very powerful lesson along these lines when I was pretty immature: I met a lady who was very pretty and polished on the outside but anything but pretty and polished on the inside. It’s an old and classic story I know but a timeless one; I just disappeared into her beauty and femininity; I was her fool. It sounds so simple to me now but the lesson was so painful and slow for me to learn; Of course, now, thank God, I know we’re all beautiful children of God; it just takes time and the dance to wake up to the truth. I’m still dancing and still learning.