Blog 09: Be The Light
Written by: Abby Custer
There’s a lot of discussion about how to be healthy during pregnancy, such as various foods to eat (or not eat), an appropriate amount of exercise to engage in, or how much sleep you should aim for each night. But rarely do we think about our health in terms of other people, and how this influence can affect our well-being in both a positive and negative way. God blesses us with many relationships; relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and those we date or marry. Relationships are important, but some relationships are not healthy for us. Toxic relationships often leave us feeling drained, depressed, and struggling with low self-esteem.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
When I hear the word toxic, I often think of a poisonous substance, like the cleaners that I keep locked under my kitchen sink, safe from little hands. Rarely do I think of a person, but that’s exactly what some people can represent in our lives. Unfortunately, it’s usually not until we have left an unhealthy relationship behind that we can truly see how much happier and healthier our mental state is. Most of us can remember a time when we struggled with a toxic presence in our life. For some, that relationship has been a harder tie to break than we’d ever expected because a child was created within this relationship. Perhaps you have already left this relationship behind, and find yourself saying something like, “I don’t want to continue any sort of relationship with this person, let alone raise a child.” Here’s the great news: You are not responsible for someone else’s behavior, and you get to choose exactly the type of relationship that you want to have with this person. It is absolutely possible to have a civil relationship with someone for the sake of your child, without engaging in any manipulation or games.
There’s also the fact that something about this person drew you to them in the first place, so somewhere deep inside are positive attributes that can be found again. You can be the light, and strive to bring those uplifting characteristics to the forefront. As challenging as it may be, aim to focus on the positive traits that you once admired in this person, and share those with your child. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned as a parent (sometimes the hard way), it’s that the way I feel about something or someone is going to be imitated by the little eyes and ears that are watching and listening to me, sometimes when I don’t even notice it’s happening. I realize that the window for this emulation is small because at some point, my children are going to be adolescents and want to think the complete opposite of me, “just because.” But for now, this sweet precious time, our influence is so great. Use it wisely, friends.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
That does not excuse certain behaviors, and at Compass, we would never encourage you to engage in or continue a relationship with someone who is abusive, neglectful, or inappropriate to either you or your baby. If you need help with setting healthy boundaries, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you, you are not alone, and we can help you find a way to move forward so that your light can shine its brightest.
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