My name is Zoe Marshall, I'm an over sharer and media personality. 

Healthy vs Toxic Love

Healthy vs Toxic Love

HEALTHY LOVE Over the past week two things have crossed my path 1. Erykah Badu's Twitter post about Healthy love vs Toxic Love 2. An email from a friend about Healthy love.

I couldn't ignore these 2 powerful messages. I want to pass them forward.

I think when we are younger sometimes love whether it's healthy or not seems good enough, we don't really know the difference until we have been in something very unhealthy that does not serve us.

This toxic love. I have been apart of and I wouldn't wish upon anyone. In saying that I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't been through the abuse I thought was love.

I am not saying that you must go through this to know real love. Some people have such a strong sense of self worth and self love they would never let someone that fearful attach to them. I unfortunately didn't have the self worth and I was in a desperate place in my life. This relationship was abusive on all levels and was a living hell. I lost contact with friends, family and had only 1 person that I depended on to meet all my needs. Him. I not only abandoned my life, I abandoned myself. I wasn't innocent in this either. I needed someone desperately to save me. I should of saved myself. At that time it wasn't an option so my survival mechanism kicked in and I entered a long term relationship where I lost myself completely.

If you can relate to any of these points under the toxic love section of the picture below maybe take a step back and look at the relationship you are in or that you may even desire to be in.

Love isn't about 2 people becoming 1. It's about 2 people having full enriched lives that join together to make a relationship which is apart of you but not the WHOLE part.

When you meet someone and there is so much fear combined with passion and intensity things can move very fast and you can both become obsessed very quickly. Fear is what attracts you but also keeps you trapped.

After amping myself up to leave over and over again, it took me almost a year to get out. Even when I did I ended up going back, each time hating myself more and more for letting myself down. Why was I so weak? But it's like an addiction, you are possessed and you can't leave. Finally after a very bad accident (rock bottom), I decided to seek help and left for good. I worked on myself for a long time. Rebuilding my self esteem and trying to believe I was beautiful, smart and worthy of being loved (in a healthy way). It was a long and hard road but then came the peace. I started to trust myself again. Laugh again and eventually love again.

I was scared and not committed to giving this new love a 100%. I wanted to keep myself safe understandably. But I found someone gentle and loving. Someone that wanted me to be myself and loved who I was. They brought out the best in me and challenged my bad habits.

I finally got the love I deserved.

No matter what your past or childhood was like, each and everyone of us deserves respect and freedom in a relationship. The truth is, you know when something is not good for you but you have to have strength to let it go. Willing to believe you deserve more.

The photo:

The email:

The Characteristics of Healthy Love

People in healthy relationships have the following characteristics.

1. They allow for individuality.

2. They experience both oneness with and separateness from another.

3. They bring out the best qualities in self and another.

4. They accept endings.

5. They experience openness to change and exploration.

6. They invite growth in the other person.

7. They experience true intimacy.

8. They feel the freedom to ask honestly for what is wanted.

9. They experience giving and receiving in the same way.

10. They do not attempt to change or control the other.

11. They encourage self-sufficiency of partners.

12. They accept limitations of self and other.

13. They do not seek unconditional love.

14. They accept and respect commitment.

15. They have a high self-esteem

16. They trust the memory of the beloved; they enjoy solitude.

17. They express feelings spontaneously.

18. They welcome closeness; risk vulnerability.

19. They care with detachment.

20. They affirm equality and personal power of self and other.

The shake up

The shake up

Money or integrity