Written by: Romello Yaqub

In life, it is safe to say we all desire healthy relationships. Think about the relationships you have been in and how they have turned out. Whether it be a friendship, romantic or one with a family member, there are many things we should take into consideration that have affected the relationships we have formed and will continue to do throughout our lives. A major consideration we need to make is the role of our past behavior in the outcome of our relationships. All people, myself included, have been structured and formed through our habits. We all have developed healthy and unhealthy habits.

Our unhealthy habits, something we’ll call our dark passengers, (“Dexter anyone?”) sometimes shape us in ways that reciprocate an image of a controlling addiction. They hide from the light, and when we give over to them, this affects the relationships we encounter throughout our lives. The darkness consists of guilt, shame, resentment, inadequacy, jealousy, pride, etc. Relationships are a key product of our purpose in life. So, we have to learn how to respond to and control these dark passengers in order to overcome the unhealthy tendencies from within. 

Imagine any one person being the victim to some sort of trauma, abuse, manipulation, or argument. Whether it is our fault or not, it affects us in unimaginable ways, because it creates a strenuous encumbrance on our well-being. Now take a second to think specifically about some patterns you may have in your words and/or actions. Could any of these things have played a role in the outcomes of your life? Yes, some are smaller than others, but they are all “dark passengers” that want to stay hidden and not reveal the role we play in our own broken coarseness. 

In life, there is no form of unhealthiness that will stay concealed in the deep depths of your soul. We are reminded everyday of our struggle to become who we truly want to be. If we want to have virtuous and solidified relationships, we must first think about how we respond to our surroundings behaviorally. Next, we have to know our tendencies and set limits in order to protect ourselves and others around us. Once we do this, then it takes intentionality in order to generate moral, ethical and lifestyle change. We are now at the frontier of beginning the process of building healthier relationships.