Weighty Matters

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Expelling Toxicity

on March 12, 2013

In a conversation with some friends the other day, we talked about how each of us has experienced toxic people, places or situations in our lives at some point in time.  Some of the poison is created by other people and they then transport it with them into our lives like one might bring a virus germs.  Their condition then infects us and takes over.  Unfortunately, sometimes we infect ourselves.  We let toxic thoughts take hold and replicate until they mess us up mind, body and spirit.

Toxicity sucks.

There.  How’s that for a powerful and enlightening assessment?  🙂

Okay, seriously now, I’ve thought about this a lot and cannot for the life of me come up with one good reason why any of us either create a toxic soup for ourselves or permit others to be toxic or bring theirs with them into our lives.  Really, who want their life to be a Superfund site?

There are various depths and manifestations of this emotional waste.  We have people who are always negative.  That’s their go-to place.  Everything’s bad or hard or doomed.  Nothing good happens.  Everyone treats them horribly.  Life sucks no matter what.   Those lemons can’t be made into lemonade because they where rotten when they got them, damn it!  I’m miserable just describing negative people.

Don’t we all know people who live in a place of constant drama and, boy oh boy, don’t they always cast themselves in the lead role?  The older that I get, the more exhausted I am by the mere thought of conjuring up that much sturm un drang.

When I’m surrounded by negativity or drama, I feel its effects.  It drags on my spirit.  Stress results and impacts my body.  Mentally, it wears me out.

Granted, life isn’t always going to be sunshine and sweet smelling flowers.  It would be horribly naive of me to expect that as a perpetual state.  However, I firmly believe that we can counteract the crap that sometimes falls.  We don’t have to wallow.  We also can choice to what extent we permit toxic people into our lives.  While it might be our nature to be empathetic and supportive, we need to set the boundaries, too.  It goes back to the airplane analogy that I’ve used before.  If you’re traveling with someone who might need assistance, put the mask over your own face first.  Note that this means you pick up your mask and put it over your own face.  It does not mean that you give up your mask to the other person.  It doesn’t mean that you suck in your air and then feed it to the other person.  Sometimes the best thing that we can do for someone else is not take over their problems or drama but to instead give them the space to deal on their own.  If you assist them in putting on their mask, it’s then their responsibility to breathe on their own.

One of my personal goals this year is to be aware of other people’s toxicity and avoid getting mired in the emotional sludge.  I can also refuse to play any role in someone else’s drama.  I want to surround myself with upbeat, grounded, healthy people, places and situations, to experience positive energy, and to continue to experience and take part in life with a healthy, positive attitude.

If this means that I need to choose to expell toxicity and reduce my exposure or connection with the people who revel in it, then I need to be strong enough to do so.  In the end, I’ll be better off.


2 responses to “Expelling Toxicity

  1. Hope says:

    I found that I was starting to get really negative, and I’ve spent the last few months trying to focus on the positive. It’s made me a much happier person. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I am sleeping again. :p

  2. Skye says:

    And sometimes toxicity is subtle and it steals away your energy before you are aware it’s doing so. I have let go of relationships that seemed okay with nice people, but every time I spent time with them, I ended up emotionally exhausted and diminished. There is a lot of different kinds of toxicity and it all comes down to keeping an eye on how you are affected.

    As I am changing my life completely again, I am going to work on the airplane analogy and on avoiding letting toxic people into my life. And on diminishing toxic situations in my life as well.

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