Recently, I was thinking about the notion of so called “toxic relationships” and whether using this term is helpful or not. Honestly, I think that every relationship is what we created it to be and the only toxic thing about our interactions with other human beings are the fearful thought patterns that we are stuck with until we become aware of them. It is certainly easier to blame other people for the ways they treat us, however, that is not where our true power lies. I tried it many times and believe me, blaming and judging is only going to keep you blind to the prejudice and uncomfortable feelings you hold around others and within yourself. If someone treats me in a way I think I don´t deserve to be treated, I try to catch myself right before I start resenting the other person. And here is what I practice instead:
Giving them the benefit of doubt
The moment you judge someone, your heart shuts down and you disconnect from them and from yourself, as well. This feeling of disconnection is the primary source of the unease you experience in their presence. You are no longer aligned with the loving nature of your heart and with the dimension of other creative possibilities, which are available to you, when you stay tuned into who you truly are. To expect someone to behave in certain way, just because you want them to, is simply said – arrogant. However, it does not mean that you have to accept unkind behavior from anyone. It only means that without projecting your expectations onto them you will be able to see them more clearly. Either you will see that they are doing the best they can with what they know, or you will be suddenly able to stop condoning any hurtful behavior, because your absence of expectations will allow you to see their actions just as they are, right now. So instead of judging, I focus on staying present in that moment with the person, as well as with my thoughts and feelings about the situation. This helps me to sink back into my power and to stop blaming someone else for the way I feel. The truth is, only you have the power to make yourself feel uncomfortable, because of the way you react to the beliefs and behaviors of others.
Honoring my truth
When you love and accept yourself without conditions, you can be in the presence of anyone and your sense of connection to yourself and to your inner knowing won´t be moved. However, it doesn´t mean that you will deliberately choose to spend time with people who doesn´t respect you for who you are. If you find yourself repeatedly in situations where people seemingly don´t respect you, ask yourself why would you tolerate this kind of behavior? The thing is that our relationship with our own Self is going to be mirrored back to us through every relationship we experience until we are ready to let go of what no longer serves us. In majority of situations we have more power than we are willing to admit. You teach people how to treat you by the way you treat yourself. Sometimes a “no” is the most loving answer you can give. But in order to say “no” and be at peace with it, you have to know that by saying “no”, you are also saying “yes” to your integrity. If I am afraid to say “no” then it is my job to look into my beliefs and find out why I would think someone else´s approval of me is more valuable than my approval of myself. What always comes up for me is that I am afraid of not being good enough or worthy enough, but by now, I know that these are just lies that are a part of our consciousness until we gather up courage to question them and let them go. In the end, only your opinion about yourself matters and your opinion about yourself creates your experience.
Living from my heart
The more you are at ease with yourself, the more comfortable and less judgmental you become around others. People who judge themselves harshly tend to be critical around others, as well. When you live your life according to your innermost truth, the need to compare with others will, literally, let go of you. The more loving you become towards yourself, the more patience you will have for other people, because you will realize that we all sometimes struggle with fear and anxious thoughts. I sincerely believe that what we now need the least is to label our relationships with unkind words. Seeing someone as toxic doesn´t resonate with who I know we all truly are. The only toxicity in the relationships is caused by fear. Fear of our own insecurities that can be healed in a safe and honest space of a loving relationship. Therefore, if you feel like you have amends to make, go and be honest. Tell the person how you feel about their behavior and also that you are here as long as they need someone to go through their fears with in order to emerge at the brighter side of things, but that at the same time, you no longer want to be a part of relationship where your truth is not respected. This can be terrifying, especially if the person is really close to you. However, I promise that the freedom, which is waiting for you, after you have shared your heart, is so much worth it. Maybe you will be able to do it today, maybe it will take you a few days or weeks to gather up courage, but I hope that this will be an invitation for you to take care of people in your life and to allow love to enter where there was previously fear.