Toxic relationships not only make us unhappy; they corrupt our attitudes and dispositions in ways that undermine healthier relationships and prevent us from realizing how much better things can be. — Michael Josephson
Several years ago, while I was still married, I made the decision that I could no longer go to my in-laws’ home because being with my mother-in-law was a very poisonous experience for me. This toxic relationship with her began even before I married her son. I had no skills at twenty-one to deal with many of the issues that arose in that relationship, in my marriage. I know that the resentment I grew to carry about this woman colored so many things in my life…mostly it created a toxic level in me that shaped a kind of person I didn’t recognize as me anymore.
As I have studied with wise men and women in the past six years, I have learned many ways in which to deal with those I deem to be toxic in my life…surrounding myself with ‘white light’, using an affirmation of protection for my spiritual person when in their presence, ‘blessing the divine’ in them and in myself for harboring a distaste for that person, avoiding altogether. Being able to protect myself from the toxic energy in others is a responsibility I shoulder as I strive to be healthy in mind, body and spirit.
But what to do when you realize/allow yourself to acknowledge that YOU are toxic to someone?
What are your responsibilities then? How do you deal with the sadness this brings?
- Be honest with yourself: do not deny that this is the truth for that person. Let the other person know you hear them…really hear what they had the courage to tell you.
- If there are specific behaviors that create this, and you wish the relationship to continue in a healthier form, put all your energy into changing what can be changed.
- Often it is more complicated than that. Allow them the same privilege that you would demand for yourself when dealing with the toxic person in your life. They have a responsibility to protect themselves from you and should not feel guilt about doing what needs to be done to create health in their mind, body and spirit.
- Hold them in your heart with love and bless the divine in both of you.
- Let them let you go if they must.
Remember that you always have the power to choose and the person who is going to help you the most is………..you.