With self-love, self-care, and protecting your peace being the new trends, I see a lot of posts on social media about cutting people off as soon as you notice toxic traits about them. While there can be some truth in this tidbit of wisdom, there is also some soul searching that can be done when you identify toxic traits in someone. Soul searching? But how and why? I’m glad you asked! You can begin by checking yourself. Ultimately we are all mirrors, we can see our own reflection in others. Basically the way we view others is the way that we view ourselves either consciously or subconsciously. Ouch! That’s a thick pill to swallow. The truth is like that sometimes though. Everything that we deem as bad isn’t always “bad”. That person that keeps showing up in our lives that’s angry, bitter, or jealous may be trying to show us that we too are holding on to anger, bitterness, and jealousy somewhere in our hearts. They may be showing us exactly who we really are underneath the layers that we use to disguise the darker parts of ourselves. What if the toxic one is really you?
Not only are we mirrors but we are also magnets. We attract into our lives things we think about, things we desire, what we try to ignore, and what we need to learn. Sometimes these “things” show up in our lives as people. These lessons often show up in those that are closest to us such as our spouses, children, parents, and friends. So the next time someone shows up in your life constantly disrespecting you, ask how much do you respect yourself. Do you set boundaries for yourself? If someone insists on being inconsistent with you, reevaluate how consistent you’re being with yourself. Did you follow through on your new diet or workout routine? When you find yourself frustrated that people won’t invest into your business, analyze whether you’re investing in it yourself. Have you paid the incorporation fee to have a legit business? Do you spend time building your business or are you expecting overnight success? These are just some examples and some questions to ask though the list goes on. Sometimes certain people come into our lives to teach us how to better love ourselves, invest in ourselves, apply discipline, etc. They may even come to teach us lessons about being patient, compassionate, forgiving, serving, and understanding. These lessons may be challenging to learn and we don’t grasp them on the first or second try so they keep being presented to us until we get it. What if we saw these “toxic traits” as lessons for us to master to be better people?
No one wants to hear this possibility, but what if that “toxic” person is just being brutally honest with us? What if we need to hear what they have to say and apply it? I’ll share an example of when this happened to me. When I quit my job to freely pursue my dreams I got some side eyes from some of my family as well as unsolicited advice that I shouldn’t have quit. Although I also quit because my family needed me during this time and I found out my agency had some unethical practices that went against my beliefs, this was good advice from them. I swore that they were being toxic and that I should cut them off when in reality they were just concerned and were trying to help. Their advice was to do what I had to do (work) until I could do what I wanted to do which I am currently doing both now. When I stopped taking everything so personal and starting looking in the mirror, I began to experience new levels of freedom and a greater appreciation for life itself. It’s amazing that God loves us just that much that we are able to learn lessons until we get them right.
There is a disclaimer here. I’m not saying if you’re in a bad situation to just stick around and just see if things will get better or to allow people to treat you any kind of way. I’m saying to try shifting your perspective, examine yourself, and look within before counting folks out. What if the toxicity is a blessing instead?
Peace and Light,