Removing The Toxins

subtract neg:add pos

Have you ever thought about whether you have toxic people in your circle of friends and family and how much value they are adding to your life?  Or perhaps it’s your significant other who may be toxic.  It’s not the most positive thing to think about by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s also not the easiest thing to admit that a toxic person has been in your life longer than they should have.  Some people are clearly toxic and we can come to that conclusion without much thought.  Other people may be a little more difficult to put in that category, especially if we have known them a long time or if there have been a lot of positive aspects of the relationship which have resulted in us being willing to overlook all of the toxic behaviors.

The degree to which someone can be toxic can vary greatly, ranging from people who easily get under out skin because they are so annoying, hurtful, disrespectful, or any number of other things, to people who just tend to weigh us down because they always have their own drama that they pull us into easily.  These people may have many other redeeming qualities, so we put up with the drama.  But sometimes it just gets to be too much, especially when this person may not realize or be willing to admit how much they contribute to the drama.

I am trying to focus on the positives in my life and making more positive changes.  It’s refreshing being around other people who have the same attitude and focus.  On the flip side, it is mentally draining being around people who are very critical and judgmental, who push people’s buttons but then are surprised at a negative reaction, who blame everyone else but themselves for everything and are always the victim, who are always looking for others to back them up in blaming others, who aren’t accountable for their own actions, who focus on the negatives, who tend to put their own needs first and like to be the center of attention, who tend to take more than they give, who always need to be right and in control, and who are not open to any kind of constructive criticism.

Just as toxins that come from processed foods, sugars, chemicals, air pollution, and so many other things are not good for our overall physical health, toxic people are not good for our mental health.  Sometimes we need to take a step back, evaluate the situation, and ask ourselves if it is really worth it to keep putting up with the negative behaviors.  In some cases, or for a while, the answer may be yes.  But when the answer is or becomes no, then we need to have the courage to let go of that person, even though it may be difficult at first.  It may feel like a big weight off of our shoulders right away, or it could take a while to realize that we made the right decision.  As much as some of us tend to put others’ needs above our own and want to be there for everyone who needs a shoulder to lean on, sometimes we need to think of our own well-being.  I recently saw a meme that says, “Don’t be afraid to rock the boat.  If someone falls out, then they weren’t meant to be in your boat.”  This is so true.

Part of eliminating the toxins has to come from ourselves though too.  It’s important to self-reflect and ask ourselves if we are too critical or judgmental, if we are better talkers than listeners, if we tend to look for things to complain about, if we tend to blame others rather than take ownership of our mistakes or whatever we might have done to contribute to a negative situation, and so on.  It’s never to late to start making improvements in these areas, which will not only be good for those around us, but will help us feel better too.

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Courage

courageCourage is one of those things that comes in all shapes and sizes.  It could come in the form of breaking out of your comfort zone to try something new, facing a fear head on, making the decision to do something that you know is the right thing to do even though it will be difficult, or just being able to put one foot in front of the other and make it through another day.

It could also be starting a new chapter in your life, without knowing what lies ahead or how it will turn out.  There are, after all, no guarantees in life.  We never know if something is going to lead to success or failure, but we need to be willing to try anyway and take our chances.  If we look at it as either we will be successful or we will learn something and grow as a person, perhaps that makes it a little easier.

Some people seem to have a lot more courage than others and are willing to try anything and everything, even if it means risking their lives either for the thrill of it or maybe because it’s a necessary part of the job.  For the rest of us, it’s not always that easy.  However, we need courage in order to grow.  One quote I see pretty frequently is, “You can’t discover new oceans unless you have the courage to leave the shore.”  Not everyone wants to discover new oceans and may be perfectly content to keep living life exactly as they know it.  It never hurts though to be willing to try something mew and deal with change, rather than live within our comfort zones.  I know I have stepped out of my comfort zone more recently, and it feels good!  And having the courage to stick with certain things, even though they have been challenging, has paid off in the long run.  It’s been a long, winding path to get to where I am, but I see great things ahead of me and am glad I had enough courage to see things through.

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Taking Risks

taking risks

This is so true, but it’s something we sometimes need to remind ourselves and each other.  Nothing in life is ever perfect, so if we are always waiting for the exact right time to do or say something, it may never come.  And if we are always waiting until we are certain of a particular outcome or how someone else is thinking or feeling, we may lose out as well.  There are countless other things like job opportunities and fun adventures that could pass us right by while we are waiting until a better time.  Life is a whole lot shorter than we think it is though, so the time is now.

I am speaking to myself as much as anyone reading this.  It is difficult sometimes to think beyond what we need to accomplish in a day, get out of our comfort zone, and have the confidence to try something new or maybe something we haven’t done in a long time or take a chance on something or someone. But if we don’t, we may regret not doing so down the road.  Sometimes it’s fear of change, fear of failure, or fear of the unknown that gets in our way.  Other times it may be lack of confidence or experience or any number of other things.  Whatever it is, we need to find the inspiration or motivation to get past those negative thoughts and push ourselves in the direction we would like to see ourselves.  We can’t just let life happen.  We need to make it happen.

It could be just a matter of a change in perspective that will help.  Instead of focusing on what we can’t or won’t be able to do, reminding ourselves of what we are capable of doing and surrounding ourselves with people who will back us up on those thoughts can be helpful.  Sometimes we just need to dig deep and muster up the courage to either take a few baby steps or a giant leap forward and not look back.

Comments are always welcome!  Clicking on the “Home” page tab will allow you to scroll through other posts, or you can select a category or tag word to find similar topics.  If you would like to read future posts, please follow the blog or my Facebook page.