You might have noticed I have started this new year out by focusing on a single topic, and that is the ability of toxic relationships to make us sick and the importance of removing yourself from them. Last week I spoke a bit about how the programs that get downloaded into us during childhood are responsible for the choices we make in life.
You may THINK you are in control of the decisions you make, but your subconscious programming is telling you what to do, say, think every second of every day. I shared a very powerful tool called Hoʻoponopono that allows you to clean these harmful programs out of your subconscious. I hope you already have or will take some time to look into this practice. It is POWERFUL.
This week I want to talk about what you can do while your subconscious is being cleaned from its viruses (it’s not an overnight fix!) to get yourself out of whatever toxic relationship(s) you may be in. And, as a reminder, it is not only romantic relationships that are toxic. You may find yourself in a toxic relationship with a friend, coworker, boss, sibling or parent. The truth is, if there is someone in your life that constantly makes you feel drained and worthless, that relationship – no matter how seemingly insignificant – is toxic!
Here are some of the steps you’ll need to take to remove yourself from the situation.
Step 1. Say “No” to Denial
It’s not easy ending a relationship, even if it has been an unhealthy one. If you’re like most people who find themselves in a toxic relationship, you’ve spent quite a bit of time living in denial. It was the only way you knew to save your heart and sanity. But it is now time to step out of denial and into reality.
To do this, ask yourself a few questions about the person in question:
- Do I feel good or bad, energized or drained, after spending time with this person?
- Do I want to spend time with them or dread it (but feel like I should)?
- Do I feel sorry for this person for some reason?
- Do I always feel disappointed by their behavior and comments?
- Am I putting more effort into the relationship than they are?
- Do I even LIKE this person?
Write these questions down in a journal and then write your responses. Be honest with your answers so you can refer to them as often as you need to stay out of denial.
Step 2. Pay Better Attention
If you found you weren’t able to truthfully answer all of the above questions, then it’s time to start paying better attention to your interactions with this person. Take your journal and use it to keep a record of your thoughts and feelings about the relationship. In the near future, you’ll be able to recognize certain patterns.
For instance, let’s say you and a friend meet for lunch once a week. You have always subconsciously felt… not so great during or after these lunches but you always ignored your feelings.
Jot your feelings down after the time you spend with this other person. You could say something like, “Just had lunch with X and I am feeling kind of sad and angry and like my feelings don’t matter.” When you read comments like these over and over, you’ll know you are in a toxic relationships that needs to end.
Step 3. Identify the Perks
Even though the relationship is toxic, it no doubt offers you some perks, or why would you have stayed in it so long? For instance, someone can make you feel insignificant while at the same time make you feel attractive and sexy. Maybe helping someone who is not so nice to you relieves you of guilt you carry that your life is “easier” than theirs. Does this person remind you of your narcissistic mother and even though there is tension, it’s a familiar and somehow comfortable tension?
Dig around to discover what may be the perks that have held you in this toxic relationship.
Step 4. Fill the Void
When you step out of a relationship, particularly one you’ve been in for quite some time, you will create a void in your life. If you don’t fill this void with something else, something more positive, then you are likely to fill the void by stepping back into the relationship.
Get a new hobby, take a class, travel, renovate your kitchen, adopt a shelter dog or cat, volunteer… there are a variety of ways you can fill the void and enrich your life and others’ lives at the same time.
Step 5. Surround Yourself with POSITIVE People
Once you begin to cut ties with the toxic people in your life, you’ll want to begin creating new relationships with positive people – people who make you feel great about yourself, people who energize you, inspire you, never judge you or speak harshly to you, who only want the best for you. Be very mindful about who you invite into your life from now on.
Step 6. Rest
You will find after you leave the toxic relationship that you may feel completely exhausted. That is to be expected. So allow yourself the time and space to rest and heal.
I encourage you to follow these steps and make 2020 the year you finally end the toxic relationship(s) you may find yourself in.
Wishing you love, light and peace…