How to Deal with Toxic Relationships. ~ Sara Courter

Via Sara Courteron Oct 4, 2013
Photo: Jorge Mendez on Pixoto.
Photo: Jorge Mendez on Pixoto.

Today I ended a friendship.

Not in an “I hate you and don’t want to ever see you again” kind of way. It was more of a “this is no longer serving me” kind of way. It is our own responsibility in this life to keep up on our “mental hygiene” as my master teacher calls it. It’s also our own responsibility to do the necessary cleansing in terms of company kept.

I mean, we seasonally cleanse our bodies, why not the rest of our lives too?

It’s integral to our holistic health.

The people we surround ourselves with speak volumes about who we are. Even more so, they speak volumes about who we are becoming. We don’t always like to admit this truth but, alas, truth it is.

Some relationships are just so hard to let go of, and so hard to see through the lens of truth. “But it makes me feel good,” I hear myself say. I hear you thinking it, too. That person in your life whose negativity invades your sacred little bubble; they’re not overtly bad. They’re actually really funny, hot, fun, crazy, fill-in-the-blank!

There are always qualities and reasons that keep us clinging to relationships, friendships and acquaintanceships that no longer serve us. It’s like giving up junk food— it might taste really good, but our body, mind and spirit are going to hate us for eating it—especially if we continue to tear into the crinkly bag time and time again.

This is why it’s imperative to purge our lives of toxic relationships. For our own minds, bodies and spirits.

A spell ago, I took a vow of honest to myself, a vow of luminescence, if you will. A vow to fill my life only with the most luminous, clear, truthful people, experiences, thoughts, actions and intentions. Such ingredients build our lives, after all. When I learned this, through my own experiences, I took said vow in the blink of an eye and never looked back.

Today I spoke to a friend who I’ve only known a short while. I sensed from the get-go that this person was not going to be a luminary in the realm of friendship. I knew, and yet I embarked on a friendship anyway. Who am I to judge a person, a perfect stranger? Everyone deserves a deeper look. I felt a connection to this person and was interested in exploring why I felt compelled to build a friendship despite my intuitive conclusion. I didn’t even listen when the deeper look unveiled clues (dishonesty, shadiness, magnification, distrust). I forged ahead anyhow, headlamp on crooked, certain I’d find gems in the dark depths in which I burrowed.

Since meeting, I experienced a very intense friendship with this person.

Now, just to throw this out there, I am a very intense person by nature. Not bad intense, but intense nonetheless. Intense can be bad, of course, but it can also be good. It’s just a quality that I am aware I possess, and I am mindful as to how and where I channel it in my life. I use the intensity deliberately, to mitigate negativity and radiate beneficial energy.

That’s my intention, at least.

So this friend happened to meet me during a very intense transition in their own life. Being a healer, I couldn’t help but connect on that level. I want to heal. I want to help others through transition, as I myself lived a long while suspended in a kind of limbo, unable to transition without being able to see clearly where I would place my feet, where exactly I ought to step. I’m drawn to the darkness, I want to shed the light I’ve worked so hard to gather.

I don’t like to see people suffering. I care deeply about friends and strangers alike—I like to think we all do. But what is easy to forget is that people have to cultivate their own light. They have to swim through toxicity and pull themselves up onto the mucky shore and stand in the rain to get clean, to gather the light.

I am deeply connected to my intuition. That said, I intuitively knew that shit had hit the fan with this friend. It had only been 24 hours of no communication and I could sense things had shifted.

I knew what I had to do. Purge.

The kind of friendship I have space for in my life is one of luminosity. The human beings I count as my friends are people who inspire, uplift, teach, challenge and empower me. We have neither the space nor the time for people who drain, stress, irritate and hinder our ability to thrive.

So that is why I chose today to remove myself from this new friendship. I chose to see the dishonesty, the untruths, the manipulation that spilled over this person’s edges and step away from it.

In the parting of ways, I may have been a bit harsher than necessary, but I’m inherently defensive of my positive lifestyle. “Nothing but beneficial energy” is a mantra of mine. Since I’d known all along that this person was negative and would suck my life force, my biting tone would more appropriately have been directed inward. “Listen to your intuition next time, girl! It never steers you wrong,” I could hear myself saying, as I hung up the phone call, adrenaline pulsing through my veins.

After all, I’m the one that had invited this toxicity into my life even when I knew better. It was almost like a last fling with McDonald’s—I know this shit is going to make me fat, but I’ll just supersize it one last time—maybe this one will be different. Nope.

I knew better, and yet I tried to be a good friend anyway.

I saw through the toxicity to the good person underneath (because, deep down, we are all good, whole, beings of light who deserve love and appreciation). But if a person is not seeing that in their own self, how can we draw it out of them? We are responsible for our own light.

So what I ended up with was an irritating scenario that left me feeling grumpy, frustrated and a bit sapped; like my good energy was being sucked dry by the toxicity. No, thank you!

The cool thing is that this is a lesson learned, and don’t we love those? We can’t learn lessons without “messing up”, without getting a little dirty. A totally clean, “perfect” life, if it even existed, would be terribly dull.

The lesson is that we must be mindful of who we let into our lives, because our prana, our vital life force, is at stake.

Even in the most ordinary friendships, work relationships, casual acquaintanceships, our sacred powerhouse of hard-earned energy can be siphoned, like gas from the car tank by a stranger in the dead of night.

Don’t let that happen. We need look closer at our relationships; friendship, personal, professional and romantic. Take the blinders off and look deeply into the people with which we’ve formed unions.

Ask, “are these bonds serving me?” Are they offering nothing but beneficial energy?

If there are any “no’s” when taking that inventory, well, it’s clear what is to be done. Don’t let them siphon our prana. Instead, bar the toxic people, kindly, from our lives.

It’s not necessary to be harsh or mean. We don’t need to sweep them out that very moment. The people themselves are not bad, they’re more than likely genuinely good people. Either the combination of their energy with our own energy is toxic, or they’re experiencing toxicity in their own life. Whatever. Either way it’s not welcome in a happy, holistically healthy life. Just become cognizant of their presence and move away from these relationships.

Allowing these people to remain in our lives puts little holes in our shield. Don’t let that happen.

We can become radically in charge of our life. Be revolutionary in our decision making. Be radiant in our interactions.

Because, after all, we only have so much time in this one precious life. Let’s not let our carefully cultivated energy leak out all over the place. Keep whole and hole-less by setting diligent standards around the kinds of people we allow into our intimate life.

We are the most precious thing in our life, so put ourselves first.

I promise, our minds, spirits, bodies and prana will all thank us, emphatically.

 

Like elephant journal on Facebook.

 

Asst. Ed. Jane Henderling/Ed: Bryonie Wise

About Sara Courter

Sara is a Freelance Writer, RYT, Certified Wellness Counselor, Ayurvedic Therapist and Holistic Health Advisor based out of Northern California. She holds a BA in English: Creative Writing, was trained by the renowned YogaWorks and is currently studying Holistic Nutrition at Bauman College. Sara blogs avidly in addition to writing for MindBodyGreen, and her work has also appeared in Yoga Modern, Health & Wellness Magazine, elephant journal and eWellness mags worldwide. A self-professed DIY junkie, animal lover, plant based foodie, holistic healer and hula hoop dancer, Sara is deeply passionate about wellness and harnessing one’s own highest potential. Her intention is to fearlessly manifest and pursue abundance, love and higher truth, spreading serenity and self-appreciation amongst her fellow beings every step of the way. Join Sara’s holistic wellness journey on Instagram, find her on YouTube and become a part of the R^3 Movement – Radical, Radiant, Revolutionary Being!

 

3,336 views

If you liked this, you might like these:

8 Responses to “How to Deal with Toxic Relationships. ~ Sara Courter”

  1. Thank you for the reminder. Great article

  2. Lisa says:

    Life is too short to surround yourself with people that weigh you down. I'm finally learning this after being a people pleaser for 30 years! I finally know WHO I am, and what I want is to be surrounded by love and happiness, not negativity and disease. Isn't it funny how we spend so much of our life trying to please every single person… to make that person happy by going along with what they're saying, or always agreeing with them even though we feel differently inside? When we do this, we are essentially telling our inner selves that we don't matter as much as the people we are trying to please!! Life is funny sometimes, but I'm so happy to have these revelations now :) Peace to you, dear Sara.

  3. bodykarmabella says:

    I love you sweet Lisa! Thank you for the heartfelt comment, and readership. Peace, light, abundance, sister goddess. xx

  4. Beautifully written, Sara. A joy to read. xo

  5. gdr23 says:

    I appreciate your article. I am going thru this at this time. The person in question happens to be my sister. I wish to release this relationship as soon as my financial duties (I am the Trustee of my parent's trust which is in the process of being settled) are completed. I know that the family relationship is one that is not optional, but I want to close any other sort of contact with her. Our relationship has affecting me in a negative way physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your article helped me feel my decision to do this, despite the family ties, is the correct one.

  6. What if it’s your parents?

  7. Lily says:

    Beg pardon, but from this healer’s experience a radiant-beneficial-energy-only-prana-me-first philosophy does very little to promote healing our own and others’ wounds. We’re none of us entitled to such purity, though some have such privileged lives and limited sorrows that it is an option.

Leave a Reply