Warning: a bit of naughty language ahead!
“Release them in service of their future so they can find the people that resonate with them. A problem begins when what they believe about us, we begin to believe about ourselves.
Then we move from a place of confusion, attachment to how we “want” them to see us, we feel selfish for releasing them, and we begin to question ourselves. Our responsibility is to release them so they can find “their people.” We must first see them as whole and complete. We have the right to not question ourselves just because they do. Live the life of your dreams, as an example for them to do the same. Even if it means releasing them.”
I listened to her say these words about “how to let go of toxic people” and it made perfect sense. In order to release someone who isn’t good for you, you must see them as whole, you must release them in love, you must trust that their journey will unfold beautifully without you in it.
It’s a very empowering approach to consider when someone is manipulating you or being overtly harmful in your life.
I got it.
Except, the girl who was speaking was me. And, the girl who was looking for clarity about being “let go” was me.
I’m a firm believer in finding your tribe. After spending a quarter of my life (which is close to the whole of my life) defending who I am, not being accepted into a family without either lying about who I am, hiding who I am, or pretending to be someone I’m not, I threw in the towel on desiring their acceptance and created a family of my own.
In my adulthood “chosen family” I am completely free. We take care of each other. We don’t judge one another for having needs, or the lifestyle choices we make, or whether we clean up the dog shit in the yard. We open a space for each of us to simply “be” in our truth, in the presence of one another.
I’ve always been too much. Too loud, too quiet, too fat, too skinny, too bright, too dark, too open, too…exactly who I’ve been in any given moment.
I do me, and I do me wholly.
So when I saw that my sister had deleted me from Facebook, I told my other sister about it with a slew of “I don’t know what I did,” “If it was something about when we were kids, I have to release myself of any guilt,” I could’ve gone on and on. She stopped my rant and said, “She deleted you because you curse too much.”
As I curiously pondered, I noticed that a cousin had deleted me.
“They took your advice Stacy. Good for them!” wasn’t quite soothing the glass shards that felt like they were piercing my skin.
Then I turned to, “What would your advice be Stacy?” The response was, “Your people are your people through and through. They aren’t your people. Bless them for opening a space for someone else to accept you because it wasn’t going to be them.”
Still, the feeling of stupor overwhelmed me. I know better than to defend myself and talking about it candidly didn’t feel like an option because, well, quite simply, they aren’t my people.
I could call my people and before even saying hello say, “Yo Bitch! What did I do to get deleted from your Facebook?” and expect an honest response, open to communicating on a two way street.
Actually, my people would call me before they ever wanted to delete me.
Here’s the kicker: I know with every fiber of my being that they let me go because they know I’m not one of their people and I should feel grateful for their discernment. I also know that they let me go because of their own shit that has absolutely nothing to do with me.
Louis CK says, “If someone says that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” Not that I believe I hurt them in any way, but the roles are a bit reversed when someone else (who I’ve never manipulated and only accepted) decides that I am the one to be let go.
What does this say then? That I am toxic for them? (Insert every innocent, “but”…followed by some defense of how I “try to be good.”)
Quite simply, maybe it’s true. Maybe I trigger them in ways that push them in directions they are not willing or in need of going and maybe I have to be ok with that for my own sanity.
But how can I be okay with this?
Swallowing a lump in my throat, I yearn for an answer that “feels” amazing.
The simplest answer is: the how isn’t up to me.
What is up to me is a choice to opt to be okay with this. All I can do is be willing to be okay with not being their “people.”
I dig through the comments of some of the most inspiring material I’ve seen yet and see horrible character bashes directed toward the people delivering the messages. Some of the comments under an inspirational Wayne Dyer thread were, “You bald fuck.” “You think you know everything.” “Go to hell you stupid fuck.”
The little girl in me hurts for his poor heart. He has to bear all of this hurt because people decide to be cruel. He keeps putting himself out there. I want to protect him.
There’s a lesson for me in the resilience of anyone who continues to put themselves out there, as they are, unapologetically. It goes back to my own advice.
I will not be compromised by wallowing the loss of a few when there are others who are grateful to have me share my journey with them. My responsibility lies in the willingness to be ok with their choices, to trust them to make the best decisions for themselves by removing me from their journey, and to not question myself simply because they do.
If they don’t see me now, they aren’t ready for me.
But I, have been waiting for me my entire life and I will not waiver a day longer for their comfort.
Author: Stacy Lee Hoch
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Flickr/Jenna Carver