Let’s talk about toxic relationships for a second. So many of us have experienced them, yet it feels as if a lot of us do not know how to quite handle them still. So what is it exactly that can make a person “toxic” to you?
A couple things can include:
Feeling as though you are dependent on them for their opinion, constantly doubting your own
You are left feeling emotionally exhausted after every encounter
They try to control you by guilt tripping
They are overly offensive towards you
They are easily angered or jealous
They try to intimidate you to get their way
And so many other ways that people can be labeled as “toxic” towards you.
Many of us have had people like this walk into our lives. Whether it be a friend, family member, boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other/husband/wife, etc., I am sure you have experienced one of these people in some capacity.
I want to also clarify that there are different levels of toxic people in our lives. There are the blatantly obvious types of toxic people in our lives, while others are simply people that keep you in the darkness, when you were meant to be in the sunlight.
Quit trying to grow in a place where you aren’t meant to be planted.
A lot of times when we deal with someone that is toxic for our lives, we give of ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We put so much of ourselves into someone else’s life, that we lose sight of what was once important to us.
Once these people leave our lives, we are left feeling depleted, empty, lonely, and lost. We can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel right away. And that is OKAY, as long as we realize that what is coming is better than what is gone.
Keeping these people in our lives will simply backtrack or stunt what is meant to grow.
Growing can feel like breaking at first.
What I want to address today, though, is the idea that it is OKAY to grieve them when they are no longer in our lives.
The hardest part about grieving someone that is still alive is the sole fact that they are living, breathing, walking freely on this earth, and you cannot or should not be in communication with them.
Grief is simply “deep sorrow”, and is normalized a lot of the time when someone dies, but that doesn’t mean that we do not grieve people that are still alive too.
Sometimes this type of grieving feels like it should have a timeline for it, yet we all grieve the loss of people differently, and that should be no different for people that are still alive, yet no longer in our lives.
When someone willingly chooses to walk away from our lives, or we choose to walk away from someone, it is HARD. We sometimes second guess ourselves, wondering if we made the wrong choice, or we wonder what we could have simply done for them to want to stay longer.
These feelings are all OKAY AND VALID. Please know that whatever you did or didn’t do would not have made them want to stay any longer, because it simply was no longer serving you. In fact, these types of people staying in our lives would have hindered our growth, instead of encouraged it.
Grieving someone that is still alive can be messy. We want the pain to stop, and we want relief from this awful, agonizing pain. Just because this person shouldn’t be in our lives, does not mean that the love for this person stops immediately, which is what causes us such distress.
But give yourself the patience to break through this season in your life. When life gives you something sour, have the patience to wait for something sweet.
God doesn’t always allow for us to love the right people at first; sometimes we must love the wrong ones first to learn difficult lessons, and in order to grow, develop and change for the better.
This past year has been a major season of growth for me, and without going through these necessary changes in my life, I would not have learned everything about myself that I have learned. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the wrong people, that we lose sight of what it feels like to be truly and genuinely happy, healthy, and alive! We lose confidence in our own voice, and what we believe to be the best for us.
Sometimes, God removes these people from our lives, by creating boundaries that makes it extremely difficult to want to stay and fight, because he heard conversations we didn’t, saw things we couldn’t, and made moves for us that we wouldn’t.
I know some of you feel as though this pain will never dwindle, but I am here to tell you that it does. The person I was this time last year is a totally different person from who I am today. That girl was broken, sad, lost, confused, and depleted. She had to learn how to pick up those broken pieces and somehow make herself feel whole again. She stopped being a good friend to others, and barely had the energy to do everyday things.
Through that difficult time, I have done a lot of growing, talking to God, and self-reflection.
For those that are just starting this journey, please know that it is okay to feel the loss of this person. It is okay to cry for them, miss them, and wish things were different.
All of this is okay, as long as you know that it does get better. Things do change. New people do come into your life and make you realize why other people had to leave. And remind yourself that this is a SEASON, not a LIFETIME.
Another way to look at things is this. If you asked God to make you more of a patient person, do you think God would just give you patience? Or do you think he would give you an opportunity to learn how to be patient?
God gives us opportunities to find ourselves, be better at certain things, and improve our lives, but he doesn’t just grant us these things because we will never appreciate them if that is the case.
Take everything one day at a time; or for some of you, one hour at a time. When I have days that are tough, I allow myself time to be in that moment of sadness, and tell myself that tomorrow will be a better day. And you know what? It always is.
My door is always open for anyone going through a rough time in their life. I do not care if we have never met, if we are best friends, or simply acquaintances. I will not turn my back on anyone and will be there for anyone that needs a friend.
Just remember, It does get better!