Self care occasionally means removing people from your life – even if they aren’t toxic
Like many people out there, I have a pretty challenging history with my mother. It’s long, it’s complicated, and there was a lot of emotional manipulation involved. There were phases of not talking, mostly that were ended by pressure from relatives who didn’t see the reality of the situation, but instead viewed me as an emotional teenage girl who needed to get over things. Eventually I was able to end the relationship permanently, and it was like a weight coming off of my shoulders.
These are the relationships that can easily be defined as toxic. It’s easy to look at the situation and say “I need to get out of here”.
It’s not easy to leave a toxic situation by any means, there’s always more to it, whether it be a partner, a parent, a friend, or a spouse. But we can at least label it as toxic.
The greater challenge for me has been to only keep people in my life who continue to inspire, challenge, and motivate me to be my best self.
Thanks to a brief stint as a sorority girl, and living directly across the street from a fraternity house for 3 years, I had a pretty large social circle while I was in university.
The older I get, the smaller my circle of close friends becomes, partly because I moved out of my mid-sized city to a town of 30,000, partly because I no longer drink heavily and don’t want to hang out with people who see puking on a Wednesday night as an appealing night out.
I’m not sad about no longer having people wander into my house unannounced, or that my brunch crew usually consists of me and my husband, because when I do see or just talk to the people that I’ve kept around, I am continuously inspired to be my best self.
Human beings feed off the energy of the people around us, and we need to make some tough decisions occasionally about who’s energy we want to be mirroring.
Please take note, I’m not telling you to take every person who you know who’s going through a rough time and just tell them to screw off. But recognize the people in your life who are just on a vastly different path than you, and actively make a decision to embrace that energy in your life, or limit/remove it.
It’s easy to keep interacting with the same people, doing the same things, and being the same person. Personal growth requires change, and it is often uncomfortable.
Whoever your best self is, they deserve to be around people who set their soul on fire.