Break the Allure of Toxicity

Closing the door to toxicity is the most effective way to make space for opportunity.” Amy Tan

All you have to do is watch the news lately to know that there is a certain allure to toxicity. We’re drawn to it like moths to a flame. Whether it’s shock or a desire to say “thank goodness, I’m not that” we can’t help but stay glued to see what happens next. Yet, it’s one thing to watch toxicity from afar, it’s entirely another when it is part of our everyday life. When toxicity is all around us, it eats away at our health and emotional well-being. Many of us have repeatedly found ourselves in toxic situations or surrounded by toxic people and wonder how we get there. We blame them for what they bring – we become resentful or stressed. But, have you ever wondered if there is a certain allure for you? Something that keeps you tied to situations where you draw in the drama or toxic behavior of others? That’s not to say that you’re asking for it, but sometimes, toxic people are brought into our lives to show us something – and until we’re willing to look at what that is – we’ll consistently find ourselves surrounded by the exact people and situations we say we don’t want. One of the reasons many of us find ourselves in toxic situations is that we mistakenly believe that we were meant to fix it (or the person). Or we tell ourselves that we’re tough – that we can handle it. Whatever our reasons, the thing we must first recognize is that we do actually have something that pulls us in. We may claim that we hate what’s happening (and we do), but there is probably a larger, unconscious part that keeps us there. Until we recognize that we have a pull (and what it is), it’s impossible for us to close the door to toxicity. Only then can we make new, conscious choices that truly open the door to opportunity. Perhaps we learn to simply say no, we don’t respond to a text, turn off the TV or even let go of someone we know has been toxic for us. When we learn that we are fully able to close the door, it is at that point that we can finally be free.

Weekly Path to Peace: Close the door to toxicity.

  • Where do you have toxicity seeping into your life? Is it at work, at home, or with what you watch on TV? Identify all the places you allow toxic situations or people into your life. Even the seemly small ones. What is the effect of allowing toxicity into your life? Do you feel stress, is it affecting your health? Look at the ways toxic situations are currently harming you.
  • Take time to explore what draws you to these situations. Allow yourself to be honest. Really honest. List them all out and ask if what pulls is you is really serving you or harming you. If you can, also take one small step toward breaking your attraction to toxicity. You identify that step and follow through – and make it something that is doable and realistic.

As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.