Have you ever known someone who is toxic? This person’s life is always in crisis mode. You are afraid to ask him or her, “how is it going?” for fear you’ll have to sit through an inventory of problems or how they’ve been wronged lately. Oddly enough, they never see how they attract this turmoil into their life.
I was on the phone today with a family member whose life is always in shambles. She actually said these words to me, “Sometimes I just really hate people; they are all so sh*#%y.”
That is her take on the world. And it has become her truth; people are sh*#%y to her because she has come to expect it. Therefore she constantly has her defenses up so she ruffles people then they are not nice to her. Most people who are reading this are probably more in tune with the laws of the universe and realize you get what you expect and what you put out there.
Why don’t some people understand that? I’ve tried to gently share this with her. She just says things like, “yeah, that’s easy for you to say, your life is great.” And it is.
I explained to her that I expect my life to be great and then I take actions to make it so. I expect to be healthy, happy, have good relationships, enough money and enough time to enjoy it.
So what does this look like in action? I make my health a priority, I treat my family and friends with loving kindness; I make sure I show them how much I cherish them in small ways and big ways, I extend myself to those in need, I try to be encouraging, loyal, irreverent and light-hearted. Even though I have been hurt in the past, I don’t put that on new people that I meet. I expect that they will treat me well.
I am fortunate enough to have a husband whom I still adore after 23 years of marriage. We met and married young. I was about to turn 22 when we got married. We both grew up in homes with parents who fought constantly. When we had our first fight I went straight for the jugular, just like I had heard my mother and step-father do at my house.
He stopped and said, “Whoa, time out. What are you doing? We have an intimate relationship where I tell you my deepest stuff and you tell me your deepest stuff and now you are using that against me? You can’t do that. We can’t say things that we can never take back.”
It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I started to cry and apologize. I couldn’t even remember what we were fighting about originally. To this day, we do not fight dirty. And we do fight, believe me. But I can honestly say that we don’t say things that can never be taken back. And I believe that is one way we have been able to grow together and stay in love. Of course there are lots of other factors, but this one is one of the cornerstones of non-toxic marriage.
I have a job that I love. I work from home so I am independent. I make myself indispensible to my boss by doing my job above and beyond what he asks of me so that he never has to worry about what I am doing. I make my clients ecstatic by always doing more than I promise; by thinking of things to help them grow their businesses in ways that have nothing to do with what I have initially sold them. I always give more. It has served me well. It has cost me nothing but maybe a little time.
I believe with all my heart there is enough of everything good to go around. There is no need to be stingy or to keep others from having what I have. The other day I took a business “competitor” to lunch. I am lucky that he and I are on the same page and we both want to see each other succeed. We find ways to work together, to promote each other’s businesses. We are both doing well. I can’t understand the old model of business where competitors slam each other and lie and cheat and steal from one another. It takes so much more energy to operate that way.
My life has not been without bumps, hurts or disappointments, no one’s is. But when I hit a bump I try to learn from it, see it as a blessing, embrace, except it and be grateful for it. I shared all of this with the aforementioned family member whose life is always in disarray. She laughed and told me that was the stupidest thing she’d ever heard. I asked her to just consider it. Maybe it will come back to resonate with her later.
I don’t want to make myself out to be some kind of saint. That is laughable. I am the most real, mistake making, stick my foot in my mouth, party foul kind of person. But I have good intentions and right my wrongs.
So share the love; know if someone is being unkind to you they are wounded. Be a good influence when you can, but you do not have to surround yourself with toxic people and fix everyone. Hold good thoughts in your mind, be grateful, be kind, loving, dependable, and share the good things you know to be true with those who can use the message. They may not be ready to hear it today, but they may recall it in the future.