Admittedly, this has been in draft form since mid-summer. It just always felt like there were more important things to write about and share. But today…you get to see how my mind works, in retrospect!
Today, during my break, I went out into my garden and picked some pole beans. I love pole beans. They grow so well and are so nourishing. I brought them in, cleaned them up, and began to snap the beans so that they would be ready for a meal today or tomorrow. As I was snapping the beans, some of them became difficult to work with. That fibrous string that often happens that just won’t let go of the part you snapped off…you know the part. It gets a bit frustrating to work with this.
It got me to thinking about how some relationships are like that. As positive as they can be, once a change begins to happen (snapping) there are some who just want to hang onto what was instead of allowing what is becoming. Those folks can string you along for a long time if you allow it. And as this happens the relationship will become, inevitably, stale and toxic.
Now, when I am dealing with a toxic relationship, I will always, as my shamanic training dictates, do a toxic tie severing ceremony. I will create the sacred space for the ceremony, smudge the space, myself and my tools, and begin to sever the toxic energies from that relationship. This does not send those toxins back to that person. It transforms them into something more useful to both. In order to do that I use my Athame. That is a double edged dagger that cuts energies very efficiently.
Suddenly, I realized what I was doing that was slowing me down in my bean snapping! I was doing it all by hand! I was using my fingers to snap the stubborn beans! No problem! Out came the knife from the drawer and I made very short work of the rest of the beans. Who said that one had to snap beans without tools in the first place? Why do something the difficult way if there is a faster and more efficient way in which to do it?! And when doing it with a knife, guess what? NO STRINGS ATTACHED!
If only some relationships were THAT easy to disengage from! Yes, toxic tie severing ceremonies will definitely help on very deep levels. But one would not even have to do that if we were more adaptable by nature. And, as my daughter says, “Knives are much more personal than are guns.” Ya, she is my kid alright! Now, I am not in any way encouraging you to take a knife to someone….anyone. What I am saying is that we need to become more creative in our disengagement from toxic people. And we also have to recognize that, to one degree or another, we can ALL be toxic. It boils down to whether or not we are aware of that fact. After all, if we are just pointing at other people, we also have 3 other fingers pointing right back at ourselves.
Disengaging sometimes requires verbal boundaries to be set. People often cower away from that because they are afraid of the person’s reaction. But seriously, that person needs to know that there is a boundary and that if it is crossed there will be consequences, such as losing you from their lives. If they don’t care about that, then this is a strong indication to hit the road, Jack! And remember…always forward, never back. Do not re-engage with that person for any reason. Yes, that can make family gatherings difficult, but you can also use it to make those gatherings entertaining! Be creative! Let that person’s words run off of you like water off of a duck’s back. Give them dead silence. Or destroy them with an outburst of rage. Before you know it, your family will be seeing you more as a badass that they don’t want to provoke than a meek and mild little lamb.
Feel free to ignore the person publicly. If they say anything to you, just turn to the next person and start up a conversation with them. Of course, for dramatic effect, you can do that after a pregnant pause. People who are habitually toxic desire a LOT of attention, and that is why they turn into total douche bags. So give them no energy. It devastates them!
Send them a very stylish calligraphy invitation to exit your life completely. No need to include an R.S.V.P.
Make sure that your life gets filled up with joyful experiences with more positive people. Your happiness and success will be what bothers the toxic individual the most. So live it up!
Delete all photos you have of the person, as well as all contact information. Completely erase them from your life, even if no one else will. And get rid of any gifts that they may have given you, no matter how sentimental you feel about it. That toxic energy will most likely be on that gift anyway. And if you rid yourself of it, then you make space for more positive things in your life.
In many ways, in order to not get strung along by toxic individuals, we must allow ourselves t0 become ruthless, even brutal in how we approach the dis-engagement. I call this the “no nonsense approach.” At 57 years of age, I can attest to the fact that I should really have been telling people to f-off much sooner than I started. Because once I did start, my life became much more simple, much less complicated, much less toxic. And once one is given the f-off notification…well, there is no expiry date on that. So free yourself. You will be a lot happier if you do.