“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ― Anaïs Nin
We’re all familiar with the idea of detoxing. Maybe you’ve even participated in an official detox process before, cleansing your body with lemon water, raw juices, or a celebrity-endorsed weight-loss tea.
It’s easy to recognize when we need a physical detox. We start to feel bloated, sluggish, or inflamed, in our physical bodies, and we realize it’s time to lay off the morning latte habit or afternoon pastry breaks. It’s time to reorient our eating habits to bring more lightness and energy to our lives.
Some people call me “the Detox Queen.” But they’re not just referring to my love for clean, healthy eating.
You see, here’s my personal philosophy: detoxing–or, quite literally, removing toxins—is relevant in every area of life.
With all of pop culture’s attention on body-centric detoxes that focus on what we are eating or drinking, it’s easy to lose sight of other areas of our life that might need to be cleaned up.
It’s time to get honest, friends.
Let’s talk about the toxic people in our lives—and, more importantly, let’s talk about how to manage the energy we surround ourselves with.
You might be wondering...why do I care so much about this? Here’s my answer: because no amount of juice cleansing is going to take care of the shame, negativity, or anxiety you’re dealing with because of damaging relationships. And emotional trauma will sabotage your physical health no matter how clean you’re eating.
So, let’s take a deep breath. This is important (even if it’s uncomfortable).
Fact: some people live in a constant cycle of negativity, and they can’t help but spread that negative energy through their words and actions. I’m guessing you know some of these people (and you may have been one of these people at one point in your past).
Have you noticed that, when you’re with certain people, your sense of confidence is replaced with feelings of inadequacy and fear?
Have you noticed that, when you’re with certain people, voices of unworthiness and doubt start to creep into your headspace?
Have you noticed that, when you’re with certain people, your heart (or maybe your stomach) begin to feel heavy or guilty?
Imperfect humans (hint: that’s all of us) can introduce toxic voices that are much more damaging than processed sugar or gluten-full carbs.
Another fact: some people bring positivity and wellness to every interaction.
I recognized this from a very young age. My mother had a crew—they called themselves the yayas—and still to this day, over forty years later, they are still each other’s chosen family. They are the ones on the other end of the phone when congratulations are in order, and they are the ones to sit with when things are difficult and painful.
These are true friends.
True Friends hold space for you to be you. They’re there to show you how to show up. They’re the ones who accept and inspire every aspect of your personality, judgement-free.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Just hashing things out with the right friend can take you from a ten to a three on the anxiety scale, in a matter of moments (just like hashing things out with the wrong person can raise your anxiety through the roof in seconds.)
I was so lucky to spend this a full weekend with my true girl friends, and it really took me to a space of deep gratitude and heartfelt love. They’re the type of friends who call me higher. They help me to dig in deep and to let go of the things that don't serve me.
Which type of person is most present in your life?
- Have you surrounded yourself with inspiring people who support you without trying to fix you, who see you without trying to “save” you, who accept you without trying to change you?
- Or are you surrounded by toxic people who, because of where they’re at on their own journeys, aren’t ready to support you, offer you a safe space, or lift you up?
This isn’t about pointing fingers or casting judgement. It’s about taking control of your own energy and emotions, so that you can live into your best self.
So, if you’re tempted to take on a victim mindset or rant about all the toxic people in your life right now, I want you to take a step back. Instead of blaming others for their negative energy and toxicity, choose a path of radical responsibility.
Your happiness is up to you. Your peace is up to you. Your contentment is up to you.
And if that means that you need to bring more boundaries or space into your life, the time is now. This might mean that you’re moving away from certain people in your life, but don’t make it about them. This is about you.
Let’s make this really practical.
You’re in control of your energy and emotions, and one of the ways you can claim control is by intentionally choosing to surround yourself with people who lift you up.
Take a look around you. Step into the feeling of what your different friends bring out of you. Take notice.
- Are there people that make you question your worth? Who bring an attitude of judgment to the relationship? What would it feel like to let them go? To remove the toxicity from your life?
- Are there people that inspire you to believe in yourself and your highest calling? Who help you work through your “stuff” and come out on the other side? How would your life change if you spent more time with these safe, supportive people?
If you feel like you can’t let someone go (along with their drama, their judgement, and their negativity), remember that you’re as free as you allow yourself to be.
“Life does not have to constantly be a fight. Nobody gets brownie points for suffering. You can let yourself be happy. It's allowed.” –Allison Fallon
Suffering through toxic relationships won’t bring you any closer to healing or wholeness. It’s okay to cut the cord and choose new relationships that fill your heart with happiness.
This process isn’t easy, and, many times, we need support to go through this process of surrounding ourselves with people who bring the right energy into our lives.
If you’re ready to move towards healthier friendships (and don’t know how to take the first step), I’d love to sit with you and open up a safe space to discuss boundaries, personal responsibility, and the energy you exchange with the people on a daily basis. Schedule a time here.
Relationships are meant to be light-giving and life-giving...I challenge you to embrace that possibility.