Since we’re looking at toxic relationships, I thought I’d do a couple blogs on what our own personal toxic behavior looks like. Once we’re able to acknowledge toxicity in our thinking processes, spilling over into our reality, we can then learn how to release the toxins and become healthier emotionally and mentally. Actually, physically as well, simply because all of our toxic emotions affect us physically. You can read more of this in my book The Whole Soul.
Interestingly we can’t always see our own emotional “stuff” even after someone has pointed it out. That’s because most people are in denial and believe that it must be something wrong with everybody else “cause I’m good;” or at least that’s what we try and make ourselves believe.
How did I know I had issues with shame, guilt, anger, offense, jealousy, envy, resentment…? BIG LIST! Those are toxic-related issues. Anything hindering us from walking in wholeness is toxic. To become emotionally free, we must deal with the toxicity in our lives. Toxic emotions and memories keep us from forming sustaining relationships; they keep us from owning our own detrimental attitudes, therefore we can’t perform at our optimal best. People oftentimes learn to play the game well, mask well, but deep down there’s always that empty pit. The problem is, even the mask is not worn well – it has holes in it that most people see through even if nobody ever tells you so.
I knew I had issues but simply didn’t understand what they were. Probably my best weapon of defense was that of defense. My defense wall was so high that when my husband finally had the courage to be honest and tell me after 15 years of marriage, “you wear your feelings on your sleeve…” My response was: “no I don’t, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” But it got me thinking about what he actually meant when he said those words. I later went back and asked for some examples. Boy did he have some. It was then I realized that if I was defending myself against things he was saying to me I had to be doing that with everyone else.
So, ask yourself:
(1) Do I get defensive when someone attempts to tell me something about myself?
(2) Am I offended when people disagree with me?
(3) Do I become jealous or resentful when it seems that everyone around me is succeeding and yet I still seem to be lagging behind? (this is not an easy question to answer because it acknowledges something about ourselves that isn’t pretty)
(4) Do I own my own mistakes or blame others when things don’t turn out right?
(5) Do past memories of bad things contaminate my thinking, but I don’t know how to change it?
(6) Is it possible that I carry shame but am unaware of it?
These are just a few of the questions to get you to thinking about your own toxic emotions. Once you start thinking on these issues, other issues crop up that have plagued you for years and you didn’t have a clue of the source. In Part 2 I’ll tell you how to correct these issues.