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Forgiveness vs. toxicity

 

Again, this column’s purpose is to foster “wellness.” Wellness, like disease, takes on many identities—there is physical wellness, spiritual wellness, and emotional wellness.

 

Every type of wellness requires effort on our parts. This “effort” can have many faces, too.

 

We do our best not to consciously ingest food that has spoiled or poisoned, but I have to ask why we feel we have to endure toxic people, regardless of whether they are friends or relatives?!

 

As Christians, it is good for us to forgive them. Sometimes they know they are hurting us and sometimes … not, BUT it just seems to continue for whatever reasons and we shouldn’t keep allowing that kind of bullying to go on, unchecked. No matter what the detriment to our wellness may be (or poison, toxin…) we must stop it in order to preserve our multi-faceted wellness.

 

There are several ways to ensure our wellness whether it is the “sanity” version or the “physical” version (or anything in between).

 

If we are being consistently disrespected, demeaned and/or bullied by oppressive people who operate from a place that is pathological, we need to take control and call them out on it.

 

We CAN forgive as this is the best part of humankind. We must, however, try to understand just “what” encompasses “forgiveness,” AND what it does NOT involve.

 

Forgiving can be done very simply because of what it says in the Bible regarding the premise that if we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us. This type is rather “cut and dry,” sort of perfunctory in nature, after a while. We should examine our motives, though, to ensure the forgiveness isn’t just something done purely to “save our skins” (so God will forgive us).

 

The other type of forgiveness is where we try to understand and figure out WHERE the hurtful and hateful behavior originated. It could have been a pattern started early on due to a lack of teaching in the perpetrator’s family. It could stem from having a no or low self-worth, it could come from jealousy. Probably most hurtful behaviors DO come from jealousy! Whatever the reasoning, it must be recognized as toxicity, and remember, we are not here on this earth to be willingly poisoned by anyone—not friends, not enemies and, least of all, parents. But this CAN happen at the hands of parents and it is THE most hurtful of all. We divorce abusive and unfaithful spouses, but why in earth do we allow parents, or A parent to pound us down into the dirt on a regular basis?

 

We must recognize toxic behaviors as the first step, then we must “remove” the “tumor” or remove ourselves from the poison (hurt). By allowing people to have their way and sucking the spirit and life from us, we reduce our value and demean ourselves.

 

Signs of toxicity are as follows:

 

1) When no matter how hard you try or what you sacrifice, it is never “enough…”

2) When someone can only see your faults and not your intrinsic assets

3) When someone will never “go to bat for you”

4) When someone will never introduce you to their friends

5) When someone repeatedly discloses your confidences and gossips about you

6) When someone chooses only to believe the worst about you

7) When someone lies to or about you

 

These may be forgivable offenses but you can forgive someone, feel sorry for how messed up they are, but also you may (in good conscience) choose to remove yourself from “the line of fire.” By doing this, you are augmenting your health on multiple levels. This world is harsh enough as it is, these days without surrounding ourselves with “evil masquerading as friends or parents!”

 

Free yourself and get healthy. Breathe fresh and friendly air!

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