Remembrance of Things Past

The Silent Garden by Christian Schloe

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.” ~ Thomas Hardy

The concept of linear time is a strange thing. This summer marks the 36th anniversary of my graduation from high school, the 27th anniversary of my graduation from New York University, and the 16th anniversary of my receipt of my graduate degree from the professional writing program at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Those facts, so neatly laid out, still seem impossible.

***

Surely, it was only yesterday I crossed the threshold of my first year of school at Westview Elementary School in Spokane, Washington. I wore a homemade polka dot dress and a pair of brand new saddle shoes from the shoe department at J. C. Penney. Away from my mother for the first time that day, I stood next to my small wooden desk, fighting the urge to cry as she valiantly headed for the door, a patent leather purse slung over her arm like an afterthought. She left me with a teacher who wore a gash of red lipstick and an emerald green skirt and jacket. Her name was Mrs. Otto.

I watched the clock’s slow hands move throughout that first day.

I wanted to stamp my foot; anything to get the clock to move.

Years passed before Momma reappeared, and it was time to go home.

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***

“All our sweetest hours fly fastest.” ~ Virgil

Now 54, I often feel bewildered by the speed of these intervening years. They have passed through me like lightning. My life has been completely changed by time – by the passage of it, by the stripping away of the notion of permanence, by the knowledge that time is the most ephemeral of all my so-called possessions.

***

I recently reconnected with a few of the friends I haven’t spoken to or heard from since high school. The friends of my girlhood. Friends who stood next to me as I passed through elementary, junior high, and high school; girls itching to delineate their boundaries, to forge characters and lives outside the confines of suburban life in the 1960s and 1970s. Women now, these girls remember a version of me I have forgotten. And because they remember me, suddenly, I do too. Through their eyes I remember that pensive waif standing on the periphery of the school yard.

I was certain I’d lost her to the dark waters of memory.

***

“And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total?” ~ Tillie Olsen

I chatted on the phone last night with a high school friend. I haven’t seen or heard from C since the early 1980s, yet I often wondered what became of her. She had a long waterfall of chestnut colored hair, a crooked smile, and a delicate and diminutive body. She moved like a graceful doe through the hell we charitably label as “high school” in this country. The two of us met in junior high. We lived on the edge of the world of cheerleaders, school pride, football, and the perennial favorite: binge drinking (and the requisite projectile vomiting afterward). We were never part of it.  We never really wanted to be part of it. I take pride in the fact that high school was decidedly not the high point of my life.

“Whenever I heard anything by Elton John over the years, I thought of you,” she said, the hum of the telephone wire singing quietly behind her voice.

Elton John’s photos wallpapered my school locker back in the day. He was, and still is, my soundtrack for the entire decade of the 70s.

“Wild,” I replied.  “You know I met him, right?”  I told the story of meeting Mr. John backstage at a concert in London.

We talked about the people we still have peripheral connections to, although neither one of us has maintained contact with anybody from the class of 1978. We talked about the weirdness of reunions and the passage of time. We talked wistfully about our choices and the tributaries of connection that somehow bind us: the fact that we don’t have children; that we both managed to navigate the waters of life without ever jumping into that particular boat.

Eventually we closed the conversation by exchanging addresses.  She promised to come visit me.

I was surprised by the ease of the conversation and the laughter that punctuated it.

It was as though I finally had a chance to open a gift I had forgotten I’d received.

 

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In the Depths of Aliveness

Life’s magic is in the smoke and mirrors that will either lead you to the truth of your greatness or cause ripples of funhouse illusions that will whirl you in vicious cycles with no way out.

How do we know when we are really alive?  Life plays a funny trick on us sometimes, making us believe that if we are breathing, eating, sleeping, using the bathroom, showering, combing our hair, having sex, running errands and getting ready for work, that we are actually living a life.  But this is not being alive. Where lies the full-bodied bouquet?

Getting the hang of being alive is no easy task. We place barriers between our needs and our desires, prepared with hands extended to spank our own asses for having a little taste of what we want. In creative living, we have been taught to believe that we are frivolous if we decide to follow a dream. We live in a world where the word back-up plan is deemed acceptable vernacular for our untamable creative souls as if failure was something meant to only bring us feast of shame paired nicely with a bottle of our finest default life. What happened?

By this malnourishment, we learned early on to lock our deepest secret pleasures and desires away because we fear that if we touch them, they will burn us as we try to stay alive while breathing in plums of overwhelming smoke.

And we are right.

We are primed in the moment of acknowledging the dissatisfactory conditions to hit self-destruct, leaving the unlivable life behind and going places where many never glimpse.

Our greatest desires act as wormholes to a new reality that, when we touch down upon the hallowed surface of a life we couldn’t have possibly imagined ourselves, cause us to combust instantly from the scintillation of it all, burning away the dead flesh of who we thought we were.  We begin the process of replenishing our life force through the removal of toxins that we have carried over from the previous life nested within our current life. We drain the hurts of our soul and begin to regenerate. Our new skin is tender to the touch, and can feel the most subtle breath of air on our skin. We can taste the piquant of our own rawness. We can smell the crispness of our evolution. We are fully exposed, hanging in the sky waxed full and ripe.

We are no longer hungry. Instead we overflow with nourishment of the highest order.

There is a hunger in all women that absolutely must be sated- otherwise we end up eating our feelings. The hunger inside you is the desire to be your complete self. The physical mechanism you call by your given name is designed to sense holes of malnourishment so that it can refuel, stay alive.  What you may not have counted on was that the hunger you feel is much more than a function of the body. You crave being alive in a hotly exciting relationship with life itself.

Explore your hunger. Discover a life you can love that begs you to live it. Ravage it. Press it against a wall, kissing it passionately. Climax over the simplest pleasures until you are spent, sweaty, and ready to close your eyes.

Everything about us changes when we dive into the endlessness of our passions. The moment of decision is the moment we begin to actually feel. Feeling is the first sign of aliveness that leads us to unify the shining moments into a limitless continuum. This is not ever available to us unless we are able to lie down and open ourselves to our darkness. As the shadow aspect of you rises from your depths to whisper sweet nothings in your ear and errant dares in your mind, listen. The greatest realizations surface from our darkened, unvisited inner rooms.

One day, Lady Darkness will have a gift for you, as long as you entertain her in your boudoir and allow her to be your lady in waiting. In her you will find strength, grounding, creativity, death, connection, love, and awareness. You will see that she had been the keeper of your dreams all along, fighting off demons that lurk in the light. The same light that you thought would free you was what kept you overheated and naïve, blinding you from your own multi-dimensional etheric mystery.

As we discover the magic in our mystery, we realize we have the power to breathe life into those around us who are shackled by unrealized dreams, like we once were. We are the howl of the banshee invoking power into the lives of those we hold dear, crumbling mountains of doubt, slaying the enemy, and cracking the dark skies open to see behind the curtain. We have kept this knowledge from ourselves for fear that we couldn’t handle its meteoric impact, but now we are all things that are, were, and ever shall be. We got this.

And as we transcend the mundane, we will not believe our eyes. We may look down and realize our own hands are still shackled from the ghosting effect of old, unrealized patterns that keep us from our own omnipotence.

Someone will have the keys to your kingdom, and will free you. That someone will be an aspect of your greatest self.

When this inevitable moment of need comes knocking, the quietest whisper will be heard amidst the loudest chaos by the one who knows your frequency. Passersby will ignore you, but the one who holds the key will unlock the gifts of your heart and wholeness. And on that day, you both will walk unified through the threshold of what once was to where you belong.

 

Within Tribe #GoddessWisdom:

1. Danielle LaPorte asks: How do you want to feel? 

2. Brene Brown: “What we don’t know can absolutely hurt us.”

3. Recommended Reading: Women Who Run With the Wolves

4. Daft Punk’s Transcendent vibe and meaningful lyrics will inspire 

5. Vogue’s Sally Singer Commits to 10 Minutes of Meditation 

 

 

 

 

Burned Bridges: Is it Possible to Rebuild?

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There may be a person in your life that you just can’t shake – a person that is missed so much that whatever drove you apart sits on your back like a bag of bricks. Perhaps you’ve tried to set that bag down and leave it without unpacking the contents but  it’s still attached to your weight slumped shoulders from the burden of things left unsaid.

How do you go from no contact to tentative conversation?  It can be done with time, patience, compassion, and forgiveness.

  •   Admit you started the fire to burn the bridge: One of the hardest things is to admit to yourself when you’ve done somebody wrong. It’s easy to lay the blame at their feet because after all, they’re the ones that caused your anger and your release of the relationship in the first place. But sometimes that’s a lie we tell ourselves to keep from being responsible for our own actions. It’s a reflection of our not so shining moments.
  •   Build a new bridge: Reach out to the person via text, email, phone call, sky-writing, blog post or any other way to let them know you’re willing to speak with them. If the person is receptive, apologize for what you did or said wrong. Leave expectations on the floor because sometimes the wound you’ve caused can run so deeply that there may be rejection or disbelief of your intentions. Remember to not just speak the words but take action. You’re asking for a new relationship which means you’re approaching this not as the former person, but as you are right now.
  •  Compassion for yourself and the new relationship: The old wounds will be there. They may be scabbed over or even scarred, but they will be there. Realize that when you look at the other person with compassion in your heart, the scars fade after time.  It is as falling in love with that person’s current self and from this point you’ve come to in the realization that this relationship is worth it. History can’t be changed, only the here and now is important.
  •   Dissolve anger, pride, and resentment: Holding on to anger is that bag of bricks that weighs your spirit down. Realize that you reacted or acted in a very human manner. Your feelings of resentment  have no place in the new relationship you’re attempting to re-establish. The pride that kept you from making the reconnection before needs to find the humbleness of release. Feel the emotions, but don’t hold them. Allow them to dissipate.
  •   Evolve your view of the person: Are you the same person you were when you cut the relationship from your life?  The other person isn’t either. Meet her as if for the first time, because technically, you are. Get to know their current self because what you remember may (or truthfully, may not) be accurate. Anger changes the color of memories to murky depths instead of embracing the current vibrancy of now. This is a new day and a new relationship based on time passing. Let her be who she is now, not how you remember them.
  •   Forgive yourself and the other person: This one can prove difficult depending on the circumstances of the separation. By setting down your feelings from the past and allowing things to be as they are, forgiveness is not far behind. Forgiveness helps us to see things clearly again. It wipes the slate clean even if the faint outline of the transgression can still be seen, it’s no longer the focus of the relationship. The focus shifts to rebuilding instead of rehashing.
  •   Give love willingly: What if the person you’re reaching out to rejects your attempt at reconciliation? What if they don’t want anything to do with you or your efforts to rebuild? Love her anyway. Just because you’re ready to re-establish a relationship doesn’t mean she will be.  If she is willing, then don’t be afraid to let her get to know you as you are now. Your personal growth has brought you to a point where you realize the value of what you’ve been missing. Allow the vulnerability of love to fill in those parts, whether rejected or accepted. Love the other person. Love yourself. Let it be organically grown from your heart no matter their response.
  •   Healthy Communication: Be honest with yourself and the person you’re re-establishing a relationship with. Speak from your heart while listening to spirit. There is nothing more satisfying than accepting one another exactly as you are. You don’t have to be a allow yourself to communicate your own wants and needs. you’re establishing grounds of mutual respect. It builds trust, balance, and reinforces your sincerity.

Great things can take time to build or rebuild.  Although there is no guarantee that the other person will be receptive to your outreach, discovering that you can set down that bag of bricks is totally worth it.

Spring has Sprung

Tree Goddess

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Spring is in the air.

I can see it with every delicate trace of green that is beginning to dot my landscape as a welcomed relief from the wintry grey earth tones of naked trees.

The thing that I have noticed about spring is that the day it begins is almost undefineable.

It’s magic, the suddenness of it.

As if over the course of a couple days, the trees all receive a  memo telling them it is time to put their clothes back on.

Presto change-o. Spring has sprung.

The trees are lush, full of bright happy leaves and I am wondering how and when it all happened.

I think the same is true with people and the cycle of success.  We sometimes end up lying naked, prostrate to the world after a devastating blow.  We are  listless, and wrapped in the wintry coat of the bleak questioning of everything. Why? When? How? Will you ever feel warm again? Is summer even real?

In the heart of desolation, it is difficult to believe in the sunshine of warmer days.

Naked and bare, stripped of your leaves, you learn to stand alone.

Diligently, you work to pull yourself up right.

Unflinchingly you bare your branches in an effort to reach the sun, storing precious energy.

Though to the outside world it appears to be dormat, effort and the struggle of survival is happening just below the surface.

You are preparing.

Instinct kicks in, as the days begin to get a little longer.

Then suddenly, all at once, the clouds part.

The sun! The sun arrives! It is REAL.

All the hours, days, weeeks, MONTHS of hoping praying, believing, and accepting have all coincided in one glorious moment of bright and delicious buttery sunshine.

Delirious with joy, and bursting with happiness, you sprout green leaves of hope and renewal.

As the sun warms you, the rains nuture you. Providing you with all the compnents needed to blossom.

Dramatically, in a fervent display of power,  you burst forward with gratitude, as leaves of appreciation cover your once naked and trembling body.

Sumer is real and it is coming.

The proof is in your leaves.

Illuminate: 4 Ways to Discover Your Shimmer

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There are a few facts and beliefs that suggest that you are radiant.

First of all, everyone is made of stardust – your very composite nature is heavenly.  Health wise, you would get pretty sick if you did not get any sunlight and vitamin D. And according to the Shambhala lineage of Buddhism, everyone has a basic goodness that shines through like the Sun always shining behind the clouds. And if many of the metaphysically channeled materials of the last 30 years are correct, you are a spiritual non-physical LIGHT-being currently having a physical experience.

You can let your light shine through in your day-to-day experiences and relationships.

During physical incarnation everyone does things that they are proud of and things that they are not so proud of, but remember as you delve in the work of self-discovery to always be truthful to yourself and to be gentle. Beating yourself up in any way diminishes your lovely divine light. Everyone who comes here intends to grow and evolve spiritually. Imperfection is fine along the path to enlightenment. If you had nothing to work through, you would not be here.

True self-awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses can be difficult to pin down or to get a glimmer of because we forget things so easily or exaggerate and distort memories. While I promise you that you are a beautiful light in this world, some people have difficulty identifying evidence of their radiance. They just don’t keep good enough track of the shining moments in their lives, while many are good at telling and retelling the stories of the darker moments that have happened. A healthy self-image records a more balanced record of who you are including your light and shadow parts. The first step to shining is developing a record of mindful and accurate awareness about the patterns that emerge in your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and communication.

How do you Shimmer or Dimmer?

I would like to propose that you become an anthropologist in your own life: witnessing and documenting there various ways that you let your inner light shimmer or become a little bit dimmer.  You will need a tool to help you start gathering data on yourself. The purpose of this data is to be used in understanding yourself better, recognizing and appreciating your strengths, and clarifying your weaknesses to make decisions about areas of your life you would like to improve.

Begin developing a daily practice of recording in a journal answers to the questions below. It is ok if you don’t get to do this every day, but the more regularly you do this, the greater data you will gather on yourself. When you are doing this, try to think of examples from your current day, though past examples may need to be addressed in this manner repeatedly to be processed. It is ok if what you are reflecting on happened in the recent or distant past. The point is to look for examples of your positive (shimmer) or negative (dimmer) behaviors so you can learn more about yourself.

Witness How You Showed Your Shimmer

  1. Begin by priming the mind by spending a few minutes thinking about an instance during the day (or past) when you responded positively to a situation or to another person. It helps if the outcome was seen by you as satisfying.
  2. Complete this sentence, “Things that made me happy about the above situation (or interaction)…”
  3. Then complete this sentence, “Based on how I handled the above situation, my strengths are…” This gives you a running tab of evidence of all your awesome strengths and ways you SHINE!
  4. Start noticing patterns. Are you good at saying kind things to people? Are you brave in facing fearful circumstances? What good traits keep coming up in your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and communication? Start connecting the constellations of your brilliance.
  5. You could also write about something you experienced today that was positive, then maybe consider wishing that other people could enjoy something similar. Maybe send the feeling of experiencing the nice circumstance to someone in particular. Practicing gratitude and then sharing it is good for helping you develop a sunnier disposition as you realize all the nice things in your life and feel wonderful sharing the energy of those things with others.

Witness How You Let Your Light Become a Little Dimmer

  1. Now, prime the mind for a few minutes thinking about a time (during the current day or in the past) when you responded negatively to a situation or another person and did not get a positive outcome.
  2. Complete the following sentences, “Things that annoy me about the above situation are…” and “Based on how I handled the above situation, my weaknesses are…”
  3. Also consider writing about how you might improve future similar situations or work on addressing your weaknesses. Maybe come up with some action steps that you can take. It is ok if you are not ready to address a particular weakness of problem. Just kindly noticing your negative patterns is the first step towards personal development.
  4. You could also just write about something you experienced today that was negative that you were not able to resolve completely. You could really connect to the feelings of others who are suffering in a similar way and wish them relief. When we share the energy of relief from suffering, we connect to others in a compassionate way that boosts the LIGHT we put into the world.

By recording information about your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and communication every day, you can begin to gather evidence of your positive and negative patterns over time. You can see how things repeat, evolve, or change. Writing it down is better that just noticing it in the moment and hoping to remember the insight for a later time. Record what happens and what you learn from your experiences as a concrete developmental guide for yourself. When you feel down, review all the instances when your shimmered, showing your awesome inner light. When you encounter a dimmer circumstance that makes you feel a familiar frustration, look back on the past patterns for improvement opportunities that are under your control. Start noticing the brilliant moments when you overcome negative patterns. Notice the areas that you just aren’t ready to fix yet. Through documentation in a journal, start witnessing your growth at whatever pace is in your highest good.

Overtime, you will start to get a more complete picture of your inner LIGHT and the areas in your life that you use a bit more illumination. What a glorious bit of stardust you will become!

Kindred Souls Will Find You

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Metamorphosis by Mika and Kuri via DeviantArt

Ruminating on loss

Loss is inevitable, inescapable, irrevocable.

How do we make sense of it?

I don’t know.

I sometimes wonder what to think, when I am given the usual ‘pick yourself up by your bootstraps’ speech and told to ‘get on with it,’ in the midst of personal loss. Should we be able to pin ourselves together and get on with it, even when our hearts are breaking and our bones are shattered? Should we be ready and willing to embrace our losses as the ambulance carries us away, tourniquet quietly stopping the bleeding as our fingers turn blue?

Certainly, it’s true, we have no choice. It is what it is. There is — in fact — no way to get through life without experiencing loss.

(And, as an aside, what a drab gray ride life would be without its ups and downs, carrying us like autumn leaves toward the ocean.)

No matter how fast you run, loss finds you

Loss is a part of life that no one can outrun or escape. We experience our first loss on the day of our birth. As we move slowly and painfully out of our mother’s body and into the cool light of this world, we lose our sense of being completely absorbed by and connected to someone else. We become separate beings that very first moment, after that first breath.

We cannot return to the womb, although there seem to be plenty of us who think that is a viable option. We are out here on our own and it stings. It is no wonder we wail at the top of our lungs the moment we arrive. Where is the warm, moist, safe, sweet dark soup we have been soaking in for all these months?

Gone.  All gone.

Who do you think you are?

Not much later, we lose our sense of our own truth, the rightness of our instinct, our intuition, feelings. We are instructed to follow orders, to toe the line, to eat our peas, to tie our shoes. Being like everyone else is paramount.

Lose your sense of identityIt is best not to stand out too much. Don’t blow your own horn. Don’t be a show off – the world doesn’t need another one of those.  

Hiding Our Light

So we silence ourselves and we stamp out the spark inside, we mask our faces, and we mark time.

That we are not ourselves concerns no one – least of all us. We are fitting in to this little life that we have embarked upon. We quickly forget all the promises that we made before the time of our birth – all the lessons that we were sure to learn, all the places and people we would reach – all the light that we would burst forth with, dazzling the whole world with our bright spirit.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the varnish of our spirit is stripped away.

And we are left with the wreckage, the sliver of us that remains intact. The bit that cannot be sanded away.

Hold On

That is what we must hold onto. That is what must never be lost. That is the part of us that makes us, us.

And, the thing is, we cannot give it away, no matter how hard we try. That raw diamond may end up buried deep within us, but it can never be lost.

Waking Up Alive

Years pass. One day we awaken. We come back to ourselves, usually through terrible loss.

We rediscover our inherent strength, hiding beneath small fears and trembling hands. We shake in our boots. We can’t sleep.

Our love has left us and there is a fissure that we cannot repair – that no amount of tears can fill – that no amount of food or wine or sex can cauterize.

And we are called upon to look for the part of ourselves that we put away, that we boxed up years ago and stuck in the back of the coat closet. We must find her now. We need her. Only she will do.

Shaken and Stirred

I suppose that losses come along to shake us from the stupor we are in.

They are what awaken us to spirit and help us find the will to go on, even after the limbs of our life have been severed or broken.

We are resilient and powerful. That is what loss teaches us: that we can survive. That we can endure and rebuild our lives, no matter how terrible our losses seem to be.

We have greatness inside us and we can tap it, as long as we don’t allow ourselves to completely forget or erase who we are. We are vessels of spirit. We are connected to the universe, part of the tree of life, necessary to the world. We each have gifts to bestow and bless upon those around us.

Waking up today I realize I am a part of this huge soul-skin family. No matter how shattered I might feel from time to time, I am not alone.

I am surrounded by the amazing grace of other kindred spirits, and that knowledge makes me glad.

 

Say Goodbye: Ending Toxic Friendships

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How far down the road are you willing to go before you realize that you have gone the wrong direction? It is human nature to believe that we have it all under control, that we know what we are doing but let’s face it, even the best of us have stayed our welcome in our comfort zones a little too long.  Look at The Buddha. It took him seven years to realize he was on the wrong path with starvation, neglect, and self-abuse as a pathway to enlightenment.

It’s really okay to say I don’t want this anymore.  In fact if it wasn’t said, how could we ever evolve?  We would be putrid with the stench of murky stagnation, and no one would ever want to be near us.

When it comes to friendships, this is a truth that is so essential that our very life force depends on it.

When a friendship has overstayed its welcome, both parties know. It is like having a corpse lying on the floor in the middle of a vibrant garden party.  You can smell its decay over honeysuckles, sweet pea, tea and chocolate truffles. And if you are not careful, you end up tripping over its remains and landing face first in the grass where a dog has just marked her territory, mussing up your fine attire while everyone calls you the fool.

There are just some moments when you know there can be no more compromises, when you realize your friend has not taken your best interests to heart and you must let said person go.

Relationships are a pathway to your best self. The very best of those you choose to relationship with will hold a key that was always yours, given to them before either of you touched your feet on the planet’s surface.  They know your best and worst without you having to say a word and are willing to spar you until you get your shit right and take you into their arms with the greatness of their love. The deliciousness continues when there is a mutual desire established to make the other person smile, laugh, and grow.

We teach people how to treat us.  If we are silent because of mistreatment that is clearly evident to both parties, it becomes Palestine level hostile territory. You both will begin to count the things that you have done for each other. You will hold the remaining power you possess over the other person. Resentment will hold you both at gunpoint, and then you will toxify each other with your darkness. Suddenly you will awaken to the realizations that all of those little snide jokes, subtle insults and the blow-offs were hostage negotiations for your soul.

But I need my friends, you will think, as your dignity trickles down your leg.

It doesn’t matter how long you have known someone, if it isn’t healthy, you are a hostage and captor as is your counterpart. Your sick game continues with each of you playing either role until someone is strong enough to squeeze her sweat-stung eyes shut and pull the trigger before the last tear falls.

Let it be you.

Spotting a Toxic Relationship

If you are afraid to tell the truth in any relationship, there is no relationship at all. We need to give ourselves permission to speak the truth when we are hurt at the very moment our heart has been pierced. If a friendship is ever going to get past the first flush and get real, admissions of mistakes and exposure of our worst selves is inevitable. If you have difficulty allowing this to happen, you are participating in the creation of a toxic environment.

In healthy relationships, respect and understanding to the commitment of cultivating a relationship is present. In unhealthy relationships, boundaries are blurred through the most vulnerable moments.  As you pour your heart out, the information may be reserved for another moment when among friends, it is used to weaken you. Gift giving and other heart-felt moments will be used to keep you hanging on in a tiresome dance of besting. You may hear your bestie say terrible things, and you excuse it thinking she would never say anything like that about me until the day comes when you  meet your confidences face to face in the form of an invasive, sensational question being asked from someone you don’t know.

What makes toxic people?

Toxic people make toxic people. When we are silent to our own needs and put the needs of others above all else, we are creating a toxic environment for ourselves that will naturally permeate all other relationships. In the silencing of our true nature, we lose our uniqueness and our psyche, heart, and soul become diseased.

When we ignore our intuition screaming in our head - run, yet we step closer, we have a real problem on our hands. Our own judgment cannot be trusted. We will therefore attract untrustworthy people.  They can spot us a mile away.  We are the ones wearing the graphic tee that says “naïve prey.”

We need to first make sure we are the happiest we can be in the present moment with ourselves. We need to make sure we enjoy solitude, our inner wildness, our assertive attitude, and our flaws before we go outside ourselves to make solid relationships. It is essential to get to know and fall in love with ourselves. We need to have a healthy dose of selfishness. We require individuality, our own identity. There must be a reason for wanting to share our moments with another person that comes from the core of who we authentically are. That takes serious integrity.

Integrity is a balm for toxic people. It is a force of energy that commands respect and straightens the spine.  It tells us that we are worth the very best of life through its unconditional sustainment in all that lives. Those that do not possess or understand it are easily detected – they are the same as our underdeveloped selves and because of that, we may fall hard for their potential.  While such a person may appear to be kindred to our own days of being a demi-goddess, it is not up to us to take them under our wings and create them. Who created us? Our excruciating pain of learning the hard way did.  So, when they walk into our sacred space in short shorts, fuck-me pumps, a whole lot of smooth talk and zero substance, it is okay to gracefully decline engagement in favor of your heard-earned life wisdom.

Letting go of unhealthy friendships is the very best gift you could give yourself. Sometimes, friendships that have no anchor just dissolve, but others have such a deep rooted spur in the heart that they need life-changing truth spoken with fire before a quick goodbye.  Follow your heart. Love yourself first.

Know limits, boundaries and choose friends wisely with your intuition as your guide.