Updated: Nov 4, 2021
I’m not a fan of the word toxic.
It has always felt a bit off to me. To use the label “toxic” externalizes our discomfort onto something or someone outside of ourselves, and blames them for the mismatch. It robs us of nuance and personal accountability.
Focusing on toxicity can be a way to distance ourselves from what makes us uncomfortable without taking a deeper look at our part in it.
“This has nothing to do with me - you’re paying attention to the wrong thing. THEY’RE the one who’s TOXIC.”
To label something as toxic immediately shifts the focus from our own patterns, beliefs, and programs. It attempts to remove us from the equation entirely.
It separates. It isolates. It creates judgment and distance immediately. It distinguishes between, reinforcing an us vs. them mentality.
I invite you to look at what you call “toxic” from a different lens. What we deem “toxicity” often comes from the same place as our wound, and as such, it evolves with our healing.
Instead of labeling something as toxic and dismissing it entirely, what would happen if we stopped to reflect on our own role and contribution? How would the experience play out differently if we used each of these moments as an opportunity for growth and self-reflection by asking, “What is this here to teach me?”
Every interaction, experience, and relationship provides a reflection into our own internal state. What is this mirroring back to you?
This does NOT mean excusing energies and behaviors that feel bad to us, justifying abuse, or staying in harmful situations. It means recognizing our accountability in choosing what we allow into our space and seeing our role in what we “match up” with in the external world.
There is so much power in recognizing what feels GOOD and ALIGNED to you and owning it. Not by placing labels on something or someone else, but by cultivating conscious awareness of what feels aligned and what does not, and acting clearly from this place of integrity within the self.