I bet I grabbed your attention with that title. Chances are you are dealing with a certain level of toxicity in your life, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this post.
First and foremost, there are two or more people in every relationship. If you feel that someone is impossible to deal with, chances are, they are feeling the same way about you.
I know that I have things I need to work on. It’s just so much easier to focus on why someone else is driving me crazy. You know what I mean, don’t you? I read an article recently that identified ten types of toxic people. As I was perusing the list, I identified people in my life as well as characteristics in myself. S L A P – in – face!
Now, I’m not excusing the behavior of people who try to make me feel less than. Nor am I excusing those with the tendencies of modern day Pharisees. In my life, these relationships need to be evaluated. Flip side is that I have to evaluate my role as well. I can only fix me.
While reading the article the questions that came to mind in regards to myself are like little daggers straight to my heart. Self evaluation sucks. At the same time it can also be very freeing.
Am I quick to anger? Yep, sometimes. Then I try nine ways to Sunday to justify my anger. Toxic.
Do I hold onto things too long? Yep, and then when I’ve had enough, watch out. No way to justify that behavior. Toxic.
Do I play the victim at times? Yep, because I truly feel taken advantage of. You’ve probably felt the same way. Woe is me, I’m the glue that holds everyone together. Don’t they see what I’m doing over here? Ashamedly, I freely admit, that’s not a healthy stance to take. Toxic.
I’ve gone round and round with a few folks to no avail. Bullies, modern day Pharisees and manipulators. It’s exhausting. What to do, what to do?
In a perfect world we would sit down, both sides admitting fault and then sing Kumbaya while holding hands. You and I know that sometimes, most of the time, that scenario is a no go.
We are all so entrenched in why we are right, that we lose sight of the real issues at hand. This two sided entrenchment builds up over time and at some point, there is no turning back. Too many hurt feelings.
Sadly, from what many of you have shared with me, a common theme of contention seems to be religion. Lately, I’ve come to realize that religion messes up a lot of things. Hold on a second, hear me out. Don’t get angry with me yet.
Religion takes the place of relationship so many times. We get caught up in the semantics of religion and let that become our focus or our source of contention. RELIGION over our relationships with our Savior. I’ve watched legalism destroy more than one family.
All both sides can do is cling to the fact that God gives us grace. Work on ourselves and try to extend that grace to those who we feel have wronged us all the while hoping that they will extend to us the same courtesy. Obviously, another Kumbaya scenario not always attained.
It’s not ok for us to allow people to continuously hurt us or the ones that we love. It’s not ok for us to allow people to demand respect when respect isn’t given. It’s not ok for us to allow others to make us feel less than.
Once you come to the realization that you aren’t going to change the other person’s mind and agreeing to disagree isn’t an option, then it’s time to set some boundaries.
The operative word in my last thought is Y O U. Or maybe I should say the non operative word in my last thought is Y O U. You aren’t going to change these people just as they aren’t going to change you. Both sides wind up in a stand off of sorts. Only God can change our hearts. Our referring to both sides.
After much self evaluation, I need to ask God to help me change those things about myself that I discovered. I then need to go one step further and ask God to reveal anything that I might have missed while self evauatin’. O U C H. I don’t like that part on bit! Can’t I just ask Him to change my heart where I see fit? Why must I ask Him to reveal more crap I need to work on? Come on now!
Only God can change others hearts. I can’t pray over what I think someone needs to change. I can, however, spend time in prayer talking to God, revealing my hurt.
When you get this stage of the game, it’s important to realize that trying to talk or reason with the other person or people is for naught. Just as them coming to you would be less than fruitful. The entrenchment runs deep.
You can’t fix them and they can’t fix you. Just hold on to the hope that He truly can move mountains. Just as we have to answer to God one day for how we treat others, others have to answer to God for how they treated us.
Disclaimer: Not a theologian. Feel free to agree to disagree. I’m just a girl trying to sort some stuff out and trying to do right by my Savior as I go.