Do you ever feel like you’re in a relationship, whether it’s a friendship, a co-worker, or a romantic one, that feels like it’s burdening you or bringing you down? Like you have the world on your shoulders every time you’re with them? These relationships are what we would call toxic…they stress us out, they make us feel badly, and they bring us down.
It’s difficult to tell people to do this, just as it’s difficult for me to do, but sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away from those relationships. I have two that I’ve walked away from in my past, which I’ll explain in a little more detail why it was healthy for me to walk away. And most recently, the relationship I was in would have been considered toxic. I didn’t realize it while I was in it, but as soon as it was over, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Sometimes it takes a rude awakening to realize just how badly a relationship is hurting you.
I had two best friends that I would have considered my best friends for life. I would have done anything for them. But neither of them are in my life anymore. They were two of the hardest decisions I’d ever made, but I know now that it was for the best.
In the first instance, we’d been best friends since college, and I was the maid of honor in her wedding. And now we don’t even talk. Although we lived in different states, that didn’t stop our friendship. We talked on the phone all the time, we texted every day, and we made frequent visits back and forth.
It wasn’t until one conversation in particular that I realized just how stressful our friendship had become…we were talking on the phone while I was walking my dogs (yes, I was one of those annoying people) and she was complaining about something (I don’t even remember what, because we had *many* conversations like that). But I remember thinking it was silly whatever it was. And I’ll admit, I wasn’t in the greatest mood either, but apparently my response was lackluster. She said something along the lines of me being insensitive and hung up on me.
Now mind you, I’m a very sensitive person (probably TOO sensitive) and I’ll be the first person to sympathize and be there in your time of need. But she was the type of friend that *always* needed me! It was like the little girl who cried wolf…when she actually needed me for a real emergency, I didn’t recognize it, because *everything* was an emergency.
It wasn’t until we had a huge blow-up during one of her visits that we realized we had grown apart and probably weren’t good in each other’s lives anymore. I wrote her a letter after she left, apologizing for everything, and I believe we talked on the phone one more time after that, but it’s been five or six years since we’ve spoken. I wonder about her every now and again, and I hope she’s doing well, but I know we are better off not being friends.
In the second instance, it was a little harder for me to handle. We’d been best friends since high school. We took driver’s ed together (oh the memories!). And we haven’t talked in…shoot, I don’t know…maybe three years. I won’t go into much detail because there’s quite a bit, but after I deployed in 2010/2011, she basically told me our entire friendship (about 15 years at this point) had been fake. I remember letting her talk and tell me her feelings and holding back tears. I didn’t know how to respond. So I told her I had to go back to work and that I would call her later.
Well, it took me a week to finally call her back. I responded to what she said…some of which I understood and some of which I had no idea what she meant or was talking about. In the end, I think we agreed to disagree on certain parts, and we tried to stay friends. But it was never the same. Every interaction after that felt forced. For the first year or so, I sent her a birthday and a Christmas card, but I never heard anything back. So I finally let it go.
Sometimes the toughest decisions we have to make are often the right decisions. I wish I could say that I missed either of those friends. But the harsh truth is that I don’t. I don’t miss the stress or the arguments or the drama or the heavy weight on my shoulders…I don’t miss the anger or the sadness or the heartache or the hurt.
My point in this post is not that you should walk away from your friends when you argue or are upset at one another. Because that’s going to happen (duh, we’re all human and have emotions and differing opinions). But re-evaluate the relationships in your life…the ones that stress you out, that bring you down, that leave you feeling drained when you’re interaction with them is done. You know the ones I’m talking about…are those relationships serving you anymore? Are they bringing happiness and love and good things into your life?
If a relationship is bringing you down and leaving you unhappy more than it is uplifting you and making you a better person, then maybe that relationship is toxic. Maybe it is one that you either need to change or one that you need to walk away from. I know it isn’t always easy to do, especially if it’s a work relationship or a significant other. But recognizing it is the first step. And making the necessary changes will make all the difference, not only for you, but for the other party, as well.
I hope you had a beautiful day!
With love and wellness,
So this weekend I visited my mom in northern VA. I haven’t visited her since November, which is crazy. She’s been to see me a couple times and we’ve seen each other in Colorado, but I think this has been the longest it’s been since I’ve visited her. It was a much needed weekend…a girl can never have too much time with her momma.
But needless to say, I over-indulged…quite a bit. I had (a whole lot of) sangria, gluten free pizza from domino’s, gluten and egg free oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies (which were flippin’ amazing, I might add!!), and 3.5 Justin’s dark chocolate and peanut butter cup packs (thanks Ben). I had other healthy eats in between, but my sugar intake was incredibly high this weekend.
And boy, could I tell. My energy levels have been pretty low and I’m just plain exhausted. I’ve also had a pretty bad headache all day. But I needed this weekend. Big time. I enjoyed every last thing that I ate, and I enjoyed the time spent with my momma. I needed the advice and love and support that she always gives me.
Let’s see…here’s a quick recap of my weekend. I ate (a lot), I drank (more than I normally do), I talked (about everything), I questioned (my life decisions among other things), I laughed, I cried, I doubted myself, but in the end, I realized a whole lot about myself and my life. It’s not often we get weekends away from our normal lives where we can reflect on our lives and have the opportunity to change our perspective.
I’ll be the first to admit I had a rough day yesterday. I’ve been sad about my recent break-up and the changes in my life. I keep questioning how I got here…how we got here. But there were so many things that led us down the path where we are now. And I realized this weekend that I’m okay with that.
I won’t go into any personal details, because it wouldn’t be fair to me or him, but let’s just say that he is not the person I thought he was. And I’m sure he’d say the same about me. We were very different people and rushed into our relationship very quickly, despite the warnings and the words of wisdom we received from friends and family. We thought we knew best. We thought it was forever.
I also realized that I have a really bad habit of not trusting myself or listening to my intuition. And I keep getting myself into these same situations…I was asking myself why and how this weekend. But you know what? I haven’t learned anything from my past mistakes…no, not mistakes…my past lessons. Every situation is a lesson that is supposed to teach us something. And in life, when you keep repeating the same lessons, it means you aren’t learning from them.
So my goal from this lesson is to learn to listen to and trust my intuition. I don’t have to know why or what the answer is, but if something doesn’t feel right and my gut is telling me that, I NEED to start listening to it! I always argue with myself and talk myself out of feeling whatever it is I’m feeling instead of listening to it. I did it in this situation too. And all it did was cause problems, which led us to where we are now.
I found this picture awhile ago…it’s so accurate. We may not know why or how we know, but there’s something deep within us that just knows. Learn to listen to it…to trust it….to follow your instincts. Because that’s what I’m going to do.
What are your tried and true methods of listening to and trusting your instincts? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Also, because how could I forget, but Happy Easter!! I went to church with my momma this morning…here’s a before church selfie :)
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and enjoyed time with friends and family.
With love and wellness,