Why Letting Go of Toxic Relationships is a Form of Self-Care
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
Self- care has become a very popular term lately with many believing that if you get the weekly mani/pedi then you're practicing self-care. However, the truth is, self-care is more than a weekly appointment to the nail salon. Self-care is self-preservation and that requires more than your outer appearance being up to par. That means that you are taking care of yourself from the inside out.
You and only you are responsible for your own emotional, spiritual, and mental well being. One of the most common ways we neglect to care for ourselves comes by way of the types of relationships we have and allow into our lives. If you’re in a toxic relationship it's important you remove yourself from that environment immediately. And that applies to all relationships (romantic, friendships, even relatives).
There is this lie we've internalized that just because someone is family that we have to allow them into our space. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Blood does not require you to be somebody’s punching bag. Blood may make you relatives, but it doesn’t make you family. Surround yourself with people and experiences that cultivate and nurture your emotional, spiritual, and mental well being. Surround yourself with people and experiences designed for your growth.
Sometimes a flower doesn’t grow, not because it isn’t being watered or tended to, it doesn’t grow because the soil it’s in is rotten. If the soil is soggy, hard, rocky, or lacking in nutrients, roots won't be happy and the flower won't thrive. But if you take that flower and remove it from that soil and place it in healthy soil it will blossom and bloom like it was meant to. The same holds true for us. Sometimes we have to change our environment and who we’re allowing into our space in order for us to reach our maximum potential. Protect your soil and grow into the person God has made you to be.
In Lakshmi Raman's article Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships and Rediscovering Yourself she states, "We can face a lot of resistance when we try to let go of people. A call, thought, or memory is enough to reel us back in.The ego loves instant gratification. The soul knows something better awaits us. We’ve got to do the work to move past resistance, and the only way is to move through it." Letting go has to be one of the most difficult things to do, but when the pain of holding on is far greater than the pain of letting go, it’s time to take the leap.
Take time to do a self assessment of your relationships. Are they healthy? Do they bring out the best in you? Do they inspire you to reach your full potential? Or do they drain you? Do they make you question your self-worth and make you feel insignificant? If it's the latter, then it may be time to do some Spring cleaning and let them go.