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Break Free From Toxic Environments

Break Free From Toxic Environments

Toxic Environments

Our daily lives consist of numerous interconnected spaces, each one having its own importance. There is home, school, work and the places we choose to worship. Within these environments are family, friends, acquaintances and those who are in a position of leadership.  These interconnected spaces help to form the community we are apart of. Therefore, toxicity in one or more of these spaces will ultimately spread to other parts of our lives as well.

A slow poisoning effect
Have you ever felt like a particular person or place seems to drain all of your positive energy? That you can no longer keep your inner peace and calm? You even start to become something that you’re not. Well, one time or another most of us have experienced this. It’s what’s called a slow poisoning effect. The toxicity does not hit us right across the face but keeps eating into our positive energy and replaces it with negative, destructive energy. It can be a person, a place, a job, or anything, for that matter. The first challenge is to become aware of this negative energy in our lives.

Know your environment
We must learn to understand how the people around us affect our lives. All of the areas of life we spoke about will have an effect on us as a whole. When we realize we are in a negative environment, it is important to do what we can to bring positivity to the situation. However, toxic people create toxic environments because that is what they take comfort in.  Awareness is key! When your positive approach is taken as a threat to the status quo it’s time to consider that you may be in a toxic environment where maintaining control is more important than the growth of the individual.

Break free from toxic environments
The next challenge we face while trying to break free from negative, destructive environments in our life is ourselves. It is human nature to fear the unknown. And whenever the thought of changing our lives so drastically crosses our mind, we step back in fear. A toxic environment can only harm us if we let it. Once we acknowledge the environments and people that are imbuing toxicity in our life, it’s time to find the courage to BREAK FREE. No matter how attached we may feel, no matter how difficult it might seem, you can begin a new journey by putting trust in your Heavenly Father; He will set your path straight.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

Embrace positivity
Take control of your life! We have the choice to live a life of genuine peace, love and truth. Once we decide to exercise our faith and let go of all that has been creating negativity in our lives, we can truly embrace positivity and the promises of our Father.

“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Psalm 119:104-105

Break Free Blog Series - The Familiar Shackles

Break Free Blog Series - The Familiar Shackles

The Familiar Shackles

Often the ties that bind us are the ones that we weave ourselves with cords of care and affection. In life we come across many toxic relationships, and each one of them has one thing in common; the toxic person. It seems like an uphill task for us to free ourselves from these toxic relationships. The reason is that we care for the person and do not want to let go! But, the more difficult thing to do is to identify the toxic person around us.

Who is a toxic person?
A toxic person can be anyone in our life, but more often than not, it is someone near and dear to us. It is easy to identify someone who is outright abusive, jealous or just negative altogether. We generally are good at staying away from those people. However, it's those who behave as if they care deeply for us but hold us back in one way or another from attaining our true potential, that we need to be careful of. They are the ones who are hard to identify.

Knowing the toxic people in your life
The world isn’t a perfect place and there is no perfect way to determine who you need to stay away from.  James 3: 16-17 says:

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

While the teachings in the scriptures certainly help us stay on the right path and deal with various evils, we will also have to look out for some other signs that show us if a person is truly toxic or not. Here are 7 traits that are common in toxic people:

  1. They are extremely controlling. Psychological manipulators will try to gain control of your life and most times will do it in the name of “helping you out”. There’s just one bottom line. Your life is yours to live and no one else should control it.
  2. Their behaviour is self-serving, manipulative and dishonest but their words are pleasant and kind.  Remember, actions speak louder than words!
  3. They have a lack of empathy. Psychological manipulators make you question everything about your thoughts and feelings.
  4. They use guilt and passive aggressive comments to manipulate you to bend the rules for them.
  5. They may try to punish anyone who dares to express an unfavourable opinion about them.
  6. They use outbursts of anger. Psychological manipulators must get their way and they will resort to aggressive tendencies, hurtful language and even violent outbursts if needed.
  7. They always play the victim card. They can never be wrong, even when they are. They will not be honest, and this will be a repeated phenomenon.

Break the shackles
There is just one thing that can be done. Break the shackles. No matter how close the person might be, if their presence is toxic, then you need to break away and set yourself free. You deserve it!