I needed a reminder this week, and it came in the form of an acquaintance from my childhood when I least expected it. This woman was just a girl when I met her a few times in my late teens. I remembered her being a cute little skinny blond with not much to say. She blew me away a few weeks ago with a very courageous Facebook post, and I sent her a note to tell her she was my hero. Let’s call her Avril.
Being from a small town, she and I have more than a few mutual friends. One person we know in particular is a very dark force. Her heart lacks light, and she spends much of her time destroying friendships and families. This week, the person carrying this darkness spent a significant amount of time and energy knocking me off balance. Being the empathetic and emotional sponge that I am, I took it, and ate it, and it festered inside me. I didn’t spend time fasting and meditating like I usually do because of work stress and extra family responsibilities during the week, and it just sunk me. Instead of being the ship, firmly anchored in the storm, I capsized.
Avril recognized this mutual friend’s dark actions, and unlike other people (including myself), she gave those behaviors names, said them out loud, and severed the relationship with the darkness. She later referred to this as “weeding her garden.”
That’s something I wasn’t able to do. I wasn’t able to recognize what was happening fast enough, and it was literally eating me alive.
I told her she was my hero, and this woman, who used to be such a cute little, quiet girl, came at me with some powerful words, which I’ll share now.
“And I have no advice to make you much more resilient. It’s your nature. It makes you, well, you. Some advice: don’t do what I did – stuck around real assholes for way too long until you start seeing yourself through their evil eyes, and eventually you become hard to survive. Now I avoid toxicity whenever possible. I call it weeding my garden of life. Every so often you just avoid certain people or family. If they are weeds you pull them so the flowers can grow!! And you are definitely a flower! And so don’t let weeds soak up your water or sunshine – pull them even if it’s just for a while. Weeds have a way of coming back as you know. But by then you will be bigger and stronger and you will overshadow them, and without sunshine they can’t grow and you won’t have to pull. Eventually they will just stop coming around or at least they won’t have the nutrients or strength to grow.
…so take comfort in that you will never be rid of them forever! They always come back. In the meantime you surround yourself with happy, good people, red wine, bubble baths, and in time you’ll be resilient – I believe at least stronger and over dealing with the shenanigans.”
If you ask with good intentions, you really do receive exactly what you need when you need it.
Thank you to my hero, Avril. I love you, girl!