Are you feeling stuck, unsure whether to stay in a less than satisfying situation, or whether to leave and find another way?
You are not alone.
Many times in my life, I have stayed in an unhealthy situation far too long.
I have blamed myself, and tried harder.
Or made excuses for the inappropriate behavior of others. Something Buddhist Master Trungpa Rinpoche referred to as “Idiot Compassion“. Otherwise known as enabling.
I have allowed fear of an unknown future to keep me frozen in an unacceptable present.
I have worried, ‘Out of the frying pan and into the fire’.
I have bucked up and taken the High Road.
And then I began to embrace Self Compassion and my own Worthiness.
I learned that while true self esteem is generated from deep within ourselves, our self esteem is also affected by how we are treated by those around us.
And even when we know we have done nothing to deserve bad treatment, even when we believe we are “Rising Above”, consistent exposure to toxicity is damaging to our sense of who we are. And undoing that damage is challenging and time-consuming.
As I deepen my meditation practice and connect with the intuitive wisdom of my body, I’ve discovered another way to consider the question, ‘Do I stay, or do I leave?’
First, I ground and center myself. I spend some time in meditation. Then, I consider my present situation. I attend to what I am experiencing in my body. I notice I feel anxious. My heart races, my chest tightens, my breath becomes short.
I am aware I now avoid the situation. The energy field of my body shrinks and becomes dark when I enter into the situation.
I have tried constructive communication, and come away unsatisfied. There has been gossip, stirring of the pot, scapegoating. Violation of boundaries in communication. Behaviors I do not want in my life. Even though there are good things about the situation, the negative overshadows.
I have found an alternative situation. I’ve spent time evaluating the new situation–asking questions, listening, checking in with the wisdom of my body.
I have weighed the objective criteria for each path, to avoid making a reactive decision.
Then, I visualize the new situation–and I feel my body opening, softening, expanding. I experience a Lightness of Being.
And therein lies the essence of my decision. I am moving towards the Light.
I engage this process more than once, on different days. I seek Clarity, Spaciousness.
As move forward in my life, I know that embracing self compassion and my own worthiness go hand in hand with being treated with respect.
And when I am not treated respectfully, when there is a pattern of disrespect–when I observe the pattern of disrespectful behavior is also directed at other people–when my efforts to establish respectful communication are not met by the other, it is time to leave.
With class and dignity, I walk the Goddess Walk.
Life is too short and too precious to waste on toxic situations. No situation is perfect. Life is never perfect. But when the balance consistently shifts towards the negative, I choose to walk into the Light.
Perhaps you are at a crossroads in your life.
It is my genuine hope that you might find my personal process helpful, as you find your way.
You might also like:
The New York Times Health Blog, Self Compassion.
Why We Gossip–And How to Stop
Ask, and You Shall Receive
Kindness Towards Ourselves, the Heart of Healing
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