Updated: Mar 22, 2019
Our greatest fear is a fear of dying alone. And for this reason, we often stay in #relationships that stifle our growth, are not supporting our healing, are providing a false sense of belonging, or relationships that make us change so we are likable. None of those situations will provide us with the right environment for healing, growth and expansion.
If you are committed to or staring to commit to your healing, you will come across this problem sooner or later. This is not one of those hot detox topics like diet, juicing and colonics, but it is one of those subjects that will give you more progress in your healing than any detox tea, superfruit or rebounder session ever will.
You might not be ready for this “clean-up” right away. It takes honesty, courage and bravery to take a closer look at your friends and family. It takes even more honesty, courage and bravery to evaluate your reasons and intentions for keeping a relationship with some of people in your life. No one wants to get rid of people that once supported us or helped us move on from a certain point in the past, unless we get to actually see how some of those relationships keep us locked in once place (mentally, spiritually, health wise, financially, the list can go on…).
When you are ready to evaluate and adjust your relationships, use this article as a guide for your discernment regarding people in your life (old friends, new acquaintances, lovers and even family members).
HOW TO DO IT:
For round one, ask yourself the following questions. Try to be as honest as possible. In an answer that hurts your ego comes up, write it down anyways. Remember that healing will begin the moment you are willing to be honest with yourself. There are no wrong or right answers. Allow yourself to be brutally honest with yourself. For some of you, this process alone with be transformative, you might realize something for the first time in your life. You are allowed to cry and scream, laugh and even facepalm yourself.
Acknowledge and validate your emotions. For the purpose of this exercise, we will take everything that comes up in the mind as valid. There is a reason why you feel what you feel. Listen closely. Both negative and positive reactions are key pieces of information based on which you will decide if you should change this relationship or not. Once you process your emotions that will come up during this round, move on to the next question.
Pick a relationship from your life you wish to examine closer. Start with friend, coworker, casual acquaintance, family member, teacher or even your client. When you feel ready, you can move on to romantic lovers and spouses, if needed. Keep in mind that the goal of this exercise is not a divorce or breakup. The goal of this exercise is awareness and educated action.
Round 1 Questions:
1. Is this person currently contributing to my growth? In what way?
2. Does this person understand and accept my commitment to healing? In what way?
3. Do I feel nourished, inspired and expansive after talking to this person? In what way?
3. Do I feel that I can be myself around this person? Have I ever adjusted my behavior around this person? How did that make me feel?
4. Do I feel like I have to watch myself when I am interacting with this person? Can I be authentic and honest with this person?
5. Is this person inviting me to participate in activities that I no longer want to do (like drinking, smoking, eating out, gossiping, etc.)?
6. Do I have to explain myself when i say NO to this person?
7. How does my body feel when I think about this person?
8. What would I miss the most if I no longer was interacting with this person?
9. What do I want from the relationship with this person? What is my intention for this relationship?
10. How would that person feel if they found out what my intentions really are?
11. If that person had the same intention with me as I have with him or her, would I want to be around them?
For round 2, reverse the questions to aim them at you. Pretend that you know the other person well enough that you can answer for them:
1. Am I currently contributing to this person’s growth? In what way?
2. Is this person committed to healing? Do I understand and accept this person’s commitment to healing? In what way?
3. Does this person feel nourished, inspired and expansive after talking me? In what way?
3. Do I feel that this person can be his/herself around me? Has this person ever adjusted his/her behavior around me? How did that make him/her feel?
4. Do I feel like this person has to watch his/herself when I am interacting with this person? Can she/he be authentic and honest with me?
5. Am I inviting this person to participate in activities that she/he no longer want to do (like drinking, smoking, eating out, gossiping, etc.)?
6. Does this person have to explain his/herself when they say NO to me?
7. How does this person’s body feel when they think about me?
8. What would this person miss the most if I no longer was interacting with him/her?
9. What does this person want from the relationship with me? What is his/her intention for this relationship?
10. How would I feel if I found out what their intentions really are?
11. If I had the same intention with this person as this person has with me, would she/he want to be around me?
What patterns do you notice about your answers? Does it feel like adjusting the relationship with this person would be beneficial to you and him/her?
Could you talk to this person about your relationship? Do you feel that your concerns will be met with understanding? Can you two agree on a mutually beneficial solution? If the answer is YES, then please do talk to this person about your needs, intentions and concerns. If no…Is it possible that ending the relationship would be better for you and them? Could ending a friendship with a gossipy friend who once helped you move, but now constantly invites you out for drinks (and who makes you feel guilty when you say no) be better for you?
Prioritize your own healing and growth, and remember that the temporary discomfort of transition between friendships is nothing compared to the freedom from the shackles of toxic relationship.