We are, on occasion, going to be the Toxic person in our relationships. This is probably one of the hardest things to admit to ourselves because let’s be real, it is easier if the hurt is the other person’s fault. But sometimes, it just isn’t. Sometimes it is us reenacting past behaviors, creating very real present pain. And in those moments, it’s easy to want to run from the truth.
Some of us are so good at running that we can really convince ourselves and others that it was the fault of the other person. Because hurt is strange that way, it demands an origin story. Admiting that we are a part of that story creates more hurt. An endless cycle of pain. It is excruciating facing our own wounds. Seeing that the very wounds we are trying so hard to heal have sunk their claws into us, carved themselves deeper. It is so, so hard to feel self love in those moments, to own the toxicity without being owned by the toxic. But, despite that difficulty, it is also one of the most necessary actions if there is ever to be any hope of healthy relationships down the line.
In moments when we find ourselves lashing out, acting out anger, manipulating loved ones, or doing whatever it is that we do that gives us shame, we have to remember that we still deserve love. The behavior is not the person. You are not those actions. Those actions are salted wounds. They’re raw and angry. They’re the proof that you’re alive and you care. Instead of shame, choose love. Love yourself for being passionate and vulnerable. Because it takes letting someone close to get to those places. And yeah, maybe those places are damaging, maybe the behaviors are unhealthy but they do not define you. You define you.
You decide you are worthy. You decide you deserve love. You decide you’re a glorious, fierce, compassionate, brilliant, whatever kind of human being. You. Your love for yourself is where it starts. Not just you but me too.
My love. My self. My toxicity. I own this, too. I am choosing today, a day when I typically feel dirty by default, to not let my wounds define me. I am choosing to define me. I am not dirty. Those hurts were not mine to carry. And if I lash out in pain, I apologize to anyone in the way. I apologize to myself. I forgive myself. Because it’s the only way to break the cycle. Denial and shame and self-hate, they won’t do it. They won’t stop you from hurting or me from hurting. And they won’t stop anyone from hurting us or being hurt by us. Only love, only honesty has that kind of power. Only facing our own wounds and regarding them with tenderness. Only being kind to ourselves when our inner critic is shouting relentlessly. That’s how we neutralize the noxious, how we take back toxic, how we own all our parts. How we heal.