Escaping The Dark Arms of Toxicity

A picture of Melissa looking down, upset, with her hand on her forehead.

At the start of each new year, I set a theme or intention to guide my thoughts and actions for the next twelve months. It’s usually a longing that’s been gnawing at my heart or an idea that’s been drawing me in like cool water on a hot summers day. Every year, without fail, something bubbles up from within and I know I must listen and act. 

(Check out my past themes for 2017 and 2018!)

This year the word cleanse came to mind. I realized there was a lot of toxicity in my life – and I’m not talking about my diet here (I am adamantly against detox diets). From my inbox to my Instagram, from my home to my heart, there was clutter and negativity everywhere I turned. By the end of 2018, I was struggling to be optimistic and find peace. I was struggling to see the good in the world, let alone in myself. I was struggling to stay afloat. 

The other night I had a dream I think actually meant something. In my dream it was dark outside and I was alone, floating on my back in a pool. There was no light except for the glow of the moon reflecting off the water. Then, out of nowhere, something grabbed me from behind. It wasn’t a person; it was just blackness. Dark, cloud-like arms wrapped around my body and began to drag me down and away. I woke up from this dream crying out for help.

This is what I think toxicity is like. It’s not one single thing that drowns us. It’s a cloud of clutter and negativity in our lives that prevents us from seeing the surface, from finding the light.

A picture of Melissa looking down, upset, with her hand on her forehead. Text reads, "Escaping The Dark Arms of Toxicity."

Photo Credit: Debra Snell Photography

If you can relate, I want you to know there is hope and that hope lies in a choice (or series of choices) only you can choose to make – which is a good thing! Feeling powerless is often the result of expecting something or someone else to save you.

Powerlessness is not a lack of power; it’s giving your power away.

But, I encourage you to believe me and Glinda the Good Witch when we say, “You’ve always had the power.” You have the power to make changes in your life. You have the power to break free from whatever is holding you back. And you have the power to blossom into your best, truest self.  

As I mentioned, though, assuming your power always starts with choosing. So what choices can you and I make to escape the dark arms of toxicity? Well, here’s my shortlist…and it is indeed short:

Choose Yourself

Be unapologetic about your innate goodness and what you deserve. Take care of yourself and know you are worth it.

Choose Awareness

Begin to notice the positive and negative energy that people and things bring into your life. Know when you need more and when you’ve had enough.

Choose to Remove

Declutter, detach, and detox from anything and anyone that makes you feel less than, not enough or generally bad. Make space for goodness to flow freely to you and from you.

That’s it! Choose yourself, choose awareness, choose to remove – rinse and repeat. Remember, you have the power to choose each and every moment who and how you want to be in the world. Don’t give that power away to the lowest bidder. You’re worth so much more.

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