I'm a 36 year old IT Manager at a University in Providence, RI who is currently discerning a priestly vocation.

Toxicity

Toxicity

Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.
— John Mark Green

Brothers & Sisters,

Sometimes it takes a look at the past to learn and understand the effect that toxic people in your life had on you or continue to have. While life is filled with lessons, trials, and tribulations, it is up to us to try and understand as much as we can. Walking away from toxicity in our lives can be difficult even in the best of circumstances. We often find that the toxicity has managed to wrap itself around us with such a firm grasp that unwinding it becomes a chore. This chore can be such a burden that we often feel like we’ve lived this long with it we can keep on going. I promise you that this isn’t the case and you’d be better off living without it no more how hard it is to shake the bonds free.

The first step is realizing that there is a certain level of toxicity in your life that you can control. Do you have that someone that always seems to complain about something and seems to be passing their issues onto you? If you can support this person through showing them that action is needed to move away from their problems and without bearing or passing the burden on to you then you’re in good shape. The problem often is that people want someone to suffer alongside them and that’s a tough ask. I’d first start to take steps with this person that establishes your level of involvement as an interested party, one that wants to help move them to a better place but one that isn’t willing to sit and wallow with them. It doesn’t help you, and it doesn’t help them just to sit and feel bad for yourselves.

This first step should start to bring you some closure and begin to kill the poisonous mentality that has been slowing seeping into your system. There are times where you might feel like someone just isn’t worth your time and I’m uncertain if this is ever actually the truth. I think you have to be willing to understand their situation as well as your capacity to assist them if they ever started to lean on you for help. Walking away doesn’t do anyone any good and often times you’ll just end up with regret, feeling like you could have done more for them. I just want you to reframe your involvement with this person and not distance yourself but set yourself up with an appropriate distance and structure in the relationship so you can be the strong, joyous one and not a sponge who just soaks up the negativity.

At the end of the day, you can’t expect to be there for someone or be able to show someone that there is a light in the darkness if you fall down the well of negativity that they find themselves at the bottom of. Of course, meet them where they are but with a plan to lift them up and help them move forward and reframe their lives if they desire that.

We can all help each other in a much more appropriate way and show each other the joy that is on the other side of the negativity.

Yours,
Jeff

Perhaps

Perhaps

Tomorrow

Tomorrow