If you’re avoiding something or someone, dreading something, fearing something or feel trapped in any kind of friendship or relationship or obligation… there’s something toxic holding you in this place. If you’re compelled to fix things that aren’t yours to fix, if you feel unworthy, unloved or spinning in circles, something toxic is happening that has you in a spiral.
If it’s something you’ve experienced in the past, you’re no stranger to the toxic cycle. In fact, it might be something you’ve felt for most of your life, and you might not know that there’s actually another way to be…
But… you can be free. Actually, truly, really, free.
We all experience life as a mirror.
In the last few years I’ve learned a lot from various therapists and developmental experts and healers about the mirrors we see around us from our earliest years. Turns out, the mirrors we see from the earliest days of life become something that’s deeply a part of us. Parents, family, friends, teachers, neighborhoods, homes… they are all our mirrors.
Here are some of the toxic patterns that become a habit or even an addiction… and there are so many more… but these big themes leap out… all habits borne of making things right that feel wrong…
If you were surrounded by anger, sadness or you might have made yourself small in your own innocence to feel better or because you felt guilty feeling good around so much that was wrong, even when you were a little kid.
You might have made yourself less great because it was not OK to feel great around anger, suffering and injustice.
You might have learned from people around you that the world was filled with nothing fair and that life isn’t fair.
You might have learned to go away and escape with fantasy or drinking and drugs and sex and love addiction or even destruction to get a high… to feel a release… to be well… or to rise above wherever you felt trapped.
You may have found yourself stuck in a pattern of trying to fix things by taking your attention off the things that feed you and bring you joy. You might believe you can’t have your mission and your passion and your stability and wellbeing… because there’s always comeone to help that comes before you do.
You might have learned that suffering and showing people how their behavior makes you suffer is something just and noble and that your pain will wear them down and bring them to a point of change.
All these toxic patterns, and many many more, are the big ones that can be core themes we recreate over and over again, even if we’re trying really hard not to recreate them.
To stop the cycle, you literally have to detox.
Like an addict detoxes from substances, like people detox from caffiene, sugar…
If you’re aware that you’re trapped in a cycle that isn’t serving you, from too much coffee to too much toxic love, too much anger to too much rollercoastering in a friendship, you need to literally detox.
As part of the Catalyst Camp Home & Life De-Clutter this year, I’m adding what’s been my own life changing, life-saving 30 Day Negativity Detox. I’ve done detoxes like this for way longer than 30 days with brilliant results, but 30 is usually enough for me to be so clear of whatever negative stuff has been in the way, to really dig in… and… the most important part… truly heal that negativity within myself.
Healing. Not blaming.
Healing. Not living in shame.
Healing. Not hiding, making excuses or running away.
When you’re learning a new way to live that’s empowering and healthy and exhilerating, a life you’ve possible never seen before, you might find that a lot of what you have to do isn’t actually making or creating or “doing” anything but, rather, letting go of all the stuff that doesn’t match the mirror of the life you want.
We have choices. You can live in darkness and do less and you can accumulate lots of stuff that keeps you small. Bad memories, feeling guilt and fear, obligation and over-responsibility. You can choose to stay checked-out, confused, spinning in circles or otherwise creating problems, blaming other people or wondering how to make everything maneagable that is out of your hands.
I have revelled in all of this toxic and addictive stuff thinking that I was born to fix everything- even other people- and it’s been so devestating.
The other choice: you can, right now, decide to stop.
Sober up from your own addictive cycles by stepping away from them. Take a few days away from work and see how you feel. Or a few days away from a relationship. Or a few days away from anything that’s got a toxic hold on you, even that energy drink or the candy bin.
You may find when you get sobered up that it’s time to make a much bigger change than you ever anticipated.
There are usually gaping holes in self-love that sit beneath this addictive stuff. It’s like feeling an emptiness inside where you want to feel acknowleged, seen, loved, valued, cared for, made safe, guided…
Only you can fill it- not your parents, friends, lover or even spirit- even though all of those positive things are vital and wonderful. You fill yourself up by creating a life that’s filled with self-acknowledgement, self-worth, self-confidence, self-care and co much compassion and love.
Stop searching for answers outside of yourself. Stop thinking that you are broken or that you need to become a new person.
Instead: start letting things go.
Let go of the things that don’t reflect you in your environment.
Let go of the things that suck your energy.
Let go of overwhelm. Let go of the piles of things that you don’t use. Let go of the obligations. Let go of the yes when you mean NO. Let go of anything that makes you feel bad about yourself.
I’ve had members of the Catalyst Camp let go of so much that they felt they were floating, so free and so open that they were shocked. Suddenly, without the noise, they saw so many opportunities. Without the haze, they tapped into passion projects. Without the worries and rollercoastering days, they built stable lives in new, solid ways.
The act of letting things go can be the most brave. It’s also the most rewarded in every way.
PS: Catalyst Camp is open for registration for just a few more days. We de-clutter, we detox, we support each other in breaking free of the unhealthy cycles and habits that manifest in junk, chaos, disorder and stuckness. As the junk goes, we all change. You can get started right HERE. (xoxo!)