Break the Ties that Bind You

Oh my gosh. How often have you felt tied to something you didn’t feel like you could break free from because of various circumstances? If you are like most people, eventually, you find the strength when you have had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when your heart rips into fragments, it’s not always easy to walk away from toxic situations or those who may not be harmful but underachievers. Kenny Rogers did a song years ago called “The Gambler.” The lyrics went along something like this. ” “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table; there’ll be time enough for counting when the dealings done.” Every time I hear that song, I think of how ironic it is because we sometimes need folks for different periods in our lives, and we don’t always know when to walk away and when to run.

There are so many circumstances in our lives that other people don’t understand. But the truth is that many of our decisions have people or things that we love to influence us. Sometimes breaking those ties feels like an impossibility. But we have to remember our mental health. If we don’t do things for ourselves that give us a healthier life and mentality, we struggle with life more than we ought to. So much of what we do is mental, and it needs to be a positive mental break where we recognize our worth and that we can stand on our feet.

Eliminate toxic people from your life.

  1. Let them know how you feel. While you do not owe them an explanation, this is probably more for you. I couldn’t help but think about how many relationships I’ve had that I either became ghosted or they ended badly. Some of those toxic relationships had severed, and we didn’t talk in person. We should have talked face-to-face to at least acknowledge that closure, but we didn’t. In retrospect, learning to tell somebody in person and take a deep breath made a lot more sense and gave a person a better opportunity to have the closure they needed. In hindsight, I recognize that this action would have given me understanding of why things were ending.
  2. Put some distance between you and them. One of the most challenging things that we all face is trying to get back on our feet when the people who have been holding us back are so near to us. It’s challenging to make clear-minded decisions when your head is cluttered. Emotions are messy because the way we feel makes us make decisions that aren’t always the wisest option. If you find yourself in a very toxic situation, you need to step back. Making decisions with a cluttered mind is never a good thing. Use some objectivity when trying to decide what steps to take next.
  3. Set hard boundaries. This item is where tough love comes into play. If you don’t put the limits, the other person will walk all over you. They will use your emotions to their advantage. It’s not always easy to make those boundaries, but sometimes making them and sticking to them is the key to a healthier life and mentality.
  4. Don’t be pulled into a crisis.—Drama, drama, drama. So many people get pulled into unnecessary drama because others don’t want to go it alone. Poor planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on yours. Do not let yourself get suckered into more drama. Chances are you have enough drama without adding to it going on in your life. Walking away from the dramatics can also be a very positive mode.
  5. Spend more time with positive people.  I have learned that the more I surround myself with positive people, the better my life has gotten. When I don’t allow myself to associate with people who are so negative, I’m finding that I have a healthier mentality because I have a better outlook on life. Sometimes just experiencing a positive demeanor can make all the difference in your life. If I’m around somebody negative, I become more depressed and more like Eeyore. I don’t need somebody to make me feel worse about situations that I’m dealing with or how I’m handling them. This item is where confidence comes back into play because as you start to get away from all the drama and negativity, your confidence starts to get better. In turn, when you have more self-confidence, your positive outlook increases. Positivity causes you to have a better perspective on life and a healthier disposition. Your body is even more beneficial because your mind doesn’t focus on all negative things that could go wrong; it appreciates what you have in what you offer.
  6. Talk to someone.  I agree that you need to talk to someone, especially when you’re feeling overloaded or around somebody who has toxic tendencies but looks for people who are in a good place and can help you mentally. If you’re talking to somebody who may know what they’re talking about but be going through one of the roughest patches in their life, they may try to give you good advice, but sometimes that advice can be catastrophic. They may not mean to provide you with ill-advised information, but sometimes, when people are dealing with their situation, it’s hard for them to think clearly. I am a huge advocate for talking to a counselor or somebody trying to help you through some of life’s most complicated journeys. And before everybody jumps on the bandwagon and says, “I can’t afford it,” there are groups out there who will work with you either on a sliding scale basis or even pro bono, depending on the place. If you want to find a healthier way of living, you can. You have to open yourself up to the possibilities.
  7. Forgive but don’t forget. When you forgive somebody, you don’t carry that grudge in your heart, and you have a lighter load internally. But that doesn’t mean you need to forget the treatment of yourself. There’s a difference between letting bygones be bygones and being cautious. Sure, you can forgive somebody and still not forget about what they’ve done, but you can use it as a learning tool. You don’t have to hold an incident ever somebody’s head, but at the same token, you don’t have to accept that that person will never do it again because of the way they act. Respect is not easy to get back once it’s lost, and neither is trust. I wouldn’t hold something over somebody’s head, but at the same token, I’m not going to jump up-and-down and tell them that I forgive them and they can do that to me any time they want – no. Learn from the different scenarios that you encounter. It will make you stronger in the long run.

Our lives are complex enough without adding to toxicity. And in today’s world, we’re having to deal with covid and all kinds of other diseases that are knocking on our doorstep. But to live in a healthy mindset physically, we have to take precautions for ourselves. There are so many people in this world right now who are negative all the time. They may be good people, but they’re toxic. And if you find yourself being one of those people, I hope you can find ways to look at the world with a better lens. You don’t have to be cheerful all the time, and you don’t have to be positive every day, but you know that changing your outlook on the way the world is is the first step to finding inner peace. As you head into this weekend, I hope you have a few moments for yourself. Take the time to catch your breath. Decide if you’ve got some of those relationships interfering with you moving forward. Ever since I took the time to step away from the people bringing me down, I found I could think clearly, and my emotions were not all over the place. I don’t need to post everything on Facebook or Twitter to get my support. Sure I write these blogs, but it’s my one therapy time for me. And as you’re on this journey with me, I hope that, in some ways, it helps you as well. Each one of you matters. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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