We were all born innocent, sweet, adorable little munchkins – every single one of us.
Then life began bombarding us with experiences, some of which, depending on their severity, left a lasting imprint on our psyches.
The bad experiences, transmuted into mental and physical toxins, began to accumulate in us, poisoning our bodies and our minds.
When these toxins were not properly released, and there were not enough positive experiences to counteract them, the accumulated poison began to spill out of us in the form of dysfunctional behaviour, gradually eroding our natural empathetic, loving and trusting nature.
For some, this began a continuous cycle of negative experiences, which caused a dysfunctional reaction, which, in turn, attracted more negative experiences in the form of punishment or retaliation.
Most of us walk around with a lot of suppressed anger and rage, without even being aware of it.
We only get glimpses of it when it spills out of us in a violent, passive aggressive or victimized ways, taking us completely by surprise and not leaving much room for conscious control.
We begin to exert some conscious control over our behaviour when our levels of toxicity are not too high, but for many people that is not the case and their dysfunctional behaviour is well beyond their ability to control.
Most of us have difficult people in our lives: an abusive partner, an asshole boss, a colleague who is a total bitch, etc. The way we respond to these people and their dysfunction depends largely on the levels of our own toxicity.
No person is hundred percent good or bad. We all have the capacity for both unconditional love and unthinkable atrocities. Where we end up operating between these two extremes depends on our level of toxicity.
We attract people and experiences that are congruent with our own level of toxicity.
They say that misery likes company and violence begets violence, and that is totally true.
But so is the opposite true – kindness begets kindness and love begets love.
Just don’t expect a tit for tat reciprocity, particularly from people whose level of toxicity is beyond their ability to manage. Your kindness and love reduce your own toxicity, resulting in more positive experiences and bringing out the better side of the people in your life.
Kindness and love don’t come easy to most of us. Even when we see ourselves as kind and loving people, the toxins in us tell a different story. This is not something we can change through willpower or morality or any other mind-based device.
The only real way around this is to detoxify the mind and body. Once the toxins are gone, all that is left is love, compassion, tolerance and trust.
The tools for detoxification include meditation, yoga, physical exercise, spending time in nature, and, importantly, cutting off the main sources of negativity such as TV and newspapers.
The process of detoxification is not an easy one and may take a long time, so prepare for the long haul. In addition, life will continue throwing us curved balls, adding to our anxiety, frustration and fear. We need to be prepared for that and take it in our stride.
When something negative happens, it is important not to supress or sweep it under the carpet. We must do what we can to acknowledge the experience, process it through our psyche and release it once it’s served its purpose.
Sometimes we can do it by ourselves, sometimes friends and loved ones can help, and sometimes we might need professional help from psychologists or other therapists. The point is that we must do what we can to avoid topping up our own reserves of toxins, as well as those of other people.
So the next time you feel your negative reactions are about to be triggered – walk away. Refuse to engage with whatever it is and even send it love, if you can. Remember that it really has nothing to do with you – just someone else’s toxins spilling out.
It doesn’t matter if it is an individual or a group of people, a nation, a political party or a religion. It is all just accumulated collective toxins spilling out and your job is not to oppose it or try changing the world – your job is to change yourself.
Your job is to detoxify yourself. Only then can you turn your attention to helping others. And the only way to do it is to help them detoxify, too.
Don’t start helping others before you yourself are pure, otherwise anything you touch will have the imprint of your toxins and will only swap one set of problems for another, no matter how good your intentions are.
To conclude, here’s a quote from one of the most exceptional spiritual teachers of our era, Ram Dass:
“The only thing you have to offer to others and to the world is your own state of being.”