There have been so many times that I have felt stuck. In toxicity. In a negative environment. In a never-ending cycle of bad habits. And, my mistake wasn’t that I felt overwhelmed or discouraged or trapped. My mistake was that I thought I had to stay on this particular path, to see this through. I didn’t see how anything would change, so I thought I would just learn to adjust. I thought that I could find a way to grow even if it was a hostile environment.
But, let me give you a one-word revelation: no. You do not have to stay. You do not have to rationalize your reasoning for wanting to leave a toxic situation. You do not have to defend your desire to find relationships and environments that nurture and empower instead of ones that smother and negate. You do not have to invest all of your time and energy into showing up for people who don’t show up for you. You can only invest so much time in the wrong people and things before you find you are working from a deficit.
So, take an inventory. How is your heart these days? Where is your head at? Has something been weighing you down? Are you feeling discouraged by the story that you’ve found yourself in? If you are, there is good news. You do not have to stay in this narrative.
I know it can be hard to walk away. I know it can feel like you are letting people down, but the truth is, you’re letting yourself down if you keep allowing these outer forces to take away your inner peace. You’ve made a decision for your own wellbeing that you need to make some changes. This will make you look at your priorities. This will make you examine who you’ve been and who you’ve been surrounded by. Do you like what you see? If not, find comfort in knowing that a new start is sometimes necessary.
Don’t hold onto a past that has no business being a part of your future. It served its purpose, and now it is time to walk away and move on. This may mean that you’ve grown out of old relationships. It may mean that you’ve found the strength to push past the comfort zone of your former environment. It may mean that you have to let go of old habits or past pain. Accept that these things may no longer be meant for you.
There are so many ways to soothe a hurting soul: a book you can’t put down, a well-timed workout, a glass of wine after a long day, or even a perfectly empowering playlist. But, the best way to start mending a hurting soul is to let go of toxicity and find ways to move forward into healing. It’s not selfish, it’s vital. So, find the strength you need to let go of what hurts. Find the courage you need to start over. It’s the best self-care you’ll ever try.