A week or so ago I went to get my hair done. My stylists' salon is tucked into a building with many other independent studios that provide similar services for hair, as well as for nails, skin care, tattooing etc. I am sharing this with you because, while I was waiting in the bright yet empty lobby for my name to be called, I noticed something new. Against the wall, flanking both side of the directory stood two oversized cardboard boxes that appeared to be holders for some sort of collection. Needing to know what the collection was for, I asked around. It turned out that one of the stylists in the building has family living in Maui, and the collections were being done by him to send to Maui, not only for his family, but for his family to distribute to those in the community also affected by the wildfires. I quickly got onboard with this wonderful giving endeavor. I had been searching for a way to help the citizens of Maui, other than writing a check, and this was it.
Two days later I started cleaning out my closet. The more bags I filled with items that could help, the more I wanted to give. If I didn't love it, I donated it. Then I got to those items that I loved, but probably shouldn't wear for a myriad of reasons - too big, too small, bought it on a whim because it was super cute but hasn't fit right since day one, you know the drill. An hour later, on the floor in front of me, sat a big pile of items that were not right for me, but yet, I was questioning myself as to whether or not I should part with them. That got me to thinking . . .
If I am having such a hard time letting go of things that aren't right for me, and I am trying to donate them to a wonderful cause, what else am I keeping around me that isn't in my best interest? If I couldn't let go of toxic clothes, did I also have toxic people that I am hanging on tightly to?
To me, a toxic person is one that adds negativity, distress or turmoil to your life. You can easily spot a toxic person by the one red flag that usually pops up before any others: their words don’t match their actions — or reality.
For example, a toxic person could be:
The person who is always talking your ear off about the diet they are on, but consistently stopping at fast food places, and choosing stagnation over activity.
The person who claims to hate tardiness, yet shows up late for everything.
The person who says they care, but never calls, texts, emails or reaches out; or makes plans with you but always cancels last minute.
Often, people who are deemed "toxic" are dealing with their own stresses and traumas, and lack the ability to reconcile who they are within the parameters of reality. Therefore, they tend to manipulate reality to align with who they perceive themselves to be, which is usually someone who can do no wrong and is perfect. They will describe to you behaviors, beliefs and virtues that they don’t possess, as if they do possess them, so that you will see them in a better light.
Being on the receiving end of this pattern of behavior – hearing one thing and seeing another– it can be frustrating and confusing. To add to the confusion, there are some people who feel compelled to say what they think others want to hear, even if it’s not what they want, just to maintain peace, fit in or make themselves look better. We want to trust people, we want to think the best of others. Therefore, many times, we hear someone’s words and take them as the truth, even when the evidence clearly shows us differently. And to be completely fair, deep down the speaker may very well want what was said even though their behavior or actions contradict their words.
Trying to figure out what another's truth is will drain your energy and make your life spin out of control to the point where you focus more on the other person than you do on yourself and your own priorities.
Enter our friend the Mourning Dove. Doves are a symbol of peace, understanding, and communication. They are viewed as spiritual messengers of peace, love and faith. Their presence encourages us to keep a pure heart and soul so that our words and actions align with our beliefs
In an attempt to clarify which way is up, rather than arguing over the issue, channel the Mourning Dove and ask yourself:
What did this person say?
How did this person act/behave?
Do their actions align with their words?
When someone’s words and actions don’t match, trust their actions, because those are a reflection of their priorities, their deeper truth. Words have meaning but they can also be cheap. Someone who is good for you doesn’t have to work hard to convince you of it, and will not take you away from what you need to do for your own happiness.
The same thing goes for old clothes.
Eventually, even those items that we love have to be removed from our lives if they are not helping us feel better about ourselves. Easier said than done, I know. But the more time we spend trying to get what we think we love to fit us the way we need it to, the worse off we feel about ourselves.
We do not need to be around anything, or anyone, that prefers to bring us down rather than lift us up. We have standards and we each need to be surrounded by those that love and support us, in good times and in bad, in the way that is right for us.
We deserve the best that life has to offer, and to feel FABULOUS in the outfits we are wearing while we are soaring to our greatest heights.
Pigeons and doves belong to the same family of birds (Columbidae), which consists of over 300 species of birds.
One of North America's most common and widespread doves is the Mourning Dove which can be found from southern Canada all the way to central Mexico.
Mourning Doves are named for their distinctive, sorrowful cooing song that has been said to sound like the cry of a grieving person.
Mourning Doves are co-parenting birds and lay up to six broods each year because of their fledglings' high mortality rates.
Although my husband refers to them as Hawk food, I find them to be cute silly "foot-stompin" kind of birds.
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