Are Your Relationships Organic…or Toxic?
Organic goes beyond our food
Organic may be the hot topic of our era, but, I believe the most powerful focus goes beyond the kitchen. We want to know not only what we eat and how we live, but we look for how it connects the Earth to ourselves. We seek positive connections where we restore and renew our Earth with sustainable living and communing with nature, making our own food, and creating environmentally conscious communities.
Where I see the word organic taking on a whole new level of importance is when we look at relationships. Our powerful connections with others can spread love and happiness…or toxicity and poison in your life. What if we looked at the process of organic living simply in the form of our families and relationships to others?
I pulled one of the three Webster definitions for “organic”:
In organic farming, there is a natural Darwinian evolution that takes place – you work with the soil. You seek natural solutions and resources, and when all else fails, you allow the plant or animal to pass on and go back to the Earth it came from. You do not artificially force growth and success. Not every animal and plant survives, and the ones that do, thrive not only from the natural sunlight, nutrients and water, but also from the fertilizer of the decomposed plants and animals that go back to the Earth – so even those that are not thriving are powerful tools to bring sustainability and nutrients to the ones that do.
How do you have an organic relationship?
Let’s take this back to relationships now. Think about a relationship with a child. As a parent who loves the art of Simplicity Parenting, I cannot set an agenda for what my five-year-old will become. I simply love her and provide a safe and nurturing environment for her to thrive. I watch her grow every day and adapt what I provide her based on what she needs at the moment, whether it’s discipline, a loving touch, a listening ear, creative inspiration, etc. I allow her to grow organically.
In my marriage, I do not artificially force the status quo. We don’t “keep up with the Joneses”. We don’t watch TV shows every night and only have sex once a month just because it’s the norm. We check in with each other every night. We talk and learn more about each other every day even though we’ve been together for over fifteen years. We cannot predict the future of our relationship; we live in the now and relish the present moment. We seek to make the moment of now a positive one to foster growth and a thriving relationship with each other.
Sometimes relationships are forced
There are people in each of our lives, however, that don’t build us up. They are toxic for one reason or another. They have hidden agendas, are passive aggressive (or just downright aggressive), they tear down to build up, they zap your energy and riddle you with obligation.
And I say let them go.
There is so much more than what we know in this little blip of a lifetime we are in. Regardless of your religion, the bottom line is that none of us are certain of what infinity holds. We don’t know what happens beyond death, and we sometimes cling to toxicity in this life and in our relationships thinking this will be our gateway to finally have it easy “on the other side.” But what are we doing? Holding on to our comfortable misery for what purpose?
That’s a biggie – comfortable misery. That toxic work environment. Those relationships that bring no joy or peace in your life. But it’s what you know. It’s comfortable. They need you. Maybe…you need them. Are you forcing the relationship to continue because you feel like it’s necessary – for you? For them?
Toxicity is HEAVY
In the podcast this week, Nathan and I dove into these relationships and how deeply they affect everything around you. Nathan made a powerful statement about how it’s not just the interaction with that person, but the effect that has on your relationship with everyone else.
There are people we all know that we hold on to, and my challenge to you is to look at what it is doing for your own organic growth.
Do they lift you up?
Do they motivate and inspire you?
Are they creating a positive energy for mutual growth, or do they bring you down?
Are they simply blood-related so you force a relationship because they have a specific title, like mother or brother?
Take a healthy assessment of the relationships you invest in
It’s hard to pin this down to a simple blog post, but let me just say that relationships are the essence of our human lives, and they don’t live by titles. Boss, friend, relative or neighbor means nothing. What matters is that powerful connection you create.
Look at the relationship free from all titles, agendas, expectations and obligations. Look at what you provide for each other. If there is good you have to offer one another, let it thrive. Don’t force it. Don’t push an agenda. Allow the seeds to grow and provide the environment to foster a beautiful human being, made better because of your positive relationship.
It’s not all or nothing; but where you spend your focus
But if it is pulling you down, creating shadows over your light, robbing you of nutrients in the soil, or taking you out of your own present moment, step back a bit. Let it go. That doesn’t mean you shun and cut off all ties with people who are a negative drain or energy zapper. It simply means you create clear boundaries – you separate yourself and spend your focused time in the light, growing and thriving so that you can spread the love while not being in the shadows.
Don’t run from negative relationships. I’m not telling you that every bad seed dies off or every negative connection is one to avoid. Author Jim Rohn says “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I’m simply saying to use your time wisely.
Be aware of where your energy lies
To grow organically you need to protect yourself from that which zaps your own growth. So don’t allow toxic relationships to creep in. Don’t stew on an agenda for what this relationship should look like. Love. Live. Let go.
Want to ensure YOU are not the toxic person? If you’d like to learn more about your beautiful strengths and potential weaknesses and triggers for toxicity, read more about the Namaste Personality Snapshots here. When you understand your own strengths and reactions, it’s the first step in seeing others with grace and discernment.