We all have people in our lives who have profoundly harmed us. Sometimes the situation with the other person has changed. You may have forgiven them and they may even have taken ownership and expressed remorse for their harmful actions. Other times, the same harmful behavior goes on with no change or responsibility. To your reptilian brain however, it often doesn’t matter which of these scenarios is true. With trauma, the body’s memory of a harmful person can remain frozen at the time of the trauma. This is not a blog on trauma, however. Rather, it is about our expectation of what we are supposed to do with the people who make us feel toxic. Many people believe that in order to be “spiritual” they need to:
* Be able to open their heart to the people who have done them harm.
* No longer experience a negative reaction in their company.
I am often asked, “What is wrong with me that I can’t feel open, loving and calm in this person’s presence?” “Isn’t being spiritual about being able to love the person who hurt me?” “Isn’t forgiveness the essence of spirituality?” Firstly, the body’s reaction to someone who has harmed you is simply that: the body’s reaction, something that happens. You don’t choose it. It is not an indicator of your spiritual maturity, nor a gauge of your growth in life or in relationship to the trauma. In many cases, no amount of psychological or spiritual work will change your body’s chemical response to the person who inflicted harm; it is hard-wired into your biology, an aspect of survival. That said, the first thing to take off your plate is the idea that you “should” be able to feel good in their company. Any notion that a negative physical response makes you un-spiritual or un-evolved is, quite simply, hogwash. By Psychotherapist, interfaith minister, writer and public speaker Nancy Colier “Letting Go of Toxic People: When Staying in It Is Not More Spiritual” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-colier/toxic-relationships_b_2758794.html
Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore.
It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.