… being able to “open your heart” to someone who has caused you tremendous pain is… not a test of your spirituality. Many people deliberately put themselves in company with family and “friends” who are profoundly painful for them to be with, in an effort to develop forgiveness or compassion, and because they feel they “should.” And yet, if your heart is not open, and the desire to be with this other is not emanating from a place of true compassion, it does you no spiritual good to do what you “should.” Pushing harder does not create more compassion. Like getting through a grueling spin class, there is a sense of accomplishment, of being able to stay in the room without collapsing or fleeing, but this is not the same thing as spiritual growth. The choice to exclude a person or experience from your life can be the more compassionate choice — for yourself. And indeed, when your heart opens to your own suffering, and your own well-being, that compassion for yourself can open wide enough to include even the one who caused you suffering. But this is something that your heart will tell you — not something that your mind can decide or force. Spirituality is not a test. Being spiritual is about being with what is. If you feel toxic when in the company of someone who has hurt you, then you earn no spiritual points by forcing yourself to be there, and enduring that toxicity. We behave with spirit when we accept our experience the way it is. Deciding to not be with someone who makes you feel terrible, even if that person is your family or “friend,” is an act of courage — honoring yourself and the truth. 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
Just remember, there’s a right way
and a wrong way to do everything
and the wrong way is to keep trying
to make everybody else do it the right way.
Spoken by Colonel Potter
on TV show M.A.S.H.