When To Detox From People
Detoxification [dee-tok-suh-fi-key-shuh n]
Biochemistry. The metabolic process by which toxins are changed into
less toxic or more readily excretable substances.
Ya'll know I'm not about to tell you how to detox your diet. This is not the place for that...in fact, talk to me if you want to learn how to STOP detoxing and dieting.
All that aside, the concept of DETOXING is stunning. Detoxification is a chemical process in which organisms shift from toxic to less toxic to ....wait for it... a form truer to what the organism is meant to be [yes- sometimes they are meant to be "readily excretable substances"].
I can get down with detoxification that leads me closer to the whole and healthy human I am meant to be.
But what does detoxing from people look like?
There are a few things it isn't. Detoxifying from people is not running away from a hard conversation or a person who can help you grow, because you just don't want to deal. Before choosing to "detox" from a person, you must ask yourself,
Do I want to detox in order to avoid this person and the not-so-nice parts of MYSELF that he/ she is revealing?
Is this a person I need to lovingly confront in order to see if our relationship can go to a deeper place?
Do I need to face the music here?
If any part of you says yes to those questions, you actually need to move toward the person.* This person may hold a key to learning about yourself and to deeper connections. This means I cannot detox from my husband when he points out my defensive reactions to a comment about the dinner I made. History has proven (time and time again) that he actually holds some important information on how I can be better, and if I move toward him, we get closer, and I learn something about myself.
Detoxing is NOT the same as avoiding. Whatever you avoid will just be stored somewhere and come back later in a different form.
So what is detoxing?
Detoxifying is a process of weeding through and determining what has got to go. It's a sorting or a sifting. It's an intentional choosing of a different way.
Detoxing comes out of an intentional realization that this person is not the best, most life-giving, healthy option of a relationship for this moment of life. It's the intentional parting from people who, even after you've lovingly approached them, may exude judgment, pettiness, or limiting, closed off behaviors and thoughts.
Here's the thing- this "parting" is not meant to come out of judgment about them. It's actually an acceptance that this person is where they are and you are where you are. You are NOT here to change them. It's a non-jugemental, acceptance of the other that honors both as humans in process.
One person or state is not BETTER than the other. They just are.
So, you let them BE and trust the universe will support both of you.
And then you make some intentional changes.
You stay home on a Friday night instead of going out with that friend who drinks way too much and can't hold a conversation with you.
You unfollow the friend who lives a totally different life than the one she portrays on social media.
You stop looking for support and advice from the person who is unable to give it.
You break up your long term relationship.
You decide it's best to make fewer trips home to visit family.
You spend more time in silence with yourself.
When you make changes, you do not know what or who you're going to be left with, which can be scary. Perhaps you're left with questions...
What if I sort through all the people in my life and realize
I'm only left with Auntie Susie and her cats?
Won't I be lonely?
What if the people in my life get angry that I'm claiming space or
redefining my relationship with them?
What if they understand this parting as abandonment?
Who will take care of them?
If I leave, does this mean I'm a bad friend? Doesn't a "good" person
stick with others no matter the cost to him/herself personally?
Valid questions that deserve asking.
There's growth and potential personal awareness in the UNKNOWN.
Sometimes shrinking your trusted circle of support is a route to health.
Sometimes detoxing from people means you find yourself showing up more wholly and authentically in your life.
Oh- and then you draw THOSE kinds of whole and authentic people carrying THAT kind of whole and authentic energy to you in return, which just might be the coolest phenomenon I've ever experienced...
*Note: This "moving toward" does not apply to abusive relationships in which the absolute BEST option is for the victim to leave the relationship.*