OR HOW TO TURN NEGATIVE PEOPLE INTO YOUR POINT OF EXPANSION AND GROWTH
Do you think it is asking too much? Staying open and loving, even when you are dealing with a negative person, or some really toxic patterns, emotions and aspects of a relationship?
We all know these experiences: Being pulled “down” by someone negative. Starting to feel bad as soon as we encounter that person. Reacting to them in a way that we don’t like in ourselves. Leaving them and feeling drained and exhausted, or unable to stop thinking about them.
Avoiding Toxic People – Our Most Frequent Strategy
The easiest way to contextualize this experience is to label that person as toxic, negative, and not a good person to be with. In fact, the most frequent strategy we use when facing negativity in other people is to avoid them, or to build up some kind of barrier, find a way in which they don’t affect us, don’t reach us, don’t “pull us down”. We’ve all done it.
But then we can be loosing a lot of energy to this person, because we are trying to protect ourselves, to distance ourselves, and we are in fact resisting the experience of what they bring into our lives. We think of them, and we have to repress all the feelings that come up. We use our energy trying to keep these feeling down down.
I am not saying that we have to choose to be with negative people. But I am saying, sometimes we can get far away from them, separate ourselves, but we still have their energy in our system and we just can’t seem to shake it. Every time we are reminded of them, we can again go into an emotional reaction, and into trying to get them “out of our system”…
A Different Perspective – Outside Mirrors Inside
It is not by chance that this negative person showed up in your life. It is really important to understand that. There is something that connects you with their energy. Something in you is a match to their negativity.
Or said in a different way: There is a part of you that resonates with their negativity. And this part opens the door to taking in and holding on to all of their negative feelings, energies and thoughts.
Or even differently: What you most reject in that person is something that you reject within yourself. What this person makes you feel is something you do not want to feel, you do not want to exist, you do not want to be. And because you resist this experience, and you don’t want to allow this as a part of who you are – or at least, could be – it stays and remains so powerful.
Oftentimes we have problems with negative people because they are threatening to us. We feel rejected, disrespected, burdened, overwhelmed, pulled at – you name it. The problem is that the conflict that we see between ourselves and them, it exists inside ourselves. A part of ourselves doesn’t believe in us, doesn’t respect ourselves, or doesn’t feel capable. And it is that part that we are trying to protect.
This negative person is here to show you something about you.They mirror something back to you. They are the outside reflection of an inner part that is not at peace, not integrated, not loved. (And admittedly, some parts are really hard to accept!)
A First Step – Get into Your Power
Therefore, I propose this first step to you. Stop judging that person and labeling how they are and what they do. Let go of the story in your mind about how they are toxic. Instead, be aware that this is about you, and set the intention to be open and to become aware about what it is that you can heal, and what you can learn from them.
When you decide to take this step, you can connect with yourself, and meditate about the following questions:
- What is this person making me feel that I don’t want to feel?
- What am I resisting in this person?
- In what way am I like them? How are they mirroring me a part of myself that I don’t like?
- What part of me is opening a door to taking on the negativity of that person?
This first step allows you to stop being a victim of that person, someone who is affected and can’t do anything about it. It allows you to own this experience and your own power. It makes the experience about you, and about something you can influence.
Two Starting Points of Growth
There are really to points of leverage that help you get ahead with an issues that involves a negative person: courage and love.
Courage is the energy level where we step out of being the victim and not being able to do anything. We stop pulling on the other person, and we focus on facing the aspects we can control. We figure out, in what way this situation is about us, and we accept the fact that we are encountering this challenge as something that is part of our life path. Courage is as step into our power.
In a different sense, courage has a lot to do with being willing to feel. It is about opening up to the experience, allowing the emotions and energies and sensations in your body. It has to do with stepping out of the fight and facing what’s there. I mean this literally: We we do not fight and resist – instead we surrender to the experience of the negativity that other person brings in our body. We accept that now, it is there. And we allow ourselves to be with it.
I want to encourage you: Don’t be scared of feeing what that person makes you feel. There is no problem with what we call “suffering”. You won’t disappear in this negativity. The moment you allow yourself to observe, how this feeling is in your body, how it is now, the whole terror disappears and things start to transform.
The really transformative energy is the energy of love. We need to find a way of being with that negativity of the other person, as if it were the most treasured aspect of ourselves. But in fact, it is not really about that person. It is about the part in you that is suffering, stuck in an illusion, or triggered. When you can see, where you go negative, where you grow needy, dependent, or what is the source of your anger or judgment – that’s where love is needed. And it is really self-love.
We always wonder, how we can be loving, when something is so negative. In this case there is a simple image that helps me: That of bringing something in and allowing it to be “me”, too. You start out with a mental separation (that between you and the negativity). You define yourself as different. But when you can manage to shift your perspective into connecting, rather than separating, you will be able to see that you are this, too. It is an act of expansion, defining yourself as something bigger. And it gets you so much closer to you higher self, to who you are at your core.
In fact, this process of realizing “I am this, too” is the establishing of unconditional love in our lives. We are loving and positive, until we cannot be. And then, we expand, and include EVEN THIS into our entirety, our field of love and acceptance.
One of my Favorite Exercises to Becoming More Loving
You will ask how to do this. These is one easy exercise that I love that will surely help you to do it.
Stretch your hands out towards your sides and visualize in each hand one of the opposites that are separated. So in one hand, you could hold yourself, in the other hand, the other person. Or in one hand you could hold your positivity, and in the other hand the guilt that this person provokes in you. Whatever the opposites are in you, you hold them in the hands.
The process is easy. You watch your hands come together. You let them unite. And when they do, you put them on your heart and let the new information enter you, and reach every cell and the entirety of who you are.
But: You are not to move your hands on purpose. You are to watch your hands and be present with whatever comes up in you while they come together. They may stop at certain points. Or only one may move, or they may even repell each other. It is all good: You just stay present with feeling whatever comes up.
This process usually triggers lots of thoughts and emotions. You just notice them, and then let them go, and then perceive the next. No matter how long it takes, your hand can come together. But it is not something you can do, just something you can witness. Does that make sense?
Please try and let me know how it goes for you!
Closing Doors or Being “Unaffected”
I am sure this is already a lot to process. But allow me a reflection on this teaching.
I know it is different from what other people teach about handling negativity. It is different from what I thought a few years ago. I used to think that we just have to close the doors in ourselves that allow us to enter into other people’s negativity. I used to think that we have to “give back” negative energy and to “disconnect” from it. And that is a way of going. And sometimes it is the only way available to us.
But lately I have understood that our lives are about connecting. Opening up, sharing, being in the open flow. It is how we can receive what life has to give us. If we disconnect, we are also disconnected from the flow and riches of life. So I am understanding, every day a little more, that the problem is not being aware of the negativity around us, and feeling it. The problem is that it gets stuck and wears us out – but only when we resist it.
So my vision now is to allow us to connect and be aware… and the more we open up, the more we can move into the consciousness level of love and unconditional love, in a muuuuch bigger sense. And in that field, lots of the surrounding negativity is handled subconsciously. The negative person can be there, but your awareness and mind will not be filled by them.
It is possible for you to see that negative person, and to be aware of their guilt or sadness or fear, or whatever they experience – without being drawn down. But when you experience them – and your life – in that open way, it first brings up lots of situations of overwhelm. We have to learn to let go of false understandings of responsibilities and the sense that we have to “transform” something.
Then, step by step, the opening-up process brings us the tools and steps we have to take to become the person that can be connected and loving, present and aware. And with each negative person life brings us, each experience that allows us to dissolve our negative engagement, we expand, we grow more positive, and we get closer to ourselves and to what life is really about: Aliveness, love, and the ability to appreciate the infinite potential of life in any form.