• Emily Makselan

It's Not Selfish, it's Self Care

Removing the things in your life that are toxic is NOT selfish, it’s self care. Even if that means removing people. There is nothing worth someone making you feel like a bad person: no amount of money, or blood shared. It wasn’t until a certification I attended last year that I realized the impact these relationships were having on not only my mind, but my body, and other relationships.

For the past almost 4 years now I have dealt with a group of toxic people in my own life. They didn’t even know what I did for a living, or anything about me really, but they ceased every opportunity to tell me what a bad job I did and what a bad person I am. They told me what was wrong with the things I was or wasn’t doing. They even tried to sway the opinions of others entering my life before they had the opportunity to get to know me.

As the years went on, I think I started to believe some of it. I started to feel bad about myself. It started to affect my relationships. And in 2018 I just completely shut down and secluded myself. I didn’t want to get to know anyone or let anyone new in for fear of being hurt in the way that I was currently being subjected to by others.

Looking back now and reading all the things I’m currently saying, it seems crazy that I didn’t just tell them to fuck off. But for some reason it seemed selfish in the moment, or wrong. And maybe a little bit of me believed them, that I deserved that treatment for some reason. But as I look back, this was likely the reason they did it, I let them see it got to me.

For the past four years those people had stood in my way both literally and metaphorically. It almost seemed like they were trying to block my forward progress. That’s when it dawned on me. Their actions and words had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with themselves. They saw me taking care of myself day in and day out, but they struggled to do the same. So rather than look for the answers within themselves, they were projecting it onto me. Trying to hold me back from my actions made them feel better about their lack of action. And trying to take away my happiness made them feel better.

Late last year after realizing this I started to tune those people out. And as I did so something really cool happened. One by one they just removed themselves from my life. And like clockwork, as they left new amazing people started coming into my life. And wouldn’t you know, as this happened the excess inflammation I had been hanging onto lately fell off of me.

I’m sharing this because I see many others going through this same struggle. Whether it’s a family member, a co-working, client, or friend: if they don’t appreciate your efforts now, they never will. It’s ok to walk away if it will benefit you. If you can’t build with them, don’t chill with them. Besides, there is something so empowering about saying “this doesn’t serve me” and knowing when to walk away.

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