Me, loving myself through everything and knowing that I deserve nothing but adoration and respect.
I really want to write this without sounding like a dick. I'm trying, I promise. I know I'm only 23, but I genuinely feel like I have learned so much in those years; especially in the last few, having grown to fully understand and love myself unconditionally. Basically, the majority of these lessons revolve around the importance of peeing after sex, doing whatever makes you happy and giving up on shaming people for their choices.
And whilst these have all contributed to making my life a shinier, happier place; they are not all. Perhaps the most important lesson for everyone to keep with them at all times is that of eliminating toxic people and relationships.
It is completely vital to recognize toxicity in whatever form it may take. This situation can be one with yourself, your friends and even your family. It makes no difference and, whilst it is often beyond shitty to contemplate, the healthiest option is to cut ties.
Any person who undermines your well-being should be eliminated from your life. You can love them, forgive them and want good things for them, and still move on without them. You should not hold on to poisonous relationships because you feel obliged to. You do not need toxic people in your life. Anyone who compromises your happiness or does not support you, does not deserve to be a part of your inner circle. Surrounding yourself with only the most positive influences will change your life for the better.
Admittedly, I know it can be hard to spot internal toxicity. If you have an inkling, ask yourself these questions, and always go with your gut. When you're with the potentially Toxic Tammy, do you tend to feel content and/or energized? Or do you find that feelings of fulfillment follow their visit? Does that then make you feel better about yourself? Or worse? Do you feel safe with this person, and as though you could confide in them without judgement or scrutiny? Does your relationship boast the option to both give and take? Do you feel like they are happy with who you are, or do you feel like you have to change to make them happy?
The people in your life should love and accept you. They should understand and respect your beliefs and choices. And, yes, this is possible without them identifying. As in, my parents are both completely Tory, but simultaneously support my decision to devote my life to loving Jeremy Corbyn. And my boyfriend hates musicals, but he still sits and listens to me singing them to him at full volume (complete with choreography) when I've had a wine or two. That is life. Those are healthy relationships.
I am mine, before I am ever anyone elses.
Ok, so you've come to a realisation that you're involved in some form of toxic relationship. What now? Believe in yourself. Believe that you deserve more, and deserve to be happy and loved and treated with compassion. Stop throwing yourself under the bus for other people. Stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn't jump a puddle for you. Sorry, I really am still trying to not be a dick. But you need to understand that your life will never be at it's full potential if you're constantly dragging around dead weight. Snip snip snip, and cut them off as you would a split end.
It's OK to be selfish. Put yourself first, for fuck's sake. You cannot force people to love you. Let yourself grow without the burden of negativity. Nobody will hate you if you end a relationship because they were a toxic influence; be them your sister, best friend, mother, colleague or boyfriend. The level of relationship makes little to no difference when you are putting your health and happiness above all.