I don’t know why, at times, I’ve allowed a toxic person to remain in my life, and at the same time thought God would actually bring healthy people into my circle. That’s just not how things work. God does not operate with “mixtures”.
It was 2 a.m., and I don’t even remember getting out of bed and walking into the bathroom. But what I do remember is once I was in the bathroom, my eyes fixated on a white vintage-style shelving unit in the corner that contained my many Bath & Body Works products. The shelf was moving. Fluttering. Up the wall. Just like it had wings.
I rubbed my eyes and tried to focus again. It was still fluttering. In total freak-out mode, I went back to bed and laid down. My body was trembling so violently it caused the headboard to vibrate against the wall. My thoughts were all over the road as I tried to recall where my important documents were. In case I did not see morning, I didn’t want anyone to have to search for “the next steps”.
Shaking uncontrollably, I had a thought: “God, I will teach your Word.” 95% of the shaking stopped instantly. I repeated the words--out loud this time. Perfect calm came over me and I fell asleep until 7 a.m.
At that time I phoned my doctor’s office and, for some strange reason, a person in the billing department had come in an hour early and answered the phone. I was told to be at the office within an hour.
My doctor told me I had a classic textbook panic attack. I wouldn’t have known; I’d never had one before. But what I did know and what did happen before was that my doctor and I had discussed, on more than one occasion, someone in my life who was causing me great distress. That person was the reason behind several trips to the doctor for health issues, and was at the root of the middle of the night drama.
Dr. Bower looked at me sternly but kindly and said, “It’s them or it’s your health.” Not only was my physical health in jeopardy, but so was my God-given assignment. The 2 a.m. decision to “teach God’s Word” was not new: I had done it for decades. But it had been on hold because I was allowing someone to siphon my spiritual, emotional and physical health.
That day I wrote to the person, letting them know that the relationship was over. I blocked them on my phone and social media. It’s been years and I’ve never looked back. Every picture, every gift, every email--gone, erased.
It took a while, but as I cleared the clutter and regained my course, people started being added to my life that, quite honestly, I stand amazed at. People that are generals--5-star, top shelf champions.
You may think, but Debra, how can you call someone toxic? We aren’t supposed to judge. You’re right, but I’m not talking about judging anyone, I’m talking about reading labels. If someone lies to you once, twice, three times...guess what? They’ve labeled themself. They are a liar. If you have a love interest and they cheat, sneak around, call and text members of the opposite sex and hide their phone so you don’t find out--read the label. They are a cheat.
I feel like someone reading this needs to clear the clutter. If you have someone in your circle and their label stinks, it’s time to take out the garbage before you take on the smell.
People choose to be the way they are. They choose to lie. They choose to cheat. They choose to deceive. It’s the toxic person in your life or it’s your health. If you are going to hold on to the toxicity, your assignment will remain on hold or continue to be watered down.
If I were to ask you if you have a toxic person in your life, you would not answer, “Maybe”. When you have one, you know it. You know exactly who it is too.
Erase the photos, write the letter, block the phone number and take a little time to heal. Another year is wrapping up. It’s a perfect time to be “out with the old and in with the new”. Clear out your heart and head space and make room for the better and best that God wants to bring your way. You will truly be able to say, “La vie est belle”. Life is beautiful.