I’ve been thinking about this concept of toxicity for a few solid days now. I have realized how other things affect my attitude, my spirit, my emotions… my everything. Now, I have come up with this. There is a lot in life that is toxic that we allow to penetrate who we are. I am not talking about physical substances, though there are many things that are toxic. I am referring to the poisonous things of our lives that are more easily disguised.

I have baggage in my life, things that have happened to me as well as things I have done…the stains of my past. I am not proud of who I have been at times or how I responded to events. I’d like to think that those dark days of my past mistakes and regrets are behind me. I also have dark areas of my life to which I wish I could forget. Broken heart. Deceit. Lies. Hurt… Those things of my life, I can try to forget but they are there regardless and every bit a part of my life. If I dwell in the what if or the could have should have, I would never be able to move forward. I would remain captive to my past and my past alone. Forever hindered. The toxicity comes from dwelling in the past rather than remembering the past and moving forward. Too many times I have looked back at events of my life wondering how things could have been different. Or I remember the pain and my heartache. Or I remember what someone else did or did not do. It becomes poisonous- TOXIC- to who I am now. It will do no good. There will be no resolve. Just pain. Just slow death to who I am now.

The past is not the only thing that keeps me from moving forward. There are things right now in my life that are just as toxic as dwelling in my past. Negative people, complainers, the discontented… I have found that when I am around these type of people I become just like them. I become negative, only seeing the bad in everything, even others. I then only pick out the worst. Or I complain about every detail, rather than being grateful for what is before me. I become bitter for what I have not instead of what I have. There are relationships in my life that I can think of right now that are toxic. Though I love these people genuinely, if they remain central in my life, then God is pushed out leaving only their attitudes, their stain. I see that even activities I partake in can be toxic, even if in the smallest dosage, however I may not see the affects for quite some time. But I slowly become someone I am not proud of.

This is not a subject I really want to deal with, but I have to be honest. I love God with my whole heart. At least I am trying to love with my all. But when I allow for the toxins of my past and present to dictate who I am, I become someone living in direct opposition to the call of God- that is to love Him, love others, love myself. I can’t strive to do one of those and not all. In regards to the poisons I have allowed to influence me, I need to let go. My past is behind me. Yes it happened. I can’t do anything. But I can choose to not listen to lies of not being good enough, being unworthy, or whatever else might be thrown at me. With my relationships with people today, I can choose to separate myself of the toxic people that will only bring me down. The toxins of my everyday, the little and the big things that influence my behaviors and attitude, I need to sacrifice. They aren’t worth it. I truly do want to live my life fully and wholehearted pursuing God. To do so, I must be intentional with every decision and every action, filtering out the lies, the deceit, the negativity, …the toxic. By removing the toxic, I can see the beauty of life through pure eyes, clear eyes. I can see the good in life, rather the bad. I can move forward from my past, not be prisoner. I can love people, genuinely, when I strive to bring the good out of them. I can invest in the relationships that matter, the ones worth fighting for, the ones that are iron sharpening iron. I can live life completely the fullest with no regrets. More than anything, I can love God fully and passionately.

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