Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Toxic Place

One does not always have a choice. Sometimes, one ends up in a toxic environment, and the question arises of what to do from a mindful, compassionate place?

I asked my fellow tweeters:
other than need to exit, what is there to learn from being in a toxic environment?

And got the following answers:

@FullContactTMcG I learned compassion from sitting in my formerly toxic environment. For self and other... Then I left that relationship

@blkwriter the ability to hang in there if need be

@kabzj radical responsibility?

@JDProuty not much to learn in toxic environments but a good place to teach
                    toxic environments ~ toughest test of mindfulness ~ teach by example

@debraZERO I have found my voice, I don't want to suffer w/them. It's okay to be happy.

@Digitt one can learn the ability to transform negative energy into positive.
              just a state of mind. A shift in perception and standing in your power.

That's a lot of wisdom, right there.

For myself, I have found toxic environments to be useful up to a point. Useful tests of one's wisdom, kindness, compassion, and non reactivity. This fear I feel, whose is it? Of course, mine always, in the end. How about the anger? Same thing, a reaction from 'I' to difficult outer circumstances, and people. Intellectually, I could see that it was my choice to let the toxic brew seep in, or not. And at the same time, I found mindfulness can only go so far. At some point, one needs to leave. Some personalities, some situations are real pollutants for the mind, and the heart. 

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” 
Mahatma Gandhi ~

Then the real work begins, of purifying one's mind from the unwholesome thoughts that may linger after one has left the actual place, or person. Owning one's propensity to dukkha, and investigating the effect on one's happiness. Replacing the anger with loving kindness. 'May he be at peace, may he be well.' And 'May I be at peace, may I be well.'

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