Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dealing With Toxic People Through Compassion

Today I want to talk about when a toxic person or group come into your life and you come across them, how do you cope and deal and learn to let go. I have tried to choose a Buddhist point of view. Yes a more spiritual point of view but Spirituality is not about becoming the person that you are supposed to be, or about doing the "spiritual" thing. To be spiritual is to compassionately welcome your truth -- what you actually feel -- whether you like that truth or not.

Not too long ago I ran into a group of people that have passed rumors about me and tried to get a community to act against me and were toxic to me as their intent has been to create harm to me.  They lied, they conspired and they got people to choose sides by being relentless about their dishonesty. There was a group of them the toxic person and their faithful followers.  What surprised me so much when I happened to bump into them was my reaction towards them. In the past I had hurt and anger, but this time, I only had compassion for them. I did not get angry or upset or think why me, I just figured why not me.

I really began to understand that these negative people provide us with a test. Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. This group of people would end up being my greatest teacher. I understand that it is easy to accept pleasant people and circumstance, but practicing acceptance with regards to people and circumstance that we find difficult or challenging or that is filled with negative intent is a true path to spiritual growth.

I learned I had to accept these people for who they were and I knew they were suffering and it I understood it was about spiritual growth in Buddhism and they were my teachers in compassion.

Dishonest and toxic people who have caused you deliberate harm can make you feel angry and hurt and even bring back the moments in life where they mistreated you, lied and then created a hate bond can be dealt with in a Buddhist manner. No you do not have to be Buddhist to practice Buddhist teaching. Here is the bottom line, even if they deserve your bitterness, hurt and anger, you should not hold onto it. Carrying those feelings and holding onto them can only create harm to you and you allow the toxic people to win. Do you really want to give that to them?

You see toxic people suffer from many problems such as pain, suffering, affliction, neurosis, psychosis, paranoia, fear, tension, anxiety, depression and have fallen off the emotional wagon. Some of these people are so unhappy they have to take medications to keep them functional in society. They suffer so much, they tend to gather other people who are suffering like them to walk beside them. With that said, the practical approach to anyone who is suffering is through compassion. Now I get that many get confused what compassion means so let me just simplify it. Compassion is a mind that is motivated by cherishing other living beings and wishes to release them from their suffering. Pretty easy right? Not really! It takes an awful lot of meditation, peace of mind and practice. We will get to that later.

So let’s simplify what a toxic person is. A toxic person is someone who lacks empathy and boast about their honesty so they don’t even see the problem with being dishonest with themselves as well as others. The biggest concern with toxic people is they bring down others in order to bring up their own self-worth and self-esteem. They will spread rumors and use words to try to inflict pain and suffering because of their own personal pain and suffering.

In fact these toxic people who we have learned are people who choose to suffer, are creating negative Karma for themselves and the conditions for their future of unhappiness and suffering. They become more judgmental and unhappy. They should learn from a great spiritual leader who said, “Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.”

I have to say I am not perfect. I fail at compassion and acceptance every day, in many ways, I do find that my daily spiritual practice and meditation makes it easier for me to live and act from a centered, peaceful place. Loving Kindness. Recently I had a person I knew who was addicted to her trauma. I felt myself having so little compassion for that person because that was all they focused on. It got to a point where they are no longer in my life as I would not allow it, and they became so attached to their suffering, they found others who wanted to suffer with them. I lost a couple quote friends that day because I refused to become the injury they were attached to. At first when I spoke of these people, I used words of anger, but today when I awoke, I got how much pain and affliction, neurosis, psychosis, paranoia, fear, tension, anxiety, depression attention seeking behaviors and desperation they had and I had utter compassion for them. It was like a house was lifted off my chest. I knew the universe was taking care of me by having me see their utter suffering and dependence on their suffering.
Carrying around your hurt and pain for another person leads to tension and unhappiness within you, so it is best to set aside grudges, if only for your own sake. Also, appreciate the opportunities that your enemies provide for you to practice your patience and loving kindness!

People you dislike will indeed give you the chance to deepen your practice. In any case, by wishing that your enemies be “well, happy, and peaceful,” by wishing that they encounter no “difficulties” or “problems,” you wish to remove the conditions that made them your enemies in the first place. In other words, by practicing loving kindness even toward people you don’t like or have with intent caused you harm, you help create a better, happier, more peaceful world for everyone.

If this practice is something you struggle to do, I suggest incorporating it into your daily meditation practice. Here is the thing though, you do not have to hold onto their suffering.  Really why make their suffering create suffering for your own self. So when I was faced with a group of people whose only intent is to cause me harm, I surprised myself that a feeling of compassion came over me rather than fear, anger and hurt. I had discovered I had let their pain go! I believe the deeper I became in my present moment, the now, the deeper my inner peace got and the easier it was for me to not react when confronted with their energetic hostility. I really understood that the feelings get lighter when you realize toxic people are simply suffering.
So if you work with a toxic colleague, clients or in an environment where people are, just be mindful that they are wounded and suffering. If you can see that they are the ones trying to pass their suffering onto you, then it becomes easier to let go of anger and resentment and just have compassion for them. I have days where I do really well and someday where my own suffering gets in the way. That is good though because it shows me I have more work to do through my spiritual practices.

The Buddhist mantra for mean and very toxic people goes as such. I use it daily, I would love to gift it to you from my compassionate heart to yours.
May my enemies be well, happy, and peaceful
May no harm come to them
May no difficulties come to them
May no problems come to them
May they always meet with success
May they also have patience, courage, understanding, have determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life

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