Death. It’s a complex concept to digest and understand. Regardless if it happens suddenly or slowly, losing a person is indescribably painful. Whether the cause of death is illness or a if it’s a peaceful exit, there’s a jolt of intense shock and searing sadness. A new normal ensues. I don’t feel we ever “get over” a loss. We adjust to living without the person. Our souls, our emotions slowly acclimate to the absence of a loved one. The life we once knew will never be the same.
But today I am not speaking of a physical loss. I am referring to releasing a person who still may be alive. For some of us, removing a friend or family member from our lives who is still here is just as soul scorching as processing a physical death. And it may be even more challenging because it is a conscious choice. When a person leaves the planet, it is permanent and it is not in our control. Grieving and all the stages that encompasses begins without warning.
I have listened for years to dear ones as they deliberate about divorcing a spouse. I’ve experienced the agony of ending a long-time friendship. (I’m so grateful this has only happened a few times in my life.) I’ve supported and been a sounding board for close friends as they remove themselves from a toxic situation even if it’s a family member. In so many instances, the decision is difficult because it involves love — current or past — and shared positive and/or negative experiences.
As I evolve and expand, it’s become clearer that we only have one chance to live a life of purpose and with intention. I am also realizing that like excising malignant moles from our bodies, we must cut people out of our lives who make us sick.
Words are tangible. Actions are observable. Energy is not. It is a vibe, a feeling. You can’t see it, you can’t record it, you can’t photograph it. But it is pervasive, and it is powerful. And if it is poisonous? It can and will infiltrate and permeate loving relationships and destroy them.
Let’s reflect on the soothing or stimulating sensation after a visit with an authentic, kind friend. You may have had an insightful conversation or poignant exchange. Or what about an elevating, engaging day spent with family on a Sunday afternoon. That is positive, uplifting, and healthy energy. It brings light to your heart like fireflies flitting in a summer evening sky. It levitates your being. This type of energy enhances your journey in this lifetime. It spreads sweetly throughout your soul like fresh frosting on a warm cake.
The other type of energy is dark, heavy, and leaves a slippery residue like oil leaking from a car. It feels like sludge. It sneaks up on you, and its conduit comes in many forms. It can be quite confusing, especially for people like me who have always seen the cup half full.
Nobody is perfect. We all have dark and light that coexist within us. Making mistakes and unintentionally offending others are part of what comprises the human experience. I try to consciously note and acknowledge the beauty in all beings. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. And I often tell my kids that we can learn from the most hurtful moments. We can emulate those who exhibit honesty and kindness. But we can also observe others and learn who we do NOT want to be.
Some of the people who emit energetic venom look and act normal. Some of them are quite deceptive as they are seemingly sweet on the surface. Others you can spot more readily by their hypocrisy. You know about whom I speak. They “talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.”
They wear many masks, which makes discernment challenging at times. I call these manipulative ones “energy vampires.” When you’ve interacted with them, you feel emotionally exhausted and depleted even days later. I’ve had headaches and other bodily manifestations caused by an energetic assault.
We do not bring garbage into our homes—we take it out. So why do so many of us accept and allow energy in our relationships that ruin and wreak havoc on our lives? There are so many reasons such as lack of awareness, denial, guilt, or fear.
It is autumn. Leaves around the world are changing to a vibrant spectrum of colors. Glorious golds, rich reds, and burnt orange leaves gently float to the ground. They are dying. Yet. It is a magnificent, breathtaking view to behold. It is the one time death is beautiful.
Perhaps it is time for us to learn from the shedding trees during this colorful season of renewal. We can choose who and what we let into our lives. We can gracefully let certain leaves whisk away with the wind. We can rake our internal yards and dispose of the rubbish.
It’s time to detoxify our souls and let go of what no longer serves us. Loss does not have to be devastating. It’s an adjustment. It’s a change. When you decide to let go of those who bring you down or are harmful to your health, this may feel at first like a death. It is. Releasing toxic energy that is attached to the limbs of our lives makes room for new growth. Like the trees this fall, stay rooted while you shed and let go.