Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Stress-Free Zone; Keeping Personal Space Sacred ~ Guest Writer, Sheri Beecham

Everything outside of your consciousness is a manifestation of your thoughts. You will attract what you think. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. If you find your self in situations or surrounded by people who appear to be negative or destructive in their behavior, look into yourself and ask yourself why you are attracting this. What is the lesson you are learning?  

I have asked my friend, Sheri Beecham, to be a guest writer; she gives her perspective and thoughts about keeping your personal space sacred.

By Sheri Beecham 
Our outer personal space is an extension of our inner world and who we are. Just as we would not want to invite unsavory individuals into our home, likewise, we would not wish to invite them into our inner circle. Think of your inner circle of relationships as more intimate, those who cherish you such as friends and family; the ones who get to know the "real" you and what you find important, what gives you joy.
Toxic individuals can be harmful to our health, harmony, happiness, growth and success in life. They are frequently dramatic, chaotic, attention-seeking, ego-driven personalities. These can be either acquaintances, co-workers, friends and even family. They may or may not be aware of their unhealthy patterns of behavior, which often times may due to any number of real or imaginary excuses.. Negative raising or environment, jealousy, resentment, their own unhappiness, mental illness, fear-based agendas such as seeking to remain within their comfort zone and avoiding change, or even fear of losing you or your approval.

Types of destructive behaviors include but are not limited to: gossiping, creating or being involved in scenarios of unnecessary drama and chaos, constant discussion of problems and negativity, hurtful remarks, cynical and critical attitudes and sarcastic negative responses, judgments, name-calling, blaming and belittling, manipulation and control issues, to the occasional greater extremes of abuse, physical harm, etc. Indulging in these type of relationships will cost you your health, peace of mind, happiness, self-esteem at the very least and possibly more.

The best solution to handling toxic individuals is not to allow them in your space in the first place; however, sometimes for whatever reason, be it work, family associations, etc, it may not be practical, feasible nor desirable to completely cut someone out of our lives, in which case... You may try bringing the issue to their attention first and discussing their harmful behavior. If this does not work or elicits an unfavorable response to progress, don't play tug-of-war with argumentative personalities or enable their ego-driven agendas. Take nothing they say to try and push your buttons personally, and understand that personal attacks intended towards you are a reflection of the aggressor and their reality, not yours. You can choose to ignore them, but do not allow yourself to be manipulated, or engage in destructive behaviors. If you MUST deal with them to some degree, allow for a delay such as a cushion of space/time before dealing with them (such as pausing for a moment before responding, or removing yourself from the situation for a period of time, if needed), and do not allow yourself to become emotionally enmeshed but remain calm and centered. YOU be the one who controls the conversation by changing subjects, veering from certain topics and laying down boundaries of things which will and will not be tolerated for discussion.

Ultimately, you must decide if the price is worth the long-term investment. It is better not to allow toxic people in your space. If someone is consistently negative, sapping your energy, health, peace of mind and bringing you down, if they are disrespectful, do not honor you or your journey/growth and will not accept you as you are, and especially if abuse or physical threats of harm are involved, it is better to love them unconditionally from afar. Pull the plug, release them on positive terms and part ways, and allow them the space to seek help. It may be the very lesson and opportunity that is needed. Healthy relationships are empowering connections that build one another up, inspire, encourage, support, respect, nurture and love, and allow one another the freedom to progress and the space to BE.
Disclaimer: If you are in a physically abusive situation, or you have been exposed to credible threats of harm or violence, please seek professional guidance. NEVER remain in a place where your safety and those of loved ones are threatened.
--Sheri Beecham

One of the things I always tell my students is that no one can MAKE you angry. Just like no one can MAKE you happy. Your attitude is always YOUR choice. You can not control others, but you can control how you respond to others. When you choose to separate yourself from a negative situation and remain optimistic, taking responsibility for your own thoughts, emotions and actions; those situations will either transform to a positive or will dissolve away from you... Your life is yours to control.

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