I thought that I'd share the meditation track that's my real favourite at the moment for you to try if you have a spare half hour. It's not really the one of the whispery man trying to lure me in a bloke. Sometimes you have to take what I say with a very big dose of sea salt, Maldon, of course, seeing as I'm an Essex girl. No, 'Asking for Nothing and Receiving Everything', the one that I really like, has similarities to the Buddhist Metta or loving-kindness meditation. This cultivates feelings of benevolence towards self and others, firstly those who it's easy-peasy to feel warm and fluffy towards. In later stages focus is turned to those tricky sods who are more difficult to love, like you know, murderers, despots, evil bankers and all those people who've personally pee-ed us off in queues and whilst driving.
On my 2011 mindfulness retreat, there was a talk on the subject of Metta before we undertook the practice. For me a penny dropped when we was told that fostering an attitude of love didn't mean that we had to put up with ill treatment ourselves. It is perfectly acceptable to put distance between ourselves and anyone where the relationship is consistently destructive. Common sense I know, duh!, but it had to be spelt out. Sometimes for a clever girl I really can be a bit dim! Now this arrangement may well have to be permanent but sometimes those leopards do actually change their spots and deserve another chance. Just make sure you've got real proof of that before getting up closer again.
A friend told me this week about a situation that they were currently in where they were being undermined and put down. This quote from Daniell Koepke is for them and anyone else who's going through similar unacceptable circumstances. It provides reassurance that saying goodbye is sometimes absolutely the most appropriate thing to do.
“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.”