How They Can be One of Your Greatest
Opportunities for Spiritual Growth
Toxic people. Nasty People. Doesn’t the thought of coming into contact with one of them send a cold shiver down your spine? Most of us dread the thought of having to deal with people whom we feel are difficult.
While it is natural to want to run as far away from them as possible, it might not be the best strategy for you if you are really serious about your spiritual growth.
They Can Help Your Spiritual Development
When you are dealing with difficult people, it is so easy to think it is all about them – they are mean, they are uncooperative, they just don’t care about anyone but themselves. It’s common for you to think this way, but it isn’t necessarily the Truth.
If you come into contact with a difficult person and it has no effect on you, then you don’t need to do anything. However, if you are dealing with someone who is challenging and it causes you to get upset, angry, defensive, or just plain ticked off, then it is something you want to look at more closely.
Why? Because there is a law called the Law of Correspondence. Its purpose is to draw people into your life who mirror what you really feel about yourself. If you have to deal with toxic people who are often critical of you and who treat you badly, take a look at how you treat yourself. Are you usually critical of yourself? Are you constantly putting yourself down and telling yourself how you’re ‘just not good enough?’ The Cosmic Law of Attraction has drawn these people into your life so you can begin to become aware of what you are doing to yourself.
Here’s the point –- toxic people are not going to change until you do.
Dealing with Nasty People
Instead of trying to get away from them, ask yourself what they are trying to tell you. Remember the Law of Correspondence -- they are here to tell you about some aspect of yourself which needs spiritual healing. Work on whatever needs to be healed. Otherwise, you might get away from these toxic people, but there will be others who show up to take their place.
Here are some spiritual practices to help you with your healing. Say a Prayer for Peace – You have the right to be surrounded by peaceful people. You get to choose what your personal world looks like. When you are near toxic people, say a prayer for peace for yourself. “Spirit is peace and I am one Spirit. Therefore, I claim that I experience peace in every aspect of my life. I am grateful for this peace which is expressing itself in my life now. And so it is.”
Forgiving Yourself and Others – When people learn that they actually have attracted toxic people into their lives, they often ‘beat themselves up.’ If this sounds like you, then don’t do it. This is the strategy that got you into trouble in the first place. Forgiving yourself for attracting these types of people into your life will help you learn to be kind to yourself. Also, when you learn to forgive others for their behavior, you loosen the power they have over you. Forgiveness is a very powerful spiritual healing practice. Choose Spiritual Thoughts – You have a choice about how to respond to toxic people. You can see them as nasty, bullying, sarcastic, condescending individuals. (You might even be tempted to add a few descriptive words to this list). Looking at these people in this way will only fuel the tension between you and them. Instead, you can choose spiritual thoughts when you are interacting with them.
Each one of us is a part of the Divine. The people who drive you crazy, are also part of the Divine. They probably don’t know it and they certainly don’t act like it. But you can choose to know the Truth about them.
When you interact with them, think about the traditional yoga salutation Namaste. It means, “The Divine in me, honors the Divine in you.” You are choosing to look past the behavior to the spiritual truth about these individuals. When you do this, you will very likely act differently towards them. And, as a result, they might end up acting differently towards you too.
What Did I do to Deserve This?
So the next time you encounter toxic people and you are tempted to say, “Whatever did I do to deserve this?” realize that you attracted them into your life so you can move forward on your personal spiritual journey. They can be great spiritual teachers for you – if only you will let them.
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