A few days ago I was caught up in a pattern that I recognized as toxic. Oh, I’d been here before with different people, lovers and friends and family members alike. The churning in my stomach, the desire to explain myself…you know the one: If I can just find the right words or the right combination of words, I can make everything clear for the other person and then they won’t be so angry.

Nope. I realized that my explanations, however beautifully crafted and eloquently delivered, were not the solution. For me the solution was to find that place of love for myself, knowing I had done the best I could to show who I am and how I felt. AND in finding that love I was able to then realize that I had no fight, no reason for counterattack, no necessary justifications that would change the pattern.

Love changes the pattern of toxicity. By getting my ego’s desire for being right off the plate, I could focus on the relationship. I didn’t have to be right in order to love myself or love this other person. I also don’t have to participate in arguments or accusations and revenge behavior even when I’m invited to do so.

Instead of counterattack, explaining, cajoling, or begging for attention, I found the strength and peace within me to say: I hear you and feel you. I love you and wish you only good things. May you be well.

And with that, I found the freedom to walk away from emotional blackmail, to step into the light of love that shines through me and surrounds me and let’s me know when “enough is enough”. Love is so much more than hearts and flowers and gooey sentiments. Love is fierce strength and finding the freedom in forgiveness.

Bright blessings!