It was difficult for months. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t seem to thread the needle. I finally accepted the unhealthiness of the situation into which I had stumbled. I was being routinely and cruelly dissected on the whim of someone who held the one thing I didn’t have (or so I had thought): power.
I didn’t want to win her game, because doing so would have made me be just like her. To persevere with a person who thrives on toxicity, offer them kindness and look for the door.
Kindness, positivity, peacefulness, and self-respect are stronger than the contrary. It may not feel that way in the moment of falling leaves, but it will when the world re-equilibrates the forest.
I had many talks with myself during those months, reminding myself that we own what we put into the world. A person who puts terrible things into the world will continue to own their terrible things unless we accept them. I worked to let much of it slide from me like water from a duck’s back, my resolve like a protective oil. I was proud of how far I had come in coping with bullies. It was amusing to watch frustration build as I did not mirror negativity back as was expected.
Still, when it is clear you don’t belong somewhere, you must accept it and let go. So that’s what I did. I left.
And then wonderful things started happening. I found a publisher for my first book of poetry (to be released within weeks!). About 20 of my poems will be published in poetry journals in 2015. I started doing Bikram (hot yoga) and quickly got rid of back pain that had plagued me for a year-and-a-half. I am helping people who need help. I am reconnecting with that which had fallen away due to misspent energy. I am myself again, fully. Only stronger.
Even during challenging times, we have choices that can reclaim our power. My mantra persists: lean on the fulcrum towards the good side of things and the good things will find you.