Would it be fair to answer this question with the response: “Toxic.”
We understand that if we are exposed to toxins in our land, air or water that the likelihood of becoming ill increases. We understand that if we are exposed to allergens, our bodies may respond to them as toxins.
But there is a hidden toxin, many of us don’t recognize until we suffering. Our thoughts and feelings can create toxic environments.
What kind of emotional environment creates toxicity? There are a number of emotions that are toxic and can contribute to our suffering: anger, long-lasting sorrow, depression, regret, resentment, abandonment, betrayal, despair, and rejection are a few of them.
There are also thoughts that create toxic emotions and those include hopelessness, helplessness, powerlessness, and unworthiness.
These thoughts and feelings often go together don’t they? And once caught in those thoughts and emotions, we often feel trapped and unable to change the course of our lives.
Physical illness accompanies our emotional and mental pain and we find ourselves feeling stuck and unable to change the course of our lives.
We look for answers outside of ourselves with desperate hope that our own pain will finally go away. We try to get people around us to change. We attempt to make systems and organizations change. We shop for cures, sometimes with very little luck in finding something that makes a lasting difference.
But the source of the pain often comes from our mental and emotional environment.
Now, in order to understand the environment we need in order to heal, let’s explore another question. “What environment prevents illness in the first place?”
I’ll give you a hint. It is a wonderful flavor of love. When we are in the presence of this energy, our bodies, emotions and minds create a healthy field of energy.
The answer is kindness.
Toxicity has a difficult time existing in kindness. Whether we are talking about toxic beliefs, emotions or physical toxicity on the planet, when we deeply care about ourselves and others, illness has a difficult time existing.
We simply make different choices, based upon the field of kindness that we choose as a priority.
Years ago, I met some women in a healing circle that exemplified this for me. While most of the women talked about how they had been abused in life, in order to recognize their pain and release it, a couple of women talked about how they had abused.
I had utmost respect for these two women and it was years before I was able to admit that I had ever abused another. And of course, I had. Unkind words, rudeness, lashing out at others, not caring about another person’s feelings or needs, being self-righteous, condemning others in my heart—these are all forms of abuse.
Having those same thoughts and feelings about myself created a field of toxicity. I had thoughts and feelings in which I was impatience with my circumstances, angry with myself for not doing better sooner, felt my life was worthlessness, and more.
Abusing ourselves and others creates a toxic field. We become ill in that field and we create an environment that contributes to the illness of others.
I frequently speak about compassion because it is the field required for health and for healing. If compassion seems like a concept that is a bit unreachable for you in your healing journey, you might want to explore the concept of kindness.
Most of us know what it means to be kind and it can lead you into the deeper experience of compassion.
If we live in kindness everyday, with ourselves and each other, imagine how much better we would feel about life. It would be much more difficult to ever become ill and when we do become sick, we would heal much more quickly. Kindness is one of the great healing remedies, and sustainers of health.