Toxic Relationships | Empower the Relationship you Have with Yourself | By Stacia Carlton

Toxic Relationships – we read about them everywhere; how to recognize them, how to avoid
them, how to rid ourselves of them once they’ve already taken hold, and of course how to
recover from them. What we don’t ever read about is what to do when that toxicity comes from

Quite frequently it feels as though we are in a nonstop race to do it all. Do it better… faster…
stronger. Excel in your career, spend more time with your kids, be fitter, be slimmer, have a
rounder butt or 6 pack abs. And it doesn’t stop there we also expect to have more successful
kids, have a bigger house, grow your own vegetables, stay in touch with all your high school
friends, maintain a healthy homemade (potentially paleo or God forbid even raw) household,
read all the books on the book club list, volunteer at the pet shelter, design the perfect 14 piece
wardrobe, find your TRUE purpose in life AND look after our aging parents. Okay so I’m
probably exaggerating but my point is we certainly give ample opportunity to see ourselves as
failures. We regularly punish ourselves for not being ENOUGH… not doing ENOUGH.
Everywhere we turn there is more we could or at least feel we should be improving; our homes,
our kids, our relationships, ourselves, our environment, our communities and as always our

When do we get a break? When do we get to sit back and say, “Hey you know what, maybe I’m
not going to have the perfect dress in which to cloak my perfect physique for the high school
reunion. Maybe I’m going to buy canned green beans or ignore the fact that the kids ate a
McDonald’s cheeseburger and had a sugar (EEK! Heavens NO!) laden shake with it and maybe
the kids are going to get a 62% in math this term. Maybe just maybe, the world will not fall off its
axis if my thighs are not in fact jiggle proof or your abs a well hidden 2 pack. Maybe you’re not
bikini ready for that all important beach vacation. Maybe the kids go to bed with paint smears on
their hands (feet, foreheads and in their hair). And would it really be so terrible if the lawn wasn’t
quite as green and flawless as the neighbours?”

It’s high time we stop treating ourselves like the enemy and start being a little kinder to the one
person that might in fact matter more than any others, and yes that does include your spouse/
kids/mother/sister/boss. You’ve all heard it a million times to be sure, but it bears repeating, how
can we expect anyone else to love us if we don’t love ourselves, and let’s tack on to that, forgive
ourselves for our sometimes less than perfect ways.

While we’re studying how to say goodbye to that friendship that is doing your mental health no
favours, maybe we have to also start telling that internal “frenemy” to just mind his or her own
business for a change.

Stacia_Carlton_HeadShotStacia Carlton is a culinary school graduate and food writer who practices yoga daily. She writes weekly about food and mindfulness at

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