February 15, 2023
Ask Deepak

Recognizing Toxic Relationships.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


Dear Deepak, I’d like to know how I can recognize toxic, bad relationships in my life. You mentioned the importance of avoiding bad relationships multiple times. What makes me confused is that I believe if someone is able to live in a “non-reactive” way then there cannot be any bad relationship in the person’s life. Thank you!


You are right to place the emphasis on consciousness in how one interprets the behavior of another person in any relationship. Taking responsibility for one’s reaction to other people is essential to genuine spiritual and emotional health. The ancient Vedic knowledge of health, Ayurveda is instructive here. Ayurveda says that the most important factor in our diet is how well we digest our food. If we can’t break down, assimilate, and metabolize what we eat, then even the freshest, purest foods won’t help us. Incomplete digestion becomes its own source of toxicity, called ama. And conversely, if our digestion is strong and complete, then even less-than-perfect meals can be used for maximum benefit. Ayurveda says the same principle applies to our emotional intake as well. When our emotional intelligence and self-esteem is strong and firmly established in self-awareness, then we can process or metabolize the emotional interactions in relationships in a healthy, constructive way. Otherwise, we produce toxic emotional reactions like anger, blame, guilt, resentment, jealousy, fear, and disappointment. 

Having said all that, Ayurveda also recognizes that just as there are certain foods that are outright poisonous or toxic in high amounts. There is no point in trying to digest them to gain nourishment.  So also, there are emotional situations and abusive relationships that should be avoided when it is clear there is nothing useful or healthy that can come out of it. 



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