Can Other People Make Us Sick?

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you equationHealth consciousness is not limited to the body. We know that good foods and exercise are beneficial for the body, and that junk food is not. When it comes to the mind, we also know there are factors which contribute to good mental health, and those that are detrimental to our psychological wellbeing. Since the mind and body are so intricately connected, what happens to one affects the other.

We understand that certain people and situations are not good for us. It is easy to blame others for our stress or discomfort. We even speak in terms of “toxic people.” While certainly there may be those who we need to distance from for our (and perhaps their) own good, we need to understand something important about the toxicity.

What is toxic to us is the way we react to them. Likely we are judging, criticizing and blaming the individual we describe as toxic. It is the blame, judgement and criticizing we are doing that is toxic to our system, not the other person.

Even if the other person is nasty or critical towards us, if we are balanced and whole within, that behavior will not affect us. We will see it as being about whatever is going on within the other. We do not need to take it on, for that would be giving our power away to the other: allowing him or her to define us.

When we give our power away, we feel drained, tired and stressed. It is not that the other is “sucking our energy away”, but rather that we are giving it away. If we continue to do this, over time the depletion of energy will begin to affect our immune system, and our physical health .

This is such an important distinction, for it puts responsibility and control for our physical and psychological health back into our own hands. We do not have control over the behavior of others, but we do have control over our own thoughts, reactions and behaviors. We owe it to ourselves to ensure they are life enhancing. (For more on this topic, see Growing into Soul: The Next Step in Human Evolution by Gwen Randall-Young).

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