“the last experience doesn’t have to be the most significant one.” – a love letter to toxicity
this can be true in relationships, careers, sports, and so on. there are so many beautiful things that can turn ugly, go wrong, and become incredibly painful. and it’s easy to let one bad experience detract from all the beauty of the bigger picture.
maybe you said something you didn’t mean to say. maybe you could have reacted differently. maybe you could have kept going just a little bit longer. maybe it would’ve worked out if you had stayed. maybe if that one bad thing didn’t happen, it would all be perfect –
but these thoughts don’t have to define or minimize the love that existed. we tend to attach ourselves to the last experience even though it isn’t needed to define the experience as a whole. can you remember what about the bigger picture that made you feel the most alive? remember when your heart felt so full? there are good and bad things. some things that are toxic were once good.
we tend to only romanticize things that “work out” but the painful experience calls us to dig deeper. the pain is guiding you somewhere else. it’s guiding you towards healing and love in a different form. it isn’t there to torture you. it isn’t there to make you think “what if.” it isn’t there to make you feel less than.
it’s creating space for you to follow your heart and to have even more joyful experiences. beautiful love is full of layers. the pain is evidence that it meant something to you. and that is something to celebrate. the last experience doesn’t have to rob you of the bigger picture of what once was –
I wrote this a while ago in a caption on my instagram and it’s my love letter to toxicity. It was inspired by my friend Jen who gave me that amazing advice in the quotation. It’s something that will always stick with me.
In our society, I think we are taught to see heartbreaks and endings as failures. Not just with people but also with careers and so much more. We are taught to minimize things that didn’t last, ended badly, or things that were only brief. I think that the significance is in the feelings that were felt. It doesn’t have to be measured by anything else. Some of my most profound experiences were short lived and painful and it’s because there was also so much good to it at one point.
Just because one or two bad things happened and it can no longer exist the way it used to, it doesn’t always mean the whole thing was bad. It doesn’t mean you can’t still love parts of the experience you had. I’m not saying that the experience should always be revisited, but you are allowed to have good feelings towards something you no longer want anymore.
You don’t need to love the whole experience either. After all, this is a love letter to TOXICITY. The things I no longer want also had things about them that were excruciating. They are so painful even until this day. It’s these things that I will always carry with me. I don’t know if there will be a point where I’m never not haunted by them. When I find myself missing something about them, it’s easy to blame myself for this feeling. But the truth is, when you get a good feeling it doesn’t mean that it was all good. And that good feeling isn’t acceptance, it’s acknowledgement.
Acknowledging the good and bad and allowing all feelings to flow through around it is what has helped me carry the weight of toxic situations. There isn’t any wrong feeling to have. And while I can’t choose what happened to me, I can make choices for myself. No matter how many abuses I have faced, I choose to get back up again. For a long time I wasn’t able to. Sometimes these painful experiences are mysterious. I don’t think I’m a better person for going through them either. Not all of them made me stronger. Many made me weaker. They were hurts that hurt so bad. But by acknowledging the good things, I realize that it was me who was making myself feel good all along.
What is your love letter to toxicity? You don’t have to keep feeling bad about the bad things that have happened to you. You don’t have to feel guilty for it either. Look for reasons why they are beautiful and special and you will find them. You’re probably the most beautiful thing about them.
Read more about my feelings here: Why I quit modeling, Weight Struggles, and Hard Work Vs. Self-harm ❤️