Not s#*t talking doesn’t mean you don’t tell the truth. There’s a big difference. One is toxic while the other allows for solution based thinking as opposed to problem pandering.

Something American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou understood and took to the extreme. She wouldn’t allow toxic talk around her. At all. If someone was negative at a dinner party in her house she’d ask them to leave. Saying (paraphrasing here) “she didn’t want dirt in her curtains.” If you complained, she’d have no time for it. Saying you are making yourself a victim. Insisting you take your power back with positivity. Big words coming from someone that was raped by her mother’s boyfriend at 7 years old, refusing to speak for 5 years after.

Extreme? Yes. But, I feel justified. Toxins don’t ask for permission to enter your life and you needn’t ask for permission to choose positivity. Telling the truth doesn’t being mean and it certainly doesn’t override your trash talking challenge. It simply means being authentic and honest with yourself like Maya Angelou.

You may not realize it, but most of us put on many different masks dependant on the situation we find ourselves in. Practice being more consistent no matter what your environment. If someone asks you a question, give a straight answer. Tell the truth, even with the small stuff. And if you don’t have anything nice to say…you know the rest.

Listen to any major spiritual teacher’s definition of love and they will equate it to compassion and understanding. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Instead of wasting your energy bringing someone down for doing or saying something your don’t agree with, why not use that same energy to bring someone up? Say a kind word, listen, help, and practice compassion. Listen to Thích Nhat Hanh’s words “The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”

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