What Bleach Taught Me About People ~ by Author Marj Ivancic

Did you know that bleach loses its potency over time? I didn’t. I learned by happenstance when my husband, thinking it was of the color-safe variety, added some to a laundry load of semi-whites. Luckily, the bottle had been in the cupboard for months and was no more dangerous to our stripes and flower patterns than water. 

But the experience was oddly enlightening.
As I reflected on some past relationships, I realized, sometimes, the people in our lives can be a bit like bleach. Harsh, draining, detrimental to the vibrancy of our souls. I used to subscribe to the “cut the toxic out of your life” philosophy. I still do, in some instances. But that old bleach helped me see that not all toxins stay so.

Sometimes, those people are fundamentally decent folks. It’s just their opinions or interests that clash with my own. Or maybe things they say are hurtful or leave me feeling down. Or maybe, for no real fault of their own, they just bring out the worst in me.

Sometimes, that incompatibility is due to where they are in life. Or where I am in life. Timing, as they say, is important to any success. And we humans are the product of not only our past but also our now, so things like new influences or life events can shift that timing out of whack. Or heck, even waking up one morning and realizing you haven’t met any of those childhood goals and you need to get focused and do it. Sometimes, one person is struggling with something they haven’t shared or don’t even realize yet themselves and it’s manifesting itself in their actions and words.

Perhaps in those cases, the relationship just needs a little shelf time to allow the two ingredients—them AND me—to change, to grow and maybe mellow. Or for the circumstances in which we exist to change.

Of course, not all relationships are meant to be. Some don’t deserve a stay of execution in the first place. For those that do, some don’t survive their time up in the cupboard. They dry up, leaving the bottle empty. Others may come down as noxious as ever and still need to be flushed. But sometimes, they emerge different and better. Healthier.

8 comments:

  1. Tolerance, patience, and kindness. And as you say, some will remain toxic regardless. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I love those 3 words. I think they are the foundation of what it means to be resilient! ❤️

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  2. I freaking LOVE this post SO much! SO perfectly said, Marj!! You are an amazing soul that I am SO blessed to call my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Dar!!! I feel the same way about you! You are 1 in a million! ❤️⭐♥️⭐

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    1. Thank you, my friend! ♥️🥰♥️🥰♥️

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  4. I too have let go of relationships in the past that feel toxin. What a good reminder that the toxicity may have lessened.

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    1. Hopefully it has! Reconnecting can be so healing! 🤗

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