One of my all-time greatest heroes (admittedly, I have many) is a chap named Abraham Maslow. Maslow was a psychologist in Brooklyn, NY, who created the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. Now, don’t worry, Friends, you’re not going to get ambushed with some dry, pointless pontificating here; that’s what toads are for (and, oh, they are good at it, aren’t they?). No, the point about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that applies here is a brief one and a simple one: You can’t be yourself if you’re busy worrying about being safe.
Like many things that we talk about, that’s an obvious point on paper, but it gets a whole lot harder when we fit it into our lives. You may not feel like the narcissistic toad in your life is actually threatening your SAFETY, but he is. Safety, and health, includes having a mind that knows it’s safe to rest, to muse, to create, to think about nothing, zen-style. And if you’re with a toad I’ll bet my buttons it’s been a long, long time since you’ve been able to relax like that.
You can’t recover from a trauma to your soul that you’re still experiencing. You can’t recover from an emotional beating you’re still taking. You can’t recover from the abuse of a toad when you’re still with him.
The whole idea behind recovery is to get to where you feel safe so that you can move forward in peace and with energy, and be the person you were “meant” to be. This is so key, so pivotal to our mission, that you can use it to identify toady behavior in any situation and with any person. Sometimes in life we ARE unsafe, in ways that don’t involve malice or predation, like when a hurricane is barreling through town (hi, Irene), or when our company is announcing layoffs, or when a child is very sick. These are times when you set aside your calling in life, and your work at maximizing your potential, until the danger has passed. But sometimes people threaten your safety for their own purposes, or just because that’s who they are (and what they do). If it seems like you might be in such a situation, you can ask yourself — Is your peace of mind being threatened? Is it being threatened purely on the whim of an assclown? If so, things aren’t safe, and you can’t be relaxed until they are. You can’t be yourself until the toad’s effects on your life have been neutralized.
Toads aren’t safe. At all. If they can, they’ll stomp all over your life until there’s nothing left, and smile and tell you everything’s terrific while they’re doing it. You can’t recover from this when he’s still in your life, and your life is begging you to be safe so that your life can relax and be at its very best. Your mind wants any danger, famine (including emotional famine), and threats you encounter to be rare, and brief, not a lifestyle.
If your house, and your time, were true sanctuaries of safety and creativity, would the toad be invited in them? Would he be sitting at the kitchen table, smiling broadly while lying, manipulating, and talking about himself?
I bet my buttons he would not.