In the book Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll writes: “If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.”
Obviously none of us set out to intentionally drink poisons. Yet, it is amazing how innocently they seem to show up in our lives, first in small doses that are easy to overlook, and then slowly they grow and take over our lives, until we find ourselves consuming them at a shockingly fast pace.
Have you paid attention to the ‘poisons’ you have been drinking lately in your life? Is it a poisonous job, or a poisonous work environment, or a poisonous relationship, or a poisonous friendship? Is it a poisonous atmosphere where you are constantly getting dragged down? Is it a poisonous self-image where you never see yourself as good enough or pretty enough or smart enough? Or perhaps it’s your own poisonous bad habit, or two, or three, or…well…you get the point.
The fact is that we all have those poisons in our lives, and if we allow ourselves to continue consuming them they will almost certainly disagree with us sooner or later. Some will disagree with us in small ways, while others may prove to be lethal. Regardless of the damage they inflict, they are all poisons, and it is up to us to identify them, and to take the steps to weed them out of our lives for good.
It has been said that admitting our problem is half the battle, so I suppose a good start would be to identify the poisons in our own life, writing each one of them down in a list so we are well aware of what poisons we are to avoid. Then apply a warning label to each poison (something to the effect of “You would have to be a complete moron to even consider drinking this stuff!” would suffice). Then list out the possible consequences we might face if we don’t weed these things out of our lives, and list out the positive things that will come if we do weed them out, so we can refer to that list regularly as a daily reminder and motivator to help us stay on the right track. If the list appears exhaustive and intimidating, then prioritize which poisons are the most important to give up by first, second, third, and so on, so you can work on them one at a time, rather than all at once. The most important thing is to make progress on eliminating more poisons each day, continuously moving forward. There is no way we will ever eliminate every single poison from our life, but that is okay because the end goal is simply to keep moving forward trying our very best each day to be better than we were the day before, and if we can accomplish that then we will have achieved success.
Remember that every day we weed out more poisons we are making more room for goodness and joy and happiness to fill our lives, and that is a marvelous thing!