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How can I offer loving kindness to toxic people and still protect my boundaries?

January 22, 2024   |   17 Comments

Audio only version is here
Meditation begins at 8:40

Dear, wonderful Open Heart Project,

I received a question recently about offering loving kindness to toxic people while still protecting one’s boundaries. Before today’s sit, I offer a few thoughts.

If you’d like to ask a question for me to address in a future video, please don’t hesitate to send. I won’t mention your name or any identifying characteristics. 

With love, Susan

categorized in: ,


  • Posted by:  Hansje

    Dear Susan,
    what looks like a miracle occurred this morning. The miracle of energies in the universe connecingt at a precise moment.
    What am I talking about?
    This. I’ve been on your mailing list for some time. I listen, read your mails from time to time. That they are there in themselves is supportive to me without reading, listening.
    I have been writing a difficult, necessary letter. Expressing anger. Choosing my words carefully yet authentically without the wish to hurt anyone and express anger over hurt inflicted on another and myself.
    Just now, whilst feeling I could do with some support, connecting, in this situation I open your mail somehow knowing I would find a kindred spirit.
    There it is !! How to find one’s way in toxic situations. Yep.
    From you I heard the acknowledgment I needed to hear, despite already knowing what I was doing was just that:
    Anger can be an expression of Loving Kindness. That is my experience and my spiritual consciousness, awareness.
    Your video was there just when I needed it.
    I have blown kisses into the universe and to you and to All who are finding their way in hurtful, dismissive situations.
    I had a few moments of blissful elation when I heard you examine What is Loving Kindness and what is it not.
    Thank you Susan for being so clear and realistic. I feel aligned with what you said.
    I feel connected and am ready again to continue the letter.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Hansje, I’m so glad to know that the right dharma arrived at the right moment for you. Wishing you the very best in this situation. <3 s

      • Posted by:  Magda

        Thank you very much for the clear explinanation concerning loving kindness. I never saw it that way but yes there is no other option than to start with the situation as it is ,nice or nasty.

        Thanks, namaste

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver

          So glad this was useful, Magda. <3 s


    thank you susan por your explanation. It makes complete sense for me, I feel it in my heart that that is the way. Thank you again

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      you are so welcome. glad it resonated. <3 s

  • Posted by:  Patty

    On your talk on loving kindness—I thought of the phrase ‘healer heal thyself’.’
    Thank you for your talks. You blend a good balance of wisdom and practicality.
    In light, Patty

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      thanks, Patty! happy to practice with you. <3 s

  • Posted by:  Sue Ellen May

    Ah, those final words: “…when it comes to practicing loving kindness, start with what is rather than what you want it to be.” Yes. I think that too often the subject “other” of our focus may really be a construct of our imagination, what we build from what we know of history and what we assume of the present. People not only have parts that no one else can know, but they also change in myriad ways and are subject to forces about which we have no clue. It is a useful exercise to shake off the cobwebs of beliefs and assumptions to see clearly. Maybe the response will be different, maybe not – but it will be based on reality.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      yes yes and yes to all of this, Sue Ellen. <3 s

  • Posted by:  Kimbra

    Thankyou so much, this arrived at a time when I really needed it. I have a difficult issue with a person who sometimes has toxic behaviour because she is narcissistic we have finally realised.
    It is such a relief to me that I don t have to offer loving kindness to her to honour my own spiritual nature. I give it to myself. Thankyou! 💕 I feel unburdened. 🙏

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      i truly understand what you mean, Kimbra! wishing you well. <3 s

  • Posted by:  Jane Deakin

    Brilliant as ever and luminously sane. So helpful. Thank you 🙏

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      thank you!! <3 s

  • Posted by:  Anna Veronesi

    Thank you for your skillfulness and generosity in sharing the Dharma.


    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      You are so welcome, Anna. <3 s

  • Posted by:  Stephanie

    Thank you for this. Starting with What Is makes good sense. I had never heard this approach to Loving Kindness and the idea of not forgetting ourselves is wonderful.

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