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A Trash Talker’s New Mantra


I refuse to see anything but the light in you.

By Tanya Lee Markul

I heard a saying somewhere that went something like this: I refuse to see anything but the light in you. I used to gossip my buns off. I’d trash-talk until the cows
came home, and I’d revel in the disharmony and conflict that my voice and participation had in creating hell for the people, especially women, that I was pissed off at or jealous of.

And then I got real.

Getting lost in the gossip grapevine is yucky and dangerous. It’s one thing to be interested in and to talk about what others are doing—especially when it comes to the people you love and who stretch and inspire you. But what happens when you start making crappy accusations, presumptions, and assumptions, and your intention is to be hurtful and to rally or turn people against someone? After years of self-inquiry, I’ve realized that my own gossipy tactics were just a cover-up for my ridiculous insecurity. Even more so, my gossip was an indication of my resistance to step into the best possible version of myself. I wasn’t walking my talk, so I’d become critical of those who were or for those who had something I thought I was deficient in.

Looking back, I realize now that I probably had more in common with the people I have shit-talked than the people I was shit-talking to!


What it comes down to is this: gossiping is fugly. And you know what else? You may think that people can’t feel or know or be aware of your sneaky drops of poison, but they are and on some level they do know. And this is one thing that can come around and bite you hard on the ass! So watch out, because gossip is nasty and you can’t escape from it—not for a long time. It’s also like its buddy, misery. Gossip loves friends—especially the ones who are also refusing to step into their shoes!

At the end of the day, isn’t it time we all realize that we’re all going through something? We don’t need to understand everything to ignite our powers of compassion
and understanding, even when our insecurities or tender spots are triggered. We have a choice. We can choose to take action that brings us all closer together or we can choose to do the opposite—we can refuse to see who we really are, use our power irresponsibly, and push us all farther apart.

And like my grandma says: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Save us all a lot of heartache and pain.

Let’s refuse to see anything but the light in one another. I’ll go first.

Tanya Lee Markul is a quirky creative and yogini who writes. She is a devoted student to the sacred art of self-discovery, authentic creative expression, and wellness alchemy. She is the creator of and and co-founder of and

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