Lenny Ravich
What Do Negative Relationships Have to Do with It?

What Do Negative Relationships Have to Do with It?

December 15, 2022

Hi again. C’est Moi, Lenny Ravich Humorous and Inspirational Keynote Speaker in London and Hong Kong, and author of the bestselling book “Everlasting Optimism”.

So I’m 86 and I go to buy a watch. The salesperson showed me a gold one and said it was $2,000. I started to walk out and I heard, “but sir, it has a five year guarantee.” I answered “At my age I’m not sure I, myself have a five-year guarantee.”

In my previous blog I promised you a story concerning our relationships. Some of them destructive. You might have heard this one before:

Cold Prickly

Once upon a time in a faraway village close to the sea, there was a very special custom among the residents. They all carried a cloth sack with them which contained little, temperate, furry balls called “warm fuzzy”. Whenever a villager met another inhabitant he or she would smile, open their fabric bag and hand the other a warm fuzzy. This warm fuzzy would make the receiver feel friendly inside and smile on the outside. The receiver would dig deep into his/her bag, smile and give a warm fuzzy in return. This kept everyone cheery, feeling good, in great health and high self-esteem.

One day a sorceress appeared and watched this ceremony with dismay. Something bothered her about people feeling so good with each other 24 hours a day seven days a week. “There is a yang here without the yin,” she thought to herself.

She disguised herself to look like a fellow villager and approached a young schoolboy and said, “Why do you give your warm fuzzy away? Don’t you know that you will one day be left without any warm fuzzies for yourself? Be careful.”

“B-b-but” the boy stuttered, “When I give one away I get one back. I’ll never be without.”

Not true,” cackled the witch. “I can show you how you can save all your warm fuzzies and have more than everyone else. Wouldn’t you like that?”

The youth was confused but was still willing to listen. The witch opened her purse and took out an awful looking chilly, black, thorny substance and said, “This is a ‘cold prickly.’ You give this to someone who gives you a warm fuzzy and keep your warm fuzzy to yourself, unless you want to be left with none.”

The child put the ‘cold prickly’ into his sack and when he met his friend Heidi, she smiled, and gave him a warm fuzzy which caused him to feel affectionate and good all over. Instead of giving a warm fuzzy in return, he heeded the enchantress’s warning of living in scarcity and handed the girl a cold prickly which made her cringe with disgust. It was obvious that this act caused physical and emotional damage to the young girl. But the boy lived in fear of not having enough.

Destructive Transformation

In due time the village was transformed from a joyful and loving place to one of suspicion and threat, as more and more people were giving out cold prickles in fear of living a life lacking in warm fuzzies. Jealousy was rife as husbands accused wives of giving away too many warm types of fuzz to other inhabitants and not having enough for the family. Daughters and sons accused fathers and mothers of handing out too many warm types of fuzzies to their siblings and not having enough for them. The natives of the village began locking their doors at night and not letting their children play outside. Fear, anxiety, lack, and guilt were rampant where there was once love, trust, abundance and safety.

I chose to tell you this story for a few reasons. First, each person who reads it interprets it differently, and second, not all relationships are positive. Some are “cold prickly” and can make one sicker than not having a relationship at all. These “cold pricklies” are poisonous people who criticize, compare, have expectations of you and judge you. They will shoot down any dream you have with a “You can’t do that, it’s not possible and not real. Who do you think you are?”

Negative or Nothing

There are individuals, myself included, who would rather have toxic relationships than none at all. Imagine a person who is thirsty, and if there is no fresh water around would rather drink sea water knowing how it’s causing harm; but what the heck, it’s wet. I used to harbor negative relationships. I was afraid of letting go of my toxic “friends” for fear of not finding any other relationship at all.

We have the option of eliminating these kinds of people from our life, even if they happen to be family. They are bad for our health and sense of self-worth.

Surround Yourself with Love

Surround yourself with those who would give you warm fuzzies, and support you and your dreams, if you want to be strong and healthy. I try and remind the participants who attend my humorous keynote talks in London and Hong Kong of this phenomenon.

Another reason for my telling you the story is to show you that no matter how much love, money, support, or anything else you give to others unconditionally, you will always get it back, forever living in abundance and never lacking in anything.

Hurtful Relationships

There is a new psychological sickness emerging in our Western Culture called “relational dysfunction.” My friends, all diseases are relational dysfunctions. It’s all relational. The word disease is “dis” and “ease”. If you have an undesirable relationship you are “dis-eased”, and if you are “diseased” it is because your affiliations don’t work. Our health is directly proportional to our enhanced interactions.

Write down on a scale from one to ten what your most important values are. Where would you list relationships?  One? Five? If one of the most important things in your life is your immediate family and/or meaningful others, and the mutual nourishment that you share with one another, chances are you are healthy and happy.

We are on the quest for permanent elation AND…

All you need is…CONFIRMATION which I will talk about in my next blog. See you then.


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