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toph telling it like it is.

and korra being in complete denial with the sweat of realization.

What Korra doesn’t get, I think, is that Toph’s not really saying that she consciously wants to shirk her duties.  She doesn’t.  It’s pretty clear that Korra would love nothing more than to go back to her former “normal,” considering how much she’s done already to try to pursue that goal.

But, subconsciously, she can’t deal with the existential fear that Zaheer forced her to confront.  The last time she fought for real, she had her agency stripped away and was nearly murdered.  She’s hesitant in fights because she’s afraid to take risks, and her psyche keeps sabotaging her whenever she tries to get better because getting better means people trying to kill her again.

And that, I think, is why it’s important for her to remove the poison herself.  She needs to learn to accept that fear for what it is and move past it before she can improve any further.

(What’s especially sad about this whole thing, I think, is that fighting used to be Korra’s defense against this sort of existential fear.  She responded to her fear of Amon by trying to fight him and his cronies, she never stopped fighting back against Tarrlok when he kidnapped her, she fought Unavaatu to save Raava after Raava was ripped from her.  This time, though, her defense mechanism is her trigger :/

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