“Who and what we surround ourselves with is who and what we become. In the midst of good people, it is easy to be good. In the midst of bad people, it is easy to be bad.” Karen M. Moning, Iced
I did a series of twitter chats this past week on “Knowing Your Row”, and “courageous conversations” that really struck a deep nerve with people. In reviewing my timeline, I found that many of us are deeply frustrated with the inability to find good people, befriend those people, and keep them in our inner circle for life.
What I want you to realize this Sunday, however, is just a few things that I believe if you can grasp them firmly, they will change your life positively. I have been “going through it” since about last September. I mean really dealing with some major life shifts and transformations. Some hurts that have rocked me to my core. I have spent some days lying on my floor, balled up in a fetal position, not knowing how or if I could get back up. Although, I still am not ready to talk about it publicly yet, I do get into some of it in my forthcoming book, The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life this October 2014.
I want to be unequivocal about what I am going to say next, because it matters. Your inner circle, your life row mirrors you. If you are not happy with your life right now, you need to do two things: 1. Check yourself. And 2. Check your circle.
What I found as I was experiencing some major stuff all at once, was that I had people around me who are good people but they do not know how to fight for me, fight with me, stand for me, or stand in the gap for me. That is not a great lesson to learn when all hell breaks loose in our lives (truth be told I have been in a fight for my peace, my spirit, and my physical wellness for a few years), I just do a very good job of forcing myself to stay positive, stay open, and to keep lifting others as I walk through life’s valleys and climb her mountains. Whenever we get down, we need to help others who are dealing with worse than what we are. It helps to keep perspective. It helps to keep us humble and grateful for what we still have left, when someone else has lost everything that matters.
My circle has shifted in the last 2-3 years. Some people got moved out quietly and with care. Others, who had no business ever being in my midst, much less my circle were cut off abruptly and completely once they showed me who they were. Some got moved back a few seats, but they are still seated. And others, much to my surprise got moved up to the front of my life because when it all fell apart they stepped up, in, and hunkered down to pull me out and through my storms. Those people are the ones who share my CODE. They have allowed me to be there for them, and when I needed them they were there for me.
My point is this: Take a long hard look at your inner circles. Your connections. They matter a lot. Get rid of jealousy, envy or strife creators. Get rid of the silent Sue who never celebrates your success, but always has her hand out for you to do for her. Get rid of those who constantly berate you or tell you that you have NO RIGHTS to expect anything from them. That is just a twisted view of friendship. Friendship is 100% about accountability, love in action, support, encouragement and care. Who wants or needs friends that will sit on the sidelines, hurl some bible verses at us, and wish us well when life is beating us up? Nobody has time for that. I know I do not.
Be done with social vampires, people who don’t know how to reciprocate your kindness, and most importantly get rid of anyone who does not share your values. Your Code. I have very little drama in my close inner circle because these ladies and gents share my values of faith, love, kindness, support, empathy, and loyalty above all. If I have to beg you to be my friend, to show me love, or to be there for me as I have been for you, we have a problem. I thank God everyday for the people who rejected me. The ones I wanted so badly to have in my row. They were superficial, surface acquaintances. Never to be in my life. Never to go where I am going. They so missed the gift of me. And yes, I know I am a gift and so should you. Because we teach people how to treat us.
In the final analysis, you need to guard your heart by guarding your row. Your life circle must be closed and complete when it comes to who inhabits her. Pay attention and do not hesitate to remove the wrong people from your life. You don’t need grand announcements or to do so hurtfully. You just need to ease them back and out. Life is short. Surround yourself with people who will take you higher. Surround yourself with people who mirror your soul, your values and your life code. I promise you when you do that, your life will take flight. I am experiencing it right now. I made some adjustments in my circle, around my faith and where I worshipped (how I worship), and in my most intimate family and personal relationships. I was drowning because I had people around me who did not know how to throw me a life preserver. Let me say this again: Get people in your life who will come after you when you are lost, who will guard your dignity, protect your reputation, and who will defend you when you are unfairly attacked. Get some people who will fight for you when you cannot fight anymore, who will love you when you feel broken, and who will literally cut a hole through a rough top and lower you down to get healing from the Master himself. (See Luke 5:19).
Be clear that the people you have to move a few rows are not bad people. They are just the wrong people for you and for me. The wrong people to be in your and my life front row.
Have a blessed Sunday. Rest today. Rejuvinate today. Restore today.