Every day of our lives we have an opportunity to either improve or devolve as a person. Those who we surround ourselves with, devote our energy towards. In doing so, we create opportunities for us to help others, and for others to help us. Those opportunities we create, define not only who we are supporting but who supports us.
As a troubleshooter, I look back to see myself frequently taking on persons in my life who needed help. Persons who needed support, that oftentimes shied away from psychological/social support either due to the negative public perception or because of fiscal challenges. But I rarely let anyone help me, not because I didn’t think I didn’t need the support, but rather at the core that I refused to even admit to my counselors I didn’t think I deserved it.
If you spoke with me 3 years ago, you would not have remotely the same conversation with me then as you would now. The COVID lockdown forced me to shrink my bubble. Decide who was critical to have in my life for not only my safety but the safety of those in my life who were at an even higher risk than myself.
My tolerance of love-bombing behaviors by narcissistic sociopaths is no longer tolerated. The sugar-coating responses to avoid offending someone who might be hurt by my calling them out on bad or emotionally harmful behaviors are all gone. My desire to be accepted by peers is no longer a focus but rather replaced with a “either you acknowledge my wisdom on this topic” or I don’t have time for you, at all.
My devotion to volunteering has taken a turn from taking any opportunity to refined focus to make sure that I have “open” time for emergency needs for those in my innermost circles who may call on me. I love volunteering and seeing the smallest changes in the world from it. But when my WORLD needs changes, needs help, I need the flexibility to help achieve it.
My Texas inner circle:
- My tried and true “brother from another mother” has been in my life since 2004. I have been blessed to have his perspective, his insights, and his face-palming when I encountered a question that I couldn’t easily answer on my own. He inspires me to attend the arts when I normally would just sit at home.
- I found my first solid Texas support in my “sister” because she understands me in my unique ways. It was her that allowed me to start letting people know about the inner workings of who I am on a basic level. Helping me not only overcome my personal but my financial challenges she showed me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
- One of the greatest power couples I’ve ever met came back into my life like a radiant double rainbow. Standing side by side in the glorious sunshine as the darkness started to pass. Watching them continue to grow together like two parts of a whole has been inspiring. Knowing that there are such passionate, healthy relationships out there, gives me so much hope for the world.
- My other sister helped house me when I least expected I’d need it in May 2020 to offer and provide my brother, me, and eventually my tornado a home when we needed something to protect my dogs and me until I could get into my own home. I was so blessed to have a home filled with wholesome love and inspiring people.
- In May 2020, thanks to the COVID lockdown, I had an immense change in my inner circle. I found a powerful force that blew into my world like a beautiful tornado. He helped me see the world and myself in not a selfish way, but in a self-sustaining way. Instead of running my battery down to 0%, running it down to 25% and putting my foot down to give me time to regenerate my strength with that remaining energy so that I’m back to my best or near best state sooner than trying to rebuild from 0. I no longer fear putting myself first to be my best.
- And lastly my favorite autistic psychopath. He’s not the typical person one announces they are friends with. But he inspires and encourages me that it’s ok to take pride in WHO and WHAT I can do, to harness that inner narcissist to help me be better. He helped me embrace my uniqueness and embrace it not in a selfish way, but in a way that I can say I got this to even those things I might not have everything already but I know I can get.
Now, I’m not saying that this is the only shift I’ve had in my inner circle, nor am I saying every shift is positive. In high school, I had a group of people that even today I consider myself blessed to have such rock-solid people befriend me. We were inseparable for years until I had a falling out with my bf and needed to put distance between me and him.
Which lead me to befriend a group of acquaintances when I was 18 that I foolishly considered friends who made poor choices. My fallout from that group was when, in our boredom, the group decided to see how much monetary value they could steal in a matter of days. As I was the only one with a car and the only “adult,” I was driving. Ultimately, they did end up stealing about $3k in stuff in three days, thusly losing me as a friend. I saw the path I was walking leading somewhere I could not approve of or take pride in. So I moved on.
What I am saying is, this is my current incredible collection of powerful forces in my everyday world, a group I’m proud to know. If you think those friends you have are holding you back, there is a good possibility, they are. Surround yourself with those who propel you forward to the goals you want in life. If they aren’t, then they aren’t the friends you need.
I’m not advocating abandoning the friends you have, just analyze their role in your life. Stop and evaluate if they are acquaintances, are they friends, are they your inner circle? Taking the time to determine who to put the majority of your effort and energy into can propel your life in a completely different direction. I encourage you to surround yourself with those who help you live the life you need and want to live. Because my “Wizard of Oz” crew, will always be the ones who helped me “get to Kansas” and then beyond. But my Qcon, DFW, and Texas family have inspired me in ways that my mother would have been so incredibly proud of.