While there have been times in the last few months that I’ve considered giving Facebook the boot (too much time sucked, too much negative energy, just too much too much), there are certain elements and connections and people I have via the social media mogul that keep me coming back for more. And actually, that’s very much in line with the point of this post – how much better you can serve yourself by picking your company wisely and surrounding yourself with the very best – the people who will see and nurture the good in you no matter how bad things get. And thanks to Facebook, I was recently reminded that the people in our inner bubble – our true guides – are ones we need to choose wisely and hold close. The advice and counsel of others who might be talking in our ears? Well, perhaps not so much.
I first remember being introduced to this concept as an adult several years ago in Patti Digh’s book Four Word Self-Help. It’s a fab little piece and one four-worder that jumped out at me was, “Give Up Toxic People.” At the time, I had a neighbor who, whenever we chatted in our front yards, would just go on and on and on about everything wrong in her life. It became so draining to talk to her that I started to avoid initiating conversation. I mean, I get it – we all have Tuesdays in our lives, but every day cannot be Tuesday. If it is, then please find a professional to help you see beyond those days, because even someone such as myself, who does not believe that every moment of every waking hour is filled with sunshine and roses, knows that attitude and perspective and HELP can go a long, long way in finding the better. Anyway – after reading Digh’s discussion of toxic people, it was pretty clear to me that my neighbor was not someone in which I could invest any more of myself. We could still be cordial and polite but vulnerable and connected? No. In the years since I have come to this same place, this same conclusion, in other relationships and friendships, and while the giving up part can be very hard, I have found doing so to be beneficial in the long run. When you make these hard decisions and changes, you are ultimately healing and protecting your heart by walking away from those who do not truly support or see you. Naturally, my yoga practice of the last year+ has deepened this belief for me. As I continue my journey to self-acceptance and radical self-love, I see how beneficial it is to keep the company of those who will listen rather than lecture, offer acceptance before advice, and love me, faults and all.
As all of this has been rattling around in my head lately, it was a beautiful moment of synchronicity last week when a friend posted on Facebook about a speaker she had seen many years ago who asked the audience who, if given the chance, would they select to sit on their own personal Board of Directors for their lives. People to “council you, to support you, to offer solutions to your problems and to see the ‘big picture’ and to help you achieve a happy, successful life.” My very wise friend (who totally gave me permission to steal all of this for a blog post – thanks, K!) went on to list examples (spouse, family members, teachers, coaches, friends, etc.) and then beautifully ended with the following: