Growing up, I always had a lot of friends. I was friends with “nerds,” with “Jocks,” with “bad” kids, with “Popular kids.” People just seemed so interesting to me. I think this served me a lot in my formative years because I was so tolerant of people in general. The thing is, when you are willing to attract all types, it means that you aren’t discerning who you draw into your life.
I’ve had amazing friends. I have had friends who were casual acquaintances who sometimes meant more to me than people I hung out with on a regular basis. I had “best friends” because they insisted. I had people who crossed the line so far I pretty much never spoke to them again.
I personally had to learn for myself that I didn’t need to be friends with everyone. It took me awhile to realize this. People would call me, take up my time on the phone and in coffee shops, complaining about this or that, slowly dampening my resolve and sunshiny attitude I had cultivated for the day. I felt that if only I could keep spewing positive messages, maybe a few of them would stick and I would be able to help people live better lives!
But here’s the truth: I deserved better than that and so do you. If you feel that you “owe” it to someone to be their friend, even if they make you unhappy or feel bad about yourself or the world, then they aren’t really your friend and you owe it to YOURSELF to make the best of where you are at and eventually let the friendship fade away.
The rewards are worth so much more. When I stopped caring so much about how I appeared to be for everyone else, I attracted people who were looking at life the way I wanted to. That’s a beautiful thing because a handful of strong people against a hundred whiny, unhappy people will always win.
If you are an artist or performer, then this applies doubly for you. The business is full of people who are racing to get ahead. Some people will use you. Some will try to freak you out. So when you find someone who wants to uphold you instead of compete with you, someone who wants you to succeed as much as they want to succeed themselves, STICK with those people!
Maybe you’re at a place where you feel that you are the negative one and your friends are no longer connecting with you. That’s okay too. It’s knowing where you are and realizing that you can always have your life be better: better job, better friends, better situation. But it all starts on the inside. Feeling better about yourself and looking at life with a sense of wonder will help everything else fall into place.
It doesn’t make you a bad person to want to be happy. Actually, it makes you a good person. Because when you are happy, so are the people around you. Eventually, the sour patch kids (cause everyone really IS sweet deep down..I like to think so anyway) will be inspired by your success.
This weekend I came across a Rumi poem that inspired me to write about this. Here it is:
Be with those who help your being.
Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes out cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.
A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don’t try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it’s too late for all you could become.
Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?
Don’t settle. Be your best self. Have a great week, everyone.