The ONLY Resolution you Need this January!
The people we surround ourselves with can be a joy. They can lift, support, encourage and inspire us. Or they can quite frankly drag us down. Right down… to the depths of despair. But we’ve known them for donkey’s years, right? They are our ‘friends’. We can’t just abandon them in their incessant times of moaning need. Or can we? Well, in the name of putting SELF love first, I am here to tell you that YES, we can. At least a little bit, at best a lot.
Because it may come as something of a revelation BUT your most important relationship during your time here on planet Earth is actually with YOU. Not with your kids, nor with your husband, or with the rest of your family… and certainly not with your friends.
If you are not putting YOU first, what do you have to offer anybody else?
It’s like the airplane oxygen mask scenario. Which hopefully you will never need to put into practice, but it’s a fitting analogy for my point. You fit yours first before you come to the aid of anybody else. Why? Because you are little help to another if you are running on empty, putting your own needs at the bottom of the pile. No matter what the circumstances of those around you. Yes, no matter what; be they penniless, poorly or heartbroken. For YOU are the only person that YOURSELF will be with – in the physical sense at least – throughout this journey we call life. You’ve got to start honouring that person more, loving that person more, winking at that person in the mirror more, tending to the basic needs and desires of that person more.
First. Then you can help others… and only when they truly can’t help themselves.
Which means not putting up with second best when it comes to friendship.
And this simple New Year’s (or actually any time of the year) resolution will bring about a ripple effect of change in your life that you couldn’t even anticipate. Because we all have friends who only seem to come to us with bad news, doom and gloom. So the question I want you to ponder is: do you really want the drama, let alone need it? Abandon your ‘guilt’ right now, your ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughtas’ as well. Do these pals of yours add to the rosiness of the fabric of your life, or do they blot mostly miserable stains on the patchwork quilt? This is YOUR life. You are entitled to the best, and the company you keep is no exception to that rule.
Glass Half Full v. Glass Half Empty.
You can probably reel half a dozen of each of these friend types off already. Who makes you feel best? Who lights up a room when they enter it? Who do you love to be around? Who applauds you when you step out of your comfort zone? And who tries to harness you back in? Who perpetually whinges about the rain? Who is never happy and constantly wearing a chip on their shoulder? Who could find something to complain about on an all inclusive holiday in The Bahamas on a white sandy beach supping Mojitos under the starry sky whilst dining with George Clooney? Herein lie your clues…
The false security of gazillions of friends…
When it comes to Facebook, Twitter and all the other forms of social media, it can be overwhelmingly tempting to keep collecting ‘buddies’. I know I am constantly amazed at the friends and family members of mine who I can see have 1,000 plus friends on Facebook! How can they possibly have time for them all? That’s a lot of drama! Now, I cannot overlook the fact that actually, these 100’s or 1,000’s of pals may just be full of jolly status updates and cheery pictures most of the time. But let’s face it, they probably won’t be. And that’s a helluva lot of news feeds to be trawling through each day. Do you really need to see the terror of the news shared by the majority of those people, the harrowing pictures flashing up on your mobile phone over and over? Ten years ago, would it have been any of your business if X, Y or Z was in the doctor’s waiting room, if they’d just pranged their car or had their wallet stolen? ‘Cos that’s what I’m talking about. Do you really want to scroll through this mass negativity every morning? Does it set you up well for your day ahead? Does it inspire you? Do these statements shine like beacons of light making the world a better place? You may like to be in the know, but you don’t need to be inundated.
Start off small.
In many ways, Facebook is THE perfect place to start because so many of us are on it every day. You don’t need to go all dramatic and announce a grand Facebook cull. For one thing it screams of attention seeking and for another, people might just happen to see your statement and be aware of the fact that they didn’t make the cut! But you can subtly, very subtly de-friend (I prefer the term ‘set free’, feels so much more peaceful) those with whom you have not an iota in common; those who never comment on or like your pictures; those who never post a damn thing and are the ultimate Silent Witnesses (neither do they email, call, or send you Christmas cards). In fact, they have no place in your life any longer. Perhaps they even keep you subconsciously stuck in the past? Do yourself and THEM a favour. Let them go. It works both ways.
You will no doubt have noticed you’ve been de-friended by somebody or another yourself too over the past 8 years… or however long you’ve been actively engaged in Facebook. I know it has happened to me on a number of occasions! But rather than get all uppety and defensive about it, which could so easily be my initial reaction, I shrug my shoulders – since sometimes I can’t make the immediate connection as to why they no longer want contact – and wish ’em sincerely well. We’ve clearly served a purpose to one another at a certain point in our lives. Friendship is like an elevator. It’s time to move on and this is the Universe’s signal.
Out with the old, in with the new.
This is the greatest thing! Now watch this space. Just like when you de-clutter your wardrobe, you magically come across the new top you’ve been dreaming of in a shop, or inherit the most awesome pair of unworn Jimmy Choos from your posh friend, when you let your old mates go, new ones come trickling in. And not just any old new ones, but new ones who are much more in line with who YOU are today.
However, there’s one BIG thing here that we can’t overlook…
Our vibe plays a huge part in the people who are magnetically attracted to us. Oh yes. In fact, drum roll… we are actually 100% responsible for the posse we create. Bitter pill to swallow, it may even sound slightly contradictory, but it is true – scientifically so. You see, our thoughts create our reality. And so do the precise opinions we have about our friends. When we constantly look for the worst in them, guess what? Like a mirror’s reflection we have to get those exact traits flashed right back at us. And so… if we don’t correct our thinking, if we think the solution is to leave the workplace with annoying colleagues, rather than amend our skewed point of view which is always looking for the negative in people, we will only go and find another role with a replica group of ‘awkward’ workmates. The pattern repeats itself until we get the message.
The best balance I have found is a fifty/fifty approach.
I fill up on the naturally cheery friendships, spend less time with those who are Eeyores – even if they are cute and cuddly (yet try to zoom in on their positive aspects when they cross my mind) – and things visibly improve. I won’t pretend it comes instantly, naturally even. As humanity we have been trained to find the ‘problems’. But with focus and practise you’ll be blown away by not only the quality of your friendships and the new people who appear randomly in your life, but the upgraded version you get of some of the Down in the Dumpsters brigade.
It really does work every time. Give it a go. Forget your traditional annual diet and do The New Year’s Friend Cleanse instead. It’s so much more fun, and you’re guaranteed to lose a lot of emotional baggage style weight!