Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Circle of Influence as Inspired by The Shine Project.

If you don't follow or read The Shine Project, I recommend it.  I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself and be a better person in order to fully enjoy life and give others joy; I am consistently amazed at Ashley's sincerity and love for others.

A couple of years ago (when I found out I was pregnant), I made a conscious decision - with the help of many years of prayer - to keep people closest to me that build me up and make me a better person. 

Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.
 - Proverbs 4:23

Since then, I've developed a few really great friendships and built on some old ones.  I don't think that anyone is innately 'bad,' but I do believe that some relationships bring us down for various different reasons; generally, it is two-sided.  I'm a pretty open book, but there are some details of my life that I keep private because I believe these things are only meant to be shared with a few.

These are the people that have the greatest influence on me and are rock-solid constants in my life:

{siblings: twin, hinny, and nenny}
{my beefs!: amanda w. (almost z!), whitney, amanda o.}

{the man.: big steven}
These people are the ones that I interact with most frequently; if I'm dealing with internal issues, work issues, baby issues, etc., I call these friends first.  Of course I always have my parents, but no one wants parents to worry, right?

After reading Ashley's most recent challenge, I was inspired to take a good look at all of my relationships (the ones here and the ones beyond these) and really ask myself if there is anyone who brings me down; I've been and still am struggling to find the true answers.  I think sometimes I convince myself that people have my best interest at heart because I want them to, but really examining their actions leaves my heart conflicted.

Recently I was told that I am 'too sensitive.'  It's okay that I was told that because everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it brought me back to a moment when I was told the same thing by someone different.  I decided when that someone spoke those words to me that I would never let these words define me negatively because my emotions are what make me a good friend, girlfriend, and mother.  The statement that I am too sensitive takes validity away from what I feel and feelings are always valid.  The problem with being told that I am 'too sensitive' is that I don't feel like I can share my true feelings with that person any longer.  This is heart breaking.

I suppose my point is that examining relationships is important.  If we just allow people in our hearts that break it, we will soon become hard-hearted in the same way.

"Happiness is not by chance, but by choice."

These words could not be more true.  We choose our actions and our reactions, we choose who we allow in our lives and who we don't.

Choose these things wisely.

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