Friends In The Storm

With the recent sequence of events, I have been very sad and disappointed in my seemingly poor judgment of others. How could this seemingly well educated and knowledgeable person make such a bad decision with her time and her resources? It’s very easy to have a pity party and get on the woe is me bandwagon. Fortunately I have some amazing friends who kept me off that runaway train. Since I talked about the lessons I learned yesterday, today I’ll share a little bit more about how I even came to the place where I could see the rainbow through the clouds.

Angry, embarrassed and frustrated with my situation and myself, I came home feeling defeated and used. In several conversations with family, friends and strangers even I was prompted to find the good in the experience. I was asked questions about what I learned? With whom I met and interacted? What skills did I acquire?  In trying to articulate the positive to my loved ones (in an attempt to minimize the shame), I uncovered many of the lessons I shared on yesterday.

Ok, so why am I sharing this again after I already talked about it yesterday?! Today I want to talk about those friends. Those friends who helped me keep the right perspective about my experiences.

First let me provide some background. I am an analytical person, which is the nice way to say sometimes critical (and even negative if I am honest). Being analytical without the negativity is something I have been working on for years, and getting better I must say. But I am not all the way there yet. I am especially hard on myself which made my mistakes in judgment so brutal for me. What I had hoped was that the progress I made in being fearless enough to embark on this journey would not be overcome by regret for making a series of seemingly bad and very financially costly decisions.

I expected my loved ones to chastise and criticize me for my mistakes but they didn’t. They helped me get past the emotion to see the blessings. What?! That was such a (self-imposed) weight lifted off my chest. How could I have been so lucky to have been blessed with such an amazing circle of friends? Even my most critical friends were focused on solution not sadness.

Over time as I have worked on myself, I have evaluated those around me. I have friends that are always going to be friends because of a bond created over an extended period of time. I have friends that I have been attracted to because they add a light to my life. I also have friends that have been attracted to me because they see a light in me that contributes positively to their life.  I have noticed that the people I spend the most time with over the years are the ones who can see the rainbows in the clouds. Let’s face it the world is hard enough on its own to voluntarily surround yourself with people who will make it even harder with their negative attitudes and outlook on life.

People say that you are like the 5 people you hang around most; if I am nearly as caring, supportive, positive and forward thinking as my friends around me then I’ll be ok. Watch the company that you keep because whether you realize it or not, you are a reflection of each other.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone has a hard day and no one person Is perfect. In general though do you find that the people you hang around enrich your life? Are you constantly making each other better? Do you support each other’s dreams? Do you find joy in having good times and experiencing new things together?  I think you get the drift.

So I guess it wasn’t coincidence that my friends were exactly what they have always been … loving, supportive and solution oriented.  And those who weren’t always that way it seems have migrated further in that direction over time through maturity and life experience (and hopefully a little influence from me and my growth).

This post is my thank you to you all! You know exactly who you are. Thanks for the phone calls, chats over happy hour and dinner and the FB messages and emails of encouragement. I won’t forget it and ill be here to do the same should you ever need.

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