In the past, I allowed negative relationships to catapult me into places, situations, and mindsets that did not honor my spirit and even worse, prevent me from reaching personal and professional goals. Much later in life than I care to admit, I began to pause and reflect on my level of inner peace (or frustration) after leaving the presence of others. I noticed a negative vibe, which wasn’t good for my mindset. The majority of my companions (as a young adult) wore the scarlet letter V for victim and were constantly bitching about life, but taking no ownership in the mess they helped create. (be aware of those that blame everyone else for their problems, we ALL have a part). Sadly, back then, it was more natural for me to hitchhike on that mental joyride. Misery certainly loves company, I needed new friends. My mother used to say, “I can do bad all by my damned self!”.
Positive thinking can’t take root and sprout in an overwhelmingly negative environment so I suited up for battle, ready to move forward in life by any means necessary. I don’t believe in coincidences so when I read that we become like the people we hang around the most, I knew it was meant for me. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. My mind slowly blossomed like a rose welcoming the sun at the crack of dawn. I was finally open to receive the education needed to make a difference in my future. The lessons created scar tissue, but my life is different today because of them! I simply put on an ace bandage and kept it moving!
Changing my environment was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I needed to let go of the toxic, emotional baggage OTHERS brought into their relationships with me, that they weren’t ready to let go of. It wasn’t as if I didn’t have a history of my own, but I was done allowing mistakes to dictate my future. I take the message from the mess and hit the high road. At 50 years old, I still follow this method of thinking, paying attention to my emotional state when I leave the presence of others. I then act accordingly and have no problem cheering them on from afar.
I love this quote by Iyanla Vanzant. It’s a constant reminder not to feel guilty when I take care of myself, which thankfully replaced the ingrained habit women possess of trying to change other people.