Recently, I stumbled upon the Facebook page of a young man by the name of Trent Shelton. I am drawn to anything inspirational, motivational or just something that gives me the warm fuzzies, and I can tell you that the videos and messages this young man posts are all of those things. I watched one of his videos this week and the message has really stayed in my head. The subject was: “If all you had to offer was friendship, who would still be in your circle of friends?”
Trent points out that many of us have people in our lives that we are fighting for, but those people wouldn’t throw a punch for us, and that everybody in our boat may not be rowing, but actually drilling holes. His message made me do some soul searching, and I realized I have a very small circle of friends. I’m good with that because the ones in my circle would lay down their life for me if it came to it. But what do I offer as a friend? I am not wealthy. I am not powerful or politically connected. I fly a little under the radar and sometimes completely off the radar. So what is it that I offer my small circle of friends? What do any of us offer our friends? I think the characteristics we seek in our relationships are loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, faithfulness, and integrity. We want someone we can laugh with and to be ourselves around without having to worry about being judged. We want someone with good values and morals that will hold us accountable for our actions, making us reach for a higher standard in ourselves. We want someone to stand up for us when we aren’t there to stand up for ourselves. If those are the characteristics we desire in a friendship, then in order to attract those kinds of relationships, we need to be all of those things ourselves.
If we have people in our lives that don’t meet those standards, we need to let them go because they are not our friends. If we have people in our lives that are drilling holes in our boats instead of rowing with us, we need to let them go. If we have people in our lives that aren’t encouraging us to achieve our dreams and are not proud of us when we do so, we need to let them go. Letting go of someone is never easy, but when that person brings a toxic element to our life, the relief we feel when they are gone will be instantaneous. That is when we will know it’s right. When we begin to purge those people from our lives, our circle becomes smaller, but we will know without a shadow of doubt the people in that circle will always be in our corner.