Choose friends wisely

Hello my beautiful bells.

I say “beautiful” to bring intentional focus, not to your twinkling eyes or contagious smiles, but rather your beautiful hearts. You both are ingrained with kindness and a glorious spirit. You are full of hope, optimism and curiosity. Fiercely protect this God-given goodness within you. We are greatly influenced by the things we let in, with no small part coming from the comments, attitude, values (or lack thereof) and demeanor of our friends. The people you spend time with will either accelerate your growth or pile weight on your back. Be discerning when choosing friends.

True friends lift each other up

I’m hoping that you are rolling your eyes at the repetitiveness of this message. Yes, I realize that I ask (continuously) if so-and-so is a good friend. Here’s why. We walk among vastly different people. Some are givers. Others keep to themselves. Some are highly considerate. Many are internally focused. Some emanate positive energy. And others are plain mean. Any of these can genuinely or disingenuously pose as friends. Those who listen to us, who look at challenges as opportunities, who seek to help others, who showcase gratitude, who are trustworthy, who cheer our successes – these people make us better. They will challenge us to be more grateful, more optimistic and more giving. The “rub off” is real. Beware though. Influence travels in both directions.  Some people, if you allocate precious time to them, will cut short your potential for greatness.    

These limiters compare. They are focused on the latest things: clothes, gadgets, celebrity news and the short-comings of others. They judge. They exclude. They make fun. They may even tout risky behaviors that your inner voice immediately slaps a warning label on. Be especially aware of the complainers. They often don’t seem like bad friends. They aren’t overtly mean. Over time; however, their negativity will deflate your wonderful spirit. These people have zero value to add to your life. It seems straightforward. Here’s why it’s not.

We all have a strong desire to be liked. To be included. To be valued. To fit in. Please do not let these desires lead you to trade in your wonderful hearts and strong values for fake-friendship.

Anyone who excludes or talks down to you doesn’t deserve a minute of your time or an ounce of your energy. But some fake-friends are less apparent. They may not blatantly put you down, but don’t stop thinking about themselves long enough to be a true friend. Do your friends genuinely appreciate you? Are they considerate of your opinions? Do they see good far more than complain? I hope and pray that you require it.

This is SOOO much easier said than done when you face the charge of finding a lunch table, recess companion or locker neighbor. The various social groups swarming around you might create a desire to simply find a place. Any place. You deserve far better than to fit in any old place. Be discerning. Be patient. You WILL find a wonderful group of friends if you are a good friend. Treat others with kindness, fairness and forgiveness. Resist any temptation to gossip or act selfishly. Quickly apologize when you mess up. Do this, and you will attract true friends and enjoy the laughs, encouragement, inspiration and support that authentic friendship delivers.

Finally, be open-minded. People grow-up. They evolve. It’s certainly possible that someone that is not good for you now may become a good friend later on. Please never sell yourself short on the friend-front. Be a good friend, ensure those you spend time with are the same and bring out in each other the greatness already inside you! 

All my love,

Mom

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