December 15, 2015

Pick the Tribe Wisely—How our Individual Paths affect our Friendships & Romantic Relationships.

witch legs bad friend enemy jerk

You’ve heard the expression: “A friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down.”

Actually, I think the opposite is true. A friend is someone who whole-heartedly revels in your greatest achievements.

Let me explain.

People can only meet you where they are in life. Most of us are on a path. Weighing failures and success. Trying to do better next time. Analyzing who we are. On my path, I’ve conquered fear of failure, but I’m still attracting the wrong type of guy.

You see, each time we run up against whatever we’re afraid of and tackle it, we’ve reached the next rung on that ladder to more peaceful living. Here’s the rub though: not everyone is on a path or maybe they are, but they’re still not getting the message.

Here are the four stages to nirvana (where the path leads):

1. Stream-enterer. The shedding of the old you and the separate self that is all about ego and selfishness.
2. Once-returner. A significant reduction in attachment, while suffering a lot less too.
3. Never-returner. A slight trace of “me” and occasional restlessness. Mostly though there’s peace and happiness.
4. Arhat. Life circumstances no longer have a hold on you. No further rebirths are necessary.

Life circumstances no longer have a hold on you. That’s powerful. So if the bank account is empty, it’s not the end of the world. You don’t react when that guy cuts you off in traffic or feel compelled to right every wrong. You’re not happy because you’re in a relationship and sad when you’re not. You’re just happy. You see where this is going?

Lots of people live by their circumstances. If I had the right job, the right dollar figure or the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend, then I’d be happy once and for all. The problem with that thinking is the bar always shifts higher. Contentment is a moving target.

So, the people who support you in your success tell you everything you need to know about them. I had a love interest from the UK and he was extremely critical. Compliments were non-existent. He was broken inside and had nothing to give. He could only meet me where he was. It wasn’t personal although I often questioned, “what’s wrong with me that he isn’t kind?”

That’s why it’s critical to vet your tribe. Be cautious of who’s inside your inner circle.

I inherited some money once that took me out of a one-bedroom ghetto apartment to a two-bedroom luxury high rise. My bestie at the time came to visit. Instead of congratulations and high fives, she said, “inheriting money isn’t the same as working for it.” I could almost taste the helium as my balloon deflated. That same friend takes the wind out of my sails every time my star rises.

Weeding the garden is good and healthy. If your girl tribe is made up of broken birds, they’re going to drown you when something amazing happens. You know why? They simply don’t have it inside to give. It becomes a sum zero game. Your trophy is their last place. Your triumphs only magnify that they’re still at the starting gate.

History is no longer a reason to keep people around who don’t serve you. I’ve finally hit my stride and I want cheerleaders on the sidelines. How about you?

Weeding the garden doesn’t just feed your soul it makes room for an incoming gem.

Time to clean house. Happy 2016!



When It’s Okay to Let Friends Go.


Author: Deborah McCormick

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Patrick Emerson/Flickr


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