I keep thinking about my previous post, and the related one following, and my thoughts have led me to the topic of the people with whom we surround ourselves.
It seems like something that most people don't put conscious effort into, yet maybe we should. Because the truth is that the people who surround us do have a direct effect on us personally.
If we spend enough time with someone, they often rub off on us, good or bad.
And of course there's the obvious fact that everything we do affects others, so it is even moreso for those with whom we spend large amounts of time.
I keep thinking about my first post, and I do think it's straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back sort of thing. After nine years of not "fitting in", it was just too much. I broke (I'm better now, no longer irritated by it at all, thanks for asking :)
And isn't this true of everyone we allow into our lives? Sometimes they break us.
The friend that just takes too much energy to be around, eventually gets to be too much - a drain.
The relative that constantly complains, is repeatedly negative, never anything good to say - a downer.
The spouse that betrays our trust - a heart breaker.
Eventually, we break. The more we've let them in, the more broken we are.
Likewise, there are those who lift us up.
The friend who quietly trudges along in her workouts, and her body transformation comes to mind every time we drag ourselves to get some more exercise - an inspiration.
The relative who always has a kind word, is always happy to hear from us, no matter what - a solace
The same spouse, who does tasks that we don't - a helper.
Can we avoid being influenced by those around us? No, I really don't think so.
But we can guard our hearts and our minds. We can be aware of how others influence us.
We can gently speak to those who upset us, trying to ease the burden of being with them. We can choose to back away from relationships which repeatedly drag us down.
We can be appreciative of those who influence us for the better. We can choose to spend time & effort building up relationships which leave us feeling lifted.
But maybe more importantly, we can look inward. We can examine our selves, our lives, and make a conscious effort to be an uplifting, encouraging, positive influence on those around us. We can be someone's refuge, someone's joy, someone's friend. We can be the good influence on the world.
And isn't that what we all should try to be anyway?