I must confess that this post has been a difficult one to put into words. It comes to you from several recent life experiences as well as a recommended read that i have been working through called “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family” by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. Despite the title, this book elaborates on not only helpful ways to be at peace with your family and friends – but also in your everyday life.
Carlson begins one of the many poignant chapters (Keep Good Company) by explaining, “Most people acknowledge the fact that we are affected positively and negatively by the people we spend the most time around. Kids are affected by their parents and vice versa, and spouses are affected by one another, as are siblings. We are also affected by the people we work with and by our friends and neighbors.”
He goes on to say an obvious but often forgotten thought, “Your time and energy are among your most precious and most important assets. Therefore, it’s extremely important to make wise and well-thought-out choices about who you spend your time with. Do you spend your time with people who are truly nourishing to you (and your family), or do you choose your company much more randomly? If you’re honest, you might be surprised by your answer.”
The same way we must strive to control our own negative and positive thoughts and energies – we must remember that we are in control of the positive and negative environments we place ourselves in (within reason of course – there will always be difficult people and places you must power through and it will undoubtably make you stronger). But, if you find yourself coming home from a group meeting feeling highly self-conscious, stressed, and annoyed – perhaps you should re-evaluate whether that is the best environment for you to continue to put yourself in. If you are surrounded by gossip, negative attitudes, and situations that seem to be dragging you down – if you find that you have the luxury of removing yourself – then by all means take advantage of this wise decision! Again – what a novel idea – if people make you feel like crap, get away from them if you can. “Light bulb!!”
So you get the gist – but to some it up in the words of the author who inspired this post – “This strategy has the potential to have a major influence on the quality of your life. The people around you, particularly those you choose to spend time with, have a great deal of influence on your attitude and state of well-being. If you choose to keep good company, your life will be easier and far less stressful.”
As always, thanks for reading – and remember to surround yourself with good!