There are studies out there that highlight the importance of healthy relationships among women. From lowered stress, reduced therapy bills and lowered health risks–there is something to be noted about the benefits of having strong relationships among women. Not the sprawling kind that men experience where they are 20 deep at a strip club or football game; but the intimate group, handful of trusted gal pals who form your inner sanctum. There is something to be said about who you choose and how you choose girlfriends to be part of your inner circle.
Choose Authenticity. If you can’t trust a woman to be her true self in your company, to show vulnerability and fear when she’s at her lowest then it’s all in vain. Friendships shouldn’t be about guessing games. The act of taking off and putting on a “pretender’s” mask becomes exhausting after a while. Your friends should know your true self. And you should be able to accept them for who they are. Warts and all. Life is too short trying to be something you’re not. If there aren’t people who have not seen you without your proverbial make-up on, then it truly sucks to be you.
Choose A Challenge. If your friends aren’t encouraging or downright pushing you to be your personal best, then that’s cause for concern. I’m not talking about friendships where the latest purse and shoes is the topic of every conversation type friendship. Let’s face it, you may have a friend making twenty stacks more than you (that’s $20,000 in layman’s terms). If she goes out and buys a coat from some famous maker and you go down the street to Thrift-R-Us, that’s cool. Do you boo! I’m talking about the friends who hears you complain about a job and finally gets tired of the complaining and says “what are you going to do about it?” Or the friends you call when you’re thinking of quitting your well-paying job. One just wants to make sure you have insurance at the end of the day. And one is like girl, for it! Gotta have those type of friends in your circle. Challenging you to make moves even when you “scurred.”
Choose similar values. If we can’t see eye to eye on this one then the other two choices won’t come natural. My girlfriends are all believers in Christ. With that comes a set of values that may be part of societal norms, like not committing homicidal crimes and such. But there are other things attached to our faith that doesn’t make sense to society but it’s just how we roll. We trust God to handle our light weight therefore the possibilities of living a drama free life is a bit higher in my crew. We’re not perfect. Not by a long shot! But we all know that there is a guiding force that sets the tone for how we live our lives on earth.
It took me quite a bit of living to realize that there are indeed circles of influence. I learned I couldn’t confuse my sorority, community partners, workplace colleagues, church folks, book club, professional connections with my true squad goals. Yes people. Not all church folks are supposed to be in your inner sanctum. Every sphere has a purpose in my life. But when push comes to knock me down, I know who I can call. That’s just how it is.
Choose well. Choose wisely.
Proverbs 13:20: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
“Thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidante. And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew. You would see, the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND.”–Golden Girls Theme Song