The past few years have not been the easiest, healthiest, happiest…years of my life. Although, I am one who chooses to look on the bright side of life, the reality is I have experienced physical, mental and emotional pain that at times I thought were going “to take me out.” Sandi Krakowski came into my life the spring of 2013 and became a source of light and hope….people come into our lives at the perfect time it seems.
Battling filariasis, a tropical disease from a mosquito that deposited worms in my lymphatic system while living and working in Central America, along with increasing stress in my work life….I reached a place that I needed to take some “time out,” put the oxygen mask on myself before running around taking care of everyone else. My health had deteriorated to a point where I was literally losing my mind! Little did I know that this decision, for me a life and death decision really, would have a ripple effect that I did not foresee. Some people didn’t know how to interact with me as I was no longer able to “perform” in my usual ways, both in my personal and work life. It seemed so strange…..that a need….a basic need for survival would be met with……silence from many that I had “done life with.” In my community I would be met with stares…..no inquiries, no approaches…..just stares from those who had “heard something”…..not sure what…..but something.
Meeting Sandi Krakowski was like a light went on in my my brain! Hope filled my senses…..her life story caused me to say, “If she can overcome, so can I” I took several of her courses and fed myself on her messages of good, of hope and of overcoming and on being true to yourself, forgiving others and yourself, wiping it off, don’t take it personally and keep moving forward. I’m a true believer that movement is life….do whatever it takes to keep moving.
Like Sandi describes below….we all will face a time of darkness…..having true friends to walk beside you is…..a gift from God Himself. Enjoy Sandi’s article today and may she bring a smile to your face as she has mine. And for those we came into my time of darkness…..THANK YOU for turning on the light for me.
We all have dark seasons in our life. Times when we can’t seem to find the light switch to get out and we begin to coast from one day to the next. During these times it’s really important to know who your friends are. In a recent private mastermind I was teaching some of my clients the difference between valid criticism someone might bring and hurtful, irresponsible opinions other people can bring. The more successful you become in business, the more opinions you will attract.
Ironically, some of the darkest comments people bring will not come from those who are close to you. Sure, our loved ones, spouses and family can say hurtful things at times. Sometimes they’re threatened, other times they’re afraid they are going to lose us if we’re successful and there are even times when they are just plain jealous. But overall, the majority of really dark targeted hateful comments will come from people who don’t know you, haven’t a clue what your heart is about and they simply have such disrespect for themselves that they have to take it out on someone else. Forgiveness is your super power. Forgive. Don’t take it personal. Wipe it off. Move on.
What I want to talk about today is friends. True friends. The people who when life gets really bad, they come over, pour coffee, jump on a plane even and they’re not leaving, no matter what. They could care less what trouble you’re in, what you’ve done, where you’re going or even if you’re acting like a completely moron momentarily. They are with you. It is these people that come in, find the light switch, and bring light into our lives.
Here’s the truth- you won’t have a lot of these people in your life. You’ll have a lot of nice people, who care and do love you but they wouldn’t pick up the phone to talk to you if life is hard on their end let alone jump on a plane to be with you. Doesn’t mean they don’t care, it’s just that they aren’t your close inner circle.
Get an inner circle of friends you can depend on.
It doesn’t have to be more than 2-3 people. One of the most critical things that has happened in my life in the last year is the shift of my inner circle. No longer is everyone who is close to me needing me to lead, direct them and be the light bearer for them. No, now I have 4-5 people who I can hang my life on. They’ll tell me the truth. When I am a moron, they’ll tell me. When I’m being hard on myself, they’ll tell me. They’ll text me at any time of the day, no matter where they are at, and they have my back. Here’s the big part, I also have chosen to have theirs. It’s not a one way street.
Like I said, there’s not a lot of people who will fit this role. It doesn’t mean that everyone else can’t pray for you, support you, send kind words and cards and be a great benefit to your life. It just means that you’ve now grown to the level of needing a close tight inner circle.
Who will be in that place in your life?
How did I find these people? I prayed. I asked God to bring them. I poured my heart out to God and He answered my cry. When life is at its darkest, your real friends will come and turn the lights on.