I was once asked what type of work shop I would create (of the self-improvement variety) to which I promptly replied, “Get your 💩 together!” People laughed. I was serious. Before you continue reading, know that much of what I’ll write will sound judgmental.
It’s worth mentioning… We’re all judgmental. All human beings are judgmental as a means of self-preservation. Does that situation look dangerous? Let me judge it and walk away. The next time you call someone judgmental, know that we all are… to varying degrees.
Well, is that situation over there dangerous? Here’s a better question. Is that person’s personal life a potential detriment to my life in any way? If the answer is yes, RUN the other way. In part 4, the conclusion, of how I find/keep friends in my life I’d like to point out how other people’s drama makes it easy to keep distance.
We’ve all met that person that always has something going on. You’ve gotten to the point where you’re afraid to ask, “how ya doin?” for fear of getting an earful. Someone is always out to get them at their job. Someone is always hatin on them. They’re always short on rent yet they have enough money to buy/smoke a pack a day. (Cigarettes cost anywhere from $5-$14 a pack depending on your state of residence, that’s $2,190-$5,110 a year!) You know that person that hasn’t cleaned their apartment since the Devil was a baby*, yet they’re constantly surprised that they keeping losing/misplacing things? You know that person that’s always late to every goddamned thing ever? You know that person that’s always busy, but chooses to lament in lieu of delegate? You know that person that won’t admit that they have a problem? You know that Dougie or Debbie Downer that just drags the entire room into the fucking pits? Sometimes all of these jokers are wrapped up into one person. Sometimes, they are separate people.
*”Since the Devil was a baby” is a phrase that I got from my Mama that was born in Fairfield, AL. I don’t believe in the Devil, but the legend is an old one and the saying is hilarious to me.
It’s worth mentioning… The majority of all personal drama can be traced back to one of the four agreements being broken.
Let’s clear some things up about the people that I mentioned above. The fearful, insecure, money mismanaging, second-hand smoke delivering, messy, disorganized, tardy, workaholic, addicted, and/or pessimistic humans need compassion and patience. They probably need it more than the rest of us. (Let’s be real, I fit into a few of the aforementioned categories at times. Sometimes, my 💩 is not together.) This post is not suggesting that you turn your back on these people. Help people that need and request your help. Make a difference with the love you share. Just beware of a subtle savior complex. Don’t think that you’ve been put here to fix people or to get their 💩 together for them. Help those that request it and give them all of the compassion and patience you have to give. In doing so, be sure to delineate between helping a fellow human being and taking someone on as a project because you “refuse to turn your back on a friend.” There is a semi-permeable membrane that separates two friends. Their drama becomes your drama by way of osmosis. How many times have you had to help a specific friend out of a jam? How much stress do you have in your life because of the stress they have in their life? No thank you.
One of my first steps, when I began anger management was to make myself acutely aware of the people in my life. Was I surrounding myself with angry, dramatic people that always had something going on? Were my friends always bitching about this or that? They were! Those fuckers had to go! I was handing out friendship divorce papers on the regular! (This was 20 years ago, there was no unfriend button to click. You had to look someone in the eye and explain why you wanted to end the friendship. It was a spectacular time! Those conversations were hard but necessary.)
The obvious next step was to carefully select the new friends in my life. Much like dating, it makes more sense to know a little something about a friend before the first time you hang out. I found that a moderate level of ambition, accountability, and self-awareness was a requirement for any of my friends. I’m going to challenge you all to require the same. The cocktail of ambition/accountability/self-awareness creates a person that takes ownership for how their life choices have lead them to their current life situation while expressing desire (and action) to make the necessary changes that will break destructive patterns. Some of the people I love the most (you know who you are) were once addicts. They had the desire (and compassion of people in their life) to help them make a change. Those drama-free people are my friends. Some of the people I love the most have been challenging themselves to make minor changes in the way they communicate, the way they love, and the way they exist on this planet. Those people are my friends. The highest compliment I’ve ever received came from a friend in Georgia. She pointed out, “what I like about you [Jet] is that if you don’t like something about yourself, you make the effort to change.” That’s true. I was raised to consider, there’s got to be a better way.
Having one’s 💩 together isn’t a matter of being a perfect/normal human being. I mean, WTF does that mean anyway? To have one’s 💩 together means that you’re aware/daring enough to attempt change in your life and strong enough to ask for help. Strength is a choice and it’s a smart choice to balance hubris with humility.
I don’t claim to have a lot of friends, that’s never been a goal of mine. I do have quality friends and I appreciate all of them. None of my friends are homophobic, one-dimensional Brosephs, against interracial dating (even on a subconscious level), racially unaware, without the togetherness of their 💩, or general assholes. How do you choose your friends? Have you ever written out a manifesto (not to show potential friends-instead to keep in your thoughts)? In short, friendships should add quality to our lives, not stress. If there’s a lot of drama or combativeness in your life, look to your friends. If it’s not coming from them… Get YOUR 💩 together!
Keep your eyes bright for a special Thursday edition that will warn you against the fitness mistake that I see people make every damned year. Enjoy your days.