Self-care is the deliberate act of taking care of our physical, mental, and emotional health, but it is an essential aspect of our lives we tend to overlook.
Most of us have learned that self-care is making sure we eat right, exercise, and get the right amount of sleep. But there is one area of self-care we may not have considered — the company we keep, better known as our circle of friends.
A few years ago, I read a quote that challenged me.
“If you look at the people in your circle and you don’t get inspired, then you don’t have a circle, you have a cage.”
This quote challenged me in two ways.
1- Were the people in my circle inspiring me?
2- Was I inspiring the people whose circle I was in?
Seeing What’s On The Inside
The answer to the first question was a relatively easy one to answer.
It wasn’t too long ago that I did let go of a friendship. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done because I don’t like hurting people. I want to make people happy, but I’ve also learned that my happiness matters too.
When the relationship became heavy and brought out a negativeness in my life, I knew I had to step back and evaluate the situation.
The second question was harder to answer because I had to get real with myself. It caused me to take a good hard look in the mirror and see the raw side of my friendships.
The answer staring back at me was not a pleasant one.
I was taken back to one particular relationship where I was not kind.
At that time, I was caught up in stupid drama.
Catty, dumb, high school drama, where I should have risen above it and been a better person.
But it crept in slowly, and before I realized it, I caused heartache and hurt.
I think about it often and hope to one day have the opportunity to ask for her forgiveness for caging her and not being better support in her circle.
Evaluating Your Inner Circle
Everyone has their private circle that can be made up of friends, family, co-workers, a group of people who inspire, motivate, mentor, and encourage us. They keep us grounded and balanced while offering support and insight during good and challenging times.
To have a health circle, we need to ask ourselves, do the people we spend time with elevate us or bring us down? Do they motivate us or drain us? Do they exhibit qualities we admire, or do they sit and criticize others?
Evaluating Our Contribution — Do We Support or Cage Others?
But we need to remember to take those questions a step further and ask them to ourselves.
- Do we elevate or bring others down?
- Do we motivate or hinder others?
- Do we have qualities that are admired by others, or do we scorn others?
Self-Care is all-encompassing.
It will benefit not only ourselves but those around us.
When we ensure our inner circle has the right people in it, we, in turn, become more supportive and compassionate to others.