There are certain people in my life that I look up to for guidance on how to be a person and how to function in a world that is becoming more and more negative. For most of my life I have let negativity pull me, kicking and screaming, along for the ride. Instead of trying to rein in the anger, frustration, disappointment in the people around me, I have just joined them in their misery. Sometimes that’s helpful, sometimes you just need someone to agree with your assessment of the situation, other times you need someone to help bridge the divide between screaming and laughing.
While having lunch with a friend, I was telling them about how frustrated I was because I was constantly trying so hard to be positive, to be kind, and to not get caught up in the negativity that seemed to be swelling around me. The more I resisted, the more the negativity seemed to grow. This was the fourth time, at least, in the last few weeks that she has had to be there to pick me up on a bad day. She has a knack for doing that, for telling me exactly what I need to hear, exactly when I need to hear it. Without fail, she sympathized with my frustration, and picked me up in a way that very few can. She was my person that day, my person that turned things around for me, made an impact bigger than she could imagine, and set me back on my path. It’s that aspect of her personality that I love most, her undeniable and genuine respect for people and desire to build people up rather than tear them down. It’s inspiring.
When I read this week’s focus for the Kindness Challenge, I knew immediately who I would write about. It also, just so happened that I had lunch with her on a day that I was needing some inspiration for reflecting and getting my thoughts into a coherent post. Thinking of the person who inspires me to be kind was the easy part, determining the traits that I most admire in them and implementing them into my own day-to-day life is the more complicated challenge. Sometimes it seems like being able to control your natural inclination toward joining the negative forces around you is impossible, because, as we know, misery does indeed, love company. I choose not to accept that. I choose to follow the lead of my person and push forward.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve had these kinds of conversations lately, and this particular friend isn’t the only person I’ve engaged with on this topic. Just last week I was having a separate conversation with another one of my positive friends and we ended up chatting about how it’s not worth our time to focus on negativity. It sucks the life out of you and leaves you in a worse condition than when you started. Negativity builds like a snowball rolling down a hill, drawing in more negativity, and pretty soon, before you know it you’re snowball is 10ft tall flying through town at high speeds. It’s not worth it.
So between these two amazingly positive people I have in my life, I have made a list of characteristics that I most admire in them, and I believe it’s these characteristics that have drawn me to them and make them so special to me.
They are genuine, respectful, loving, understanding, honest, kind, thoughtful, reflective, supportive, and caring individuals. They are two people that I would run to if I needed someone to remind me why I am striving to be more kind in my life, they are the people that I know genuinely want to know how I am doing. They can sense when I am not okay and they reach out to just let me know they are there. Sometimes it’s a text that says “Sorry this is happening. I love you.” or it’s eye contact in the hallway, or noticing that I am pulling away need to be pulled back in.
They’re my people and I am grateful for them.