We are allowed to surround ourselves with people who really think something of us. It comes with the territory. We are ALLOWED to rebuild, reflect, and reconsider how we value ourselves. (A part of us might question if we really deserve this, so feel free to answer with yes, I do!) Once we start waking up to our lives, we notice what fits and what does not. Eventually, this leads to taking a look at the people we surround ourselves with. Rebecca Campbell says that the five people we surround ourselves with the most help to shape the person that we will become. We are allowed to be selective with our inner circle. We really NEED to be selective with how we choose to take care of ourselves in all aspects of our lives. This includes surrounding ourselves with people who really think something of us.
Take a quick scan through the timeline of your life. Who has always been there for you? Who have you always felt that you could count on to see you and hear you for who you are?
Not everyone fits into this criteria. I know I’ve surrounded myself with people who really didn’t think much of me, and it usually resulted in lots of wasted energy. Will you think something more of me if I do this so very well?
It took a long time for me to realize that deciding whether or not something was good enough came from me. I really opened up to this when I started piecing together the timeline of my life. Instead of approaching past friendships and relationships with bitterness, I simply observe and ask questions. Who leaves me feeling lighter? Who leaves me feeling heavier? An understanding of how we interact with others first comes from self-forgiveness. I really love the mantra, “I release you, Jacqui”. The people who lift us up and encourage us to live our best lives will help us accomplish a feeling of release. Releasing ourselves means we can love fully and completely.
Life outside of the cool circle is actually pretty amazing. The list of people who will misunderstand you might be long, but from my experience, this makes the list of those who actually DO understand you very short and MEANINGFUL. This is probably the most valuable list you will ever find. I do not know who said this quote, but I think it fits really well here. “You will be too much for some people, those are not your people.” I would like to add to this that we will also not be much of anything to some people, and those are not our people either.
Try to remember that all of the pieces to this lifelong puzzle are right here. They only come to life when we choose to acknowledge them. Pay close attention to the world around you because this is it!
I am at Shinagawa station in my overalls while Radiohead plays through the speakers of this second floor coffee shop. There is no shortage of familiar music in Tokyo. This is my favorite spot at rush hour watching the waves of visitors shuffle themselves about. Tokyo is my town. This is my story. I am not a visitor here anymore. I am known to this place. We’ve been here long enough that I really do feel like I belong more than I ever did in Vancouver, Dallas, or Washington D.C., but things were difficult for a while here. I found myself stuck in faraway thinking. Sometimes, it is a challenge to watch the world happen from all the way over here. Sometimes it is isolating from over here without an audience to connect with at proper times of day. No one speaks English. For a while I started leaning heavily on social media to connect with an audience that could hear me, but then I realized that this is my adventure. It is not happening any other place. This is my home here in Tokyo. These are my people. Now, I feel like I can settle into myself a little further and take a longer look around.
It takes discipline to see the world without our accessories (i-phones). The other day at the park, I wrote in my journal and laid back on my drop canvas crossing my arms over my eyes. I made a small viewing window in between my forearms. The intensity of this frame settled into me easily. I sat up crossed-legged and took my viewing window arms open wide and threw them down by my sides. Total expansion. I drank up my actual frame. I noticed several couples sitting on blankets. They sat facing each other with their knees touching and their palms touching. It felt very familiar and heart melting because they were really looking into each others eyes. I closed my eyes and laid back down listening to them speak Japanese. It is just another song that has another meaning to it. I do not live over there anymore. This is my town, and I am finally letting it sculpt me into something new.
The first time I got sober it felt like I was on vacation from my real life. I always had the feeling that I would return to a comfortable place. I could not translate sobriety into my identity because drinking was such a huge part of my self worth. It defined me. I was not in a place to enjoy feeling lost. I was still so scared of me, and a part of me still really enjoyed the artistic-blackout-book-throwing-nightmare of a girl that came along with drinking. I was heartbroken when I got sober the first time. I was always missing my home.
We really have to find an internal readiness to live where we are, don’t we?
So let your spirit rise like steam from a hot bath.
Let the water brush down the ceiling
Like cave paintings
in this dark room.
I leave the sauna and go into the hot bath imagining there are koi fish swimming all around me (possibly a hallucination from the sauna). I remember that I can experience anything with my strong mind. I am calm. I settle into the pool with my imaginary fish knowing that I am supported by a life that thinks something wonderful of me. ❤
For more on the sobriety journey, follow The OAM on Instagram @the_oam, and check out The OAM facebook page (click here) ❤