Sometimes thoughts hit me at different times and often writing inspiration happens when I least expect it. Which is why I downloaded a notebook app on my phone and keep it at arms reach just outside the shower! (Am I the only one?)
As I was listening to one my favorite podcast Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher, my heart was struck by something she said. Jenna was sharing her worst client experiences and what she learned from them. Anyone relate? Totally! But what she said after sharing her second point stuck with me. Jenna encouraged her listeners with this thought:
“Surround yourselves with people who see the best in you.”
Did you catch that? “Surround yourselves” meaning YOU have the choice to choose your tribe! Honestly, I have heard something similar before but the timing of this was perfect. You see, it’s not easy sharing your heart with people…and then have them reject you. You could have well-meaning motives but once you speak, you cannot control how the other person receives it. And that’s life, right? However, you can choose to guard your heart and only share things with people who you KNOW will understand your point of view. Or at the very least, respect it and honor the difference.
I admit, this has taken me years to learn and sometimes I’m still learning it! When I first started selling my artwork online and then writing books, I would get so excited about what I was doing, that I would share it with ANYONE in earshot. And while the enthusiasm was genuine, some people just didn’t get it. They either didn’t understand my message or my why. I was questioned for wanting to be a “work-at-home” mom instead of a “stay-at-home” mom, which seemed silly to me because I was still a mom regardless. Just with a creative outlet that God allowed me to have and share. I was crushed and still get bruised when rejection strikes.
Your tribe doesn’t have to believe everything you believe. There, I said it. But what a good tribe member does is listen and respect your convictions. They don’t have to get it but they support you anyway. And though they may not understand everything, they celebrate who God made you to be. Find people who don’t look at you as a threat or a failure. That don’t treat your thoughts and dreams as meaningless jabber or who dismiss your voice because it sounds different. Those are not your people. And that’s okay.
Your tribe will want to know more of your story. A real friend will add to the fire that is already burning within you, instead of snuffing it out. And you will be ignited by what they’re doing instead of feeling burned. We may not be unified in beliefs or strengths but we can unite in freedom of being able to express ourselves, the way God intended us to.
God didn’t make everyone with the same passions, desires, goals, dreams, opinions, stories. He wants diversity because that’s how we learn and grow as people. So if He gave you something to say but you haven’t found the right people to listen yet, that’s not a sign to be quiet. That just might be your opportunity to seek out those people who will listen. People who will add to the value you already have, in the way God created you to be.