“Show me who your friends are and I’ll show you who you are.” My mother’s famous words said this countless times throughout my childhood. Those here to help others heal, often begin attracting those who desire their help at a very young age. I can only assume that this was in response to her noticing this characteristic in those I befriended.

But Mom was right. (SHHHH—don’t tell her!)

Why? Because we become like the 5 people we spend the most time with. This is a documented, studied, and observable fact. Their conversations become our conversations, so if they are ones we don’t want to be having, we need to change who we are around. 

As sensitive, empathetic, spiritually-focused people, we have to be especially careful about this. We’ve cultivated and carry a lot of energy, and it’s our responsibility to align it with what we know as true. This is how we become part of the solution.

As it turns out, there’s no better time than a global pandemic (complete with quarantine) to explore who we are now. It gave us a chance to go within, get clear, and discover what’s important to us, and what we need to cultivate, as well as release.

Over the past year, I’ve discovered that there are two important qualifications for friendship at this point in my life—integrity and support. Integrity is my highest value, so in order to get close, I need to know that’s how you live. 

I also grew very weary of showing up for others and not receiving the same in return. Though being able to support others depends on where one is mentally and emotionally—and a pandemic is a trying time—my inner circle needs to have the capacity (if not the energy) to hold all of me on their best days. 

For me, being a spiritual teacher requires living what I teach, and I hold my colleagues to the same standards. As many of them eschewed their own teachings about Love and self-mastery, in favor of fear and being saved by another, my professional relationships began to change. I needed to release many who I had come to know and care for because the integrity of my own work needed protecting. 

Mom helped me learn, early on, that my choices in relationships are a reflection of who I am deep inside, as well as what I think of myself. This is not a convenient excuse to “drop people” from our lives simply because they have a different perspective. Life would be really boring without people who challenge us. How can we cultivate a relationship of openness and understanding with those we feel deep resonance with?  

What if, everyone we held dear was committed to communicating deeply with love and respect, even when in disagreement? 

What if, rather than running from the hard things, we all ran towards them in the hopes of hearing each other, deepening our understanding, and creating something new? 

What if we understood each other that we are here to inspire and uplift each other before anything else?

These are the kinds of relationships that I have chosen to cultivate moving forward—both in friendship and my professional life. Thanks, Mom! 

Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world, and it seems we have a lot of work still to do. 

We need to claim the world we want to live in and take total responsibility for creating it. 

And the sooner we do so, the happier we will be.