I took a walk with my kids yesterday and the entire way my son was picking on my daughter. She finally says to me, “Mom, he’s making me feel bad.”
My immediate response to her was, “He can only make you feel bad, if you let him.”
The statement seemed to shock them both. You could almost see light bulbs swirling in their heads. For me, the knee jerk reaction was meant to instill lessons it will take them years to realize: (1) Do not abuse power – or perceived power – bestowed on you by position, trust or affection. (2) Do not grant power – real or perceived – over any aspect of your life, to anyone without deep, conscientious and rational thought.
But we do this even as adults, don’t we? Find ourselves letting people exert influence over ourselves or specific situations that they don’t deserve to exercise. Maybe it’s because of friendship, love or family ties. It may be habitual. It may be impulsive. It may bring us comfort. It may bring us down. The ones we empower may be current cohorts, past demons, or a fusion of both.
The point today is mostly for me and I share it with anyone who might want to use it for themselves: Spring cleaning ought to be an ongoing personal effort. Today, I will take time to assess the people around me and their place in my life. Many good things have happened for me lately and I have plans for the days and years ahead (God willing.) I’m just going to spend a few minutes making sure that the people or circumstances I’ve allowed to occupy space or take root in my life ought to be along for the journey ahead in their current capacity.
I could not have come this far in my personal or professional life without the support of people who are genuinely in my corner. I am so grateful for them and include them in my daily prayers. Those other folks – the naysayers, haters, wolves in sheepskin – don’t deserve my time or attention.
After all, writing – for those of who consider ourselves craftsmen – takes incredible energy, drive and focus. I cannot afford to allow undue influences to sap me of my strength. Plain and simple.
So, where’s my broom and dustpan? Today I am sweeping out the debris in my life; freeing my mind and re-charging my life force to help me create better days and better pages in my future.