Rachel was grumpy and extremely irritable. In fact, she had been irritable and easily ‘offendable’ (if that’s a word) for the last 2 weeks. She just couldn’t shake off the bad mood. This morning, she thought maybe it was because she hadn’t had her usual cup of coffee, maybe she just needed a pick-me-up. She’d get better as the day progresses, hopefully.
Even Sharon, the easy-going intern, was getting on Rachel’s nerves. It wasn’t hormonal, her physical health was intact and nothing odd was going on at home. So it was time for a full-on self-analysis. Like a sudden flicker of a light switch, Rachel realized that she had been hanging around a few not-so-good fellas. Her mind was getting tainted with cantankerous thoughts and glass-half-empty perspectives.
Rachel sat down in the cafeteria and took a good look around. As she listened to her office bestie complain about the overloaded work schedule and a bad boss, she said to herself, “no wonder I’ve been so grouchy”! Right after lunch, she dedicated a half-hour to go through her most recent WhatsApp chats. Almost all these ‘friends’ didn’t have anything positive or uplifting to say. It was a barrage of gossip or a backlog of complaints. Some of her ‘churchy’ sisters weren’t any better. Their conversations put fear and doubt in her mind when she shared a dream about 10 days ago on what she believed God wanted her to pursue. Hmm, it was becoming clearer now.
Wow, I need to do a complete renovation, thought Rachel. But how? How do I deliberately cut off the old and bring in new, relevant and fruitful connections that will nurture and guide me with joy (not crankiness) into my destiny? At least, now, Rachel was self-aware, had a good understanding of the problem and why it needed to drastically change. Her network was pulling her down – mentally and emotionally. It was just a matter of time before it seeped into other parts of her life. Rachel thought back to what she knew from the Good Book about friendships. “She who wanted a friend must first show herself friendly”. The paraphrase brought a smile to her lips but she understood the next steps.
First, what kind of friends did she want? Temporary, situational ones? ‘Reasonal’ ones just for a specific purpose of maybe growing in her career or landing a contract? Or ‘Covenant relationships’ just like @jbums (Bunmi George) explained on IG Live a few weeks ago? Covenant relationships that would bring ride-and-live sisters connected by the Blood and would transcend time and distance sounded like a really good deal! Rachel needed to be extra discerning and invest in those.
Next, how should she “show herself friendly”? She wondered if she ever gave off the look of being unapproachable. Even at work, she got the vibe that colleagues and junior associates kept their distance. Rachel would need to work on her body language, the tone of voice, responses and facial expressions so that whether at social gatherings, the office or religious events, people were comfortable in her presence. Could she be a bit more vulnerable about her struggles and strengths with a smaller trusted circle? Definitely not with the whole slay-mama gang, but a group of focused, loving women who are all in and passionately committed to Jesus.
That’s just the horizontal dimension. Vertically, Rachel realized that she needed to #levelup and build one or two higher relationships with strong women (role models if you will) that represent the level of maturity and open excellence Rachel was aiming for. She wrote down a few names in both her marketplace industry and in ministry and created a plan to first soak herself in their books, websites, webinars, speeches and videos before approaching them in person. Deep, profitable relationships have a definite way of moving you onwards and upwards in the direction of purpose. Rachel, with just a few hours of Spirit-guided thinking, was well on her way to building those.
On this #WomanWednesday, will you take a few minutes to evaluate your BFFs and see if you need to make a few adjustments? Who’s draining or fuelling you? Who’s encouraging or pulling you back? Invest in and improve on your network, and watch how your net worth, stemming from your thinking and actions, will change for the better. Have a fabulous #WomanWednesday!