There's a saying: "I prayed for God to protect me from my enemies, and all my friends disappeared." I know this sounds harsh, but surrounding yourself with negative, draining people regardless if they are friends or family, raises no one to another level. Let them go, or severely limit your time with them and love them from a distance.
Jim Rohn (mentor to many of the personal development greats such as Tony Robbins and Darren Hardy) said, “You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with in all areas: mood, outlook, finance, character, body shape and importantly, your health!” Who are you spending time with?
Success can only flourish in the realm of possibility. Emotionally scarred or hurting people can quickly deflate, demoralize and rain on your parade - and they will rain on your parade. They will hold back support or make you doubt yourself to make themselves feel better about not reaching their own potential. Don't ask them to be excited for you, help you, or even understand your ambitions about success. They aren't capable of it and will only try to magnify your doubts.
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6 (NIV)
We have all been there at some point…saddened by the fact that we have offered something valuable to someone who would not understand or appreciate it. We have given our gifts to friends only to find they are not received or reciprocated. We have contracted our services to employers who could never validate the talent we possess nor the impact we could make. We have loved people who would carelessly discard our feelings and tread on our hearts. We have exposed ourselves over and over again to people who would never recognize us. As we learn to understand and accept our own value, however, we become more discerning as we cast our pearls.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, who allow you to grow, flourish, blossom and affirm you as a winner. Choose people who have similar goals, values, morals, and beliefs and spend time with them. Something magical happens when you do this, the energy grows bigger as the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
Of course the moral of the story is probably obvious by now: We must learn not to give our precious selves to those who would not appreciate us. We must not expect someone to recognize our gifts who has no ability to do so. We must not determine the beauty of our spirit by those who are blind to it. We must not allow our personal value to be defined by those who have the inability to perceive or recognize it.
We are meant to be cherished, honored, loved and respected. In order to receive that, however, we must start by cherishing, honoring, loving and respecting ourselves. This means we must incorporate awareness and discernment as we cast our pearls. When we achieve and embrace that for ourselves, we will draw those people into our lives who recognize us as the phenomenal gifts that God made us to be.
So next time you feel someone is not valuing who God says you are, remind yourself…. pearls and pigs don’t mix!