Protect Your Surroundings

chandrak

I remember writing a blog a few months ago about leeches. You know, leeches, the ones that just want to benefit from you and ride your wave and that’s their only way of surviving? Yea, those. But this is a little different. These are the friends that may be their own definition of a boss. They may have their own successful businesses or be book writers or even be in ministry but their character and personality are just not conducive to where you are or where you may be headed. Those friends. Does this make them less of a friend? Certainly not. They could very well be great friends but the atmosphere they create could be toxic to your purpose.

Case in point, if you hang around people who pride themselves in being rude, being disrespectful to others, and are trouble makers, chances are, some of their attributes will rub off on you. Before you know it, you’ll find your self-revenge or “clapping back” when you know you should just ignore and move on. So ask yourself a question, are my friends healthy for me? Of course a self-check is always in order. This means that we should always look at ourselves in the mirror and evaluate what we see. Honestly ask yourself, be it good or bad, am I displaying some of the attributes of my friends? Have I conformed to who they are? Have I become my friend?

This is very important in the life of a believer. Your surroundings are the breeding ground for whatever seed is being planted in your life! Maybe you heard a life changing word over the weekend and it pumped you up about your next level…but you got around that one friend that carries negative vibes and just like that, the word that had you so excited has been silenced. The word was planted but the environment did not carry the necessary items to help it grow and manifest. This may seem like a shallow point but it happens daily.

Watch your surroundings. Protect your atmosphere. I’m not saying cut anybody off or disconnect from anyone. I’m simply saying, learn the level of friendship and the limits that come with it. I heard a Pastor say “emotional immaturity causes us to think that cutting people off is the solution.” This is so true. But what if God has not told you to disconnect, rather to just step back and guard your environment? Maybe you’re still supposed to be connected but the space invasion is too much.

Your surroundings matter. Be sure to protect them.

Start With Me; One Year Later

chandrak

This is more of an informal blog. More like a journal.

Today makes one year that my blog has been published. Looking back over the last 365 days, it hasn’t been easy. I know some people may say “You’re just writing a blog. It’s not a complex study.” This may be true. But the difficult part for me has been discipline. Some days I don’t feel like writing, some days what I write doesn’t make much sense to me, and some days I just can’t think of anything to write about. The main thing I’ve learned about myself during this journey is I have a long way to go with being disciplined but I have proven to myself that I can do it.

Over a year ago, I remember God telling me that I needed to start with myself. Meaning, before I could correct or encourage anyone else, I needed to do a self check to make sure I was taking my own advice. Not only that, but before I pointed out anyone else’s short comings, I needed to make sure I was upholding the standard myself. Even if we don’t admit it, self-checks don’t feel good. Mainly because, we like to feel as if we are okay. Not that we are perfect, but to us, our issues are minute, or very small. This was my mindset, as well as some of yours I’m sure. However, God wanted me to see that just as others are a work in progress, so am I! As I began to grasp this concept, not only did this help me to show love differently, it also helped me to see God differently. He showed me, me! No, I didn’t like it because there was so much in my life that was not pleasing to Him but He showed me so I could change it! I realized at that moment that God loved me so much that He gave me a mirror! And in this mirror, I had the ability to see only me! I couldn’t see through the mirror and look at others, I could only see me and my reflection! He loved me so much that instead of killing me, He gave me a tool to correct my flaws! As I was correcting my flaws, I found it easier to show compassion to those around me. I found it easier to practice patience and forgiveness because the mirror showed me areas that required the patience and forgiveness of others towards me! The mirror saved my life and it kept me from hurting others. As I stated, the use of a mirror for some may be difficult to accept and acknowledge but the mirror is much needed.

I am excited about my journey as a writer and I am anxious to see where this takes me! My mission and my purpose is to spread hope to all that I can reach. Hopefully within this past year, I’ve written something to encourage my readers and spread hope!

My prayer is that my writing never magnifies my struggles but my strength to overcome them, as well as the same for my readers.

 

 

Mirrors Don’t Lie

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Let me start off by saying, all of my blogs are based on my life experiences and they are in no way intended to reveal anything, except the truth! My truth! And this is my truth…

My truth is that I’ve missed the mark…more than once! My truth is sometimes I make the wrong decisions in certain areas and I know better. My truth is that I’ve been hypocritical and I’ve been a bad friend. My truth is that some of the rumors and assumptions that people have about me may be true. My truth is that I am not always the best family member. My truth is that sometimes I have an attitude and I don’t want to be bothered. So with all of that being said, what’s your truth? Not the truth that you made up or the one you believed so long until you’ve convinced yourself that it’s true. I’m talking about your real truth?

This blog was laid on my heart over 2 years ago but every time I tried to move forward with it, I found myself dropping the ball. Now I understand why. I was creating a blog entitled “Start With Me” but I didn’t want to start with me. I wanted to start with someone else and blame them for MY truths. I had the knowledge. The gift for writing was there but the mindset was not. The accountability was missing. We are pros at holding others accountable but we change the standards on self-accountability. Some kind of way, gossip turns into “sharing information” or “warning” when it comes from our own lips but when it comes from the lips of another, it turns into “messy.” Why is this? It’s because we don’t keep the same standards. We fail to hold ourself accountable. We don’t want to start with the man in the mirror. Instead of fixing the man in the mirror, we would much rather call the mirror a lie! And although we know mirrors don’t lie, we would much rather believe that someone made an error with the mirror than to fix the reflection. Why is this? My truthful answer is, in my mind, I was ok. A little mistake here and there was nothing major. I would remind myself that I will never reach perfection so I really didn’t have to extend my arm that far in pursuit of it. As long as I did enough “good stuff” to get by, I was in good shape. Until I met someone who had the exact same mindset as me. The crazy part was, I couldn’t understand how they were comfortable living the life they were living. I didn’t understand how a person could know better but consciously do the opposite.

Then I walked past the mirror…

I share my truths here because I’ve realized that I can’t change people and I can’t change opinions but I can change me! And as long as He blesses me with breath, I’ll continue to pray daily that God will keep me humble and remind me to start with me.