In no other time in my life did I realize with such strength of clarity that I can choose my friends. I don’t remember ever having a choice in who my friends would be. The people that were my friends were the people who liked me, put up with me, talked to me, did stuff for me, and stuck by me – notice a ME theme? This was not a matter of choice, this was a matter of it happened. Now don’t get me wrong and please those of you who are my friends, please do not think for a second that I do not value the friendships I have and that you are not important to me.
But in the last couple of years, I have begun to distance myself from people I have found to be unhealthy (and if you are reading this you are NOT one of those people). But it was a distinct choice to no longer hang around them, no longer allow them influence in my life, and to some degree even take them off my regular interactions (facebook, text messages, and emails). I didn’t quite know why I was doing this at the time, but when I stumbled across this movie making list I realized: OH WOW… YES that is the exact reason. I wanted to be able to…
4. Choose the other acting characters
There is a realization I am having in my life that I the people I am around influence me. For the good or for the bad, I am easily swayed. I care about what people think, I want to fit in, I want to be accepted, and I want to know that my friends agree with me (most days) in the big stuff. So if that is the case, that I will become more and more like the people I am around, shouldn’t I realize that the people I want to be around be: healthy, responsible, god-serving, growing, doing, loving, and accepting people? I mean especially if that is who I want to be.
I am reminded of that list of character questions I posted as a page in response to the idea of how do you (me) choose a significant other… but I am begining to notice that I hear the word character even more now and it is having more and more impact or depth to me. Especially, since I am becoming increasingly aware that I don’t necessarily know what character looks like in a person. So how much more important is choosing friends, mentors, support staff, and community based on character as well?
Please do not hear me preaching some silly ideal that we should only be surrounded by perfect people who always make perfect choices, never make mistakes, don’t have addictions, can’t seem to overcome their past, or do not struggle to make the best of this life. Because if that is the case I couldn’t be friends with myself. 😀
I would not have guessed this, but there is definitely something to be said for choosing friends. Choosing to be friends with someone because they are a good person and do the right things most days. Having a mentor in your life that are better at thinking of spriritual things and have walked longer in this Christian life, not because they are better, but because they can inspire you to grow to their level (not higher just deeper).
Finally, knowing that you do not have to carry the people in your life because they are carrying their own responsibilities is such a freeing, lightening experience. There is definitely a difference between helping someone in need versus feeling the obligation to carry them through each and every area of life. That doesn’t feel like the kind of characters I want in my movie. Not only is it exhausting, but over time without a balance of others, these characters will eventually drag me (maybe not others) downward or backward instead of towards the prize or towards the goal.
Tips for Making the Movie of Your Life Great
1. Decide in advance what the story will be
2. Welcome challenges as “inciting incidents”
3. View every action as a scene in your movie
4. Choose the other acting characters
5. Remember, you are the director of this movie