I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Keep your circle small.”, right? I didn’t comprehend this growing up. Why can’t I have a huge group of friends? Is this not the point of life??? We go out, make as many friends as possible and live our happy little lives! Yeah, that was a cute idea in high school… I would say it took several learning lessons in order for me to understand what this saying was all about. Allow me to divulge …
I started out worrying about if people would like me, accept me, and all that normal BS teenagers tend to let rule their every move. I was never “unpopular”, but I wasn’t the standard for popularity, either. I was always the weird kid, but people knew me and seemed to embrace it (I once took a dare of eating ketchup smothered chocolate cake… it’s hard for me to turn down a dare). I never had to struggle to fit in. I had tons of friends and I thought friendship meant pouring your heart out to everyone. HAHAHAHA! So here I am, talking to everyone and anyone about the desires of my heart and expecting reciprocation from that. Did I even stop to think if these people even cared about me beyond a surface level friendship? Can you imagine how offended young padawan Brooke was when someone was locked down emotionally and wouldn’t trade secrets? I thought that was how you connected to people. I was wrong. Not only did I open the door to offense in my heart, but I opened my heart to people who really didn’t care. I was expecting an authentic friendship to form when I was the one forcing it. I would share my soul with guys and get confused when they tried to put the moves on me. I decided to shut down and not share anything with anyone. I’ll show them, right?!?! (have I mentioned how mentally stable I am? I’m sure my anxiety just LOVED pinning everything up inside lol) It’s amazing how destructive vulnerability is when offered up to people who do not have your heart or best interest in mind.
After being fed up for several years, and realizing how unhealthy it was to keep everything inside, I finally decided to examine my heart and see what the real issues were. How could I be mad at these guys for thinking I liked them when I was the one offering up vulnerability? How could I be mad at the people who have a hard time sharing their emotions/feelings when they didn’t offer to do so in the first place? I was putting false expectations on people I wasn’t even close to. I doubt I truly experienced authenticity in my life until well after I graduated high school. It was unfair of me to acquire a multitude of friends for the sake of having friends. I sacrificed depth for perception.
Fast forward to me now, I have maybe a handful of people that I talk to on all levels. I realize that sharing your heart and soul with the masses is not what is always best. You find YOUR PEOPLE, the ones who are sound, wise, and understanding, and you form a bond with them. You do life together. You grow. You learn. You share. I like to say, “I’m a pretty transparent person, but I save my vulnerability for my inner circle,”. I live by this Dickens quote:
“To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.”
I believe in loving people. I believe in trusting and sharing. I also believe in guarding your heart and protecting it. All of that to say, don’t be afraid to make friends and share life stories. Don’t feel like you have to close everyone out. It’s okay to not have a million friends. Not everyone has to like you and not everyone will care. Look for those people who your soul grabs ahold of and you know you can trust. The ones who will love you enough to encourage your dreams, challenge you to pursue your passions, and help you become the best version of you. Those people are deserving of your heart. They are your circle and words of life. You all deserve the best in life, I hope you find the ones who also believe that and push you towards your goals. Your circle may change several times through life, but it’s a beautiful process of refinement.
peace and love,