Thursday, October 14, 2010


My Eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. Psalm 101: 6

We have all heard that old saying that you are the company you keep.

So cliché.

But we also know that the most cliché sayings have become that way for a reason. It’s because they are real as steel.

I was talking with the homie Dez on GChat the other day. Or rather I was working and he hit me up randomly with a link. The link was to this young cat Phillip T. Annand who is doing some real interesting things. Dude has a dope blog, a clothing line, and all kinds of other content all while he is going to college. The freshest thing about what he and his friends are doing is that they seem to be making money doing what they enjoy. They are living life on their own terms.

Not mad at dude… not mad at all. That is really what this blog is all about.

But what struck me most is that I have friends who seek to inspire me and want what is best for me. Sometimes that may mean telling me something that I don’t want to hear. Other times that means inspiring me by sharing stories of other folks who are doing what I aspire to do.

A couple years ago I took inventory of the folks I had in my life and looked to see who the positive influences were? Who was adding to my life? Who was sucking me dry?

I determined that there are three kinds of people in this respect. The first are the folks who use you until you’re all used up. And when you have been sucked dry they just move on; upset that you didn’t have more to give. I call them spiritual vampires.

The next are the folks who seem to give give give without allowing you to give in return. This may seem good on the surface but it is totally out of balance. Relationships are about giving and receiving and often times those who refuse to receive hold their “good” deeds over your head. In a sense it is taking through giving. They take your energy through guilt and obligation. It is sad and unhealthy.

The next are the kind of folk that I strive to surround myself with. They are the folks who give without expectation. They show love the best ways they can but are also open to receiving love back. With these kinds of people there is a healthy flow and exchange, not based on obligation, but based on mutual love and respect.

I strive to be the third kind of person to those around me. I’m not perfect. I’ve been my fair share of the first two at times in my life just like the rest of us. But when we have folks in our lives who genuinely love and care about us, it is much easier for us to achieve a healthy balance. And from that balance we are able to grow much faster, with exceptional richness of love and purpose for our lives.

Think about who those folks are for you. What kind of people have you surrounded yourself with? Are they takers leaving you spiritually exhausted? Are they “givers” leaving you burdened with insurmountable guilt? Or are they balanced folks that love you and love to receive love from you?

I hope that you discover, much like I did, that there are people around you that have done more to help you grow into the person that you are than you might be aware of.

Thank them and remember to give love to them. And don’t forget to receive that same love back with humility and grace.

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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