When I was a mess, I had messy friends. I didn't feel so bad about my dysfunction when I was surrounded with other people who were equally, or more, self-destructive, self-avoidant, dishonest, or dishonorable. We were in this mess together and wasted valuable hours on the phone talking, crying, and even laughing about it. We supported each other in bad decision-making, enabling others, cheating, lying, and being messy. I knew exactly who to call if I wanted external permission to make a dishonorable choice. If I wanted a "Yes" to "Girl, do you think I should let him come over?" I knew which friend to call. If I wanted a "Hell no! You deserve better" to the same question, I'd call another friend. I held on to all of these folks for their validation, permission, and company, until I decided that I wanted better for myself.
When I began to grow I could no longer listen to stories that I'd longed to listen to before. I could hear the lack of self-worth in her decision "give him one more chance," I could hear his internal rage in his daily gripe about his "stupid boss," and I could see the role she played in her money problems. I was no longer attracted to it. I just couldn't be around that $h@!. I wanted people who would support me in being my best-self. I needed more. Luckily, for me, as I grew, many of my friends decided to grow too. I stopped listening to her problems and gave her the number to my counselor. One friend called, one didn't. I invited them to attend retreats with me. Sometimes a friend would tag along. I recommended the books I was reading, and we often read them together. We grew together. As I got better, those who wanted to stay in relationship with me got better too. Yes, I lost people along the way, but we were no longer walking in the same direction, so their departure from my life was only natural. I consciously changed relationships with others by spending less time on the phone with them or only relating to them in ways that served my highest good. It was hard. It was uncomfortable. It was necessary. God sent me new folk.
I am thankful that I found like-minded people who have supported me in living my best life. My Sister Circle provided a space of Black women who supported each other in the unique challenges women of color face when seeking wellness. Al-Anon was filled with men and women who grew up in homes affected by alcohol and drug abuse. They let me know that I wasn't crazy and they helped me recognize and break the spirit of addiction that had plagued my family. The EbonyLotus Writers Group supports me in reaching my goal of writing my first book. The lady in my yoga class who says, "See you next week" keeps me accountable to making time to practice yoga. Namaste. I am grateful for all of the communities of people who are creating loving lives and support me as I do the same.
These lovely ladies from my Sister Circle (pictured on the right) have supported me in doing the work that got me here. I love who I am. I love the life I live. I am grateful. If you are looking for a group of healing folks who are creating the lives they deserve and who will hold you accountable to being your best self, we'd love to have you join us at B. Well: Live Consciously. We provide phenomenal individual and group coaching. We'd be honored to serve you.
Dr. Adrianne R. Pinkney,
Integrative Wellness and Life Coach