I love the phrase “good company.” Hearing or saying or even thinking these two words immediately brings up a vision of me, surrounded by the best beings I know.
Only, I don’t always actually know – as in a “hi good to see you” kind of know – these beings.
Some are alive in spirit form only. Some are alive in body and spirit but we’ve never met face to face. Some are homo sapiens like me and others are bodies of water, areas of land, or beings with feathers or shells or fur.
These beings give me wings to fly and flippers to dive inside and scales to shake it off when the need arises. They are my inspiration, my mentors, my teachers and best friends and soulmates and life partners.
If you have a minute, open your browser and type in “you become like the people closest to you.” See what pops up (pages and pages no doubt).
Everyone has their theory on why we become like those we keep company with. When I first heard this hypothesis, it was under the umbrella of my studies (at that time) into social connectivity – how the various degrees of connection that loosely knit us all together can unsubtly or even unconsciously influence the choices we make.
Back then, this concept was electrifying to me. It felt like one of those “manual of life” mysteries from that very same manual everyone else had already gotten and I was still looking for.
Today, it is everywhere. Tell someone “you become like your closest company” and they’re like “Uh huh – so do you wanna go get a coffee? Like, no big deal.
But it is a big deal – a really big deal. It is a big deal when you are not healthy, or when you are trying to recover from something in life, or even when you are very healthy (after all, ideally you would like to make sure you stay that way).
Back when I first heard this statement, my inner circle looked vastly different than it does today. Looking back now, I see lots of toxicity – not all toxic, but certainly the balance of power surrounding me was leaning heavily in that direction.
I nearly instantly realized I was going to have to make some changes. The realization that my outer company didn’t match my highest inner aspirations or even my more mundane outer interests was impossible to ignore.
So I slowly began to cull. It was heartache, pure and simple, because there were no “good” or “bad” beings in the circle around me then or now. There were just beings with whom I did not resonate on the levels that mattered to me most.
As some spots began to open up in the immediate vicinity around me, my awareness of who could occupy that inner space also transformed, expanded – I realized a being in my inner circle didn’t even have to know they had been added to be a part!
Today, my circle includes my precious inner flock (Pearl, Malti, Bruce), my meditation teacher, my longtime mentor, a handful of close human friends, the Dalai Lama, Don Miguel Ruiz, my online yoga teacher Adriene and others.
Some might call this “the family we choose.” But to me this innermost circle of good company is my highest possible potential in life (and even after life, depending on how that all plays out).
When I need hope that all is not lost, that I am not lost, that I have not lost it, I look to my circle. When I celebrate, they are the first invitees to the party. When I cry, they sit with me. When I feel numb, they keep me company.
They keep it real, present, vital and alive – no sugarcoating, no platitudes, no rushing through the process, but no gloom and doom either. There may be the occasional spoiler alert in the form of a dream or intuitive aha moment, but only when an “atta girl” is truly sorely needed.
This good company – this circle I have hand-constructed – may be my finest work in this life. To simply recognize the loveliness, wisdom, goodness, compassion, selflessness, love and service present in these other beings is also perhaps all the best in me coming forth to be recognized, and counted.
I hope it is. For now, I just know my inner circle, my good company, makes me feel proud, honored, humbled, to be a part. And that is a really good thing to wake up to each day and go to sleep to each night!
Today’s Takeaway: Who is in your inner circle of good company? Are you pleased with your closest company? Would you make any changes (remember, those who are present now and even those who are added or removed will never have to know about it!)? How does your closest company impact you on a daily basis?
P.S. This post is from my monthly free letter, “Love & Feathers & Shells & Me.” Subscribe to read the full edition!