*The following is a personal entry contributed by a Faithwalking disciple to share his story and promote authenticity*
Applying the principles I’ve learned in Faithwalking to my life is difficult. I see my patterns of reacting to anxiety and want to respond thoughtfully instead. However, being thoughtful when my default is screaming in my head is hard.
I am a firm believer in the idea that the people we spend time with have an impact on who we are. Jim Rohn said, “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” Because I take the core of this idea to heart, I regularly think about who I spend time with. I think about how I could live into the person God is calling me to be if I stopped spending time with those that bring me down.
When I compare these ideas to family system theory, it sounds an awful lot like cutoff. So I dug deeper. I started getting coaching around this, and the feedback is tough to swallow. A common theme in the coaching I am getting is that it really depends on my motive. If my motive is to live into a guiding principle, it is okay, but if it is to mitigate or minimize anxiety, it is not okay.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t provide all the clarity I am looking for. I can say it is one of my guiding principles because I hold the idea that if I want to be the person God has called me to be, I need to spend more time with people that lift me up instead of bring me down. I could also easily say that I believe this will mitigate regular anxiety in my life, so I am avoiding anxiety. I could even say the guiding principle was partially created as a barrier giving me an out to get away from people that cause me anxiety.
And this is where I am. I don’t have much clarity, but I am in process and that is okay. I have confidence that as I stay in the journey clarity will come. And I share my journey with the hope that it might encourage others as they move through theirs.
Have you dealt with a similar situation? Or are you currently in a similar process as me?