1998miss.com/Skirt Society Featured Blog Post #7
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Taking Inventory and Doing a Deep Clean - #1
If someone were to define who you are as a person in one word how would they do it? Would your closest friend choose a different word than an acquaintance? How would your spouse or significant other define you? Would that person you never talk but you see every day on the way to class use, a positive word or would they use a negative word? What word would you use?
More than likely while reading this you thought of some specific people in your life and how they view you. This is one way we can take inventory in our lives, by thinking about the people we call a friend, who we surround ourselves with, how people we don’t know see us and how we see ourselves. The closest friend you thought of should be a person who is uplifting, honest and loving. They should choose a word which accurately represents you but also speaks to your strengths as a person. The spouse or significant other you are thinking of needs to use a word which also follows the same criteria as your closest friend. The acquaintance you are thinking of should choose a positive word which would show that you exhibit good qualities and are someone they want to be around. The person you don’t know at all but pass every day should be able to choose a word which speaks to the light you have living inside you, they should be able to say something along the lines of a kind, sweet, friendly, positive and bright. You should also choose a positive word to describe yourself, a word which speaks to the passions you have and the love you have for life.
Unfortunately sometimes we when do this exercise negative words evolve, unfulfilling friendships come to mind and the realization occurs that maybe you are not being the best person you can be. This isn’t all bad, it’s actually good because again you are taking inventory of some of the most important components of your life-who you choose to call a friend, how your friends see you, how strangers see you and how you see yourself. You are taking inventory of your relationships.
Today on Skirtsociety.com we are taking the first steps to do a deep clean in our lives. We just took some basic inventory and now we are going to start the process
of doing a deep clean. The next few blog posts are going to be part of a new series called “Taking Inventory and Doing a Deep Clean” because we need to be doing these things frequently if we want to grow in Christ and live our best lives. In blog post #1 our focus is relationships and now that we have identified some we need to ask ourselves a few more questions in order to make some decisions about those relationships.
In the past few weeks, I have started to do this sort of thing in my personal life and I have realized it something that we should all be doing. People often start to do this at the start of a new year when resolutions are being made and spring cleaning is beginning. We can’t welcome in the new without clearing out some of the old-old being the things which are no longer serving a purpose in our lives. By doing this in December we are going to get a head start on the resolutions and greatness to come in the year 2019!
Fair warning doing this isn’t always pleasant, while it can encourage you it can also be a little bit hard to swallow. After doing this exercise you may need to choose to remove people from your life or even just distance yourself from them. You will be able to determine which course of action is best for each particular relationship. Sometimes you may even decide you want to work on that relationship and that could start with YOU.
In doing some research for this blog post I found so many wonderful articles addressing relationships some of which linked to psychology.
Psychology today gives us 10 questions to ask ourselves. I believe these are wholesome and good questions to help guide us in this process and I’ve added some comments to them. The comments are labeled alphabetically.
1. Ask yourself: Would you recommend your friend as a great friend to others?
A. Does your friend have the qualities a best friend should have, would
your friend be hired if there was a position open looking for a “best friend”?
2. Ask yourself: Do you feel elevated when in this person's presence?
B. Does this friend make you feel special, pay close attention to how
you feel about yourself when you are around this friend.
3. Ask yourself: Is this someone I wouldn't mind getting stuck with on an island?
C. While it is unlikely that you would get stuck on an island with a friend you want to be prepared if you were! Is this friend going to work with you or against you on this island? Is this friend going to be a source of strength or are they going to be a negative factor?
4. Ask yourself: What are your fears in ending the friendship?
D. Get real with yourself girl and be honest about why you are
uncertain about ending a toxic friendship. Is it because you are worried the person will gossip about you? Are you concerned you are going to miss them? Identify these things and pray about them
5. Ask yourself: Can you be completely transparent with your thoughts and feelings in this person's presence?
E. If the answer is no you honestly need to think about why you are keeping this person as a friend in your life. Your friends need to be people who love you regardless of your flaws, insecurities and who you can go to with the big ugly truth.
6. Ask yourself: Can you share your accomplishments without minimizing your actions?
F. This is a biggie! I can not tell you how many times I have had to remind myself of this because I often times struggle with minimizing my success when talking to certain people I call a friend. I actually started to do it without even realizing. It wasn’t until the other day that someone listening to my conversation with a friend told me I made it seem like school was really hard, that I wasn’t having fun and that I failed to tell them of my exciting new accomplishment! I was only sharing the mundane and negative. After I became aware of this I started to see that every time I talk with this person I do this and it has left me thinking about the quality of the friendship.
7. Ask yourself: Does this person charge up my confidence level?
G. Bottom line and most basic quality a friend should have is the
ability to make you feel good about yourself. If you are calling someone friend who doesn’t ever raise your confidence you are not choosing good friends.
8. Ask yourself: Is this person a "taker"?
H. If this person doesn’t ever add to the friendship and only takes you
should probably spend some time weighing the quality of the relationship. The honest truth is sometimes there are people who want to be your friends because they see they can get something from you. These people are not your real friends and you should cut ties.
9. Ask yourself: What does this person add to my life?
I. Psychology Today says it best, “If you looked at this relationship in
terms of emotional currency and you feel each time you leave their presence (whether it is by the phone, text, in person) that you are emotionally depleted, in emotional debt, then it might be the time to examine your connection. Being human isn't always about feeling uplifted by each interaction, but if this person overall gives you wisdom, unconditional love, and joy then this is a rich friendship.”
10. Ask yourself: What role do you play in their life?
J. Are you being a good friend because if you are not your answer to
some of the previous questions asked before might be partially due to your lack of support. Just as we want to have good friends, we must also be good friends.
+ 1 more question I’m adding because I believe it is also important.
11. Does your friend support you on social media and online?
K. I know it sounds crazy that you would want to ask yourself this
question but I believe it’s an important way to determine if someone truly supports you. Does your friend like your posts, comment encouraging things, share your profile and special moments together? Does your friend tell you when they think you are posting things which are not glorifying God or are not showing you are a Christian? If your friend isn’t keeping you accountable and isn’t encouraging you online then are they really your friend? If they don’t share your friendship online it may be because they talk poorly about you.
While these are all wonderful questions we can and should ask when taking inventory and doing a deep clean in our lives we must also consult God in prayer. God wants us to bless others and have good friends so he needs to be a part of this process. If you are questioning a friendship then pray about it because God can work in any friendship or relationship you have.
Also, just as we can ask these questions about our friends we must ask them about ourselves because we can not expect to have good friends if we are not being good friends.
The bible tells us many times that we must pay attention to who are friends are and what we allow to influence us. Here are some verses to encourage you in this process as they also serve as a good reminder of what a good friend is.
1 Corinthians 15:33 English Standard Version (ESV)
33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”[a]
Proverbs 13:20 English Standard Version (ESV)
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 18:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
24 A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 12:26 English Standard Version (ESV)
26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,[a] but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 22:24-25 English Standard Version (ESV)
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Proverbs 27:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.[a]
Proverbs 17:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
John 15:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Proverbs 27:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
-Thanks for stopping by and reading this post! I pray God blesses you and that this post will help you. I wanted to share on this topic because it one I am currently dealing with in my own life!
By Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley a modest fashion blogger at 1998miss.com. A Missouri gal and undergraduate student at Sewanee: The University of The South. Alexa is a Psychology major on the Pre-Med track and is Chinese minor. She loves people and can’t wait to work as a doctor in the mission field one day soon! Follow her on instagram @1998miss.