Surround yourself with people who bring the best out of you

By Kimberly Hall

My tribe is a melting pot of various ethnicities, beliefs, temperaments, and personalities and I love them all dearly.  There is one common thread in my tribe, and it's this:  They love me to my core, with flaws and all. They love me past my emotional breakdowns, my tantrums, my bursts of anger and my endless rants. They love me through and through, and I love them back just as much. 

I’ve learned through the years that when your tribe understands your past, believes in your future and only want the best for you, they will encourage you, pray for you, support you and will pull the magic out of you. Your tribe will push you to your limits. They will hold you up when all you want to do is give up. They will show you a new, better version of yourself, every day. 

Pulling the magic out isn't always sparkles and bright lights.  My tribe forces me to level up when I need to and will tell me the truth, even when it hurts. There are those who will sugar coat the truth and those that will give it to you straight, with no chaser… never the less, I’m thankful and grateful for those who want to see me grow and blossom.  

I am blessed to have a close circle of friends who only want the best for me. I think about how they help me pick up the pieces, when I feel broken, beyond repair.  I remember when I couldn't get out of bed for days, but there was that one friend who drove 2 hours to clean my house and allowed me to stay in my room in silence, because she knew what I needed, without a word being said. Then there's that moment when I opened my mailbox, and I had an envelope full of bible scriptures feeding my soul with love and hope, right when I felt weary and alone.  Let's not forget that text message from my son that said, “Mom, I'm proud of you!"  Of course, that one had me crying all morning.  Then there's always that one friend, who will add some humor to a sticky situation, and she says "You are one chicken wing away from popping out of that dress." Those are just a few memorable moments of many that I hold on to, cherish and laugh about. 

Your tribe will be with you through the storm and not just the sunny days. They’ll cherish with you every high moment. With every downfall, they’ll be the shoulder you cry on, but they’ll pick you up to rise high as well. Your tribe will allow you to have your Pity Party, but won’t allow you to stay there long, as they know the party must have an expiration date or a curfew. Your tribe will pray for you, even when you don’t pray for yourself.  Your tribe will allow you to be your authentic self, even when it’s quirky, corny and different than the norm.  Your tribe will always celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how big or small.  Your tribe will cheer the loudest from the side-lines and will drown out the haters and naysayers.  Your tribe will have your back, and everyone will know they are on your team, no questions asked.

You will have friends that come and go, but I’ve learned that there is no harm to let go and to go your separate ways eventually, as all friendships are not healthy relationships. Some friendships are one-sided. You do too much for them, love them, take care of them, understand them, you're there for them when they need you and you sometimes even put them as a priority before yourself. But, they aren’t there for you when you need them. They don’t stand up for you in tough situations. In all circumstances, it’s their needs and wants that are prioritized first. That is the difference between the real friends who love you down to the core and the superficial ones.  Understanding that is important and necessary.  I appreciate my tribe, and I make sure I'm present for them, as this circle of friendship is 360 degrees and not just 180 degrees. 

I hope you have a tribe that brings the best out of you! When you find your tribe, love them, celebrate them and tell them how much they mean to you!  I'm glad I have amazing people in my life who I call "My people." Sometimes, I really wonder what I did to deserve them. If you haven't found your set of "my people," don't fret. Be patient, be calm and believe in yourself and in others. They'll come around. Slowly but surely. Until then, be strong enough to stand up for yourself and for your beliefs. Pick yourself up when you are broken into a million tiny pieces. If you fall, rise up even higher.

Through all of this, don’t forget to love yourself first. Not just love, but love passionately and whole-heartedly. Love yourself more than anyone else will ever love you and more than you will ever love anyone else. Be your self’s own best friend. Be your own cheerleader. Your tribe will not love you through and through unless you love every cell, every pore, every drop of sweat, blood or tear of yourself. You may think you're not perfect and that you have flaws. But then again, there's no such thing as perfect. The supreme power, God, made each of us perfect in his own light. You need to love even your imperfections. 

InspirationKimberly Hall