Today, I have a very tight knit, very small circle of friends and family. My best friends John John, Lorenza and Vinson and I have been thick as thieves since we were 3 years old. My boy Cody, who I met while in college is the epitome of loyalty and support. I also make it a point to surround myself with other positive people who I trust hold my best interests in as high regard as I hold theirs. People who have proven their loyalty. Life Is Not Complicated, You Are: Disappointment
I always find it interesting how the simplest things, can spark a substantive conversation. While my publicist and I were looking through some file footage online, we came across this shot. She interpreted the scene as one that demonstrates strength and trust in the face of challenges. I immediately saw the picture as one that reflects the intricate steps it takes to build a friendship. I have had a lot of practice learning how to choose my friends wisely. Experience has taught me choosing the right people to have in your life should be a well thought out, deliberate process. As I write in the chapter Disappointment, my circle of friends is quite small, by design.
I understood why she came to her conclusion. I mean, as this climber hangs perilously off a cliff, it goes without saying she is using every ounce of fortitude (physical and mental) to ensure she does not fall. Granted, it takes both to survive most of life’s challenges. Not to mention, she is putting a great deal of trust in the “buddy” she is likely climbing with, since it is suggested you should not climb alone if possible. I however, looked beyond the obvious and explained that friendships (to me) can be compared to a climber’s process. You meet a person. Establish an initial rapport. As time passes, you set your bolt anchors. One at a time. You want to take your time. It is wise to forge friendships slowly. Think about it: if you try to ascend a cliff too fast, the results can be tragic. As you climb (establish your bonds), you give your climbing rope a bit of slack.Just enough to allow the friend enough rope to assist in the climb, but not so much that if there is a misstep, you do not have enough rope to support yourself. All the while, you are paying attention to checkpoints: the rope, the anchors, the harness, the brake devices (In other words, their words, their actions, their character, their consistency). As you become assured the checkpoints are solid, you climb higher, give a bit more slack, become more trusting. By the time you reach the summit of your mountain (and your friendship), you should be completely confident that the person you have literally trusted your life to, has not only passed your critical checkpoints, they will maintain the security of each. To have climbed to the top of your friendship means trust, loyalty, and the bond has withstood the dangerous ascent without incident. By the time I was done with my analogy, my publicist was able to see clearly how I was able to make the comparison. We both agreed that you want a friend who will help you climb to the top without concern they will miss a step, forget to secure your harness, give up too much slack (or too little) at the wrong time, lose focus and let you fall. Who better to call friend, than someone you trust with your life? If we took this much time to determine exactly who we call friend,we would be less likely to be hurt or betrayed. I have often said, In an ideal world, you know who you can truly trust. We do not live in an ideal world. Be careful who you confide in and allow access to your private life. The *word* friend is a label anyone can try on. Be wary of the devil in disguise.
I will leave you with this excerpt from the chapter in Life Is Not Complicated that I reflected on today: Disappointment taught me early that every now and then it is prudent to reevaluate my social sphere and that I should protect my personal life vigilantly. I reveal this for one important reason: to remind anyone reading these words that no matter how put together a person may look on the outside, sometimes there are mental and emotional scars buried deep beneath the surface. Life Is Not Complicated, You Are: Disappointment