Living Beautifully: Circle of Friendship

"I'm convinced that one mustn't wait
for people to reach out ~ we must reach in."
~ Jan Karon, author of the Mitford series

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest
waiting for others to come to you.
You have to go to them sometimes."
 ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

SOMETIMES WE WAIT for someone else to invite us out for coffee, to notice we're having a down day, or to remember it's our birthday. At a party or conference, we stand around hoping someone will come over and say hi because we feel too shy.

I used to do that, and I realized that, ofttimes, my supposed 'shyness' had a lot to do with my fear of rejection. I used to worry about being snubbed, so I was reluctant to risk going over and introducing myself.

As I say, that's how I used to be, until I started paying attention to those wise ancient words that perfect love casts out fear. We overcome our fear when we choose to forget about ourselves, and start focusing on someone else.

I like what Jan Karon said -- we shouldn't wait for someone else to reach out to us. If we want to be a part of the group, then why not look for someone else who looks nervous too. Why not focus on making her feel more comfortable, and you'll find yourself forgetting about your own discomfort.

You could open the conversation by expressing something complimentary.  Watch those words change the atmosphere. The fear leaves, the rejection leaves, you both begin to relax as you each experience that beautiful sense of belonging, of fitting in.
We'll never be on the outside looking in when we are the ones opening the circle to welcome someone new into our lives. A circle that does not exclude, but is ever widening to enfold a new consultant, neighbour, co-worker, or fellow conference attender.

When I started taking the initiative to reach out, I was amazed at easy it began to be to walk into a room without fear.  I love it. Talk about it changing my life for the better....and the more beautiful.

Here's to ever widening circles of friends!


Pam said...

excellent post, brenda, and so true! i like jan karon's quote too, especially the words "we must reach in".

thanks for sharing! :)

Brenda Leyland said...

Thanks Pam! Lovely to hear from you!

Shades of Pink said...

I love this post! It is so true and I can relate well to it. I have always had trouble approaching new people in business and personal situations. What a fantastic outlook to have!

Brenda Leyland said...

Shades, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Great to hear from you!

Shades of Pink said...

Thanks! I have been working hard to overcome my shyness. I'm better, but still have my moments.
Hope you are doing well. I see you are busy with life. I have been, too. ;)

carla said...

I saw your comment on Stick Horse Cowgirls and decided to visit your blog. This was such a nice post and something I need to be reminded of often. Last October I posted about my experience with not being friendly based on how the person looked (too wealthy to be friendly) and how the Lord taught me a gentle lesson about it.