Should You Drop Your Friends, Who Aren't "WOKE"? *

“Anyone who does not support your art, your life, is not worth your time.  Harsh, but true.” Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves.

There are two definitions of support (via Merriam-Webster dictionary) (1) to endure bravely or quietly; (2) to promote the interests or cause of, to uphold or defend as valid or right, to argue or vote for.  

And I feel like the second definition is the rallying cry and STEP ONE around the world as women are slowly waking up to their spiritual and emotional strengths.  I’ve read countless books, instagram posts, facebook updates and real live conversations and they all go something like this: “If we aren’t getting to the heart of the matter and diving deep, I’m just bored” or “my friends don’t have the ambition that I do and I just don’t have time for them” or “If your presence doesn’t light me up and set fire to my purpose, I cut you from my life”.

And I like to believe that the almighty Clarissa (because if anyone were to ask me, Women Who Run With the Wolves is my end all, be all, for looking inward and my all time favorite book to recommend to womxn and mxn) meant the first definition.  Those who do not endure us bravely OR quietly, then they aren’t worth our time.

I know for me, that I have gotten to where I am today, with my mental health intact, due to my friends.  With them (and my husband, of course) I raised two kids, lived in a foreign freezing country where I had a mediocre grasp of the language and no visa to work, so I spent long weekends with girlfriends laughing and talking, days at the beach during the very long days of summers, afternoons spent over coffee whiling away the hours with little children. And parts of all of this, along with the conversations that we had, helped me get to where I am today.  

And, as free-choice and as life would have it, some of these friends are not on the same hot & heavy pace of personal growth that I have been chin deep in for years.  And some are.

Some of my friends talk year in and year out about the job they hate - and still haven’t done anything about.  Others, talk about not knowing what they want to do other than a vague sense of something more.  Some are content right where they are: a fine job, being a stay at home mom, or just trying to get through the evening to bedtime.  

And you know what, that’s ok.  Because they love me and I love them.  

And you know what else? it’s not OK for me, or dare I say you, to judge another person’s path as being “right” or being “wrong”.

Sometimes we don’t go into deep discussions about philosophy or even the nitty gritty of our lives.  And sometimes we do.

Sometimes it feel like synched energy that is turned and lit up, ideas flowing and synchronicity at its best.  And sometimes it feels like the equivalent of a comfy couch, a bowl of popcorn and a netflix binge. Comforting, loving and easy.  

Do I feel that these women support me in a quiet and enduring way?  Yes. Do they ask me about my business and my deepest desires and how I want to change the world?  Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Sometimes I just offer without being asked and sometimes I don’t.  They accept me for me.

And you know what.  I accept them for who they are and where they are right now.  

I was having lunch not too long ago with a group of friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and I remember bringing up a plotline of the RHONY (Real Housewives of New York for the WOKE* out there who don’t debase themselves to such lengths…) and a friend looked at me shocked and said.  “YOU watch that?” And I said, of course I do, just like I watch documentaries on quantum physics, binge watch The Good Place and am currently obsessed with Sabrina and This Is Us. It’s fun and light hearted and I’m HUMAN.

And we laughed and talked and we all caught up on what each of us are doing.  Now can I see the potential that each of these woman could tap into if they wanted to unleash themselves and play BIG in the world?  Hell yeah I can. Is that up to me whether or not they unleash it? No. Do I even know if it’s the time for them to unleash it? No. Are the choices they are making right now any less worthy than the ones I’m making right now?  No, of course not. Could I be playing BIGGER than I am right now? Yes, of course. Do I hope some of my friends drop me for not playing in their league? I sure as hell hope not!

Now, if you have a friend who thinks what you’re doing is stupid and tries to convince you of that every chance you’re together, than yes of course, drop them.  The friend that makes you feel bad. Dropped. If your partner doesn’t see the greatness in you and what you are trying to achieve and doesn’t support you - then yes, time to have a deep conversation.  The friend you never really ever enjoyed hanging out with or is pure drama or an energy drain, drop. Even the “friend” that you heard through the grapevine said “who would want to take advice from Jessica, did she ever even do anything?”  Never a real friend to begin with, and by the way that’s not what coaching is about, no issue dropping.  (And yes, that wound is still a little raw).

Same thing with social media.  If you get depressed looking at someones feed, or it brings out the worst in you, or you see the true them and realize you don’t like them.  Then drop away.

But the ones who just might not “get” you or isn’t on the same “woke” train as you, but they still want to see you do well?  I ask you, how are you treating them?

Are you supporting them exactly where they are?  Are you treating your time together like a fluffernutter sandwich?  Maybe not the most nutritious for your growth, but still enjoyable.

Or maybe these are friends that have only seen the “old” you and it’s time to introduce them to the new you.  Are you willing to step into those shoes? Are your relationships worth it?

Another “STEP” that is often touted in the WOKE world (books/social media/cosmo articles), is to hang out with the people who you want to become - or to put it in real estate terms, you should be the crappiest, cheapest house on the block because your value goes up just by proximity.   

And I say by all means, YES!!!!  DO THIS!! Surround yourself with people who inspire and light you up AND ALSO sometimes you get to be that person for others.  YOU get to be the shiniest, fanciest house on the block that can show others they too can do it.

But be warned, if you are telling yourself how awesome you are and how “boring” they are - chances are you’re right, and your old friends won’t support you.  Not because they don’t believe in you, but because you are the asshole friend who stopped believing in them.

* Every time I use the word WOKE please forgive me and know that I’m adding air quotes and slightly gagging.  It’s such a trite word that annoys the heck out of me, but seems to fit in oh so well with this entire conversation.

Jessica McClure