You’re my sister, you’re my family, you’re all I’ve got.
I loved Grey’s Anatomy. The first ten seasons were amazing. I loved the friendship of the Twisted Sisters. It distantly reminded me of my relationship with my own Twisted Sister. And Cristina Yang is my best friend in my head. Whenever I feel like I need a kick in the pants, I watch a Cristina heavy episode and instantly feel fortified. And if that doesn’t work, Dr. Bailey will set me straight.
However, season 11 through 13 (the last seasons I watched) reinforced something crucial. The people around you mean everything to your success or failure. More importantly, they could mean everything to your sanity and peace of mind.
If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.
My mother tried to drill that lesson in for her three daughters. She didn’t tell us to choose our friends wisely or watch the company we keep. Instead, she said, “Surround yourself with people who are going in the same direction as you. They will keep you on the right track, and you will encourage each other and lift each other up.” That is how I’ve lived my social life.
Celebrate the people in your life who are there because they love you for no other reason than because you are YOU.
Being an introvert, I was never one to long for a ton of friends. Honestly, I was rather distraught when I realized I had over 200 friends on Facebook. My circle is small, and I prefer it that way.
I have two best friends who I don’t even call best friends anymore because they are my sisters. Then I have others who I know will answer whenever I call. Distance is a problem, but love is not. Then there are the elite coworkers who have quickly become friends. Total, we’re talking less than fifteen people. I love each one of these remarkable people. My tribe is tiny but mighty. More importantly, we are honest and nonjudgmental.
For Meredith, fighting with and eventually losing Cristina meant being surrounded by people who both were afraid of her dark places, and loved her too much to tell her no. Left to her own devices, Meredith spirals out of control and is extremely passive-aggressive. Those first two seasons without Cristina–okay and season 10–was painful because Meredith mostly just got lost in her own head. There was no one to hold her up or kick her ass when she was being ridiculous. This is the purpose of the tribe and a person.
True tribe members tell you when you are wrong when you are right, and when you need to make a change. They do this with love, compassion, and the best intentions. In your tribe, you are allowed to be exactly who you are with space to grow. There is freedom in your tribe that does not exist in other circles. The expectations do not constrict your individuality. The only true expectation in your tribe is that you stay true to yourself and try your best.
Find your tribe. Humans were not meant to go through life feeling alone and lonely. We need connection, and we need to feel there is a safe, secure spot for us to land. A good inner circle is a sounding board, a launchpad, and a haven. An inner circle makes life bearable.