Choose friends wisely!
Many people live in areas of the country (or world) where conformity is king and “shoulds” and “should nots” rule the day. For many freethinkers and those who have learned to follow their heart, it can be like being in a straight jacket sometimes.
I’ve lived all over the United States and in other countries as well and the amount of judgment and condemnation people experience in some locations far exceeds that found in many others.
Sadly, there are people out there who lie, manipulate, pretend to be your friend only to cut you down privately or publically and talk badly about you when you are not around. It truly isn’t emotionally safe to be honest about who you are with those people.
You have to really be careful who you let in your inner circle.
I believe in loving, honoring, accepting, and appreciating others just the way they are … but it has to be reciprocated. I’m open to listening to people who see life differently and have differing opinions, but only if the discussion is done with respect and kindness. If a person can’t be kind, then they don’t get to play in my sandbox and they definitely don’t get to be in my inner circle of close friends.
You absolutely have to be able to be open, honest, and vulnerable with those you surround yourself with. If you can’t, if it’s not safe to do so because you will be misunderstood, verbally attacked or judged, then you need a new group of friends.
Have a beautiful day,