I’ve recently discovered the art of chainmaille. In jewelry making, chainmaille refers to using interlocking metal rings in various patterns to create beautiful wearable art. The beauty of chainmaille comes from the combined strength of the interlocking rings. Whether it’s two single rings or multiple rings, the end piece is always stronger than any one ring by itself.
So, what kind of connections have you made in your life? Do the people in your inner circle want to see you grow and develop or would they rather you remain in dead end situations? Do you have long time friends who expect you to act the same way today as you did when you were a teenager?
Here are a few tips to keep your inner circle full of meaningful relationships:
1. Include someone who is striving toward a similar goal. Are you finishing school or trying to learn a new skill? If you have a friend who is doing the same thing you can learn together. If you are both genuinely interested in reaching the goal, you’ll be stronger together than you would be alone.
2. Identify someone that you can mentor. Ok, now that you’ve finished college or successfully learned how to cook a gourmet meal, bring someone along with you. Talk with young people about their goals and dreams. Tell them what it was like to go to college and encourage them. Or, by teaching someone else the skill you learned, you’ll learn more yourself. Maybe use this opportunity to teach your children. You’ll build your relationship with them and they will benefit while learning from you.
3. Befriend someone who is already where you want to be. Once you’ve achieved one goal, set another. A more mature women can share her experiences on how to balance career and family. A successful business owner could teach you about successful marketing. Learning from someone more experienced will help you to properly interpret new experiences and avoid pitfalls at the next level.
These principles will work for various aspects of your life, including spiritual growth. God has enriched my life in these areas. There are young women at work that I’ve mentored in their spiritual walk. In many cases it’s just a matter of being transparent, supporting them in their desire to follow God’s standards, and encouraging them when they miss the mark. I’ve bonded with personal friends because we are at similar phases of spiritual understanding and growth. And, finally, there are a couple of women, more mature in age and wisdom, who model for me what it looks like to walk with the Lord day after day and year after year. My faith grows when I’m going through a difficult trial and they are able to encourage me and share with me from their experiences.
There’s a trend now in people saying don’t be around people who bring you down. Following these tips is a surefire way to keep your life full of meaningful connections.
What type of connections have you made? How have they influenced who you are today?
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Front Page Image Photo Credit: Double Spiral Chainmaille Bracelet, Inner Beauty Jewelry
Wear Your Inner Beauty is a personal and professional blog dedicated to celebrating inner beauty, jewelry, and practical insight and inspiration for Christian living. This is the place where values, lifestyle and fashion meet. S. D. G.