“Be open, but selective.”

Most of us out here are trying to grow… trying to grow into our best selves.. own our stuff and make something out of our lives that we can be proud of. We want to do that with people.

However, while we’re busy trying to do that, our baggage doesn’t take a backseat to our self-development aspirations and we all have baggage. Every now and again someone’s baggage intersects with our hearts and it can set us waaaaaay back. Deciphering who to deal with and who to pass up can be really tricky.

So how on earth are we supposed to keep growing forward in the face of people’s messiness especially when we have our own baggage to deal with?!

I’ve struggled with this myself. I’d love to just frolic hither and yon and just experience positive vibes day in, day out with people on the same trajectory but alas, the way this life is setup?! It’ll have you side-eyeing everybody aaaaand their momma!

What happens with a lot of us is that when we get hurt, some of us decide, “That’s it! Later for all of you!” We become closed off in an effort to protect ourselves from more hurt. You might be successful for a time but what happens over time is that you also inevitably forfeit the full experience of all the good that’s meant for you to be a part of. When you experience good things, you wanna call someone up and share that. You don’t want to miss that.

When you shut everything down around your heart, you wind up isolated and having a very shallow, unfulfilling relationships with others. It can be depressing. Sure, you’ve protected yourself but you may as well be on island solo-dolo.

Unfortunately, that’s the downside of trying to compartmentalize your experiences. When you attempt to protect yourself from certain emotions you wind up closing yourself off from the ones that bring you pleasure and joy as well.

So, here are the gems for this week:

Stay open but guard your heart. Be wise and thoughtful about who you let into your space. Take your time getting to people and vice versa. We are swimming in the deep end of our private lives and personal stories too quickly today. Now, even those people that you let in may cause you pain or hurt your feelings at some point. That comes with the territory of simply being human. Find ways to work through the hurts and keep growing. Calculated risk with the right people is worth it. Take your time to find people on the same trajectory and stick with them.

For today, ciao.


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About the author: My name is Chivonne Williams and I am a certified — licensed clinical social worker with 14 years of experience in providing mental health services to diverse populations ranging from youth population in urban communities to families in rural neighborhoods, as well as the prison system to our nation’s veterans. I am desperately passionate about women’s emotional health and wellness with special attention to relationship with self and others. I’ve got a story of my own and I believe transparency is paramount to freedom and authentic living. You can follow me on Instagram @Chivonne.Erica, on Facebook @ Chivonne Erica, and on Twitter @ChivonneErica.