Find Your Family, Find your Circle: The Anatomy of Our Personal Connections

I keep thinking about circles. (No, not the ugly ones we get under our eyes after lots of crying or sleep deprivation). Circles of influence… Being in a process where I’m trying to work through basing some part of my worth in the hands of people.. A lot of people.. This is weighing on me.

I’m starting to evaluate the relationships in my life, and the many circles around me.

Go with me on this for a minute:
If you draw a large circle, and place 2 smaller circles inside of it, and then place yourself in the center, then write the names of people closest to you, people that their opinions/thoughts matter to you most in the center circle with you. People who only slightly influence you in the next circle, and people you know who really have no bearing or influence on your life in the outter circle, where would you place most people?

If you’re like me, you have almost everyone you know grouped into that center circle with you. Seems a bit crowded huh? This is what I’m working on.

I think it’s ok for that circle to be crowded, IF it’s crowded with love. Unconditional love. But I’m finding that my inner circle is super crowded, and NOT filled to overflowing with unconditional love. I placed people in that circle that bring negativity and judgement into my life. People that make me question myself…my worth…people that make me feel like I would be better off quitting in various areas of my life.

The outter 2 circles are pretty bare… Barely anyone in them.. See the problems here? I can. Yet, somehow, I struggle to move people around. Because that visual… And the act of moving people further from my heart absolutely destroys me. Even though some of these people are damaging my heart. Simply because I’ve placed so much of me, in their hands.

*side note, this can also be directly applied to what we can and cannot control. And it’s part of my process. I cannot control what people think of me (outter circle) but I CAN control how I let it affect me (closest circle)*

I was in a situation over the weekend where I had a moment that I felt I could be vulnerable. I told someone “it’s hard to let people love on me when I feel so unlovable and distant.” Her response was this: “I think that’s when you need to let people love on you the most. Let’s get together soon and do coffee or pedicures or something.” AND this is someone that I have let down. Unconditional love much?

We need people like THAT in our inner most circles. People who say “hey, you’re struggling, but I love you anyway and I’m not going to stop just because you feel less than stellar.” People who help pick you up when you fall. Not look at you and feed the embarassment/hurt/insecurity.

I try so hard to be that person, I LOVE people, and while I’m learning to love myself better, it’s been a little bit of a challenge to show the love in my heart the way I want to for others.

And while I think words of affirmation are definitely something my heart needs, I need to be cautious of where they come from.

Challenge for both of us this week:
Let’s accept the love from others, let’s work on moving the negative out of our inner most circle. It doesn’t mean we love them less, it means we are loving ourselves more and deciding to only let people who feed our hearts and love us without condition closest to our hearts. My heart is really tender, especially right now.. So this is a big bold move. But it MUST be done. Lean into people who unconditionally love and support you. Who want to see you grow. Not those who make you feel insufficient or guilty. Then, and only then, will your love come full circle.


Sarah Akey is a badass single mom living in Oregon. She makes amazing cakes and other fantastic treats, and loves the Seahawks ALMOST as much as she loves her kids and baking. You can find more of her delicious work here .