Several years ago, I was lucky enough to meet a hugely insightful and spiritual woman and one of the very first things she told me was……
“You need to stay away from the drains and search out more radiators”
No, this wasn’t some sort of reference to plumbing but, to the people in my life at that moment in time – to be honest, many moments in time.
So who are the drains? The drains are the people who can suck the life force out of you, the people who like to kill the joy – for Harry Potter fans, the dementors! That all might sound a little harsh but I bet you are already thinking of the drains you have in your life? Obviously, as with everything, there’s a sliding scale so there are the drains that might not be so extreme but certainly have a more pessimistic approach to life, perhaps you do that thing where you have to brace yourself when you know you’re going to see them as all they do is talk about is yet another “problem” or that classic “it’s typical, it could only happen to me!” Both types of drains can be exhausting, both types of drains rarely check in with you to see how you’re doing?
Now, the radiators, well they’re a different story. These are the people that spread the joy, the people that radiate positivity. Again, there is a sliding scale because who can radiate joy and positivity all the time? Not many!
BUT……the radiators are your optimists, their glass isn’t just half full, it’s pretty bloomin’ close to trickling over the edge of the glass. Some will be the people who everyone gravitates to as you get caught up in their positive vibe and it makes you feel better to be around them. Some are not quite so obvious but you are aware that they generally like to look on the bright side of life (cue song) so don’t “drain” your energy.
Thankfully life is not so simple that people fall into such specific categories but I think we are all aware of the drains and radiators in our lives and the impact they can have on us?
This weekend, I went away. I needed some space to recharge the batteries, I needed some time to be still. Without the distraction of household tasks, by changing my view quite literally, I was able to take stock of some of the things causing me to feel stuck or slightly uncomfortable and I decided that I wanted to change those things.
One of those things was the drains that had crept into my life without me really realising. I’m sure you can imagine that when you’re a Life Coach or some sort of counsellor, you need to have very strong boundaries in place otherwise your work life can be easily mixed in with your private life. People feel they can talk to you whenever they wish about whatever they wish not always respecting your boundaries.
My drains do just that. They drain and they rarely check in to see how I’m doing. Funnily enough, they’ll even comment on my positivity and sometimes even have the cheek to tell me how annoying it is! Perhaps it can be, but I choose to be positive, that’s how I’ve always lived my life and it allows me to do the job I do.
I removed the Facebook App off my phone (I can log onto my business page from my desktop), I spent some time removing myself from various groups I’d ended up in (they might have served me well in the past but are no longer relevant) and literally went through my phone book using very clever technology which allows me to turn off alerts from certain people so I can only see their messages if I choose to do so.
It might sound drastic but in my search for hope, in my quest for joy and trusting my gut instincts I have made some changes to benefit more from the radiators and to feel less wrung out by the drains.
So to all those who are my radiators – THANK YOU!
Maybe it’s time to reassess your drains too?