Coffee in my Left Hand …Friends in my right. I want to talk today about your friends. What about your friends? Will they stand their ground, will they let you down again? Okay, if you read me say “about your friends”, and that song verse didn’t automatically pop into your head, just wait; it’ll catch on and so will you.
Today I’m laughing about and loving on my friends. Since you and I are still in the introduction stage, I thought I’d bring them in early. You’ll definitely see one of your own friends, or realize that you ARE the friend for someone else.
The Fighter: There is always one Mike Tyson/Layla Ali in the group. Who hurt you? Let’s eff ‘em up! All hell n’all, you don’t have to take that. Listen, I know some people, we can make this quick and easy. Dude, you wanna roll up on them? Now, if your friends don’t say “roll up on”, you are probably not from Chicago. Because in Chi, we ‘roll up on’. The Fighter is down for whatever, whenever, on your behalf. Questions of your innocence are secondary, maybe inconsequential; if a fight needs fighting, they are all in. And, they’re willing to push you in if you’re acting squeamish. Oddly, this is a comforting kind of love. Knowing that your Dude or your Girl has your back like that feels good.
The Preacher/Evangelist: Can’t pay your bills? Let’s pray. Ex-wife acting up? Dude, I was reading this one scripture. Madea going in for her court case? I’m going to fast AND pray for Madea! Anything from open heart surgery to a frustrating line at Walmart can set the Preacher/Evangelist in motion! Doesn’t matter if they are Muslim, Christian, Yoruba or a HBCU born hybrid of the three (trust, that’s a thing), every situation calls for intercessory prayer, scripture, theological reference and a detailed description of the time “the Lord brought me through.” Now, don’t sleep, this friend is as powerful and “down for whatever” as your Fighter, they just fight on a different playing field. You want a friend that can get a prayer past the ceiling, especially if you aren’t sure your own prayer Wi-Fi bill is paid.
The Holistic: Dude, you still eating that? You ain’t woke yet? Girl, I have this essential oil you can put on that. Herbs, oils, ‘mixes’, and the “head remedy in charge” shea butter are this friend’s world. While the Fighter is mapping the plan, and the Preacher is praying you out of that whole situation to begin with, the Holistic is doing a sage burn through your apartment, to cleanse the bad aura out. They have quickened a rub of cumin and honey for your forehead, got a soak ready for your feet and hooked you up with this kale/quinoa/rocks salad that will get you right, right now. We hate tofu, but we pretend to eat it just because we love them, because we know there is love in that rock salad they made.
The Centrist tries to stay level headed, and rationally talk you through the insanity that is your life. They don’t judge, ask probing questions, and try to get you to see your own way through. When the Fighter has you ready to assault the next person through the door, the Centrist will bring you back around to the horrors of prison and why bail money doesn’t grown on fighting trees.
The Mind Reader is that one friend who always knows what you’re thinking. As you are fixing your mouth to say it, they come right in with “nope, that ain’t right, Dude.” You can give them 45 minutes of conversation, and venting and the Mind Reader simply says, “okay, yeah, but what you’re really mad at is…” The Mind Reader knows you, the lies you start to tell but then decide against, and loves you anyway. There is a level of comfort in the Mind Reader; they make you feel understood, known, and seen. If you are self -actualized at all, you know the importance of feeling known.
Centrist and Mind Reader are core in your Village. If you don’t have them, you need to make them your #2017SquadGoals and quick.
In reality, most of your friends fall into different categories on different days. I have friends who can be all of those in one conversation! And we need that. In order to be the best you, you need to have a crew of people who fight for, pray for, help you heal, and walk with you through the ebbs and flows of life.
And whichever drinks the most coffee, is my favorite.