Several years ago, I read something that changed the way I think about people I encounter, and as I spoke to one of my beautiful friends/co-workers yesterday, it came up again. It’s just six little words, full of simple wisdom, that really helped me to grow. I’m not sure excactly who said it first, as even a Google search of the vast internet doesn’t yield the author, but nonetheless, I want to pass them on. So, for now, it will go uncredited.
“Surround yourself with radiators, not drains.”
Such simple words, but so impactful. For some reason, when I read or think of these words, a feeling comes over me. When I was young, during the frigid New England winters (and autumns…and okay, springs too), I’d wake up in the morning, stand up and twirl my blanket until it was wrapped around my body like a mummy, drag myself downstairs into the living room, and lay directly on the heating vent. The warmth would permeate the blanket and surround me in a cocoon of goodness. If you have never done this, I suggest you take advantage of the chilly nights/mornings and do it as soon as possible. It’s the most comforting feeling.
Now, haven’t you met people who make you feel the same way? People that leave you feeling cocooned with warmth and goodness after you’ve been around them. It’s almost like holding your hands up before a fireplace. They, quite literally, radiate. In fact, I’m sure you’re thinking of someone like this at this very moment.
Next, picture warm water in a tub. When someone flips the switch, all the warm water is sucked right down that drain. Aren’t there people that do this, as well? People who just seem to drain the energy and goodness right out of you? Chances are, at this moment, you’re thinking of another individual and thinking, “Well…yes, I know exactly what you mean.”
If we view people as either radiators or drains, we begin to analyze and understand their place in our lives. The more radiators you surround yourself with, the better you’ll feel. If, right now, you’re thinking: “I think I’ve got way too many drains and too few radiators,” you’re probably feeling tired and slightly empty. You needn’t feel this way.
I have been fortunate enough to have so many radiators around me. The most amazingly warm and wonderfully encouraging and loving people. Not to say there haven’t been drains…there have. There will always be. But, reading those six words above really helped me in my path to surround myself with radiators.
I hope they help you, too.