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You Run With Them, You Howl With Them

Personal relationships and how they influence us

“You run with them, you howl with them “- this is an old saying that my father used to tell me all the time. I don’t know how old it is but every time I say it, people always smile! My father would often use this saying when my brothers or I would get into trouble, and we would say “it wasn’t me, I was just there! I didn’t do anything! “

I forgot this saying from my childhood until one day I was in therapy, when I was very upset and down. I was telling Mastora that I had no friends! I had no one!! She just smiled and said “oh tell me more!”

“Since I stopped playing in bands and drinking I have no friends! I never leave the house, and no one is contacting me at all”

Well what I learned that day was eye opening and really brought that old saying to the forefront of my life! I left my pack, the pack that I was howling with for 28 years! I was in thick with them. I thought like they did, I acted like they did and I shared the bleak and negative view of the world like they did. Who we share our company with is who we slowly become.

We bond with them and we break bread with them, we drink with them. And hey when it comes to family we live with them. We slowly take on little or big pieces of them and we don’t even know it! They are the people we share our time with, they influence us in ways that we don’t even see! And it all starts when we are just little kids.

I learned all of this that day when I explained to Mastora how I only had 2 friends left in my life now that I had made big changes, not just leaving the music scene but in general, I just didn’t have friends because of how I was growing and changing.

She quickly said oh no all those people are there they just haven’t changed, the only thing you lost was common ground. She was right, I was bettering my life and changing everything, seeing the world differently!

If I wanted to go back there, all those people were still there and would welcome me with open arms! Because they haven’t changed and they most likely miss me! But now I was healthy and didn’t fit in anymore, I was not howling with that group anymore. I was free! But I was not going to be alone for long! I was now going to meet new people who I shared new common ground with, I just had to get out and go to the places where these new people would be.

We attract people with the way we live, the way we act, the vibes we put out and the groups we run with. We thrive in the environments that we choose to live in and that works both ways, as always.

If we live in a negative environment, we become negative. If we think of ourselves in a negative manner, we start to believe that it is true. We see ourselves in the people that we hang out with and they accept us into their pack because we have that common ground. We howl with them, we act like them, share stories with them that enforce that we are one with them! And it feels good because we are accepted by them. There is nothing wrong with that! There is nothing wrong with wanting to belong, to be part of something, right? Well yes, but if it is unhealthy then it is not good.. if you are being someone who you are not then it is bad.

But how do we even know when it is not good for us? Especially when you feel loved and are part of the group! Pretty scary right. For me it took a long while before I knew I needed to change. It wasn’t until I did that mood monitoring assignment with the cards that gave me proof that a change needed to happen.

People reach their moment of change at different times in their lives, there is no right or wrong, there is no time limit or timeline when it comes to change and creating happiness. When your times comes it comes and you will know it, you will embrace it, then you will make the changes that need to happen. It doesn’t happen overnight! But it happens, and when it does you will truly feel what it is like to be free.

When you change to a positive lifestyle there will be a long moment where there is no one, because you no longer belong to that negative pack anymore. It is scary, I know, I experienced it. But once you start getting out and meeting people who share the same positive way of living all of a sudden you are not alone anymore! I experienced this first hand when I started teaching, both with myself and with my students. I made new friends, started going out for coffee, laughing, feeling good, but even better than that I witnessed students exchanging phone numbers. I heard them making plans to hang out together outside of the class room, great friendships were made, and they were made because they now had common ground with each other! They shared their struggles in class, they knew that they had a bond with each other because of these shared experiences and emotional states. Open conversation always works!

All of a sudden, they were howling with a new pack and running with it as well. All the same things that they had in their negative life were there in the positive and their new friendships would now have a positive influence on them. There was common ground, there was empathy, there was understanding and love for each other.

When we start to look at personal relationships in our lives, we have to be honest and say are these relationships health? Are they a good influence? Or are they a bad influence?

Use radical acceptance

Set boundaries

Forgive and then move forward.

Letting go of toxic relationships and influence can change your life. You will now be free to get out and join groups, take classes, go to community events, meet people who are more like you! People who have common ground with you! Allow yourself the freedom of letting go and then starting again.

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