I was fumbling around the house and heading to the basement when I caught a few sentences from my friend’s YouTube show she was watching downstairs. “What are your top 5 values?” the YouTuber said.

Hmmm….Top 5 Values?

The YouTuber went on to say that though she couldn’t tell her viewers the correct answer, she could share her values to inspire them to find theirs. Hearing hers made me realize one of hers was mine as well.

That value was “growth.”

A while back, when my friend asked me how I was able to keep such long-standing relationships (most of my inner circle I’ve known for 15-20 years and none of them under 7), I attributed it to our desire to keep growing. “We all value growth,” I said, and in saying that, I realized they would have to because I do.

Do you know that your inner circle is a reflection of you?  Click To Tweet

The people you surround yourself with, their beliefs, and ways of functioning are more than likely influencing you, and/or you are influencing them. Yes, one or two may march to the tune of their own beat, and maybe some of them are lengthy seasonal friendships, but for the most part, the core is a mirror image of your heart, your character, your intellect.

I am what they call an independent person. I live alone. I am an only child. My mother hammered home to me the point of being able to “make it on my own” out of fear that she would one day not be here. And though she was right, what she saw in her final earthly days was that I would not be alone. 

I would have community.

On a college campus some 20 years ago, the gift the Father gave me was community. Yes, I would need to stand alone at times in my life journey. Even on the daily, I function as an independent, but as one friend so adequately once told me, I wouldn’t have to be alone. If I was alone, it was a choice I would intentionally make.

The people God put in my life have a natural proclivity for learning. It makes sense that many of them were college students, and any person choosing a school with the intense curriculum of Miami University has a knack for desiring challenges, to say the least. But even my peeps who aren’t college-educated still highly value evolution and bettering themselves. We take things like assessments that tell us our Myers & Briggs’ personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. We read books that show us areas in which we need to heal or mature. We seek counseling, look back, and analyze recurring patterns in our lives to stop the madness and break generational curses.

I’m grateful for the desire to keep learning and growing because it made me the woman I am today. How did 20-year-old Nicole come this far? How did she overcome those obstacles that almost took her out? It was a desire to grow and heal. It was the Father’s hand. It was her community holding her up when she came crashing down.

Can you look at your story and see your values and how they’ve directed you to where you are today? I highly encourage you to take a few minutes and write down your top 5, then look at your circle. Can you discern the same values in your friends and romantic relationships?

Speaking of romance…a while back, my counselor advised that my romantic partner would need to be in alignment with my values. Truth be told, I struggled with believing this could be at all possible. After so many years of not seeing something, it can be hard to have faith. (Can I get an amen?) But after 13 years of waiting and 5 years of dating (my God), I can finally say, I see it. And you know what? It encourages me to uphold my values and standards. 

I hope you do the same.

In other news, this next Girl Talk is going to be a PHENOMENAL discussion on the topic of Black Love 🖤.

Make sure you TAP IN if you are:

1. Single and searching for love🤨🖤.

2. Married and in love☺️🖤.

3. A divorcee scorned from love 😫🖤.

The Black community has many unique challenges when it comes to finding love 🫶🏾 and this is our opportunity to chime in on those challenges. 😃. Come hear from our panelists from the Girl Talk Tribe who range all over the spectrum with experiences and knowledge. 👍🏾

Click here for your FREE registration. See you SOON!

Did you know that I just dropped the pre-sale for my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!

Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out. I have a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.

And, lastly, if you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here. I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).

As always, thank you for your support!

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