Ep. 18 - Keep Your Circle Small

In this episode, Angel talks about the importance of evaluating who is in your circle, as well as keeping it small. Friends are hard to come by, so let's make sure we choose our friends wisely. 

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Intro (00:07)

What is going on everyone! Welcome to The Message with Angel! Thank you for tuning in everyone it’s been a while and I have so much to catch you guys up on. First off I have to say, I cannot believe it’s September! I’m honestly kind of happy/sad because it’s September. First off I’m happy because this mean soon the weather will start dropping a bit and it won’t be so humid. I think I’ve said in a past episode that I am not the biggest fan of the summer. Unless I’m at the beach or pool, I don’t want to be outside in this heat. On the flip side, I’m a little sad because some of my most memorable moments of past summers have been bonfires with friends, or going to beach super late to watch the sun rise. Or just any type of physical activity that usually is done during the summer. Although the summer is almost over, now I feel pressured to make some of this happen. I’ll figure something haha. 

But anyways, some of you guys may be wondering what has Angel been up to? For one, I was in another rap battle on July 28th. Like the last one, this one was also in Connecticut. What a night it was! If you know me personally, you know how much I love the culture of battle rap. The event was hosted by Loso who is currently one of my favorite battle rappers out. He’s also a Christian and he’s in the same group as my bro Th3 Saga who battles as well. I had battled a CHH artist by the name of FriiStyle Gahspol. He had also battled in the last event I was in and actually headlined it. People were excited to see us two go at it. I arguably came off a win while he was being marketed as the underdog. I was prepared for him to go crazy and I’m glad I did because he had an amazing showing. The improvement between the both of us was scary that night. I knew that because he was a man of God and was connected, that there was no reason if he did his part, that God would handle the rest in making sure he performed great. It was, like my last battle, a back and forth fight that was without a doubt the battle of the night. Even my opponent can agree with that. In terms of winner, some people had me winning every round slightly, while other had me losing the battle. We both came with it and it’s more than likely going to go down to what you prefer. All I know is, we both brought everything we had that night, and I’m so happy with how everything came out. I’m really looking forward to the battle dropping and I promise to keep you guys posted on my social media.

All I know is, the kingdom of God won that night. Friistyle, my opponent, had actually reached out to me prior to the battle because God had spoken to him through his wife, with the idea of being accountability partners. It was such a huge change from what is typical of a rap battle. Usually opponents avoid talking to each other since they’re going at one another, but this was different. We hit each other up every few days and prayed over one another because we knew that we’re on the same team, and the enemy wants us to fail during our battle and even before that. He was so right about that and I love that we were in constant contact during the preparation. I consider him a friend as well as a brother in Christ. All glory to God for that.

I also just turned 25 years old back on the 19th of August! I had an unforgettable birthday to say the least! I’m a lowkey kind of guys and as you’ll see with this episode, I’m not one to have some big party and invite people I’m not really close with to celebrate my birthday. I’d rather spend it with close friends and family. But this year was really different because one of my brothers had surprised me with tickets to WWE’s Summer Slam at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was a kid, and I always wanted to go to a WWE event. So to go on my birthday was really special and it’s something I won’t forget. I had an absolute blast and you can even see of the highlights on my OfficialAngelTV Instagram. You’ll see it under where it says 25th Birthday in my highlights.

Anyways lets’ get to the episode at hand, and that is to keep your circle small. So I’m known by everyone pretty much to be a very social person. Put me anywhere and I’ll be cool with a handful of people by the time I leave. It helps that I know who I am as a person so I’m comfortable pretty much everywhere. So why would I want to keep my circle small then?

My High School Days (06:38)

So to explain why keeping a small circle is important in any area of life, let’s travel a couple of years back to my High School days. I say a couple cause I mean it really wasn’t THAT long ago haha. So in High School, I was always with a pretty big group, especially during lunch time. You know every High School had a table for a specific group of kids. One table may be the rich kids of the school, another may be those who do really well in school, another may be a table for those who are in band, and so on. I happened to sit at the table with all the minorities of the school. I lived on the same block as many of them and related to them the most.

I was cool with so many of them and can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve cried laughing hanging out with them. I had class with many of them and every time I walked to class, I’m dapping 4-5 of the people from the group I associated myself with. When graduation came, I was both happy and sad. On one hand, I was happy because I was going to college to study Business and Audio Recording so I’d be around talent. One the other hand, I was sad because I wouldn’t be around some of the people I spent so many years in High School with. 

Social Media has changed things because now you can be friends on Facebook or Instagram and see what everyone is up to, but even then I probably stayed in contact with only three people from that group I hung out in High School. And this is due to many reasons, people grow. I am not the same person I was in High School and so as result, I had less in common and didn’t really see a benefit in continuing keeping contact. Others turned out to not really be friends at all and when it came down to it, they showed their true colors. 

I remember an old saying that goes, 

“You don’t really lose friends, you just discover who the real ones are.”

Not Everyone is Your Friend (09:08)

And I believe the quote to be true. What I found out was, some people were around me for different motives. I remember back in college, I had one friend who was like my right hand man. He had my back to the point where I felt like if something happened to me, he would go to violent measures to get revenge for me. As we both progressed through college, he started to act different around me. He was criticizing me when it came to my talents and come to find out, this guy was jealous of me. He felt I was more talented than him and he wanted to be better than me. Such a shame because I remember trying to help this guy out in being better at his talents. It sucked at the time because, this was someone I considered to be almost like a brother. To think, he was harboring negative thoughts about me, to the point where he wanted to see me fail.

Proverbs 18:24 (NLT) says,

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

I cut him out of my life so quick after that. As you can see, having real friends around you is incredibly difficult. I only have 4 people in my inner circle that I really feel like I can trust. That’s because they’ve been tested and have shown me their loyalty and friendship over many years. The rest of the people I know are just regular friends. And that’s not to say those people aren’t trustworthy, it’s just there hasn’t been many opportunities for them to show their true motives. Whether that be good or bad.

Not Everyone is Like You (11:03)

As a social person, I love being cool with everyone believe me, but I also recognize not everyone is like me. You may have good motives and want to help others out, but unfortunately the world won’t always reciprocate what you give out to others. Sometimes people will try and take advantage of your kindness. Be friendly and open, but don’t be giving out your life story and problems to just anyone. Some people don’t care, and others may even be happy to hear you have problems. Not everyone was raised to be a friend to others unfortunately. Be mindful and cautious, but don’t close yourself off completely either in meeting new people. I know with me personally, I’m very observant when in a new environment. Some people will even confuse me for being shy but what I’m really doing is, surveying the room to get a vibe for how everyone is. Once I can assess it, then I start being my normal self. I do this so I know who to keep my distance from. Some people you see in a room, you may find best to avoid speaking to. Whether that be God telling you in your heart to, or just seeing how they interact with people.

Keep Your Friends Close (12:14)

If you do have friends, I consider you to be very lucky. In this day and age, it’s hard finding people with integrity and loyalty. My advice, cultivate those friendships no matter what. Reach out on a regular basis and see how they’re doing. Pray for them and their families. Try and schedule a hangout every so often and catch up. Although you probably text them every other day on social media, it still doesn’t compare to a real life hang out.

Life gets in the way sometimes. Work. School. Even a significant other can make remaining in contact with your friends hard at times. Just remember that these friends have shown their loyalty through thick and thin, and you cannot let anything cause a rift between that. I get that at times people grow up and some friends grow apart, but the ones who don’t, I urge you to keep cultivating that friendship. Like I said I only really consider 4 people good friends of mine which will make choosing my groomsmen for my wedding fairly easy although the best man will be very hard haha. But what I’m trying to say is, I make sure that I stay in contact with all of them. Just last week I set up a hangout between one of my friends that I haven’t seen in weeks but kept in contact through social media. Two of them went with me to my rap battle on the 28th of July, and well the other I’m waiting for him to move back to NY from Miami so we can hang out like old times. Good friends are awesome to have around. They can be the ones you lean towards when you’re going through tough trials in life. All of them were able to help in one way or another when things weren’t so awesome in my life. So make sure you keep those important to you around. Don’t neglect good friends.

Prayer (14:14)

As we reach the end of this episode, you know I always love to include a prayer for you. This time I want to pray that the Lord may bring good people along your path in life. I will also pray that God may weed out the bad people in your circle. You’d be surprised that sometimes you don’t have to do anything. You’ll just stop hearing from them all together and it’s God that pushes them out for you. Having good people around you is key to success. We’re not meant to go through life alone, but to be in community with others. So where ever you are right now, unless you’re driving or something, just close your eyes and repeat after me.

“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for today. Thank you for blessing with another day of life. Thank you because every day your mercies for me are renewed. Thank you because being alive right now means you still have very big plans for my life. Lord I know that you created us to be in community with one another. So I ask you right now Lord, to help me in my friendships. Help me cultivate friendships with those that will help in this journey of life. Bless them and their families God. I also ask you to help push out those who do not have my best interests at heart and will not help me in anyway. I thank you Lord because you only want what’s best for my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”

Outro (15:44)

You guys as always, it’s been an absolute pleasure being a part of your day. Your time is precious and valuable to even giving me a 20 minutes or so of your time, really means a lot to me. I hope this podcast was able to help you in any way, shape or form. Having friends is awesome, but I’d rather have 3 good friends, than 1000 acquaintances who don’t care for me. Please do not forget to subscribe on iTunes if you have not already done so and leave me a review! I want to hear your feedback, it’s important to the growth of this podcast. I also have a website now as well where I have all my podcast episodes listed including the show notes so you can read it if you don’t have the ability to listen to it because you’re at work or something. My website name is pretty simple, it’s mynameisangel.com. Be sure to check it out, and let me know what you think! Thank you so much once again. Remember that you are loved, and that God values you more than you can ever imagine. God bless you and until next time folks, this has been The Message, with Angel.

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