Confronting Bad Influences

(all other posts)

I want to talk about influences this week. Many of us know that people can wreak havoc in our lives and influence poor lifestyles. I can say, first hand, this has left me feeling very empty at times. It’s human nature to connect with things around us. For that reason, I think it’s important to pay attention to what influences are coming in.

My brother and I grew up with my parents being in a straight marriage – and also pastor’s children. Both of my parents are absolutely incredible; They instilled a sense of empowerment to go after things and reach for the stars and set in place, what I believe to be, a wonderful moral compass. After 32 years of marriage my father is now divorced and remarried to a man. He always loved my mother – but he’s extremely happy now that he’s freed himself from a form of internal tyranny. I believe the struggle for him was his ownership to a belief system. For him, Christianity told him that he was broken and that his sexuality needed to be fixed. He let it tell him what his value was and what he was able to do and not do with his life.

What happens when you are involved with people that do this? What happens when people claim ownership over you, hold you back from your life goals, dictate the things you believe, drain you emotional, mentally and eventually physically?

At some point, these are questions I was forced to ask myself. They helped me define how I should approach incoming influences in my life.


Taking a step back.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at what’s going on. How do you feel when we think about the person we are with or the relationships we have in our lives? Do you get instantly anxious or do you get excited for the next time you get to see them? Do you feel like you have to prepare yourself for them blowing up at you for, “something you did.”? I want to challenge you to take a look at your overall happiness in all of your relationships. Toxic relationships will stop you from reaching your dreams and stilt your growth as a person. You will be so focused on how to fix these constant issues that you won’t have the time or energy to ask, “How do I actually reach a new plateau in my life, and not just fix the mess?”. I believe there is a big difference in the two.


Confronting it.

How do you deal with it when you decide that your friends, partner or acquaintances are holding you back? Or maybe they are extremely negative and you are trying to live your life more happily. Some people are easy to cut out when this happens. There’s a category that would be first on the list to cut out for most people. You don’t value their opinions or how they treat you and you basically just don’t even care what they think. Cold turkey approach for them. Easy, right? What about all the rest? This is where the biggest change and the hardest upheaval lies, of course. Connections to friends and partners, working relationships that you feel need to remain intact to be successful.

There’s no easy way to do it – but I strongly believe that NONE of these reasons are good enough to keep someone in your life. Your life is exactly that – YOUR LIFE. You have to be first. Other people deserve plenty of affection and work and time and love. But you require the most. I don’t believe in a karmic, Astrological reason for this, but I do believe that when you behave a certain way, it’s human nature for the same behavior to find you. Maybe one of your toxic relationships will even poison the well of an incoming one that’s positive.

The long term effects of cutting out the bad should be the focus. We all know that stopping smoking is healthier. And we know that withdrawal is awful. Yet none of us say that we should continue to smoke because of the effects of withdrawal.

I think that focusing on what influences are coming into our lives is such a necessary part of growth. Remove obstacles. Find wonderful, positive people. Step out of the darkness if you find yourself under a shadow.

Love, equality and safety,

-Ryan

 

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