1 a : an ethereal fluid held to flow from the stars and to affect the actions of humans b :an emanation of occult power held to derive from stars 2 : an emanation of spiritual or moral force 3 a : the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command b : corrupt interference with authority for personal gain 4 : the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways : sway 5 : one that exerts influence
Today has been a strong day of my meaning of influence- rather that is according to Shawna: "someone or something affecting you, your thoughts, beliefs, values, or actions"
I sometimes look at my past self (the weaker days of me) and wonder, "How did I end up here, strong and confident and capable?" I find it somewhat relevant to compare past vs. present in moderate doses. I am, after all, overly capable of dwelling on the past and making it the future. So on occasion I take a MOMENT of reflection to consider my journey.
Influence becomes a key word here. Intention is quick to follow.
In the past, especially as an overly emotionally stimulated child, yet an under emotionally developed child, I needed to feel constant influence as well as feel like I was influencing something (anything). I spent endless years in an unstable state of mind. I really believe I may have bordered on a schizophrenic/ personality disorder. It was as if I spent my time consumed with the thoughts and feelings of others and how to manipulate them into the thoughts and feeling that I thought they should have... the thoughts of approval and affirmation that I needed for my very existence.... and occasionally the thought ands feeling of disapproval to appease the rebel child in me.
The thing I realize today is that a lot of emotionally immature people still live this way. What is it that brought me to a new level of understanding? How did I break free of this cycle and find my own inner voice?
In all honesty, it happened in 3 parts. The first was the quick and painful loss of the 3 three most influential people to my manipulating thought processes. The 3 people's who's input I constantly needed. My grandfather and children's father who died the same year, and my best friend who moved out of state. Now she was not an actual "loss" and our relationship has actually grown into something very strong and beautiful, but at that time, losing daily verbal connection WAS a loss.
Left alone with my thoughts and lack of esteem came the next two parts, unconditional love and meth. What a combination.
How did those two things lead to who I am today? The truth is, they both freed my mind and rid me of all of my self doubt. the difference is that one was real and one was simulated. I think I personally needed that drug induced simulation in order to allow myself to feel that euphoria for a long enough time to get acquainted with it. Much the same way that a person temporarily uses anti-depressants to learn to feel okay again following a long bout of depression, I needed that high to allow myself to be happy again.
The scary thing is that meth is so deadly and addicting, I almost lost myself to it completely. That is where the unconditional love came in. It started with the love of Bryson. I am his first true romantic love. It was a wonderfully innocent, yet intense courtship. He loved me so truly and fully, not ever having an ulterior motive, yet he always had enough self respect to let me know he would not compromise himself for our love.
It astounded me that such a young guy (21 at the time) with no relationships past, could be so emotionally simple and strong. In the face of this, I wanted nothing more than to return the favor. I didn't know how.
Amazingly, we went through this crazy and fast journey of love and experience, getting high on drugs and each other, and the end result brought me here. A place where I can love myself for me in all of my entirety and allow others the opportunity to do the same. He taught me that. Here is also a place where I know even in the face of despair, hopelessness, and addiction, there is the power of change and growth in the future. I have something to give, without asking you, or you, or you, anything in return. I have love and integrity. Honesty and hope. The unconditional love of my family and myself. I have influence and intention.
Here I am.