From the desk of Lori Aufderhar, Summit’s Director of Operations/Retirement Coach:
What are you under the influence of? Not of alcohol or drugs – who or what influences you? Who do you have in your life and how are they affecting you? Negative Nellie or Positive Patti?
He could tell every time she hung out with a particular family member. “The nasty rubs right off on her,” He said. The nasty niece influenced his wife and she would bring the nastiness home, which affected their relationship.
What are you ingesting? Not into your digestive system, but into your mind? How are you influenced by the books you read? The movies you watch? The music you listen to? Who are you listening to? What do you see from others? Are you:
- Watching scary movies that places fear into your mind?
- Listening to audio messages from motivational speakers that help you live a better life?
- Reading trashy novels that put your head in the garbage?
- Listening to uplifting music that makes your heart sing?
Are you witnessing great examples from which to build a great life or are you seeing examples of “not it,” where you can see the example without experiencing the consequences yourself? As I share in my book, “Not It” An Approach to Life:
“It’s hard to watch someone else struggle, and we see it every day somewhere in our lives. Witnessing others’ struggles and consequences allows us to say ‘not it’ and learn without experiencing the consequences ourselves. Or we identify ‘this is it,’ and watch a mentor go step by step to where we want to be.”
In the relationship chapter of my book, I write:
“A common sign of a lack of boundaries with one person’s family of origin: the spouse feels like they get the leftovers. They feel their mate’s real allegiance is to their parents. The spouse who has a problem with boundaries with their family of origin can become depressed, argumentative, self-critical, perfectionistic, angry, combative, or withdrawn when they interact with that family. And then those ‘not it’ behaviors can be passed like a virus onto their spouse or children. ‘His family of origin has the power to affect his new family in a trickle-down effect,’ Cloud and Townsend write—a definite ‘not it.’”
(Portions quoted from book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No-To Take Control of Your Life, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. James Townsend)
The next time you flip open a book, turn on the television or radio, ask yourself, “What affect is this going to have on my mind, and how will that ripple out to others?” Awareness is a step towards the freedom from being “under the influence.” What are you letting control your life, and how can you take steps to begin breaking free?
Copyright 2018 Lori Aufderhar