Have you ever been asked, “Who has impacted you most?”
Maybe you were asked during a game night, in casual conversation, during a therapy session, or while on a date with a potential mate.
I recently stumbled upon a list of questions that were supposed to serve as a reminder of what to ask when I go on a date.
(I say supposed to because I have yet to actually ask these questions. And I have been on at least one official date since writing them down.)
So much for strategizing my dating life.
(chuckles to self and shakes head)
I’ll share more on my dating relationships at a later time.
For now, we’re examining impact...
“Who has impacted you most and how?”
My first thought when I saw this question was, “Hmm, that’s a deep one.”
My second thought was, “Hmm, how would I answer it?”
Well, frankly, I think the person who impacted me most might also be the person who sends all sorts of emotions through my body.
... just to be clear, I'm talking eye-rolling, deep-breath taking, lip-smacking, "you've got to be kidding me," or "oh my goodness, I can't even" because I'm so annoyed and I don't have time for this like ever.. sort of emotions.
I know.. it doesn't sound nice...
It is how I feel though...
And an emotional response is a valid response.
It can also be an indicator of how much influence someone or something has over you.
I want you to know that I didn’t pull this information from a textbook...
It’s my own analysis of life...
Which leads me to my third thought...
“Hmm, does it count if the impact was negative?
I dare say...
So, here I am typing away...
Willing to share with you that the impact someone has on your life may not always be a positive one.
And even deeper, just because they weren’t a positive source of encouragement in your life doesn’t mean they didn’t impact you.
Let me say it differently...
Negative people can have an impact on you.
Negative situations can have an impact on you.
Negative environments can have an impact on you.
Okay... maybe you don’t believe the person, situation or environment is negative...
Maybe it’s all in your own head...
Well, in this case, your perception is that a certain person, situation, or environment is negative.
This too can impact you.
You see, each of our worlds is very real.
It’s the lens through which we view and believe life to be true.
And when something agitates or stands against our truth, our world can begin to shake like a rumbling earthquake.
If you’ve never seen the aftermath of an earthquake, I urge you to research the effects of small and large earthquake events.
There's no doubt in my mind that you can picture the catastrophe of a large earthquake...
But what if there's a single or a series of mini earthquakes?
Maybe there isn't any immediately noticeable physical damage?
Maybe loosened pipes or cracking foundations will only be noticed once so much time has passed that the problem has grown to affect other things like the smell of mold and mildew in the carpet or a ball always rolling toward a certain corner of the room.
Or maybe there will be no cosmetic damage, only emotional damage...
Will you be afraid that another earthquake will happen?
Do you avoid going to the exact place you were in when you experienced the first earthquake?
When you see someone new wear an outfit that reminds you of the negative person, do your emotions rush the same way they did before?
Maybe the new person is totally unrelated to the negative person, but because they said a certain phrase your guard is now up and you’re finding it difficult to continue the conversation...
Or you feel a pressing urge to do whatever the negative person used to ask or require of you in response to their stating said phrase?
...It can feel as if you were teleported back to the exact time and place where the original negative event occurred...
But, you’re not there...
You are here... right now... standing in front of a new person. A new situation. In a new environment...
But you are experiencing the same emotional rollercoaster as before.
This is because...
In the same way that love is sparked from fond memories, so too can sadness, pain, turmoil, anguish, confusion, nervousness, and any other emotion be conjured.
Each of us can most definitely be impacted by negativity sourced from any person, place, or thing.
So, protect your mind, heart, and soul by extracting yourself from that negative energy as best you can.
And find a positive source to begin unpacking the damage that may lie beneath so you can journey toward healing.
...In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing down questions I think I should ask my future mate.