Anxiety of influence! It’s a term Harold Bloom came up with about poetry, but I’ve been thinking of it in regards to our own individuation, especially those periods of integration after big growth spurts, or peak experiences, like plant medicine ceremony, pilgrimage, or any initiatory process.
Anyone who has sat in circle with me has heard me talk about 20% ceremony and 80% integration. Integration takes time and effort, especially if we are making changes after being a certain way for a long time.
It’s as if we are going through a type of spontaneous soul retrieval and we are like a newborn.
Parts of us might only just be awakening, or returning after being far away or stuck in shadow for a long time.
We are vulnerable!
It can feel disorienting, like walking around in our same life but looking through new eyes.
There can be work in mending the attachments between parts of our self, or in repairing the self trust to ensure we don’t betray ourselves again.
So we must hold a sacred devotion to our new self to ensure the anxiety of outside influence doesn’t derail us and send us back into old patterns.
What does it mean to hold a sacred devotion?
- It can mean not hanging out with those who overshadow us, or who have expectations on us to remain the same as we once were.
- It can mean not hanging out in places or with people where it’s hard to set boundaries.
- It can mean not distracting off into numbing, roles, or ego image if we have wobbly days.
- It can also mean spending lots of time alone to digest this new vibration deep into our core.
- It can mean asking for help or leaning into the love of your trusted Tribe and safety net
- It can also mean connected with Elders and/or chosen kin who’ll hold our feet to the fire when needed, and who want us to grow and shine and be happy.
The gift of anxiety of influence is the “anxiety” part.
It’s that feeling of not wanting to lose the change we’ve worked so hard for, or not wanting anyone’s projections upon us or our new work, or art, or idea - mostly because it’s still forming and strengthening its roots.
So listen to your Self. Trust your Self. Trust the process.
Hold that sacred devotion to your self care and compassion.
You are worthy of stability. You are worthy of success. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of health and joy and abundance. You are worthy of peace!