Can a good person be turned bad? Can a bad person be turned worse?

At an event the other night, I heard someone speak profoundly on the life they used to live.  It was full of things that many people can’t even imagine being involved in, doing, or seeing.  The type of stuff you would see on TV, in music videos, or in the movies.  Not fun, exciting, good things – but things that would traumatize you to watch.  Things that would make you cry to see happen.  But they do happen.  They happen every day, in our neighborhoods, out on the street, in the restaurants you eat at, in the high rise next door, you name it.

One sentence really stood out to me.  He said, “Some people ask me what I was like before this, how I changed – was I a good person before I did all of the things I’ve done?  The answer is yes – I was raised with good principles and values and wanted to do good in the world…but man, its the people I surrounded myself with.  Slowly but surely the way they lived, said and did really influenced my way of thinking until I started wanting the same things that they wanted.  And thats how it all began.”

This struck me, because I have thought about this a lot.  Were people who are out there in the world doing terrible things and living a destructive lifestyle, or using people for a living, or contributing to hurting the innocent and controlling reality for their own gain while others suffer under their feet “always” like that?  Have some humans simply been these types of people since very early on, or did many “used” to be good people with good hearts and worthy values who simply took a tangent turn in their lives and became immersed in a place where their major influences were people around them who were not?

It is human nature to soak up what is around us, and we are very susceptible to influence and subliminal programming no matter where that is coming from.  When you hear something repeated enough times – even if it is something you do not believe or is completely opposed to what your heart originally values…you will find yourself eventually considering it, or even believing and following it due to the porous nature of our minds and how the subtle layers of neurolinguistic programming work.  This is why some people believe that we have to be careful what we listen to, hear, or surround ourselves with – because our minds, unfortunately are so susceptible to subliminal influence.

This is how mind control begins.  Whether that be in a controlling or abusive relationship, through television and music (both in consumer culture and counter-culture), social engineering, joining a cult, political programming, etc.  If you’ve ever gone to hypnotherapy, you can see how this works in live action.  It can be as subtle as hearing a friend make a statement about something – having that moment pass, and then hearing them say it again a couple of weeks later – the moment again passing.  

A few days later, you find yourself in a conversation with another person and you yourself make that same declaration or statement about something as though it were your own, not even realizing that you are simply repeating something that was planted in your mind subliminally simply by hearing someone else say it twice with confidence.

Again, this is how brainwashing and mind control begins.  Just the tip of the ice berg – but  it warrants the question – can this be used for bad?  Can it turn good people bad?  And can it turn bad people worse?  Is this how some people end up doing terrible things, in terrible situations that they would never choose for themselves if they could see outside of the box?  Or are there people who are inherently dark, sick, and twisted individuals who simply are that way, perhaps save a miracle?

I think the answer to both is yes.

The transformation I saw in this individual was beautiful, astounding, and amazing.  I believe that he was someone who was a good person, became heavily influenced by those he chose to surround himself with – and one day was rocked awake from his nightmare.  In order to change what he was doing and how he viewed the world – he absolutely had to move away from a lot of the people and things he was spending his time on and with.  A “sea change” requires the acknowledgement of what exactly it is that is influencing us.  Is it material?  Is is power?  Is it superiority?  Is it vanity?  Is is addiction?  Is it selfishness?  Has arrogance taken over?  Is it carelessness?  Do we care how what we do affects other people, or is it all about us getting to our end goal?  And who or what is influencing those thought patterns and ways of viewing the world?

Does it really matter who we hang out with?  Who we hear speaking?  Who we allow to influence the subtle waves and thought patterns in our minds?  Of course we can’t walk around with earmuffs on or put ourselves into a protective bubble 24-7 – but I think we CAN choose where the majority of our influence comes from…who we surround ourselves with, listen to, and take seriously.  Be aware and notice things.  Then make your decisions.

Those who begin with good hearts are clearly influenceable, but I believe they have a good chance at coming back from circumstances that caused them to veer off track if and when they take action during those moments of clarity.  And remain committed to making it through the detox that happens afterward.

Still others, will not do this.  Negative influence, programming, and trauma has such a hold on their minds and psyches that it has almost become a part of who they are.  In fact, I think many of them truly believe it is who they are – so the motivation to change is scant to naught.  Some of them seem to enjoy hurting and using others,  and the level of possession that it has over them seems impenetrable.  I think that these folks are in the greatest danger because their slide is already fully greased, and if subliminal programming affects us all in a similar way – these people will truly be influenced in a way that can heighten their sadism and negativity.  I don’t think that means there is no hope for them – but in my opinion, the answer is absolutely not to try to “change” them – for this is not something that you can change – but rather, something that they have to make the decision to do on their own.

I say this from a position of someone who has dreamed as big as the day is long that *I* could change a person (or two) who fell into this spectrum.  I thought that if I only led by example, reasoned with them, if I could just show them – and they would listen, and they would change.   Thats not how it works.  We can lead by example, and that is the best thing we can do, in my opinion – but we will never be the one who changes another.  It has to be their choice.  We may spend countless, fruitless hours mooring over how we can fix or change the situation, but this is simply a sand trap pulling us in deeper and closer to their own sickness – and it is in those moments that we have to decide for ourselves where that is going to take us.

While a lot of us don’t want to abandon others, and we do want to be able to shine light into dark places – we still have to be careful where the majority of our influence is coming from, and there is a fine line between ‘helping’ and allowing your energy to be syphoned from or compromised.

Food for thought…and while we cannot always control everything we eat – if influence is truly this dynamic – we have to remain vigilant in those moments where we do have a choice – to pick and choose our food as wisely as we can.



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Energy Vampires.

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone with whom, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot get out of the conversation?  They keep going and going, and looping and looping, and hooking and hooking the dialogue and topics until you’re forced to take either drastic measures or use clever tactics to exit that interaction?  How do you know the difference between people who just like to talk too much, are lonely, or are nice people just having a bad moment – and someone who really does feed off of your energy and the attention you give them in a way that can be problematic?

There really are people who do not have much intuition or don’t know how to take social cues, read body language, or have a general sense of how much time and energy they are taking from the other person in conversation.  Perfectly innocent people who, while frustrating for some, are not energy vampires.

Well what IS an energy vampire?  I like to think of energy vampires on a sliding scale or spectrum – grey being not so bad and black being “want to eat your soul” type of status.  (And yes, they are out there.).  They are people who get THEIR energy – from you.  The less intelligent or ones without much of a current “source” latch on to people overtly – more desperately seeking your attention, conversation, money, affection, social status, status of any kind, etc.  The more highly intelligent ones, or ones who are much less desperate for a source of “supply” (as in, they have several sources they are feeding off of already), will be much more subtle about it.  Their tactics will make you come to them, want to be with them, or seek to please them.  Both, once they have you standing on the X – will begin their game.

Sometimes it is just conversation – and again, you have to be careful not to confuse someone who just doesn’t know when to end a conversation with someone who is using you for their own gain.  Often, with more vampiric-like people, the conversation will be accompanied by an intense, piercing stare from them.  At times, almost a stare-down.  Often they will “lean in” and lock eyes with you as they speak in a way that feels uncomfortable…

A side topic to this stare is, communication practices where you are taught to stare deeply into the eyes of another person or use “intentional eye contact” (long staring contests) for the purpose of improving communication or furthering a “spiritual connection”.  These practices can borderline on or accidentally facilitate a form of energy vampirism, in my opinion – however, this type of stuff sits in a different room than the general red flag of plain old intense eyes when someone is trying to pull at you in a conversation or interaction.

Another major red flag is, when you are talking to someone and you can literally feel in your stomach or your heart, an almost anxious pull.  It feels like the more you talk to them, the more something is pulling from your body to them at your heart or your stomach.  It does not feel good.  Sometimes you walk away from the conversation feeling exhausted, or confused.  Or sometimes will feel almost a dull, subtle, sick feeling in your gut when you’re talking to them or in a situation with them.

When we’re tired – EVERYONE feels like an energy vampire.  Whoever we are interacting with will give us some of these feelings because we are already operating from the reserves of our gas tank.  If you are in this state, please don’t walk around thinking that every person around you is an energy vampire – they’re not.  In those moments, it is much more likely that its you.  Most people also have desperate moments where they might be extra needy temporarily, and exhibit tendencies that drain you – this IS a vampiric quality, but that also does not necessarily mean that someone “is” an energy vampire.

But, when you’re operating at normal levels or even high levels of energy and you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you’re being syphoned – you probably are.  Or if a person constantly drains you – it truly may be that they have a problem.

Where it becomes problematic is when a person is like this most of the time.  Of course, it can take time to figure that one out – but once you’ve dealt with some really major cases, you can often tell pretty quickly after meeting someone initially whether they have that edge to them or not.  If you’re not sure, then give it time.

The reason why this is all important is because the term “energy vampire” simply describes what is at the gate of a person who may have a problematic personality that can often (not always, but often) lead to much higher levels of manipulation later on down the road with them.  Identifying the action of energy vampirism is identifying what lies at the gate of someone who uses others.  They may use others for sex, for money, for social status, to climb the ladder, for basic needs, for time, for attention, for anything really.  They’ve lost their own connection, so they use others to feed themselves or to prop up and heighten themselves.

Of course there are exceptions to everything spoken of here – but these are just some basic things to help you know that you’re not crazy when you feel them.

It can be hard to know where a person is coming from, sometimes – but if you pay attention to the subtle feelings in your body and repeated patterns that you see…it may help you to avoid becoming too intertwined with an individual who, in the end, only seeks to take and no matter how much they get fed, will usually remain hungry for the power to do so.


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