Wanting to follow up on my last post, Intercepting Violence, as I’ve gotten a few questions on how to stand up for yourself in a non-violent, but non-doormat way. This is the challenge of our society, indeed! Many supporters of violent or forceful acts feel they are necessary, even if as a last resort, but is violence the only way we can assert ourselves? Of course not. As in any situation, there are MANY options, the problem is that often we can only think of one or two, or we don’t even stop to think at all.
Now I am not claiming to have the keys to end all war – though I certainly have some ideas that I think could help us move toward peace. Today’s message is about being assertively peaceful. Today I want to encourage you to do no harm, but take no shit.
Many of us have come to equate peace with passivity, and conflict with violence. So how can you be assertive with your peacefulness? How can you bring peace to conflict?
I think this mantra itself can support you finding your own thin line.
If you have an impulse to any kind of violence – toward yourself or others, remember that if you can pause and wait out the reactivity, you give yourself the opportunity to explore the infinities of other choices in your hands. Here are a few specifics you can play with this week:
Remain silent. Take a pause. Do not react. This is intercepting violence – it is also intercepting expectations. By simply not reacting the way someone anticipates, or by delaying your reaction, you have intercepted interpersonal communication processes that are so deeply wired it cannot help but shift the course of the communication. This may appear passive but is actually a massively assertive tool. Think Rosa Parks. And don’t do what they want or expect of you.
2. Protect yourself.
Not just for against STDs my friends (or STIs for that matter), anyone with a loving open heart needs to carry around some serious energetic prophylactics. I read a book on psychic protection back when I was in college, and have been using it ever since. It can actually be quite simple – in, or ideally before, a moment that you feel vulnerable to the environment or to others around you, perhaps someone is approaching you with an aggressive tone – imagine a barrier, a force field around you, protecting you from their anger, judgement, hostility, BS, etc. There are lots of ways to do this, for the sake of simplicity I will offer two variations. One is the bubble, crystal, force field, something that surrounds you & keeps your positive juju in, while filtering their negativity out (perhaps even bouncing it back to them, or to where it came from to be healed).
The second variation is a wall, a fence, a border, some kind of barrier separating you from them & their nastiness. Now my super hippy & transcendental psychology friends out there (I love you guys) will say, yes, but isn’t this separation? Don’t they represent a part of you that can be healed? If you can get there in your mind and heart and emanate love throughout your interaction, great. I still think protection is helpful, even if you’re in this stage – remember, no prophylactic means your mixing some pretty intimate fluids with this person. It’s a graphic analogy but you’ll remember it!
3. Bring the vibe.
Many sensitive souls of the world have hearts wide open and are easily impacted by the energy of others, making it difficult to be in the presence of distress or violence. Rather than curl up and stay home all the time (tempting, I know), create your own protection (above) and BRING THE VIBE! Bring your sweet, loving, awesome self into the room, and amplify it, rather than hiding or ducking the throes of unconsciousness. The more of you, of us who can do this, the better off the world will be. Be a leader in your kindness.
I hear a few of you saying, “I’m with you! But what about when someone is attacking ME? How can I do no harm and not take their shit?
Boundaries. Ask yourself, do I need this person in my life? Do they need to be in your company? If so, even your boss has a boss, and if you are putting up with too much sh*t from someone at work, there are ways to assert the boundary around yourself: IT IS NOT OKAY TO TREAT ME THAT WAY. Punto e basta.
If you have thoughts or questions, share them in the space below. I’d love to hear how this sits with you!
Sending you harmless, no-shit taking love,