Some in the spiritual community encourage ignoring the drama and focus on the new, because “what you resist persists” and resisting by fighting back at the same level just leads to more of the same. However, I want to offer a better, third way rather than just ignoring the assaultive energies or fighting back at the same level. Resisting by transmuting the assaulting energies actually transforms the whole scenario. If you ignore them, the assaulting energies win. If you fight back at the same level, fighting energy wins. If you resist with awareness, you and the attacker transform.
Martial arts, particularly jiu-jitsu, can give us some pointers.
From Wiki: "Jiū" can be translated to mean "gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding." "Jitsu" can be translated to mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against them rather than confronting it with one's own force. Jujutsu developed to combat the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon. Because striking against an armored opponent proved ineffective, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of…techniques [that] were developed around the principle of using an attacker's energy against them, rather than directly opposing it.
The energy jujutsu techniques and tips I learned during that time helped me not only heal, but come out of the experience stronger and with a new paradigm and a new career. I’m still using my experiences to continue to shift to transmute old assaultive energies into new healing ones.
1. Self-care is paramount
If you find yourself numbing out, falling into despair, wanting to run away from it all, caught in near continual rage, that’s normal and all feelings are valid. However, these feelings are also telling you you’re on overwhelm. Take a media break, take a news break, take a social action break as needed. We can’t all be on all the time. It’s too much for any one person to carry. Someone on social media likened it to an orchestra, band, or choir intentionally staggering their breath, so that not everyone is taking a breath at the same time. That way, a note or melody is sustained by the group and yet individually everyone is taking a “rest” as needed. If you need to take a break don’t feel like you’re letting the country down. We all need rest. We all need to take a breath. We cannot all be on against assaultive energy all the time. Thinking that we need to be so doesn’t help you or anyone. We’re in a marathon not a sprint. So do something restorative and joyful for yourself. Laugh at a comedy or funny videos. Go to the beach or forest or somewhere healing in nature and drink in the wonderful energies there. Spend time at an art museum or dance to your favorite music. Spend time with encouraging friends. Get a massage.
2. Focus on positive information even as you are aware of destructive news
During my whistle-blowing years, there were some days it was difficult to find any positive information. Sometimes I would say, “Well, I made chocolate chip cookies. It’s a good day.” And that was literally all I could find that was a positive. Even today as there are wildfires raging near family in Northern California, I can see how many first responders and helpers are joining forces, how many people are praying and sending positive energy, how many are doing everything they can to alleviate suffering. Yesterday my state’s attorney general filed a lawsuit to stop birth control coverage from being terminated. I could focus on the negative (the termination of birth control coverage) or I could focus on the positive (gratitude for our state attorney general and his protective action). I chose the latter. Find whatever there is to be grateful for and focus there even as we take into account the negative actions going on around us. Focus on the positive. Focus on gratitude.
It’s important to honor and emote our feelings, never repressing or suppressing them. However, when we’re under assaultive energy, the emotions themselves can be overwhelming and exhausting. Too much emotional energy can be destructive too. Pace yourself, if possible, with emoting. And better yet, find a meditative or contemplative practice that enables you to go deeper than the turbulence of emotional energy into your eternally peaceful Core. I think of my emotions as waves on the surface of the ocean, but deep below the surface all is calm. It’s important to acknowledge our emotions, and it is even more important to know how to dive deep and find restoration at our spiritual center. Sometimes our emotions send us on an extreme roller coaster that’s hard to get off of. Practice diving deep. Practice centering. Practice peace. It does take practice.
4. Build community
During my travails, my spiritual community was the one attacking me (nice, huh?), so I had to recreate a spiritual community for myself. It was piecemeal, like a patchwork quilt, but it worked and it held. It can be easy to withdraw completely from community, especially if your community is participating in assaultive energy. Release the old communities that don’t work anymore, even if that’s family or church or long-time friends. Reach out as much as possible to people who are supportive. Being with those who are negative, draining, assaultive, or complaining is not going to work during this time. Also, reach out to people who need help and are grateful for the help: a children’s center, a senior center, a library, a hospital, somewhere you’re making a difference and you’ll be appreciated for your time and efforts.
5. Send love to those who are transmitting assaultive energies
It can be so easy to get caught up in the rage and hate cycle when dealing with assaultive energies. Again, that’s normal and all feelings are valid. But when you get caught in feeling rage and sending hate, you are only draining yourself of life-giving energy. Feel the feelings and get emotional support from a therapist if you can’t get out of the rage and hate. But, what always helped me was learning from the rage and hate. If I felt rage and hate, I realized that is most likely what was buried in the person transmitting assaultive energies. They themselves were at sometime assaulted in some way and it was never processed and all that rage and hate is now being projected onto others. If I could take a step back and see that, I could then have compassion for their original woundedness. I could transmute the rage and hate into love. Sending love helps that person and helps the whole to heal. Send love as much as you can to them and to yourself, too.
6. Understand the root of ignorance
“Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Some of the assaultive energies come from woundedness. Some of it though comes from ignorance. They have not experienced what you’ve experienced. They don’t know what you know. They are ignorant of what they are doing. We have all been at this place. We have all had the experience when we changed our opinion on a controversial topic because we learned more. Before we knew this new information, we thought we were right. When we gained new information, and had an “aha” experience, our opinion or belief changed. People in general are blind to what is outside their experience. They can’t see it. They really can’t. Until it happens to them, or until they have an experience that enlightens them in some way, they will not get it. This is also where we can send love. We have all been ignorant at some time or another. Understanding this helps ease the frustration and contributes to a compassionate response to the other.
7. Be who you are no matter what the other person or the system is doing
If the person or system is being hateful, respond how you want to be. Don’t let their hate define you. Be in alignment with your core values.
8. Let the system be a mirror for your own integration
If the system is being hateful, look for hate in yourself and heal it with compassionate understanding. If the system if being deceitful, look for deceit in yourself and heal it with compassionate understanding. If the system is lacking integrity, look for that in yourself and heal it with compassionate understanding. See the big picture. Use the destructive energies as a catalyst for your own transformation. This will literally turn the energies upside down. See My Karma Ran Over My Dogma for many examples.
9. Take social action as guided and needed and then continue creating/recreating your new life.
It is crucial to act. Ignoring it will not make it go away. For some people, their new lives will be defined by social action as they are called to be social or sacred activists. That’s a specific personality type and not all of us are called to be that or can be that. So for the rest of us, do what social action you feel guided to do and is necessary to do to protect people and the earth from the assaults and then keep recreating your life as you want it to be when all the assaultive energy is over and done with. In my 5 years under this shadow, it seemed unending and unrelenting. But things were shifting both seen and unseen to me, and I was living into my new life in glimpses and baby steps until the story unfolded and came to a natural conclusion and my new life emerged as from a cocoon.
This is a simple but powerful energy tool. Visualize bright light (of any color that appeals to you—I like gold) around you like a big bubble or egg of light. See any hurtful action gently bouncing off the outside of the energy bubble. Practice this with an affirmation, “Only loving energy gets in.” Over time this will strengthen your energy so you’re not feeling the effects of being bombarded with assaultive energy. It will also help you not take on the collective pain of others who are dealing with assaultive energy. It is possible to keep your heart open with compassion to other people’s pain without taking it on. When you feel confident you can extend this bubble around family members, around your house or dwelling or car. You can extend it around your city, state, country, and the earth.
11. Ask for Divine help.
Angels, archangels, souls, spiritual guides, saints, ancestors, nature energies and others are ready to assist you and all of us. Ask for the help you need. Ask for help for people and the country. Bring in the highest and best energies.
Monica McDowell is a dynamic speaker, author, and practitioner in alternative wellness and spirituality. Find her on Thought Catalog here. She is the author of The Girl with a Gift, Confessions of a Mystic Soccer Mom, You are Light (internationally published by 6th Books in over 14 countries) and My Karma Ran Over My Dogma, and has the distinction of being the first ordained minister in America granted civil rights by a federal ruling. She lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.