We all encounter things in life that shock us and make us have to just freeze where we stand, if only for a moment. The human mind often needs a tick (or two) to comprehend what is happening around us. And, let’s face it, people can be unpredicatable and do some really strange things, which take us by surprise.
Now, we can definitely be reactive to such things. That is the easy part. We can be quick to anger, quick to fear, quick to just step out of our bodies at times. It is much more difficult to be responsive. This requires that we sometimes exert our energies and sometimes draw our energies inward. The trick is to know which way to respond in any given moment. And the ability to respond is, after all, what responsibility is all about.
The other day, someone said, in the middle of a statement within a coversation, that “if I were smarter than I am…”. I had to have him stop right there. I said to him, “Woe. Stop right there and back that up a bit. Please do not ever let me hear you talk about yourself that way again. It only serves to diminish you and it is comletely untrue of you. You are smart, intelligent, and brilliant. Don’t ever forget that.” Those words hit him right between the eyes. You could see on his face that he really grounded them into himself. He said, “Thank you,” and proceeded with the rest of what he was telling me.
So in that moment I had to exert some energy to correct his self-talk. He had to draw energy inward in order to experience the effect of the new concept. We both responded appropriately. I think this may have been a turning point for him in terms of his self-image. At least I hope it sticks. It might need to be reinstated now and then, but I think he will do fine.
My responses were not always so positive in my past. For example, when I was sixteen I witnessed a 20 year old do something horrible to a cat at a party. I am not into animal cruelty. And seeing this took me aback for a moment. Suddenly I found myself with my hands around this idiot’s throat, choking him out while kneeing him in the nuts and then proceeding to throw him to the floor and pummel him. Some people, thankfully, pulled me off. And thankfully I was not arrested for assault. Way back then it would have been like adding salt to his wounds had he charged me. Instead he crawled away and left the party. I never saw him again. I don’t know who he was and I don’t care to. The thing is that my response was, albeit apropriate, violent in nature, which is not like me at all. But seeing a helpless animal being harmed in such an inhumane way made me snap. So I acted (or should I say “reacted”) out of anger. That was the easy go-to response. Back then, that is all I knew. I have learned much better since then. But I have always known that there is a very nimble part of me that, when matched with fury, becomes a violent force of nature when I see something horrible happening to an animal, another human being, or whatever. That sort of thing is just not cool with me. Now, however, I find very different ways of responding.
When we see how people react to things, it is important to remain neutral. They may very well have just cause in their reactions. But do we need to fuel the fire of their rage? Or can we find ways of neutralizing the situation so that things can be made right? Yes, sometimes our stepping in is exactly what is required. But does it have to be in a violent way? If it does, then so be it. But have we considered other options? Do we even know what the other options may be?
Have you ever expanded your energy so much that it fills an entire room? This is something that one should practice now and then…okay daily at first…in order to develop those skills for future reference. Because if your energy will fill a room, you will often be able to take charge of whatever is happening in that room, thus being able to neutralize whatever negativity is being promoted. When you fill a room with your energy, all it then takes is you saying, “Nope. NOT happening.” People instinctively back right down because it triggers in them the awareness that they have just encountered someone with much more strength and fortitude than they, themselves, have. They get scared. They often will get goose flesh on their skin and the hair on the back of their necks will stand up. It freaks them out and they will be more than happy to vacate as soon as possible.
Have you ever filled a room with peaceful, serene energy emitting from your heart centre? Practice that one as well. This can diffuse situations very quickly. It is almost as if people suddenly encounter the Divine, and they adjust their own energy in accordance. This happens because of what is called harmonic resonance. It is like when one bell is rung and the rest of the bells emit a sound frequency in response to that one being rung.
When encountering someone in a rage or in a fit of anger, slowly breathe. Tap your finger on your lap, or countertop, or table, very slowly. One beat per second. Don’t worry about the loudness of their voice or what they are physically doing, unless they are actually putting you or someone else (themselves included) in immanent harm. Just keep breathing very slowly and tapping your finger gently. You don’t need the tapping to make much sound. Just a soft tapping. Your breath and the tapping of your finger will register into their subconscious and remind their energy to calm down. Before you know it, they will be also breathing more slowly. Their adrenaline will stop pumping through their body. Their mind will clear and their emotions will settle.
These are just three examples of many things a person can do. It is important to be nimble with subtle things, as well as with more sudden situations.