Stay Safe

Last week, Ty said:

I’ve got about half of this down pat – the empathizing part – but am still struggling with the unruffled part. Ehhh. If you write a post on how to be self-contained and safe without losing the empathy, I would love you even more. Just sayin’.

Now, who could say no to a request like that?

At first, I was really excited. I love it when people ask for advice! But then, I realized, there’s something very different about me.

I’m always safe.

Always. People don’t take my energy. They can’t take my power. They can’t contaminate or sully me. They cannot coerce or exploit me.

If I’m in a position of weakness, it’s because I put myself there. I’m not afraid of getting hurt, because I can only really be damaged if I believe I can be damaged. It’s like the stories about ghosts, you know?  They can only hurt you if you believe they can hurt you. And I don’t believe anyone can hurt me, but me.

The trouble is, because I’ve always been this way, I don’t know how to show people how to do it. I know lots of people who give bits of themselves away. Especially the nurturers. It’s like, death by a thousand cuts. Other people associate with people who suck their energy. I don’t think that people are actually absorbing the energy of their victims (they never seem to derive much benefit from it) but I think that people mimic the people around them. And if the people around you are dead inside — well.

You have to kind of see yourself in “splendid isolation.” You are a sovereign being. No one controls you.

But, as I said, I don’t have a lot of practical advice beyond that.


But something I can offer are ways to make you feel less beleaguered.

  1. People hardly ever mean to hurt you on purpose. Occasionally they are lashing out, but mostly its just a defence mechanism gone horribly awry. Havi Brooks calls this throwing shoes. The shoes are never about you. You just got caught in the cross-fire.
  2. Every villain is the hero of his own story. It’s just a simple reframe, but so powerful. If the other person in your situation were the protagonist, how would he see the situation? What are his goals, his motivations? What is he feeling defensive about?
  3. Pain is not the end of the world. Pain is pain. It sucks, but it’s not eternal. Most of the time, it’s not even as bad as you’re afraid it will be. The Buddha said “Life is suffering”. That’s not as depressing as it sounds. It just means that suffering and pain will always be around, and it’s something you’re going to have to endure, like the weather. Bitching and moaning about the weather might make your suffering worse, or it might make it better, but it’s sure as fuck not going to change the weather.

Hope that helps, Ty.


6 thoughts on “Stay Safe”

  1. Mmmm ~
    re: the “ghost stories” analogy — yummy!

    So many of the ‘explanations’ and ‘lessons’ and ‘work-arounds’ we took in as kids (rather, before we knew different) are/were “made up” – we take a couple of observations and some emotions (even default ones, that have nothing to do with the current situation) and put ’em together to fit our experiences ‘at that time’ – and may not have ever *really* looked hard at them since.

    We’ve talked about how one’s Conscious Mind ‘makes shit up’ – it needs Logical Explanations – and no matter that it’s 3- or 6- or 12-year-old style logic, until you take the story out and apply “what I know now” to it, it will scare the bejesus out of you, or bring up old pain, or keep you doing ‘what you’ve always done’.

    … got class now – remind me to tell you about ‘energetic magnets’, eh? That’s where I *thought* I was going with this, anyway…

    1. Even after we’re grown up, we tell ourselves stories. You wouldn’t believe how many massage therapists and other kinds of practitioners have told me about getting ‘contaminated’ by the same physical symptoms their clients have…and they absorb it.

      Me, if I get a sore knee while I’m working with a client, and I know I havent done anything to get a sore knee, I know it isn’t my stuff, and I don’t accept it. For me, it’s information— *this* is the exact spot where you hurt. Cool! That gives me more information to focus with.

      And lots of people focus on creating shields for themselves, because of these stories that are passed down: you need to protect yourself from the world.

      Somewhere along the line I just got the idea I was invincible.

  2. You ARE invincible! (disclaimer: this is about ‘energetically’, not necessarily ‘physically’.)

    We all are, really; or could be, but we (or our Stories and our Monsters) just won’t Allow ourselves to Believe it, and Act from that place.

    “Always. People don’t take my energy. They can’t take my power. They can’t contaminate or sully me. They cannot coerce or exploit me.”

    Right. and Right On! – you (Shanna) kept a hold on your Sovereignty – most of us forgot along the way, that we hold the keys to our own power. And we don’t have to “defend it” – we just have to be mindful of who and how we share it, and remember to call it all back to us, periodically.

    1. Hmm. That last line of yours is very interesting. I never really thought of sharing it– what good is it to anyone else? The times when I give it away are to diminish myself so that others aren’t threatened by my majesty. I always thought I did my best work by serving as an example — or what was possible, or at the very least, what not to do.

  3. (Damn! The eloquent bit about the Energy Magnets that I’d been working on for hours just poofed into the ether!)

    One’s energy is being ‘shared’ whenever ya use it in the world –

  4. … and has been ‘left lying around’ whenever ya feel ‘scattered’ or ‘depleted’ or ‘stuck’.

    One of the cool new metaphysical tools that I’ve been learning about from Ken Bechtel’s Permission Masters class is an Energy Magnet:
    They’re used to pull back into yourself all the bits-n-pieces of your energy that aren’t available in the Present, Here-and-Now.
    …And to pull out of yourself, all the ‘other people’s energy’ that’s cluttering up your HeartSpace and dragging you down.

    (He reframes the whole approach to ‘my Space’ from the common but essentially war-like, anticipating-conflict-based terms of ‘defense’ to the more gentle, positive-reinforcement concept of ‘permission’.)

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