About two and a half years ago, I started writing this blog. In particular, I began to further explore my interest in energetic awareness. A lot has transpired in the years since I began to write about this topic. As I reflect back on these last years, I realize that I have learned and grown tremendously.
In my opinion, there is definitely something to be said in support of setting one’s intention and following through with focus. When I began this topic, I did just that. I was tired of excessive dukkha or stress and suffering that I was creating due to – what felt like – external energetic influences. So much so, that I developed a dedicated passion for expanding my understanding and learning to cope more effectively with the stressors of unwanted intrusion and energy.
In previous posts, I explored aspects of fear, aversion, forgiveness, and various emotional states that can be triggered by what we are sensing (whether we are consciously aware of it or not). I’ve attempted to share my realizations and growth regarding acknowledging that if I am being triggered, I am resonating with some aspect of the energy that I am sensing. Some aspect of me is trying to get my attention by creating an emotional reaction.
Emotions can be a gateway to mindfulness when we observe them instead of clinging, attaching, denying, avoiding, or running away from them. What I’ve discovered is that the same is true for energetic intrusion. If I am feeling overwhelmed by another’s energy, they are not the problem: I am. It is up to me to stay present and mindful with what I am experiencing. When we are not present, we are like a bug being swatted around by influences surrounding and within ourselves.
Unwanted influences are not something that we can control or wish away. It can seem pragmatic to adopt an attitude of simply riding it out, hoping the situation or person will change or that what we are experiencing is not really “us” or of our own making, but that’s really not effective. It can also be tempting to project responsibility onto our external reality. We may not want to admit that we are blaming something or someone outside of ourselves, but that doesn’t change what is happening. When the “if only…. (fill in the blank)” thoughts arise, then the honest response is to acknowledge that we are hoping for someone or something else to make us feel better.
Even though there may be times when the best we can do is ride it out, we can still be kind and gentle with ourselves by acknowledging that it’s the best we can do for now. We can empower ourselves through loving kindness instead of telling ourselves that we are helpless and incapable of changing or doing anything about our current circumstances. We can remind ourselves that we have choices regarding how we respond, and that we can change our inner landscape.
The reality is that everything is impermanent. Our moods, energy, thoughts, consciousness, everything are all in flux. It’s a bit ironic that our resistance to impermanence can keep us in the exact state that we think we are trying to avoid or shift out of. In other words, we can reflexively attach to what we are sensing or experiencing by wishing it would either stay or go away. Once we do that, it can be difficult to recognize that the energy has already shifted, and it’s now of our own making. We become the source of energy due to our reaction.
For me, sensing energy from another can be like someone knocking at my door. My tendency was to automatically answer the door and invite the visitor in. It could happen so quickly that I didn’t even hear the doorbell or remember answering it. I suddenly found myself with a visitor in the room. Once I’d done that, it can be difficult to get them to leave. For a long time, my approach was to keep trying to force them out. I inaccurately assumed there was permanence to the energy. I assumed that they were parked on the couch and unwilling to leave. I reacted with stress because I didn’t know how to get them to leave, and I doubted my ability to do so. It didn’t help that I struggled with saying “no” to people. Funny, it rarely occurred to me that maybe they never even sat down.
I am still sensitive to energy and empathic, but my approach has shifted. When I am mindful, I can observe and acknowledge what may or may not be triggered in me. If I am triggered, then I have an opportunity to face something within myself (I admit, it’s usually an unpleasant emotion). I can create space to practice with observation instead of charging off chasing something – anything – other than what I am currently experiencing. I remind myself that all energy is in flux and it’s resistance to my own emotional awareness that strengthens, solidifies, and exaggerates the influence of something undesirable. I try to open my eyes and notice that the energy or influence may have already left; I just failed to notice.
Whatever energy is influencing me, I can try to respond with loving kindness. Loving kindness has the power to transform energy. I am, we all are, capable of that power.
© Sallie Odenthal 2012