How many of you have had one or more antagonists in your life? You know, the snakes in the grass, the back-stabbers, the “pretty little liars.” They show up in many ways: the person you trusted and called friend or lover who ends up betraying you; someone who wants what you have and attempts to sabotage your success, who lies to your face and talks behind your back, who uses trickery to get your reveal your inner most pains to use against you, who is vengeful and just wants to put you down even though you did nothing to deserve the emotional or mental pain they heap upon you, who seems not to care if they hurt you? I think we have all been there, and this morning, I find myself wondering why these Antagonists show up in our lives, often leaving us feeling depressed, angry, confused, powerless and sometimes, just plain screwed. Its all a learning opportunity for personal growth and development…but its not always easy to see it that way.
Initially, when we find ourselves interacting with an Antagonist, we might feel confused or even annoyed. Yet despite our feelings, which are in fact a warning, we often continue to trust and be friendly or intimate with the Antagonist: we give them a chance, and another and another. We continue to look to the good in them and focus on that, not believing they are purposefully, albeit subconsciously, acting in a way to bring us down. As time goes on, we feel hurt, taken advantage of, invalidated, exasperated, angry and at times, powerless. We might then become judgmental about them, have negative feeling towards them, allow them to have confusing or negative thoughts about us and yet, we still engage with them, hoping for a different outcome. Its as if we feel we can change the other person, yet our efforts yield little to no long-term effects. The reasons we do are many, and often involve us developing greater self-esteem and healing our own wounds that arose from protective mechanisms we developed as children. But for now, let’s focus on how we initially react to these Antagonists and then how we can shift our own behavior for greater happiness.
After feeling the mixed bag of emotions that accompany the interaction(s), we often attack ourselves: we judge ourselves and might even blame ourselves. We might ask questions such as: “why didn’t I see that coming?”; “how and why do I keep trusting this person?”; “how can a friend/lover/partner do this to me and why?”; “what did I do to deserve this.” We are filled with “why” questions, about them, about ourselves, and as we ruminate on these questions, we continue to feel pain, confusion, anxiety or depression. We know we need to disconnect and with support from others we eventually and hopefully do, but after cutting them or ourselves loose, we allow the memories to provoke us out of peace and back into hurt. What can we do about it all? I have found that if I bless them each time the memory arises and send them and the memory onto their higher good, which is elsewhere, I free myself from the entanglement. No amount of review will shift what was, but we can shift what will happen in our present moment. It’s as simple as saying out loud, “Please bless this person so that they do no harm to themselves or anyone else along their path.” Say it each time the old memories come. You may not be ready to forgive them, but by blessing them you will get closer to that possibility. In time, the thoughts and the resulting emotions will no longer trigger you into a place of darkness, and you will feel free.
To further help us heal from these types of entanglements, practice having greater compassion for ourselves by blessing the entire episode as a learning opportunity and letting go of self-condemnation or judgement. Sometimes we must repeat experiences with new players again and again before we learn not to engage in the first place, and it can get frustrating: “Why does this pattern keep showing up in my life! Argghhh!” Have patience with yourself. It’s just like learning how to ride a bicycle with the training wheels off: at first, we might fall but in due time we learn how to balance and ride with grace. Practice, practice, practice followed by blessing, blessing, blessing ourselves just as we are. To help you become more adept at blessing ourselves or those who have brought upheaval, I suggest meditation, yoga, breathe-work and Reiki to help you stay calm and neutral rather than reactive when new situations or old memories arise.
To keep you out of these situations to begin with, consider taking your time in building relationships and slowing your roll when it comes to giving and over-giving. Hold back, despite the urge to give all the time, and assess regularly if the give/take is appropriate and lacks any selfish motivation. We don’t need to earn anyone’s affection by giving…giving is a gift but over-giving is a habit that often attracts antagonists and takers. When we listen more to what someone else is saying or observe what they are doing from a place of neutrality, we can gain clarity on whether that person or situation has true integrity, accountability, emotional intelligence and the ability to shift. When we listen to what we are saying to ourselves about ourselves and observe our own behaviors from a place of neutrality, we gain greater clarity on our own true-selves and can begin to love ourselves unconditionally. Remember, with a deep breath and conscious effort, you CAN move out of judgment, into peace and have the magical ability to manifest the best possible outcome when clear, calm and the master of your own thoughts, feeling, beliefs and actions.
Wishing all your relationships one day be filled with Love and Joy.