Energy is transferable. We often refer to this as “vibes,” but the meaning is the same. We pick up on each other’s “energy,” which is really just the coagulation of thoughts into a tangible expression of multiplied energy.
It all begins with thought. Every thought is a unit of energy. Depending upon its nature, an individual thought can have a large or a small amount of energy. But, in general, a single thought, by itself, tends to have only a tiny amount energy.
But thoughts do not travel alone. They travel in packs, and they follow one another closely, like groupies behind a rock star. The parade of random thoughts that fly through our heads may be fairly weak individually, but, together, they form a mob.
And, in an untrained mind, they do not sachet slowly through the brain, sniffing the roses as they go. They race and rush along at break-neck speeds, tripping over one another. They also march insanely in circles, stomping their feet, mumbling as they stumble along, hoping to attract attention and validation.
These packs of thoughts eventually gather enough steam to procreate. Their energy spreads, first into habitual patterns of thoughts. Then words. Then patterns of words. Then actions and behavior. Then patterns of actions, called habits. Habits create results in the world. These results create our lives as we know them.
So, whenever we interact with another human being, we are interacting with a storehouse of various cliques of thoughts. Think of high school cliques: you have the druggies, and the jocks. You have high achievers, artists, nerds, and dropouts. You have teacher’s pets, loners, abused kids, popular kids, special needs kids, and new kids.
When we encounter an individual whom we call a “jerk,” what we are dealing with someone whose storehouse is full of trouble-making cliques. The cliques in their mind are the dangerous kids, the ones who are negative and aggressive. They don’t listen to authority, and they have no higher aspiration than dominating the weaker cliques.
So, if you are someone who is actively trying to graduate the various cliques in your own mind from high schoolers to adulthood, how do you stay on track when the people around you are “jerks?”
- First of all, stay aware and awake. Visualize what is happening and why. Bullies will always want to take over the school. Vigilant adults are the only ones who can stop them. But they can’t do it by getting into fist fights with the students. They have to enact policies that identify the problem kids and render them powerless in various ways. They can do this because they are smarter, older, more experienced – and they have the authority to do so!
- Secondly, have a “mantram” in your mind that you use “in case of emergency.” A mantram is a short, simple, positive phrase that you mentally repeat over and over. The purpose is to maintain control of your own thoughts. Whenever your thoughts want to race along like fools, the mantram pulls them into a conga line of positivity – distracting them long enough to get them back on track. My first mantram was “Rama” which invokes “joy.” Whenever “jerks” threatened to make me angry and frowny, “joy” reminded me of Who (and Whose) I really am.
- Speak leanly to jerks. Jerks tend to talk and talk and talk. Their aggressive, frantic thoughts carry anxious energy, which they try to expel by dominating others with their nasty words. Counter this with as few words as possible. The words you do use will be full of wisdom and confidence. This renders their babble powerless over you, and usually makes them look and feel pretty silly. But the goal is not revenge. The goal is to neutralize negative energy.
- If you slip up and join the jerk in their stupidity, forgive yourself then do the repair work. It takes time and practice to learn how to deal with jerks effectively. Most of your time should be spent with people who uplift your life and positively affect your practice. So you might be caught off guard when you have to deal with a jerk. Don’t beat yourself up. When you get back home or to a quiet space, write about the incident in your journal, congratulate yourself on the things you did “right” (in alignment with your highest ideals) and make suggestions to yourself on what you could do better next time. Meditate on it, pray for yourself, thank the Goddess, then forget about it and move on.
- Lastly, never regret not getting revenge on a jerk. It’s natural for the ego – after an encounter with a jerk – to suggest all the ugly things you should have said to the person to “put them in their place.” Don’t waste time on this. The jerk may look powerful, but he is miserable. There is nothing to envy there. He did not “win” over you, no matter what happened. He lives in an inner world of anger, insecurity, competition, restlessness, jealousy, and fear. He goes to bed with that, and he wakes up with that. Pray for him and let him be. Your life, as an awakened spiritual being, has endless possibilities. Don’t waste a minute of time wishing you could beat a jerk at his own game. That game is not for you. You could never “win” it, even if you tried, and you wouldn’t want to. Let him go his own way, knowing that karma is real (not revenge karma, but cause-and-effect-karma). Whatever we sow, that we will also reap.
Peace and love,