Today a friend asked me how to do shake off negative energy. Coincidentally I was confronted with some of my own as I realised I had hurt someone I care about without meaning to…
Negative energy… The dark side of the Force…
It forms around us when we are faced with some sort of struggle: pressure at work, tension in a couple or with friends, losing something or someone, ‘failing’ at milestones that we have set for ourselves. Although the external events triggering it can be very real, the thing about negative energy is that it sticks only if it has a resonance in us.
Negative energy feeds of our fear of not being loved, our fear of not succeeding, our material or emotional insecurities, our sense of guilt, our lack of self confidence, our lack of faith in the universe, our fear of losing what we have or who we love.
Anakin becomes Darth Vader when he experiences the deep pain of losing his mother, the guilt of not being able to save her and projects on Padme and the fear of losing her. Ironically it is that very fear that ends up in him changing, fuelled by the rage inside him, and ultimately losing her as he loses himself.
Negative energy can be all consuming and very destructive. It forms like a black cloud around you, a small one at first, and if you do not stop it, becomes darker and more opaque to ultimately densify around you like a huge black cage with thousands of sharp edges. At that stage, your judgement is completely clouded, what you see, feel and think is completely biased, your natural flow of energy is blocked and the only thing that you attract is more negativity, pain, suffering, anger.
I have learned through cycles of depression and struggles that the key thing is to stop it when it starts forming, before it densifies around you, because if it does, it is much more difficult to shake it of. The steps are the same, they will just take more time and you will suffer much more in the process. So… take it from me… You do not want to go there…
Step 1: Acknowledge the negative energy in you, understand why it has affected you, which insecurity it is pushing on. We all have different push buttons. Abandonment, rejection, humiliation, betrayal, injustice.
Our insecurities, our personal psychological wounds, usually originate from our childhood and anchor through our adult life as we start experiencing them again and again. Because you see this is how it is done. You get the same patterns, triggered by your very own push buttons, up until you know how to deal with them.
It is therefore useless to repress that negative energy, because…well…it is here and needs to be dealt with, not pushed under the rug to become a multi headed monster.
Step 2: Get it out of you. Out of your body, out of your mind, out of your soul. Now. Not later.
If you need to vent, do, if you need to cry, do. Talk to your best friend, shout, moan, let it out.
Engage yourself into some sort of exercise or art. Walk on the beach, dance it off, try mindful colouring, write, paint, run it off on a football pitch, whatever works for you. Exercise and art have the ability to transform negative energy into something positive, creative, healing.
Take a bath or a long shower, go for a swim. Water not only physically cleanses you but it is a powerful conduit to the spiritual. Negative energy sticks to you like tar on sea animals. Imagine the water cleaning it off you and let the water connect you to a more peaceful place.
Relax, take it easy, sleep. We tend to have that overwhelming guilt for taking time to rest as this is supposed to be unproductive. But it is productive! When we sleep, our body and mind reset. Sometimes it is just what you need to have the strength to take the next step.
Step 3: Engage in a dialogue
I find that communication is very important. Talking to the people who have triggered that in you, explain your point of view without aggression because you acknowledge where they are coming from. Often we do not want to do this, particularly when it happens in the work place, because we are afraid of more conflicts and yet it will only generate more conflicts if the issue is still out there and not addressed.
Step 4: Surround yourself with beauty, humour and love
Go in nature, watch a comedy, read a good book, listen to a song you love (the upbeat kind not the sad kind at this stage), marvel at the little things (your kids playing, your dog rolling over for a cuddle, your cat being a cat, the wind in the trees whatever). Focus on the people who love you and care about you. When you are caught in negative energy you tend to only look at the people who hurt you or are not understanding you. Don’t. Look at the others: your family, your friends.
Step 5: Release and move on
Truth is there is no point staying there. The only person you will hurt is yourself. The more caught up you will be in negative energy the less connection you will have with your true self and all your healing abilities. I took the image of the black cage with thousands of sharp edges. If you let it densify around you you will be locked up and most importantly you will allow nothing and no one to help you, not even yourself, because you see in that black cage there is no light that can shine through.
The only thing you are in control of is how you react to events, never the events themselves. You cannot control the way others will react, even when you try dialogue, forgiveness or making amends. If you feel you have done everything that you could in that situation, let go. Don’t let the annoying little voice in your head, you know the one, repeating endlessly what happened, what you have said and what they have said. Make it stop by focusing on positive things, exercise, art, surroundings and positive people.
Keep the learnings but release the negative energy. Make a mental note of these learnings: how it shed light on your insecurities, how this time, maybe, you did a bit better than last time, you made it last less, you got hurt less, you bounced back quicker and put a mental note on how you will deal with it even better the next time. Because make no mistake there will be a next time until you know how to deal with these insecurities… Until there are no insecurities at all… Until there is just you, the best version of you, the you that is strong, positive, powerful and confident.