We go through life seeking connection with others in a variety of settings and circumstances. We will inevitably meet people we instantly love, those we don’t, and everyone in between.
Sometimes you’ll encounter someone who stands out and gets under your skin. Something about them just makes you uncomfortable—but you don’t know why.
As you get to know this person, or see them more frequently in social settings, you may notice judgemental thoughts popping into your head, or a feeling of being in competition with them. You’ll notice them on your mind more often than you’d like, and begin seeking confirmation of your ideas about them from peers, mentors, and others within your shared social group. Despite these things, you want to like this person, but still can’t answer the question:
“What’s the problem with this person?”
As their presence continues to pester you, you might also notice that the cold you caught hasn’t gotten better. You’re sleeping more but not feeling well rested. Your energy levels are not what they usually are despite eating well, exercising, and spiritual practice.
You feel like you’re being watched and every move is being monitored and noted—it’s as if you’ve been bugged. You’ll burn sage to cleanse your spaces, and try out a variety of healing rituals to help clear the psychic impression that lingers in your awareness throughout the day. But none of it seems to be working and you’re getting more frustrated, angry, and confused while blaming them for violating your energetic boundaries. This is the experience of being under psychic attack.
Little did you know that as soon as you started judging this person, they felt it too—either consciously or unconsciously. That your judgement and condemnation of their character, or their judgement of you, bound you together to learn about compassion.
Compassion is the most powerful antidote to psychic attack. Accessing this medicine will liberate you and help to protect you against future attacks.
Compassion is the ability to see the other person’s humanity with objectivity and feel love for your shared humanness—warts and all. It comes with the understanding that we all share the same desire for a good life, and the deeper truth that people are neither good nor bad. This attack is an invitation to find what you’ve judged as “bad” about yourself that is now buried deep in your own psyche and is demanding your attention.
It’s going to take more than practicing forgiveness, mindset work, and space clearing to graduate from the compassion classroom. Unless we each take full responsibility for our role in any situation or challenge, we’ll remain stuck in righteous indignation and disempowerment through blame.
If we want to experience peace in life—and in our relationships, it will take effort, perseverance and a desire to understand ourselves more deeply. Here are some guiding principles to move from blame into compassion:
Own your stuff.
There’s something you’re judging as unacceptable and wrong in another person. And because you judge that in them, it’s also what you see as unloveable about yourself. Acknowledging that they’re your mirror for what’s in your own shadow is a first step to moving from being attacked to being empowered.
The attacker is your ally. The attack, your opportunity.
Rather than seeing someone else as an enemy, it’s helpful to see them as your support while you dive head first to discover gold buried within the swamp of your own shadow.
The attack is an opportunity for profound transformation and realignment with a more authentic life course.
Each time that person pops into your awareness, ask: What are you trying to tell me? This interest, rather than resentment, will reduce the intensity of the emotions that surround feeling attacked, and steer you toward understanding.
Get comfortable with discomfort.
Compassion can’t be forced. When you interrogate your shadow to discover what it is you need to love again, you’ll discover things about yourself that make you cringe and stir up unpleasant feelings. Tell yourself that you’re still loveable, worthy, and good enough.
Strive for compassion.
Think of compassion as one of the highest rungs on a ladder. To gain access to compassion, we need to climb the rungs of what is not compassion. This includes allowing ourselves to experience the spectrum of emotions like self-loathing, resentment, anger, jealousy, grief, apathy, regret, arrogance, sadness, pity, shame, indifference, empathy, understanding, forgiveness, hope, peace (in any order).
Debrief with trusted friend and mentors.
Talking about your experience with those who can help explore your mindset and identify your biases can bring clarity about sources of judgement toward that other person, as well as yourself.
You may experience a breakthrough, tears, or face new choices to make about your life after going through this process. You’ll know that you’ve reached compassion for yourself and the other person when you see them and a warm sensation springs from your heart centre and radiates throughout your body. Now you can more readily access compassion.
May we always have the courage, perseverance, and support to deep dive into our shadows and excavate the gold hidden within life’s weird and wonderful challenges.
Author: Nathalie Martinek
Image/Editor: Jen Schwartz
Copy Editor: Sara Karpanen