Coming up ‘against’ bully energy has been a long-running thread of mine on this healing journey, as I have released layer after layer of the ‘story’ that brought me to where I am today and so this week has been, in many ways, a finale of all that; a resolution and a healing.
I’ve been talking about (and researching) the Epstein Barr virus since my epiphany of last week (see Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are they Epstein Barr?) and the pieces continue to slot together with perfect dove-tale joints in the picture of why I have had the health issues that I have had for all these many years. One of the strongest characteristics of this virus, as I have got to know it, is its ‘bully’ trait; the fact it takes advantage of moments of vulnerability to make its move, to get to the core of those very processes that are the most important to wellbeing and to, in a sense, mess them up for you, take them over for its own ends, leaving a trail of apparent wreckage where your good health used to be. Like so many bullies, it is silent and all the more deadly for it, slipping under the wire, even dressing itself up as ‘friend’ as it recruits its supporters amongst what used to be your best allies, in health terms; the very guardians of your immunity who are all, suddenly, turned best friend with the big bully with the cheesy smile (really, it could be playground, or even world, politics in action). EBV has bully energy written all over it.
At the same time, other ‘chance’ circumstances and even world ones have conspired to place my attention on other bully-energies at large; how they capitalise on weakness and fear, how they seemingly take away choice and replace it with grim inevitability, or so we would have it according to our current world belief-system (I have just addressed some of this in my post Healing the crazy-wonderful world on Scattering the Light) but, whether its the ‘war against cancer’ that has us fully expecting that cancer will get us sooner-or-later, or the pressure to give our children vaccinations that our gut-feelings tell us aren’t in their best interests, whether its a boss or a company that we work for, the social pressures and family expectations that feel as nonnegotiable as they are leaden to our souls, the partner that seeks to mould us to their every whim or the travel plans that get cancelled because of a high-security risk, bully energy can be detected everywhere and it can deeply affect us, right down to our cells.
I say this last part because I just realised how much this has been the truism of my life and, particularly, my health dips. One of the light-bulb moments of my week was researching into why – if over 90% of the human race contract EBV by the time they die – only a relatively small proportion take it to the more serious stages beyond the point of mononucleosis into other chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, auto-immunity and even cancer. That light bulb started strobing, for me, when I read that most people don’t activate the virus unless they come into contact with it later in life – typically, as a teenagers or under extreme exam pressures, at university etc.(which is why it is known as the kissing virus); theory being that the immune system is under a great deal more hormonal and circumstantial stress at that age and beyond. For those under the age of 10 who come into contact with EBV, which is exactly when most people do, it very seldom develops into anything more than mild cold-like symptoms because natural immunity is pretty intact at that age. Should it happen to get a grip in childhood, for some bizarre reason (the jury is out on whether it could it be genetic or circumstantial, compromised immunity, etc.), the suggestion seems to be that these seem to be the hardest, most long-running cases. So, as I first came into contact with EBV when I was about 8, when I should have been at my most resistant, why am I one of those that it apparently hit so hard?
Lightbulb moment extraordinaire – at the point that this happened to me, I was in the midst of a long-running bully campaign directed at me by someone so cunning about the ways she was making my life an absolute misery that most people thought she was an absolute darling or even a victim herself. I was (in child terms) in fear for my life, walking on egg-shells, dreading every single morning as I walked to school and couldn’t wait to get home again; things seemed very grim for me at that stage and the peak of it lasted for three long years. Was this why EBV recognised an opportunity in me, a familiar vibration – due to fear preoccupying my thoughts – that suggested me as its home?
If I follow that path through times when it reared its head again, it takes me to the year I met my former, bullying, husband and started my first really pressurised, target-driven job (which is when glandular fever struck). It popped up again in my mid-twenties following, lets call it, ‘a serious physical abuse’ inflicted by someone I had previously trusted, after which I genuinely questioned my desire to carry on living; even more so when, on finally plucking up the courage to tell my former husband what had happened (two years later), he was furious with me for undermining his friendship with that person, who was one of his mates. By now my health was acting most bizarrely with symptoms that I now know to be classic stage 3 EBV. Then the time that it really got a grip was just after my divorce when life itself felt like it was bullying me, using every means at its disposal, added to which I was now, newly, working for ‘big corporate’ in a culture that felt like it had everything to do with bullying. My department head was a bully, the corporate ethos was a bully, even the job that I did felt like it pivoted on bully culture – that is, bullying members of the public to take legal action against other members of the public for minor prangs in their cars (I worked in ‘personal’ injury’ compensation).
If you don’t know what I mean, consider all those “have you had an accident, you may be entitled to compensation” adverts that come on the television every five minutes, drumming on at you that you are “owed” something by this other person for inconveniencing your life. These TV bullies on behalf of corporate bullies would have you turn the bully “against” someone who meant no malice when they failed to stop quickly enough at the traffic lights; the whole revenge-culture of claiming compensation is an incitement to go to war with our fellow human beings and so working in that industry certainly encouraged my health to take a nose-dive shortly after I was fear-bullied into accepting a flu vaccination so that I wouldn’t take time off work. (The irony is that I have now seen – first hand – how those who sue the other party for compensation take many-multiple times longer recovering from their “injury”, even the most minor-exaggerated ones, than those who treat it as a minor whiplash and let the matter drop on a handshake.) The whole “sue-‘em” culture that we live in, where councils have to spray paint the roots of trees in case somebody trips over and takes them to court, where children can’t have fun anymore in case they hurt themselves on the play equipment, where our insurance policies skyrocket to cover ever more claims for minor injuries caused by, simply, being alive….all of these things bespeak the bully energy that has become our modus operandi in recent times.
Let me get to what I know now, through, for all I can trace this bully thread, and the ‘story’ it had to tell me, so distinctly through my life. I now realise, its not that I have to fight this virus or ant bully off, to be bitter and angry at what it has “done to me” (at some level, I can even see how its never “done anything” that I didn’t agree to, for the journey it was about to take me on). This isn’t pay-back time; that time, for me, is over at all levels of the game.
What I do see so clearly is how having it there inside me, at the very core of me, you could say, has made me some sort of radar to other bully energy because – think about it – whenever bullying has been anywhere near me since, I have reacted to it (not just emotionally but) physically, through my very cells, through illness. Bullies have literally made me feel unwell when I am around them, like I am feeling what they feel. To this day, those things that are guaranteed to send me into the most acute “downward spiral” constitutionally are anything to do with bully-energy at large, domestically or in the broader picture of the world; this energy literally crashes me, inside and out, if I join in with the cultural belief system that this thing (whatever it is) is “out to get me”, that it is my “enemy” and must be “obliterated”. As soon as I get all fired up, it gets all fired up too, like a vibrational resonance comes into being between the inner (cellular) and outer (world), crushing me in between. And it’s as though the very radio frequency of “bully” that EPV sends out is only activated when it detects a match in the world at large or, rather, when I react to that world on that basis – which is on the premise that there is something to fear.
Here’s the gift; through this mechanism, I get to see how this is happening in a very literal sense (through the effect on my health) and, for starters, I have become adverse to situations that feel anything like bullying situations because of the way they make me crash constitutionally. In other words, I avoid them at all costs and have become extremely adept at recognising when they are in the vicinity. Long before I had made the connection with EBV, I had begun to sense that these situations don’t make me comfortable at all and I have become a far “nicer” person for it, have altered my lifestyle dramatically in ways that have transformed my world, I no longer do what I used to do (or anything remotely similar) for a living, I am at peace in a way that I never knew was possible. I have gauged the whole forward-development of my personality against the plumb-line of what situations feel right at every level of my health and side-step anything that feels dishonouring of others. I have no place for conflict or revenge or fury in my life. All of this has served me well since long before I found the root cause in the form of an inner trigger that loves me to be the opposite.
I also realise I have come to feel what bullies feel like, on the inside, and that is “in pain” because that it where their energy takes me – deeply into the pain that has been my health journey all this time. It feels rotten, it feels lousy, I know this intimately now and I can identify this frequency at twenty paces. Feeling the bully’s pain, recognising that anything, anyone that operates as a bully is only expressing their own deep-inner pain, is crying to be heard, is quite desperate and is doing that thing – however unsavoury – in order to draw attention to that hurt; this is a grand epiphany to have and alters everything. In allowing the expression of that pain in myself – which I do now, without fighting it, hating it, opposing or blocking it but, rather, letting it have its say, I know I am healing myself and, in a sense, am helping to heal all the bully-energy of this world through giving it voice and via the acknowledgement of the common experience that I have with the hurt that underlies their behaviour, for I have gained the kind of understanding of pain that delivers compassion and, yes, you could even call it love to all other beings that experience this, for any reason (it is a great leveller). The “worse” the action, the more I am able to imagine what terrible suffering must be happening, or have happened, for that to be the outcome and I can “be” with that and send compassion towards it. Its something I have taught my daughter for several years now, if ever someone is mean to her at school, so that her reaction is now “woa, they must be suffering a great deal inside to do that” rather than hating them back. Its a subtle change of reaction that could heal the world.
Over the years, I have done so very much work to “forgive” the various bullies of my life and it always got me some distance along the healing road but this is the big one; this is where I stop wanting to obliterate anyone or anything but, instead, stop to listen and reach for the understanding. It’s where I can feel compassion for all of us, in all the minute ways that we have become entangled with each other’s circumstances and triggered off all the myriad reactions along the way. Its where I love myself enough to know that bullying can never again affect me as it has done yet where I can also allow that what has already been done has not, really, harmed me either but brought me to where I am right here and right now, from which I ripple all that I now am, which is the sum total of all of my experiences to date; my best offering to the world. Most important of all is where I am in this moment. Without need to comb back over all the experiences of my life and heal each thing that comes up, to make sense of the what’s and why’s any more than I have already done, I get to stand in this moment and know that, just as I feel what the universal “they” of all bullies feel at the core of themselves where they are in pain then, through the connection of all beings, they also get to experience what I do, radiating from my core – and I feel compassion and love, I feel transformation, I feel healing. I feel a new beginning and I feel it rippling out from all the many countless people who, I sense, are reaching this same epiphany at this exact same time as I am and who mark a new era that requires no bullying to take place in order for any one person’s heart to be heard.
After I had all these realisations about how situations that once felt bullying had fuelled my own evolution, I had another layer or understanding come to the surface a week or so later. Just because you realise some of your biggest quantum leaps to date have occured off the back of resisting things and situations that you didn’t like (one bit) doesn’t mean you have to seek out or or expect more ‘bullying’ situations to give your life the evolutionary shove you think it needs. It may well be possible to look back and count, on more than two hands, times when an unsavoury situation helped lever you towards some unexpectedly good outcome or a chacter-building exercise in survival that you are now grateful for…and I am a big advocate of finding those pearls in life’s soup…but, at the same time, no need to condition yourself to believe that unpleasant things, struggle and even fighting (for survival) are the only ways to manifest what is good for you. You can get to a place where you are so accustomed to struggle that you keep manifesting more of it as its the only way you know how to be.
The penny dropped on this, for me, when a situation that felt like another huge uphill struggle manifested in my world this week, making me feel like resistance and more ‘battling it out’ was the only way to safeguard what is so near to my heart in the face of a bully-energy that has appeared right on my front doorstep. This time, instead of taking months, years or a decade to get through it to the pearl at its heart, I set about feeling into this situation, soul-searching it, asking ‘why now and what’s in it for me?’ Very quickly, in ways as subtle as their timing was remarkable, the situation that had seemed so threatening recalibrated until it had lost all those aspects that I had been in most resistence to; the situation literally shape-shifted on the outside as I asked these questions on the inside. What I was left with was a was largely disarmed version of itself and I start to see how what was left of it might contain a very real gift for me; a blessing, you could say. This thing that I don’t like stands as a reminder that if I don’t really don’t accept it being there then I have other options and those options may serve to get me out of a stuck place, a status quo, that prevents my own greatest expansion because it is probably time to consider moving on and I had been afraid of that in a way that no longer served my best interests, my personal growth or the aspirations I have for the future. What started out feeling like another ‘war’ on the horizon has turned into a gentle pat on the back saying ‘perhaps its time…’ and pointing me at exciting new horizons, which I am already playing with. It makes all the difference in the world to feel like you are operating from highest choice, not because you are running away, resisting, avoiding or being bullied out of a situation and this perspective can get you to that place right in the middle of ‘a situation’ (when you most need it) instead of in hindsight, a perspective that can literally transform everything because, suddenly, life is recognised as working with you and not against you.
In short, if you look first for the gift in any given situation, its incredible how any apparent ‘threat’ disarms itself as its whole message can tone down so that you can hear what it is really saying. From that perspective, life doesn’t seem quite so challenging any more and you get quickly onto the shortest, most direct path of your own highest evolution, without all the struggle.