“How do I protect myself from negative energy?” This is often the first question I get asked at my Energy Experience workshops. Many of us believe energy to be dualistic, that it can be positive or negative. So, we’ve developed ways to protect ourselves from what we perceive to be a bad or dangerous influence.
As I see it, energy is neutral. It’s our perception that influences our experience of it. We can feel the vibration of someone in passing, and tell ourselves that this person is exuding negative energy. We can put up a barrier between ourselves and that person for our own protection. This then takes energy away from maintaining our body and its processes, and propels it to the outer layer of our field as a defence. If we are particularly fearful and mistrusting, we might have this defence up all of the time. This isn’t good for our health, nor is it helpful in understanding the world around us.
On occasion, I see these protective fields at work in my clients. As I am holding space for a chakra to come back into balance, the field will reflexively build a shield against the process. Suddenly, it will feel as though I’m touching a pin cushion, or the field will get very heavy in that location. Out of habit, the field is protecting against any new experience, any possible change, despite the benefits of the treatment being offered.
The result? Protection of our field actually works against us. There is no opening for experiencing things as they truly are from behind a shield that pushes away new information. We may push away benevolent people and experiences due to misinterpretation or conditioned cautiousness. We subconsciously look for reasons to protect, thus reinforcing our barrier. We perceive a new or uncomfortable energy, and decide we are better off without it.
Ironically, walking around with our shields up actually makes us less protected. We can appear aloof to others. People who would befriend us may respect the barrier and step away. Our protective shield can cause us to be alone and so more vulnerable.
Let’s shift this scenario to a new possibility. What if we realize that there is only one unified field of energy, expressing itself in myriad forms? If we realize that everyone is a reflection of some aspect of ourselves, then why shut out those aspects? Why not embrace the opportunity to learn about them?
What if we learn to center ourselves instead, staying open to the information that is presenting itself? Unprotected, we can experience things as they are, rather than through fearfully reflexive patterns of our minds. Then, we can move through our world with sensitivity and compassion, building deeper connections with each other.
I had an opportunity to put this into practice one day, while waiting for the city bus. A man started up a conversation with me, angrily explaining, with liberal doses of invective, that he had been taken to the wrong bus stop and had missed his appointment with his parole officer. He proceeded to tell me his plan for breaking a window on the next bus if he was again taken to the wrong stop. Clearly, this fellow had a very dark perception of the world, and a combative approach to problem resolution. I centered myself, and I listened to him. I paid attention and listened. I said very little except to remark that breaking a window might not yield the results he was looking for.
As he spoke, a most interesting shift occurred. Intermittently, he would stop himself during his tirade, look at me, and say, “I’m sorry I’m swearing.” Then, the pattern would loop again, and a slurry of invective would rush out of him, only to be disrupted again by a sincere apology. This continued for several minutes until our bus arrived. Since his angry outburst didn’t meet the usual protective response, he was able momentarily to see his own pattern of behaviour and its effect on others.
If we are all to wake up together, if we are to truly walk each other home, we cannot do so from behind walls that shut people out. True protection is discernment – knowing when to stand still and be centered, and when to act when real danger is imminent. Someone else’s agony does not necessarily pose a danger to us. If we can have the courage to witness their pain and our own, and respond with clarity and compassion, perhaps the journey back to consciousness won’t be such a lonely one.