Weekly Reading Topic for November 9, 2019: Self Protection
Well, good morning, love! I just opened a Reading for you, my newsletter subscribers and here’s what I heard in answer to the following:
What do my readers most need to hear this weekend? What is the most important message to send to my beloved readers?
The answer was: “Self Protection.”
What follows is your weekly reading.
Weekly Reading │ Self Protection
Q: What do we need to know about “Self Protection?”
A: When we feel threatened, for any reason, we often harden up, draw in, and hunker down. Some of us lash out wildly, too, spewing harsh words in any direction that draws our attention — sometimes, including our loved ones offering support.
So when we say “you need self-protection,” you might assume we mean that you are under some sort of threat, and should close down, or lash out.
Not exactly. What we mean is more like “you have a beautiful Self, and you should protect its safety and integrity.”
Sometimes we don’t just need protection from others. Sometimes we need protection from ourSELVES.
We need Self Protection, as well as self-protection.
What’s our Self? Well, it’s kind of like the not-quite-material, mostly-spiritual-but-also-emotional image we have of our soul. Our Self is like an IDEA of us that we carry around in the back of our mind. It’s like a more condensed, almost-physical representation of Our Soul.
Our soul is that part of us that is bigger than our physical body, one with everything, and decidedly less concerned about the material crises we worry about every day. Our Soul doesn’t need protection; it’s just fine.
Our Self, being closer to the material world and our day to day experience of it, can forget about its alignment with Soul and start to think that Body and Mind are more “real” and important.
When we say you need Self Protection, we are saying that yes, you need to protect your physical body from harm, and your emotions, too.
We’re also saying that you need to remember that your Self is more than just Who You Are in this life. Your Self is Who Your Soul Is, too. Which is like saying Your Self is like … God (or your word for God).
So … Self Protection also means protecting your Self from your body-emotions-mind problems.
Don’t go to bed thinking that your day was terrible for yourSELF. Think about how your day was hard for your body, or your mind, or your emotions (or all three). But Your Self? Your Self is closer to your Soul … and Your Soul is always safe. Your Soul is always basically in heaven hanging out with the angels and your best friends, enjoying a glass of wine and binge-watching this streaming service we call Human Life on Planet Earth.
So let’s look at some strategies because I know this is all sort of … out there.
Let’s say that you are about to encounter someone that triggers you. A “toxic” person. Some folks would advise you to “shield yourself” or come up with scripts to use to defend yourself or fend off arguments.
Those are fine. But aren’t they exhausting? Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to WORK SO HARD?
Here’s a new way to handle these encounters, and many others: assertiveness training combined with putting that toxic person in a spiritual jail.
Yup! That’s right! JAIL!!
Let’s talk about that because it’s so delicious and fun.
Think about your favorite toxic person. The one who really makes your sphincters clench up and your anger rise.
Got it? OK. Now imagine that person in jail. Yes, I mean real-life jail. They would have no way to talk to, call, post on social media, leave … you wouldn’t have to deal with them, and no one else would, either. The world would be a better place, right? At least, for a night or two?
Now, let’s build a little spiritual jail for this troublemaker. This is NOT a jail that will hurt them or make them suffer in any way. It’s more like a place for them to take a little rest and blow off steam while the rest of us get on with living our lovely lives and enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner.
Imagine your toxic person in a crate, like a birdcage or a puppy training crate. It’s got plenty of air coming in, and it has a little bowl of food and water and some fun toys. Maybe a fluffy bed. It’s not a bad place, right? They just can’t get out.
Now, if your troublemaker is a talker, you might want to throw a blanket over their cage, so the sound is muffled. Or you might want to build some sort of a soundproof enclosure, and move their crate there. They are still super comfy, they just … can’t leave. Or be heard.
Remember, this is NOT punitive. The purpose of jail is to get someone who hurts other people off the street. It’s not to harm THEM. It’s so the rest of us can walk around safely, that’s all.
So your mischievous relative or friend or neighbor is in their little spiritual jail, where they are free to rail about whatever they like, lash out at the world, or whatever. It just doesn’t … matter.
Meanwhile, you can take a walk in the sunshine and get on with your life.
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You are not putting yourself in an enclosed space that hems YOU in. You are hemming THEM in.
In this way, you are free, and they are restricted. At least, in your mind.
This allows your mind to put things in perspective. They are not more important than the rest of us. Whatever it is that they want or need, it’s not something you have to deal with. You can think about other things, too.
This helps tremendously with us protecting our Self from Our SELVES as well. When there is a part of us that is super-anxious, or ruminating on disaster, or angry as F, try sending that part of you off to a little rest in spiritual jail for a while. Let them write, paint, scream their issues while you get on with your life.
So … to get on with your life, try assertiveness lessons. These are sometimes offered by local therapists, but there are also EXCELLENT books that will “train your mind” just by reading them. I’ll make a list below.
Teaching yourself (and most importantly giving yourself permission) to assert your own needs and desires in your own life is one of the best Self Protection measures you can take.
Assertiveness is not aggressiveness. It’s simply knowing that we all have the right to express our thoughts, feelings, and needs … as long as we are respectful.
When we don’t do this, by the way, our Self suffers. We can become depressed, or angry, or anxious. We feel our Selves depreciating in value, and We Don’t Like It.
Assertiveness training rewires our brains to know that we have the RIGHT to our thoughts, feelings, and needs. We also have a right to ARTICULATE those. And when we are wise, we DO so.
Assertiveness training can really help you to deal with toxic folks, set reasonable boundaries, and practice Self Protection … all without too much fuss and drama.
It literally cuts the bullshit from your life. It’s an approach to life that is based on problem-solving, rather than stress tolerance. It’s empowering.
Pick up a copy of any of these this weekend if you feel called to … I promise they will help!
Your Perfect Right by Robert Alberti, Ph.D. and Michael Emmons, Ph.D.: This is a classic. It’s been updated recently, which removed a lot of dated examples that might distract our 2019 ears.
The Assertive Woman by Stanlee Phelps and Nancy Austin: Another classic, written to help women specifically reprogram their second-class status thinking 🙂
When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J Smith: VERY dated examples, but still a very clear guide to assertiveness. Honestly, this is the one that made the biggest difference to me personally.
I am always here to serve in any way I can.
Much Love to You as You Shine and Shine!
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