The art of fighting back

Empaths, you have been sold one big lie. This lie has immobilized you your entire life. It has caused anxiety, anger, resentment and life long stress. It has made you stew and stew in a pressure cooker of internal angst and it has silenced you when you should have been able to speak. It has made you doubt and second guess yourself. And it has caused you to be a victim, a target, a lesser version of yourself. It is the wound of passivity in the face of evil and it needs to be rectified.

I’m the mother to a super empathic six-year-old. Today I watched her fend off a group of older boy bullies — the kind of kids who gang up on others because it makes them feel cool and important. She’s emotionally intelligent enough to know when someone is being mean on purpose and for no good reason, though she easily forgives those who are mean on accident.

A few years ago she would run to me with arms crossed or a pout on her face when someone was unnecessarily mean. I’d help explain to her the what, where, when, why and how of their choices and how to strengthen up so she wasn’t affected. With a hug, she would get over it and get back to playing.

Today she took a new approach and stepped into her power. Instead of rescinding her autonomy to any one bully, she spoke back. One little girl against six older and privileged private school boys. She got attitude. She told them they were being mean. And she meant it. It sounds like a small step but as a parent and coach, I know these skills need to be imparted from a young age. You see, chances are as an empath, you were taught to turn the other cheek, not say anything, and certainly not fight back.

It’s a fine line — at what point does your engagement contribute to more drama and how far do you need to go to get your point across? A few years ago I would have always turned the other cheek myself. I wouldn’t have had the desire or courage to speak. But that was before I saw abuse for what it really is: a pointless ego demonstration that benefits only one person — the perpetrator — and stresses the victim beyond belief… Because it just keeps happening no matter how nice you are. The nicer you become, the more they enjoy the game. And the more you feel complicit in it and stripped of your dignity. It’s time for us to take a new approach.

99% of the spiritual advice you will find on the internet takes an airy fairy approach to life. In other words, they recommend in order to be a good person and embrace your spirituality, you never fight back. That you send love and light to everyone. That you never acknowledge problems imposed on you by others because that’s too “low vibe” and you’ll just attract more of it. Ignore, smile, ignore, then magically manifest some happy ending. This puts victims (aka empaths) squarely in the position of a sitting duck. Do you think your higher power would want you to be a sitting duck, a punching bag for the anger of others? Do you think it benefits you when you put up with injustices for the sake of false peace?

My favorite biblical story is when Jesus fought back, bruised egos, and got angry. The empaths understood his righteous anger; the narcissists questioned his authenticity. The famous activists I look up to all stared evil down and spoke out against it vehemently. Then they were blamed for the problems and targeted further. Crucified literally or figuratively. Still, they kept fighting for what they knew was right.

After I watched my daughter stand up for herself fearlessly, one of my own bullies joined the playground scene. A fellow mom, a nice-to-people-who-benefit-her-appearance kind of person, a completely nondescript woman who you’d never guess could harm a soul — unless she’s done it to you. In the past, when she was cruel, I still smiled at her and asked how she was doing. I still wanted to care about her. In all truth, I was wrong. I should have assaulted her ego right then and there and ask her why and told her to stop. It wouldn’t have solved the problem but it would have let her know I wasn’t a sitting duck. That she would need to find a new victim.

All I know is that good and evil do exist. Ignoring evil doesn’t solve any problems. Acknowledging it is a start. Changing the whole goddamn system is what’s required. You deserve to no longer be a sitting duck. Imagine what would happen if all empaths rose up and learned the art of fighting back.

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