I have recently begun learning a little bit about the I Ching, the ancient Chinese teachings that help one realize the true essence of both self, and "reality," as we each experience it.
One of the things it talks about it are "Poison Arrows." Those are specific thoughts that one may have "against" you, or conversely, that you may have against another. Think jealousies, bitter feelings, anger, a plot for vengeance...(!) You get it. Basically, when someone not only does not want the best for you, or would actually be quite happy if you failed miserably, or found great disappointment. Or you perhaps feel that way against another. Ugh. Sheer nastiness, all the way around.
By understanding that these are "real" situations and feelings, in the sense that they are NOT in your imagination, and you cannot necessarily attitude-adjust them, or whisk them away, via some form of magical thinking, has been quite revolutionary for me recently. The good news is, this realization can simply make one realize some sad, pretty uncomfortable truths- face them right up-front, figure out a quick plan of action, and then...move ON! It really can that be simple. I'm not saying that this process of dodging or recognizing the poison and soon removing the bitter arrows is an easy one. Just a simple one.
It's pretty liberating, especially when dealing with, say, work situations, when impersonal tensions with others can result in far more grave consequences, for everyone involved...
So... What do you do when you know that a person, FRIEND or grouP in your life is shooting poison arrows in your direction?
Accept this. If you have weighed it out logically, and things keep happening in the same negative way, despite your different ways of handling which are getting the same outcome, it is perhaps time to face some facts: If it's a relationship or friendship, it may be best to really move away from this person, or group, emotionally, and get some real space. Give it some time, and see how you feel...You may find yourself feeling incredibly liberated. Or, maybe the realization of something being "off" with them alone is enough to realize that the friend has been going through a rough period, and the bitterness is something that has just passed. Arrow removed. It is safe to resume a friendship.
If you have to work with or around a person or people who shoot poison arrows at work, or in your own family...
Again, quite literally, the truth will set you free. Your own inner knowledge or "ownership" of the situation-seeing it as potentially very damaging- will allow you to navigate the waters as carefully as you can. The more you understand your own truth about the situation, the more "power" over it you will have. Soon, the other parties will start putting down their bows, and looking for other, juicier targets to puncture. This knowledge itself removes the poison arrows, and allows you to act rationally, and accordingly. They will feel your power, and f- with you no more...
I am the poisoned archer, here. What can I do?
Again, good for you for being woman or man enough to own up to this bold fact! It's one of the hardest things to do. Feeling crappy about others kinda really, just really, well, s*cks! But! You can remove those arrows by starting to meditate around and writing down what you really do want in your life. And maybe come to understand what is truly missing from it.
Ponder this a little bit. What is it that is really missing, or out of sync? Is it a relationship? The need for more money and greater abundance? A desire for bigger and better career? Tell your ego to leave the premises when it starts dishing on how sh*tty and selfish that other person is, and deserves your rancorous thoughts. By caring for your own needs and desires, these arrows will start to greatly lessen in force, and you will be able to start directing that "poison" energy towards your own goals and desires, once again. Very simple. But, not easy, as well know so well.
Will you be sad and uncomfortable when removing the poison arrows from both yourself, and others. YES. But you will be surprised how this sadness will change to action when you are truthful about these above situations in your life. The reality may not be what you wanted to realize. And that's a shame. But it is okay. And you will be, too...
Just remember: We are all humans here, just trying to move through time and space. Give yourself, and others, the break we all really need and deserve...Have great weekend, everyone!
*REMINDER NOTE: I am not in any way, shape or form a licensed therapist. Just a friend who understands...xo If you really want to speak to a professional, email us for a list of great therapists we can recommend, who are also be available for phone and/or Skype sessions anywhere you may reside. Thanks to Mick Kubiak for her great I Ching insight.