I once was the target of a nasty online attack.  I dove right into the fight and fought the good fight, then extricated myself.  This was long ago but it remains an unnerving and unpleasant memory.  For the most part I believe that kindness is the way to go.  I made a comment not too long ago in another place where I thought I had no contact with these individuals.  The comment was inane really. OMG – the same attacker – same persons all over again in a new place.  I respond to an attacks.  I do not hold back.  And I do not let people walk on me.  This time however, I chose not to respond. I could have done so and I truly “felt” like responding.  Cattiness, meanness, exclusivity don’t play into my vocabulary particularly well.  Had I chosen to respond, those traits would have been encountered immediately.  Instead I wrote a poem, diffusing my own anger.  I stepped back and ignored the persons comments.

the-schoolyardLike most, I have encountered provocation numerous times.  Planned behavioral changes within have given me the tools to navigate life, to navigate provocation.  The second time that I found myself in this situation (mentioned above) I knew to ignore the nastiness.  I would have found myself in the midst of the same sort of fight.  This situation makes me think about kids today who are bullied online.  I cannot imagine the hell into which kids are placed.  For that is exactly what I experienced, a barrage of attackers.  I also know that at 8 or 14 years of age one does not possess the cognitive abilities to make the choice to ignore their bully.  When one is being bullied one fears being seen as weak.  These feelings may elicit a response from the bullied.  Then the fight begins and the bully keeps pushing and bullying.  Then there may be no clear way out.  This second occasion of bullying made me think clearly about consequences (something a child cannot do).  I knew that no response was the most powerful response.  Instead of responding I chose to deal with my emotions by writing in a creative manner.  Writing about what you are experiencing emotionally can release the negativity within.  Now, the poem below is not meant to be a fine poem … just a release valve.  And that valve indeed opened and let escape some of the steam and pressure of that second experience.  The results were all positive.  There was no negative fallout.

dear poet within
i am having
a hard time
finding you

you seem
to be lost
why have you been
drawn into

a swirl of negative
energy a small swirl
when there is so much
that is positive

try to find yourself
do not get lost
find the massive
positive that exists

extricate yourself
from this one small
negative spin
from one very

small negative person
it wasn’t worth
it then
it isn’t now

– Liz Rice-Sosne 

© 2014, essay, poem, and portrait below, Liz Rice-Sosne, All rights reserved; illustration “The Schoolyard” courtesy of Katrina Joyner, Public Domain Pictures.net

.
unnamed-2LIZ RICE-SOSNE a.k.a. Raven Spirit (noh where), perhaps the oldest friend to Bardo, is the newest member of The Bardo Group Core Team. She is also our new Voices for Peace project outreach coordinator and our go-to person for all things related to haiku.  She says she “writes for no reason at all. It is simply a pleasure.” Blogging, mostly poetry, has produced many friends for whom she has a great appreciation. Liz is an experienced blogger, photographer and a trained shaman. We think her middle name should be “adventure.”

11 thoughts on “Personal Change

  1. YES! No response is the most effective response – it drives the provoker mad as they thrive on the back and forth. Silence leaves them hanging….meanwhile we just go “ho-hum, not worth my time and energy” and move serenely on. Loved this post, kiddo.

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  2. Good for you! Bravo for not giving in to the temptation to stand your ground and fight back. I, too, get provoked sometimes, and usually regret it later when I respond. You are so right that small, mean people are not worth the effort!

    Here online, there is a saying, “Don’t feed the trolls.” You probably already know about the internet trolls, but unfortunately, they exist in all corners of the world wide web. I am so proud that you took the high path and didn’t feed the trolls! I also love your way of releasing the negativity. Writing is one of the best ways to do that, I think. Thanks for sharing your win on this one. It’s inspiring. 🙂

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  3. Thank you Liz for sharing your experience and how you dealt with it using creativity.

    I have seen several men in my therapy practice – wonderful, smart, accomplished men – who were mercilessly bullied as children. They carried the fear they experienced with them into adulthood.

    As adults they learned how to diffuse their pervasive fear and find their dignity, value within. But the after-taste never goes away.

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  4. My colleagues in Guest Services and I are all healing from the presence of an extremely confrontational employee who has now been dismissed. It’s amazing to learn how she effected such negativity in a few short weeks, throwing us all off. I have a quote from Carl Jung on my refrigerator: ‘Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.’ We get to choose to orbit power or love and resist any gravitational pull toward the one we do not choose. I stay clear of people who glow with power, or at least protect myself in some way.

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  5. Oh my! Since I started blogging in 2008 I’ve known three people who’ve been harrassed. One stopped blogging altogether, which is sad. The other two had to close their original blogs and start new ones under other names. 🙂

    Well done, Liz. Good to find a healthy way to vent …

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