James asked me: "How I can eliminate interference and sabotage in my life?"
I said: Interference and sabotage are both really "big," general words... My first thoughts are just a hundred more questions about the Specifics and the Context. I'm hearing a Question in there somewhere. So, what's The Question you really want to ask?
James: "Well, let's see... Sometimes I feel ganged up on, but I usually don't respond, partly because I want to remain centered in my truth and partly because I choose not to escalate the anger and the violence. I feel that I must be subconsciously triggering these attacks and would like to stop my part in them, but also spend more time with people who are coming from a place of greater harmony and integrity.
"Am I blowing through karma or sabotaging myself or both?
"I know I'm getting there, but I want to speed up the process and clear whatever it is interfering with my living a better life."
The "Speed" Factor
"I'm getting there, but I want to speed up the process" indicates to me that your expectations may be disconnected from the reality of the situation.
Is there any difference between your feeling ganged up on and others literally ganging up on you?
What you feel about a situation, what the other parties may feel, and what an impartial outside observer may feel could be three entirely different things.
This perception-based anxiety is really not that different from body dysmorphia (the anorexic who is never "thin enough," the weight lifter who is never "big enough," the model who never feels "pretty enough") or success dysmorphia around subjective achievements (the straight A pre-med student who emotionally reacts to every test and academic challenge with the elevated cortisol levels and the depressed serotonin of a student who's failing).
"I'm not smart enough, good enough, strong enough, brave enough, outspoken enough... and I need to be _____ Enough, like, YESTERDAY."
The self-judgment is too strict and unforgiving; the expectation is so great that no small step toward "success" along the way measures up to this total and complete Goal or End Game scenario. The acknowledgment of the small present moments of success is the very fuel source that drives the self-confidence which propels you in the first place -- and creates the subsequent momentum that you would find "noticeably satisfying" in your everyday life.
"Not fast enough" and "not there yet" undermine the very power that you wish to access, perpetuating this feedback loop of failure and dissatisfaction.
Realize that "getting there" may be the only "THERE" you get. (How will you recognize when you get There? Maybe it's a horizon; maybe There is a vanishing point in the distance that you're always only moving towards...)
What you say you wish to change is a choice in behavior. You either develop an effective protocol for standing up for yourself and do it, religiously, without fail, honing the skill with repeated use... or you don't. If you can't simply choose to meet that intellectual expectation with physical action, why not consider re-evaluating the expectation itself (or getting rid of it, for that matter)?
What's wrong with going back to some more basic, kinder, gentler, expectations -- some affirmations?
- "I am exactly where I need to be in my development."
- "Every social situation is an opportunity for me to practice my social skills."
- "I am in the process of learning to stand up for myself without compromising my compassion."
- "I am discovering what it means to balance pacifism and power."
What is the Meaning of This?
Asking "Why does this happen?" leads to limited understanding and cannot be counted on to produce the true results that you will identify as meaningful. Or better yet, purposeful.
The more useful question may "What purpose can this serve? What meaning can I assign to this challenge?"
Remember that your greatest challenge in life is usually the flip side of your sense of purpose.
Where you stumble, there your treasure lies. Joseph Campbell
I have no doubt that the purpose behind your process is so that, in the future, You can answer this question for someone else who asks it, better than I ever could, because you're the one who's been there.
Image credit Elisabeth Moore via Creative Commons on Flickr