Pagan News and Views Since 1998

Malicious Manipulation within and without Paganism

Malicious Manipulation within and without Paganism



We have all experienced malicious manipulation at some time in our life… disagreements and disputes turn to attacks between people, friends betray each other, people use control to cause harm or pain to others. I would
bet that most people have maliciously manipulated others at some point in time
as well.


Manipulation, positive and negative, is born out of a desire for influence or control. Control and influence are important to us- and are necessary to a certain degree. Having self-control, and a strong sense of that
control gives a person strength, confidence and security. We grant ourselves
the ability to strive forward and make decisions that influence the outcome of
our lives. We can guide and control our emotions to draw happiness and
positivity into our lives. We can be thoughtful in our actions, and
compassionate to others through self-control.


Negative manipulation, is generally the attempt to control others or the world for our own desires, often in a way that is harmful to them. Sometimes this control is the result of poor decision making and lack of
empathy rather than deliberately mean or hateful actions. The trademark of
malicious manipulation is the need to justify or excuse wrong thoughts or
actions. This is especially apparent when we feel the need to retaliate against
a person who has harmed us. People try to sugar-coat the guilt of acting
maliciously against another person by saying that they “deserved it”. There are
few cases where one person needs to “teach” another person a lesson. Generally,
the universe brings those who harm others their due consequences eventually.


As a parent, I know the difference between helping to discipline someone for their own self-betterment, and purposefully causing emotional harm to someone to self-gratify. When my daughter makes a bad
decision, she gets an immediate consequence, usually time-out. It is important that I try to empathize with
her, while I scold and discipline her. It is a tough job.


Most of the time when people misbehave, both adults and children, they don’t do so to INTENTIONALLY hurt other people. This may be mind-blowing to think about in a world that can
sometimes seem cruel and filled with mean and hateful people. However, I feel
deeply that it is true. The reason people harm others is usually because they
want something, or someone for their own sense of happiness or well-being. To some degree we all are selfish- or at
least self serving. When this isn’t tempered with compassion and forethought-
we cause harm though acting carelessly. We all do these things sometimes- we
say something or do something that feels good or sounds good at the moment, but
we fail to see that it will hurt someone in the long run. Usually when the
damage comes to light, we feel sorry. As a person who is very proud I know that
even when you feel sorry, it is so hard to suck it up and admit to the damage
you have done. These actions, the simple mistakes that lead to the downward
spiral of malicious manipulation I call preliminary mistakes.


Preliminary mistakes – in an ideal world, would be apologized for by the person who made them, and forgiven lovingly by those who were harmed. Consequences would be given firmly and precisely according to the
severity of the action- and in the end everyone would take a deep breath,
learn, and move on. However, life is not so simple, is it? When we are harmed,
we instantly feel a little bit out of control. Our perfect, or not so perfect,
sphere in which we are safe is damaged and the instinctual response it to lash
out and strike back. If humans all lived in the forest, dealing with wolves and
bears and other real dangerous threats, this immediate response would serve us
well, by protecting us and our families from death. We want to defend ourselves
and our kin, and in many cases the best defense is a good offense. However,
with only a few exceptions, the preliminary mistakes that cause us harm are
usually harm to our egos or our finances- not our lives. When we lash back, we
usually attack our “attackers” ego, in an attempt to restore or repair the
damage that was done to us. That retaliation causes them or others to deliberately
retaliate- until all parties end up in a cycle of harm to each other until the
situation finally diffuses or comes to a head- sometimes with devastating end
results. When the feud in finally over, it may take years or decades to repair
and heal the wounds left by malicious manipulation. Being involved in a cycle
can severely inhibit our ability to trust others and even to trust ourselves.
With each blow back and forth we lose a little bit of that important
self-control, even though our actions are SUPPOSED to retrieve it. We lose our
security and confidences when we go against what we know are helpful to us in the
long run, and instead look for instant gratification through revenge.


Unless you have a firm reason to believe that the action that caused you initial harm was a deliberate attack against you or your family- the best course of action is not to sit there and “take it”. Leaving
open wounds within you will only cause them to fester and become infected with
heartbreak, distrust, and worry. This leads to the “victim mentality” which is
a huge issue that can cause even more of these negative situations in a person’s
life. No, a person must take action! But choosing the best course of action in
a potential conflict is crucial for preventing further harm- to both parties.


Consider these steps:


1. First- assess the damage. In what way were you really harmed? Do you feel betrayed? Do you feel like your own emotions and
sense of well being was damages or put in harm’s way. Determine how severe your
“injuries” are.


2. With that in mind, try to consider why the person caused you harm. Was it a preliminary mistake that they didn’t mean to
harm you with, but did by acting carelessly? OR did they feel a need to
retaliate against you? Sometimes the
only way to know why a person has caused you harm is to ask them, but trying to
put yourself in their shoes can go a long way.


3. Then, try to decide what the best course of action is to repair what harm was done. A lot of the time all we need is a
“sorry” and a sincere acknowledgement of our emotions. In other cases
(especially financial) we need repayment of what we have lost- or other means
to restore our security. Try not to think selfishly, or wish to take advantage
of the person who has wronged you. There are some cases in life where the
damage is too far and too deep to truly be repaired. In those, we may have to
accept a sincere and wholehearted effort as good enough.


4. Put your cards on the table. After considering the issues from all sides as much as you are able, discuss it with the person
who harmed you. Try not to get into an argument, but be candid with your
emotions, without over-exaggerating them. Most people with apologize and try to
make amends for what they have done as long as they feel like you are not going
to attack them or cause harm to them. However, keep in mind that some people
have a very difficult time with apologizing, or even admitting that they are
wrong. When faced with our own faults, many of us become defensive- rather than
willing to resolve a situation. If they react this way, as hard as it may be
TRY to use your empathy to understand them. Make sure that they know how you
fee;, but if you feel like the situation is escalating rather than resolving-
bite your tongue and don’t be afraid to back away so they can have time and
space to come to a place where they can apologize and rectify the situation.



What if the tables are suddenly turned? It could be that without realizing it, YOU started the conflict. We are not always aware of the damage we cause, even if we try diligently to think before
acting. If it turns out that what they
did was retaliation against you- it is your job to begin the process of
apologizing and healing. Humility can be a hard pill to swallow- but resist the
urge to argue with a person who already feels they have been harmed. There is
always situations where you may feel that you did NOTHING wrong. The challenge
is to be willing to accept that you may have been misunderstood, or have acted
in a way that unintentionally harmed someone else. If you feel it will help-
explain the situation from your perspective. Keep in mind that it is important
to not demean or minimize the other side of the situation. Simply state
whatever you did or said, and why you did it- Then, be humble enough to
apologize for the damage done- intentional or not. If you can attempt to
rectify your actions, and take the consequences of your actions as long as they
are proportionate and appropriate. In
some cases once both sides of the issue are out in the open both people can
simply relax and everything is resolved. However sometimes that isn’t the case,
and it is fair that after you have tried to right your wrongs, that you should
expect the other side to do so to. Try not to become bitter over it- but don’t
neglect yourself and your own sense of wellbeing by not eventually resolving
the conflict on your side too!


5. Prevention. Obviously we cannot avoid all conflicts all the time in our lives. Certainly things come up that are
unexpected. However- by effectively ending the cycle of malicious manipulation
early in conflicts, we can usually prevent a lot of heartache. There is another
side to prevention. There are complex situations in our lives that cannot be
solved with a few “sorry’s” and some good interpersonal skills. Sometimes a
conflict will occur that requires serious action. If a conflict is really too
severe, or the damage to deep we need to know that it is ok to call in the big
guns, or make big changes. This is usually the case when we step into the
territory of abuse and neglect. These are more than just acts of malicious
manipulation, but are serious situations that need very serious attention. In
these cases, we may need to call in lawyers, police, mediators, and counselors
to aid us in resolving them appropriately. In other cases a situation can only
be resolved through huge life changes. There are times when the best prevention
is to walk away from the person or people who are causing you harm. Breaking
ties with people we love or care about is hard- but in the end we need that
self –control to know when enough is enough. When any big situation is resolved
do whatever you can to prevent it from occurring in the future. If it DOES happen again, or a very similar
situation- try to learn from the lessons of the past to minimize the damage. If
a situation occurs many times, then a new approach, or change is in order.


Now these tips all *should* be valuable to any person, pagan or not. We all live in the same world and generally have to deal with the same sorts of problem. However, a person may ask what all this has to do with
Paganism in particular.


In paganism, many people believe that your thoughts and actions directly influence the world around you physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically. Most people want to maximize the positive in
their lives, and minimize the negative through understanding the “magnetic”
quality of their thoughts and actions in the universe. As pagans we must
recognize that all our actions, thoughts, and words have meaning and impact.
Although I don’t think that a fleeting thought of “gosh I just HATE that
person” will cause us to bring a torrent of bad things into our lives, if we
ignore them- and allow negative thoughts to accumulate, eventually we will
attract more general negativity to us. We will begin to focus and dwell in the
negative- rather than the positive. Thoughts lead to words, words lead to
actions and before long it becomes far too easy to “attract” cycles of
malicious manipulation.


This brings me to the curse. A curse is essentially a wish of ill-will or bad things to happen to a person we dislike. I truly feel that people- “magical” or not are capable of cursing others, and do so often when
they feel threatened. Curses may, in some cases be the cause of a sudden
onslaught of “bad luck” that seems under deserved. Every once in a while you
hear a person say that they once wish that something bad would happen to
another person, and then that person fell ill or lost a loved one, or some
other terrible thing. Just as often as not the person who made the wish feels
bad or guilty for wishing harm upon that person- whether they believe in magic
or not. If a thought is projected with enough intensity and passionate intent-
it becomes a spell. If that thought is harmful, it may become a curse.


Now I think that some thoughts we put out there are weak and certainly don’t come to fruition. If a person thinks for a split instance “I wish that person would just DIE!” that doesn’t necessarily mean some freak
accident or sudden illness will leave them dead on the carpet anytime
soon. It takes some serious emotion and
intent to say or think something like that and really MEAN it when you do.
Thankfully, most of us are not that cruel deep in hearts- so those little
flashes of extreme hurt and anger don’t end up coming true. That said-
sometimes we are upset enough to really put out a curse. After a few minutes of
spewing the darker side of our emotions and thoughts we may have sent out a
curse.


What if you have cursed a person? Thankfully, there isn’t a specific formula you have to take. If you have said or thought something you really regret and didn’t mean (or don’t mean now) try to spiritually and
mentally draw back in whatever it was so you can deal with it in a better way.
Connect with you empathy and compassion and allow yourself to truly feel
whatever it was that provoked your curse. You have to do it before any damage
has taken place, because unlike regular thoughts and actions, curses cannot
usually be rectified with an apology or explanation and some consequences. Once you feel you have drawn that negative
energy back into your sphere, try to properly cleanse yourself of that energy
and negativity- and regenerate new, positive thoughts to replace it. You could
do this all mentally- or for better focus you could recall and deal with the
curse through a ritual.


If you actually went so far as to do a physical spell in the form of a curse, you need to destroy any remnants of the spell, and try to use as much energy to recall the spell as you did to put it out there. If you
called on any deities or spirits, or engaged other people in the curse- you
will need to ask them to recall their energies as well. Because all people are
individual and capable of making their own decisions, others may choose to not
recall those energies. You may have to accept that this is the case.


If the curse came to fruition, you may need to try to draw that energy off of the person and send positivity and healing to them. A spell to restore their lives to their previous state and to cleanse any damage done
should help remove the curse. Actions do not go without consequences, and you
may find that you’ll need to make a sacrifice to reverse the curse and
dissipate that energy. If you are humble and willing to give up something in
your life for another, you may find that the universe is oddly empathetic and
forgiving.


Sometimes we are on the other end of a curse. All ‘bad luck’ is not curses… and I think far too many pagans begin to believe the whole world is shooting spells and curses at each other. That said, sometimes there are
compelling reasons to feel that you have been cursed. Rather than try to find
the culprit and spend energy and time trying to get them back through sending
back the curse or “counter cursing” them- avoid the cycle of malicious
manipulation. First off, it is extremely hard to know for sure that the person
you suspect is cursing you really is the person who has- even if you are arch
enemies. Secondly, it is a downward spiral that serves no one. If you feel you
have been truly cursed… ceremoniously cleanse yourself of any negativity. Try to
draw up new, positive energy and if needed do spells for protection and
healing. Last, learn to psychically shield- and keep that shield up to prevent
any further attacks or curses. Of course if you are around people who draw
negative energy to themselves and others, do what you can to disassociate from
them and shield against their energy. If those don’t work to set your life in a
better direction, consider that perhaps your “curse” comes from within, and the
best prevention will be mindfully focusing on positive thoughts, positive
words, and positive actions. The very last reason to consider is that the
universe is telling you it is time to make a change- or that your strife
contains a valuable lesson you MUST learn in this life that you cannot learn in
any other way. If that is the case, living the best you can will ensure you
learn those lessons as painlessly as possible.


As much as ever, I am just a traveler on this journey, with stories to tell, and advice to give- but with plenty of bumpy roads ahead. Whether you read what I had to say out of boredom, curiosity, or because you really
need some advice- I hope it helps and leaves you with something to consider! I
would love to hear you comments or personal experiences!





Blessed Be and Good Luck!


-Megan

Views: 59

Comment by Rev. William Kelly (Bill) on November 30, 2010 at 10:56pm
Welcome back!!! Love reading your posts. Thank you.

Brightest Blessings Megan
Comment by The Daily Spell on December 1, 2010 at 12:44am
This is a great blog....I facebooked this and twittered it.
Comment by fantumofthewinds on December 1, 2010 at 5:44am
thanks Megan , good to see you write BB
Comment by Debra Greer on December 1, 2010 at 6:55am
Well said, My Dear!! So very true!

-Love, light and blessings :)
Comment by John Thomas on December 1, 2010 at 7:44am
I agree. And remember that everything that everyone does is some form of manipulation.

..that everyone is constantly guilty of self-serving manipulation in one form or another.

..that all of us need to ditch the pride and remember that we can be self-serving.
Comment by fantumofthewinds on December 1, 2010 at 7:58am
Is it them really being manipulated ? or perhaps it just might go along with others way of thinking ?
Comment by Gaia'l on December 1, 2010 at 9:00am
Very well said and thoughtful. I first joined a coven two years ago and what you said about pagans thinking people are putting curses on each other is true. A lot of discussion went into personal protection. Some even suggested putting up a mirror to send back the negative energy. I said, if you think there is negative energy, transform it to positive and send that back. Harm none! is still the best advice. Blessed Be!!! Gaia'l
Comment by Megan L Conklin on December 1, 2010 at 12:39pm
thank you everyone!

Gaia'l- I think some people truly do become paranoid of curses. Although 99% of things that happen in our lives have a reason, not everything is near as 'magical' as some pagans tend to believe. Although I believe in curses... it is important to keep things in perspective, and if you think* the world is against you- those thoughts are magnetic as well- and you will draw bad luck whether people are actually shooting curses at you or not. That is why I think a lot of "send it back" spells, and some binding spells are doing more harm than good.

Fantum- Our selfish minds (which is neither BAD nor good)... think the world is focused on me. A lot of the time we perceive others to be manipulating us when we are actually manipulating ourselves, it's true. Paranoia is caused by feeling out of control... and the only cure is perspective and building inner strength. Of course if you hang around with a bunch of people who are constantly suspicious of others and eachother- naturally that distrust will rub off on you- so the negative group mentality spreads and actually breeds malicious manipulation! Also, I am glad to be back to typing- I love sharing my ideas and I am happy you like reading them!

John- Very true- manipulation itself is the product of living on a planet, and in a universe- with others. It is neither positive or negative by itself. I manipulate- you do, everyone does. Being willing to accept that interaction with others will sometimes cause conflict is very important- and how we deal with those situation is how we grow and learn, and choose our path within our lives!

Debra- I am so glad you enjoyed it and it spoke to you!

WSI- thank you! I am glad that you liked it!

Rev. Kelley- I am glad to be blogging a bit! I was hoping this blog might interest some people- and it seems to have! Now I'll need to start cooking up some more interesting topics to get out there!



Blessed Be and Thank you all!
-Megan
Comment by Rev. SilentOwl on December 1, 2010 at 11:41pm
This what wonderful. Well thought out and a very clear view of the subject. could I copy this to my computer for later reading...no sending it off or anything. its a great piece.

LadyOwl
Comment by Megan L Conklin on December 2, 2010 at 2:12pm
Rev. LadyOwl- No Problem! I write my blogs to be shared! You can keep a copy of any of them if you'd like. Honestly I don't mind if people re-post either- as long as I am cited as the author- and the original post is linked back to.

I am glad that you enjoyed reading it!
Blessed Be!
-Megan

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