One of the ways the laws of energy differ from physical laws is that equal energy exchange is not a zero-sum game.  In the physical world, the equal exchange of the same item leaves both people in the same situation as before.  If I give you $20 and you give me $20, we both end up with exactly what we started with.  skull


In the energy world, however, equal exchange of energy results in that same energy multiplying exponentially.  When two friends go to lunch and both listen with attention and focus while each shares their news, thoughts and concerns, both people leave the encounter feeling energized and inspired, having received far more energy than they gave out.


When two or more collaborators exchange ideas openly and with no thoughts of competition, criticism or distrust, those ideas generate other ideas which then promote even more ideas resulting in unbelievable creativity and innovation.


Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When we are upset at someone or something, it is tempting to voice our complaints to friends or loved ones hoping to enlist their support in validating our feelings. And friends will usually be glad to offer that support out of love and compassion.


However, if these two or more people continue to hash over the grievance, each building on the negative energy the other is offering, we then have the same exponential multiplication of energy as in the other examples. Only this time, that energy is negative, even though it is often based on a perceived slight that may not be true, or a comment that was taken out of context.  By the time the bashing session is over, both (or all) people involved are convinced of the absolute validity of the grievance, and the total villainy of the person who caused it.


An example of this kind of energy was presented to me when I walked in on a conversation between two friends discussing the behavior of a recent house-guest of one of them.  To me, the behavior in question was not evil or even disrespectful, but rather signified someone who perhaps lacked self-confidence in the situation and felt like she didn’t belong in the otherwise tight-knit group.  The other party to the discussion had also noticed that this person was somewhat shy around her.  Both friends had confided their observations separately to me before this incident, so I was aware of the context and their feelings when I came upon their discussion.


When I got there, this conversation had obviously been going on for a while, and by that time this poor house-guest was practically the devil personified.  What had started out as behaviors that at most showed lack of confidence, had now been catapulted into gross disrespect and disdain, with the two friends being the victims of this obviously vicious person.  What started out as a simple discussion as to why a person may have acted differently than expected, had now grown into a full-blown catalogue of insults and injuries. In allowing their negative energy to resonate and expand out of proportion, these two had missed the opportunity to understand what was really going on, and in so doing, built up a false perception of the situation that could not easily be undone.


This is the power of energetic exchange, both the positive and the negative, both equally powerful, but with opposite results.


As I pondered this exchange and sought to cool it down, I couldn’t help thinking about how this dynamic works on a larger scale.  Resonating negative energy is what makes mobs so dangerous.  Even mild mannered individuals who are never violent, get caught up in negative energy escalation and become raging monsters.   The larger the group, the more energy there is to multiply.


Other examples which come to mind are group bullying, gang rape and fraternity hazing, which are all the more tragic because many of the perpetrators are otherwise peaceful, sane and caring people.  Because they did not understand the powerful lure of negative group energy, they allowed themselves to be caught up in something they will regret for the rest of their lives.


I see this same dynamic working on the national level as well, where political feelings are running high on both sides and it seems there is no common ground.


For example, the hatefest surrounding Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election just doesn’t seem to be supported by actual facts.  At the time of the election, I did extensive research to find the origin of the anti-Hillary feeling that was raging even among some long-time Democrats. As hard as I looked, I could find nothing truly substantive, just innuendo and fake news. It seems that Hillary’s long public career had resulted in a negative energy bubble that was easy to exploit by those on the other side.


Now we see the same thing happening with the current president. While Trump is certainly his own worst enemy, the negative energy exchange surrounding him is counter-productive, and distracts us from the real issues of the day and what we want to do about them.


While bashing and trolling are satisfying to the ego because they solidify the righteousness of our opinions, they generate group energy that is dissonant, out of balance and full of friction.  This kind of energy destroys rather than creates, deflates rather than inspires, and leaves us falsely complacent.


Remember that negative energy attracts negative energy, and that means the more we become seduced by the lure of trolling or bashing, the more negative energy we attract, and the less positive energy there is for constructive creation.  On the national level, we are robbing ourselves of the energy needed to come together in collaboration in order to really solve our problems.  On the personal level, we run the risk of character assassination and victimization, rather than trying to understand what we ourselves could do to understand and/or solve the problem.


While all of us need to vent from time to time, it is important to understand when enough is enough, and how easily things can go wrong when we allow ourselves to be seduced by escalating negative energy.




2 Responses to The Energy of Grievance

  1. Jan says:

    Thanks Bev, Wonderful insight and perspective. As a third person looking in, it’s difficult to identify the source of intentions and when/if you should step in to defuse.

  2. Gregg says:

    If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
    — George Bernard Shaw

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