When surrounded by ego and fear, in the past I went into victim mode. I handed over all my personal power, decided that the other person must be an authority and therefore had authority over ME, and built quite a resentment. Being very empathic, I shared in the person's fear, and of course all that did was compound it. Then of course, I'd take it all home with me, nurture it and focus on it and fret over it, until I had a strong, effective MAD on!
What a difference this time! Something was said that was insulting to me, and rather than reacting in anger or fear, I gently confronted the statement by pointing out that the words indicated a misunderstanding that I'd like to clear up. In other words, I stood up for myself by loving myself first, and loving this person next. I did not water the seed of resentment, I let it go! Because I have set boundaries for myself that define what energy I choose to be around (loving, generous, kind, fun, productive, helpful, generous, etc.), I realized that I could choose to no longer be around this person's energy. I re-defined the terms under which I would do so, and then let that go as well!
I don't know what my change of acceptance did to the energy of this other person. I do not know how she chose to react to my firm but positive energy, but I don't need to know. I hope that, in spite of her fear-based thoughts, she was able to see that I reacted in love and not defense, but that too is not my concern.
For me, the main lesson was that because I know so well now what I'm all about, what kind of people I choose to be around, and what my values are, my freedom to choose became very clear. Letting go of what and who no longer serves is not selfish - just the opposite. The letting go allows me to give more to others without being held back by negativity. What a great idea! More of that, please and thank you!