Rebbe Nachman teaches us that when these crazy people explode at us, and particularly when they start shaming and embarrassing and criticising us FOR NOTHING, if we manage to keep quiet and not snap back, we clean our spiritual slate off from a huge amount of bad judgements, which could then manifest as difficult circumstances in our lives, G-d forbid.
Rebbe Nachman, Rav Natan, Rav Arush, Rav Ofer Erez - every sincere, authentic Breslev Rav I know makes it clear that this is a very big test: in practise, keeping quiet when you're being vilified, especially in public, ranks up there as one of the hardest things a person can do.
So if you're still not managing to ace this particular test just yet, go easy on yourself, and celebrate every additional nano-second you held your tongue before firing back. Each tiny step we take in this area is mamash building worlds in Shemayim.
But that's not really what I wanted to talk about.
What I wanted to tell you today, is how to get all the 'ick' out of your system, energetically, when a crazy has just exploded in your face. Verbal diatribes and assaults go straight into us spiritually, and also physically: they literally affect the state of our molecular cells.
When people are being verbally abused, criticised, yelled at on a regular basis, their physical cells start to shrink, dehydrate and distort, potentially leading to all sorts of physical illness and diseases, G-d forbid. (I know it sounds amazing, but if anyone doubts the affect of speech on physical matter, go and have a look at JAPANESE SCIENTIST'S WORK ON ICE CRYSTALS.)
Spiritually, it helps tons to know that whatever horrible thing you're being told, it's all just coming from G-d, and it's a test, and you should do your best to not take it to heart.
But there are also a couple of energy exercises that you can do to get all that negative stuff out of your system, before it beds in and starts doing any damage.
The first one is called 'The Blow Out', and it goes like this:
Ball your hands up into fists. Bring the fists in front of you, then raise them up above your head. Smash your fists down in front of your thighs, opening your hands as though you're throwing all the negative rubbish away.
As you're doing this, make sure you deliberately blow out a big breath.
Do it as many times as you need, until you feel calmer.
On the last time, bring your hands down towards your thighs calmly and slowly.
(This exercise also works to get rid of anger. It's excellent for those times when you've locked yourself in the bathroom to prevent yourself from slapping a child.)
When you're done, zip up the Central Meridian a few times, (that's the one that goes from your pubic bone straight up to your bottom lip) with an affirmation like: "G-d loves me"; "I am good"; "It's just a test", or whatever takes your fancy.
Then either suck your thumb for a few seconds (no kidding), or do the grown-up version and re-connect your Central and Governing meridian by pressing a finger gently between the eyebrows, while you press another finger gently into your belly button.
The second one, I call 'The Silent Scream'.
Take a very long breath out, expelling as much air as you can.
Then, take a long breath in, silently 'catching' the air at the back of your throat. Imagine the air rising up through your body, from your feet straight up to the top of your head.
Once you've breathed in as much as you can, start to breathe out in a 'Silent Scream' kind of way, and imagine the breath going down from the top of your head, back to the floor.
Lastly, try an exercise that I call: 'G-d is everywhere'
Rub your hands together, and shake them off.
Rub them together again, and then put them palms facing either side of your ears.
Bring your elbows together in front your face, and then cross your arms over each other, and sweep them out to the side.
Cross your arms over in front of you again, and again sweep out to the side. Do these criss-cross movements in front of you all the way down your body and legs, until you get to the floor.
Have in mind that G-d is protecting you, and keeping you cocooned off in His kindness and light.
When you reach the floor, put your two arms together, kind of like an elephant's trunk, and make sweeping figure 8 movements around your body, as you come back up from your legs to your head.
Take the 'Figure 8' movements up to past your head, then put your two arms together, backs of hands touching, above your head, and then bring them gently down to the sides of your body.
Imagine as you do this, that you are literally in a cocoon of Divine protection.
Energetically, this exercise stops us from picking up other people's energies and getting thrown off by them, etc. By connecting us to G-d in such a tangible way, it also strengthens our own energy and sense of self in the world.
We can't stop the crazy people from going crazy, but with G-d's help, we can stop them from damaging us in the process.