You cannot pass! I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun! Go back to the shadow. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!
--Gandalf to the Balrog Demon, The Lord of the Rings
A candle is lit. Incense burns. Sacred music plays. I sit and breathe and tell myself, pause. The Balrog Demon must go no further.
When I was a Montessori teacher, sometimes I was surprised at hearing a young child say to her classmate, "Go away." This was not in the context of children leaving someone out of their game or trying to hurt another's feelings. It was a direct, assertive message given to the person who was intentionally bothering her and distracting her from the purpose of her work. Go away. Here there is no room for misinterpretation.
I have been as polite as I can be. Non, merci. I do not wish to play your game. Sometimes this is not enough.
Message to the haters and killjoys, the bullies, the hecklers, the frenemies and rabid critics:
Go. Away. Your comments have been deleted, unread. You are not on the guest list. I will not feed your dragon. I stand on the battlefield, untouched. I have prayed for you and send you in peace. Godspeed. The door is always open to those who choose to walk in the light. But, "I can't light no more of your darkness" (Sir Elton John).
I have not harmed you. You must slay your own Balrog Demon. I will not take your sword in my side. I will not ride the crazy train with you. I will not breathe your toxic air.
I am busy making crème brulee.