...those afflictive, tempting, harassing thoughts, images, temptations, etc.--like venomous stinging/biting insects always assailing us...
While reading a novel primarily set in a jungle, I found this passage:
"Marina brushed her hand across the back of her neck and dislodged something with a hard shell. She had learned in time to brush instead of slap, as slapping only served to pump the entire contents of the insect, which was doubtlessly already burrowed into the skin with some entomological protuberance, straight into the bloodstream." (from Ann Patchett's State of Wonder)
Gentle consistency, not force. As St. Augustine said, "With the hands of my heart, I brush these things away."