When I speak of the role of an abuser, remember we are ALL abusers and we are ALL victims.
How can this be?
Since the day you were born, people have abused you. People have taken from you the deepest, most treasured parts of your being. Even the people who love you the most in this world have abused you, but they have no knowledge or awareness of this. They have no idea they are abusing you because they too were abused since the day they were born – they do not know any better. In every personal relationship we will form throughout our lives, there will be a victim and an abuser. The abuser will push and expect this person (the victim) to do what they have always known as the right thing to do until the victim accepts it as truth. Then this victim now becomes the abuser in another tale.
When I speak of the role of an abuser, remember we are ALL abusers and we are ALL victims.
How can this be? Well, from here you will need a flexible mind and a strong heart. If you do not have one or either, I forgive you for calling me the crazy lady who has no idea what she is speaking about.
From the moment you took your first breath into this world, this might be the truest moment of your life. You were greeted into this world as the miracle you are – so full of wonder and mystery. You knew nothing but the connection to your mother in her womb. You felt her heart beat, you felt how every emotion changed this beat to race faster or calm in a soothing rhythm. You felt her sadness when she wept during a sad scene in a romance movie or how she cried out in heartbreak in the aftermath of a verbal argument with your father. You felt her happiness when she picked out your new bedspread with safari animals or how giddy she felt to see the little socks with penguins on the sides she will put on your feet. These “things” that caused emotions in your mother weren’t real for you in the womb. What was real for you were the emotions you shared with her – the happiness, the sadness, the anger and the love.
When you exit the womb and enter your new reality, you will slowly start to realize that people understand emotions differently. Emotions are unstable and irrational according to the grown adult. You must learn to control your emotions. To know how to control your emotions well at an adult age, you must learn to control them at a very young age.
Within the next few months, we will start to get upset when you cry for us. It will make us frantic and stressed out. We don’t know what you want since the only form of communication we know is verbal. We do not know that every little being is born with a unique way to communicate with emotions, because we don’t use those anymore to form major decisions. Adults use their thoughts – our mind. We do not know that crying means you are sad, uncomfortable or need something and that you have created a different type of crying for each to help us understand. We do not know that you create little cues with every emotion you have, all the same emotions your mother shared with you in the womb, to help us understand what you need. We only know control. So in an attempt to train you to control your emotions we will start sleep training you. This is called Cry It Out in the adult world. From here, you will learn to cry until you fall asleep. We will not come for you until you are done. We adults have no idea that we pushed away your emotions. We have no idea that we invalidated your emotions and your attempts to communicate with us. We had no idea that we abused you.
You will grow up and every time you use your emotions to communicate with us, we will feel frantic. We only know control. We will put you in time-out until you learn to control your emotions. We will spank you until you learn to control your emotions because we had no idea that you were acting out for attention because you are in pain. We do not know you are in pain because we won’t listen, but still we will lecture and yell at you until you control your emotions. We will continue to invalidate your emotions and your attempts to tell us something that is important to you. These little problems seem small to us, but to you they are very big! We had no idea this feels like abuse to you.
As you enter school and start to form friendships with the kids in school, you will soon realize that the cycle continues. You will start to feel this unspoken emotional war of whose parents or adult caregivers emotionally invalidated which child the most because this child will look like a bully to you. In school, you will share with your peers the abuse you were shown by your parents or adult caregivers. This will be some of the most traumatic times for you because unlike your family these people do not always love you. They can come from groups of people or they can come all at one time. You never know! So, it makes you feel on edge.
You will adopt whatever you learn as a young child growing into a teenager in your adult life. You will feel a lack of trust for most people maybe even your own parents though sometimes the reasons won’t make sense to you. Most everyone will have to earn a place in your life as being someone who does not stir your emotions because if they do, you will not know what to do with them and it will take time for you to recover. You may struggle in love relationships with people because you find it hard to form a close connection with someone due to how hard it is to remain vulnerable. Sometimes, communicating your feelings will give you anxiety so to make sense of it all you will over-think or over-analyze your emotions. Most of the time you will not trust your own emotions so you will seek the opinions or emotional validation of your friends who will most likely tell you this person you are dating is an abusive asshole if he is a man or a psychotic bitch if she is a woman. You might find a nice person to settle down with eventually who is within your emotional comfort zone and plan a life together. Maybe you will have kids! Then, you can show them all the control and emotional invalidating tactics the ENTIRE world has shown you your whole life. Wouldn’t that be grand?
Now that I am off my storyteller’s box and slapping myself in the face for that last sarcastic bit, let’s get to the juicy stuff. Why has our culture forsaken emotions? We can say for certain that it is culturally conditioned. Most everyone views emotions as irrational and something that needs to be controlled. It is more rational to let your mind make all the major decisions, right?
Emotions are the key to what is wrong with today. Today is a world of violence, war, dissention, segregation, hate, fear, loneliness, power, greed and control. Yes, we are intellectual and science has offered us many new discoveries, but this is not due to forsaking emotions. Forsaking emotions is what created the world of today.
What is the most ultimate emotion? The most powerful? Love. I bet most people agree it is love. Thoughts and intelligence come from the mind while emotions and love come from the heart. As a culture, have we cut off our hearts and the entire part of ourselves below the head and mind? Is this why we can poison our food, destroy our earth, kill trees, pollute the air, medicate with unnatural sources – because we do not value our body which holds our heart because we are cut off from it?
Charles Bukowski said, “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way, an artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” You can interpret this quote many ways, but what stands out to me is that we will never fix our world’s problems with our mind – our intellect. We will fix our world’s problems like an artist does, by letting our emotions go free. In this instance, we can fix our problems by embracing our hearts and by embracing love.
Healing the heart can lead to larger personal spiritual growth. Every time you pay attention to a triggered emotion of anger, sadness or pain this serves as a cue for you to pay attention. This is where you need to heal. We have become used to using pain medications like drugs, alcohol or literal prescribed drugs to deal with our pain, suppress it. When you validate your own emotions, you will discover that every negative emotion is tied to a place in your heart that was forced to break off so you can continue to live on mostly uninterrupted. Some people call this heartbreak, but the shaman calls this soul loss. To heal your soul and reconnect with your heart, you must validate your emotions and allow the pain to surface. Pull the pain into the light and heal it. Calling back the lost parts of your soul is like putting together your heart to be strong and beautifully vulnerable again.
When love becomes the conductor of your life, meaning love always has the final say in your choices and the mind works only as a trusted advisor to the heart to create your actions, there would be less and less of our current reality – less hate, less cruelty, less war. This is because love connects us to one another. Love breaks down all the walls you have built to protect your heart from pain and suffering. Love helps us notice other people and feel what they feel. Love validates emotions and heals the heart. People who have freed their heart have a power to spread love and happiness that truly heals this world.
You might be thinking how can I, one person, make that kind of change? That is impossible!
Let me paint you a picture of a reality where you use your heart to make 1 decision: You are in the grocery line behind a family who is pulling out every coupon for every item in their purse. The children are tired and hungry, but the mom has a worried face because she sees she does not have enough money. She starts to put things back. You have a small amount of money in your account, but it is all you have. You trust you will be ok until your next paycheck and your heart is calling out to this family right now. You pull out your card and pay for the rest of her groceries. She cries a little because she sees the kindness you shared with her, the heartfelt moment, and the money didn’t matter as much to her as the fact you cared – that you noticed her struggle. The clerk and the few people surrounding you witnessed that moment and it made their heart open just a bit more. It made them think “Wow there really are good people in this world.” One person posted about it on Facebook which inspired a few dozen kind acts, one person told her mom’s group which inspired a few more dozen acts. Those acts inspired more acts and more acts.
It is this trickling affect that is addictive, but in a good addictive way. And, it starts from only 1 kind act with a loving intention. Most of us are lacking true kindness and love in our world – in our reality. When you witness it or are part of it yourself, you will want more! It feels so energetic like putting a fire in your soul where it was once quiet. Yet, the act did not put the fire there. The fire already existed. The loving act just lit the fire.
There is a lot to think about and absorb here. What are your thoughts on this?