Monthly Archives: November 2016
When you consider what domestic violence is, you likely have those scary images in your head of an outraged partner physically attacking his wife or worse, their children, resulting in a frantic 911 emergency call. While – of course – violence is not only terrifying but damaging, the much more common type of abuse has nothing to do with someone using his hands, but rather, his words. In fact, therapists often say that many people (especially women) are emotionally abused every single day without realizing it.
“Emotional abuse can happen in any relationship once in awhile or continuously. I think that most people at one point in their lives have experienced some form of emotional abuse. Berating a person, yelling at them, calling them names, making them feel less than, all of this would constitute emotional abuse. At the base of emotional abuse is that the victim is made to feel bad about themselves. Emotional abuse can be dangerous if the person allows themselves to be abused, and then begins to put themselves down,” explains Dr. Dawn Michael, clinical sexologist and relationship expert.
You’re getting yelled at for nothing.
Every couple – no matter how much of a match you are for one another – has disagreements. Therapists actually say that arguing within a relationship can be healthy, as it helps you better communicate to your partner and can help widen your own perspective. But there’s a difference between bickering over who last walked the dog and your partner screaming at you inappropriately. “We call this the feeling of ‘walking on eggshells’ or in other words, when even the smallest mistakes you make has the person getting mad at you. This in turn can cause a person to become nervous around that person and make even more mistakes,” Michael explains. “This one is particularly insidious because if you do something small that they don’t like, your expectation would be that they either brush it off or say nicely not to do it, but a person who yells at the small stuff is usually a person that is controlling and has very little patience and therefore allows little mistakes to upset them. For instance, one time you don’t put the toothpaste cap on and they scream at you and tell you that you don’t care about them because you left the cap off.”
They say sly remarks that beat your confidence.
Though your boyfriend might tease you for the way you peel an orange or the crazy way you like to eat your french fries with ranch dressing and ketchup, an abusive partner will carefully say certain things that rub you the wrong way. Not only is it a tactic to always have the upper hand, those remarks overtime beat down your confidence and lead you to rely more solely on him for your own self-worth. “An emotionally abusive partner will put you down, instead of lift you up. Instead of complimenting you, they put you down, which can make you feel bad about yourself. They may say that if you were smarter you would have a better job, or if you lost weight people would like you more. It can even be putting you down to make you feel small so they feel better about themselves. This is not a nice person!”
In your daily life, are you guided by fear or love? What are the fears that block being loving to yourself and others?
How often is the question, “What is loving to myself and others– what is in my highest good and the highest good of another?” the question that guides your actions? Is there something in the way of you asking this question? What is the fear that gets in the way of loving yourself?
Ethan’s fear is that “If I’m open to love, I will be weak and then easily taken advantage of. I might lose my sharpness in business and then lose money. Business people will see that I’m a soft touch and run right over me.”
Alexis is stuck in her cycle of anger at her husband. In her mind, she knows that her controlling, blaming anger is pushing him away, yet she fears that “If I let go of the control, he will end up making a fool of me. The only way I can be safe from him doing something behind my back, like having an affair, is to keep a tight rein on him.” Alexis’s husband, Noah, has been staying away more and more, and coming home later and later. He doesn’t want to be around the anger. The more he stays away, the angrier Alexis gets. She is terrified to let go and see what will happen. Having a huge abandonment issue, and not doing the inner work to take care of herself, she is very afraid he will leave her. Rather than risk this, she keeps doing the very thing that pushes Noah away, while her fears continue to grow.
Each of these people are terrified at losing something – losing themselves, losing the other, losing face, losing money, losing power. None of them have the faith that if they are open to loving themselves and others, they will be supported by the vast power of Spirit. None of them are willing to risk opening to love and seeing what happens. As a result, they cannot create a strong enough connection with their spiritual guidance to know that their fears are not based on truth, but on their false beliefs.
Two things would need to happen for them to change:
They would need to be willing to risk having their worst fears happen. Until they are willing to find out whether or not their fears are based on truth, they will be stuck avoiding them. When they finally say, “Okay, if I’m abandoned, made a fool of, taken advantage of or completely controlled by another, so be it. Living this way isn’t working so I’m willing to see what will happen if I open,” then they will be open to learning and loving.
When they decide that the spiritual journey of becoming a loving human being is more important than whether or not they are hurt, rejected, controlled, or made a fool of, they will open. As long as they believe that the earthly journey of getting and controlling is more important than the spiritual journey of learning and loving, they will stay stuck.
Your soul remembers your spiritual journey. Your soul yearns to love and share love. Your soul yearns for the lightness of being that comes from opening to love. If you diligently practice inner Bonding, you will eventually connect with the deep desires of your soul and open your heart.