If we just look at self-abuse, this topic alone is huge, with many not even realising they are being abusive. A subtle example of self-abuse could simply be ignoring our bodies many messages of wisdom. Our body is like a loving best friend, constantly impulsing us, and yet how often do we ignore these subtle messages at our own expense. A more extreme example of self-abuse is cutting which is huge in teenagers today.
Moving to look at abuse in families, where do I start, on the outside families frequently want to present a front that everything is fine, but when you truly get to know what is going on behind closed doors, there is a miserable existence for many members, and frequently far worse, psychological and emotional abuse is rife, which makes you question well if families are meant to love one another what is going on here? Some people choose to bury the truth and go into denial, the truth being too painful to accept.
With abuse being endemic at these foundational levels it stands to reason that it will spread out into the community, towns, countries and the world. One notorious example of abuse in the world is the behaviours of Catholic Church priests, bishops, etcetera, how they have abused over the ages and got away with it is now very well-documented. The amount of paedophilia, greed, control and corruption that goes on in this organisation is widespread and the fact that they allow their appointed ministers to repeat these horrific crimes, through protecting them and moving them from parish to parish, is beyond despicable.
But while we can look at the extremes of abuse in the world it is also important to bring understanding to where we are allowing the subtle (or not so subtle) abuse in our own lives.
After all it is all the small abuses that collectively create the large pool of abuse with its various extremes.
I have found that if I bring it back to ask, where am I allowing abuse in my own life (and why) it supports me to see the not so obvious places that I have been investing in holding myself less than the fullness I naturally am.
What part have I played in this, how am I also responsible, are sometimes hard questions to ask but they are worthwhile. The important thing to remember is that this does not excuse another for abusing you as they are also responsible for their part, but this process does empower you to look at where you can close the gaps that allow abuse in.
Earlier in my life, when confronted with someone who was cruel or abusive to me I would have gone into being a victim, now, I see this as an opportunity to reflect on my life and look at how I am being with myself, this can be as subtle as choosing to stay with myself, be very present with myself in everything I do, so I can observe rather than react to what is happening around me. With this understanding I am able to bring fresh purpose to the importance of being present and cherishing myself.
I am choosing to see all the areas of abuse that are in my life, so I am able to heal these and let them go, and to instead embrace a way of living that is loving, honouring, harmonious, and cherishing of myself, so reflecting this to the world.