Someone once said to me “Do not allow abuse … Do not allow abuse in your life.” It took me a while to understand what this truly meant.
I thought abuse all fell under one umbrella. That I could simply stop abuse in one go. That abuse was one big term – Abuse. Yet there was much more to see. There was not just one door to close, but many.
Initially when I heard “Do not allow abuse”, the obvious forms of abuse stood out to me: things like being yelled at, being bullied or made to feel less than someone else, being talked down to in a condescending manner, violence in the household (domestic violence), physically hurting another, being hit, or hitting someone, calling someone names. These are all obvious forms of abuse.
When I was younger, I was aware enough to know these forms of abuse were not OK. I would stand in the face of them and say “I will not allow abuse.” Sometimes I would say this directly to the perpetrator themselves and other times I would hold my own with the knowing that I was not allowing the abuse to affect me, not contracting away from the force of abuse being directed at me but not engaging with it either.
What I found interesting in situations where I would directly state “I will not allow abuse”, was that I was often met back with the response that there was no abuse taking place, despite the fact that I was being talked down to, yelled at, called names or having anger directed towards me. It came to my understanding that this was ‘normal’ behaviour for many of us and that much more abuse takes place within families than we are aware of; that family members are able to get away with it under the guise of the notion of ‘family’.
To simply stand there stating “I will not allow abuse”, was not enough to stop abuse in my life. It was a starting point, but not an end point. I say this because I got to a stage where I continuously felt affected by various forms of abuse taking place around me. The energy of abuse felt like it was in my body. And it was … it was getting in because I did not want to see where I was allowing abuse in my life due to attachments I had to certain people being a certain way.
We are innately connected to each other but we often don’t live with this awareness and understanding. Instead we live as individuals separated from one another following our own individual pursuits. From my own perspective, I had expectations of others to be a certain way. Yet, when we have expectations of others, or impose our ideals on how relationships should be (i.e. wanting to be a ‘good’ or ‘happy’ or ‘harmonious’ family), this is imposition. Any imposition is a form of abuse and offers the space for abuse to occur because it sets up others to react to the imposition.
But what exactly is ‘the energy of abuse’?
As I let myself feel where I was allowing abuse, I also began to realise that in order for me to experience being abused I had to be the one to allow it in. I had to be the one that said yes to abuse, which is anything that does not confirm us in all that we truly are. This is happening everywhere, all the time. In everyday conversation we abuse one another simply by not first connecting to who we are, who each other is, and honouring this in the way we speak to each other. This differs from self-abuse, which is living in any manner ourselves, that does not confirm who we truly are.
Observing abuse from a physical point of view, I could only see it as the pointed attacks from another person, the directed and obvious ones that were undoubtedly aimed at seeking advantage over another, or as a way of seeking a form of protection or control over life. But seeing it from a physical point of view was not enough as I still felt muddied by abuse that I was slowly beginning to let myself see more of.
It was around this time that I began to be more aware of the subtleties of abuse that were not just about what I could see, but also about allowing any energy that did not confirm the essence of who I am, to enter my body.
Taking an energy into my body to feel it for myself, instead of feeling it around me, was a form of abuse that I had allowed for the most part of my life, instead of reading and observing what was happening around me. I did not want to see what was happening because it was ugly. Much less did I want to feel that I was a part of that ugliness.
When I realised that abuse is allowing an energy that is not true to who I am to enter my body, it was like the ball dropped. I finally got the simplicity of the teaching:
“Observe and not absorb.”
Serge Benhayon, Esoteric & Exoteric Philosophy ‘The Sayings’, Ed 1, p 20
We are innately clairsentient beings, meaning that we have the ability to feel and sense energy very clearly. Yet we learn to absorb instead of observe; taking on that which is not ours – a poison and a form of self-abuse.
Absorbing muddies us, preventing us from living who we truly are.
I reached a point in my late teens where I didn’t even want to look at myself in the mirror because I felt so muddied by what I had absorbed. All I could see was the ugliness of what I’d taken on in my reflection: the anger, sadness and abuse of the world that was being stored in my body where it did not belong.
By taking on the emotions of others because I truly believed that compassion and understanding for another meant sympathising and empathising with them, I was absorbing this into my own body and stepping into the mud with them.
How is another able to see anything but the mud, if the person they are confiding in, who had the potential to be a true support, is also covered in mud? Heralded as ‘good’, we learn this from a very young age by observing those closest to us, our parents and siblings. Then, as we grow up and our focus widens beyond our family, we see that everyone relates to each other this way and it becomes a pattern of interaction we ourselves adopt as a form of social exchange … it becomes normal. It is not until we are presented with an opportunity to closely observe our own behaviour in such exchanges, that we recognise how we have been stepping into the mud in these exchanges, rather than observing and understanding them for what they truly are. We can then observe instead of slipping into the shoes of another and can understand so much more this way as we are no longer taking on the emotions of a situation.
If life is about evolution, which it is, then we are here to support one another to live our true and equal grandness, where we relate in a way that honours and supports the body, rather than being in the poison of emotional exchanges that drain and deplete us. When we live in this emotion-soup, we stop being the mirror for someone else to see that there is a more loving way to be, free of the strangle-hold of intense emotions (the mud).
I can say now that I have closed some of the doors on abuse, but there are still many more to shut. Observing and not absorbing is an unfolding process. Anything that does not confirm who we are, is abuse, while our truth is in responding to our true sensitivity and our Soul. This allows the true movement of joy, love, stillness, harmony, and truth which together are everything that abuse is not.
By Giselle Cavanagh, Australia