Before we dive deep, I’m going to explicitly state that for the purposes of this exploration I’m focusing specifically on issues relating to adults who are on a path of conscious living. Children are a different matter, and though the concepts can be adaptable, it requires an appropriate translation which I am choosing not to explore today.
That caveat aside, the instant I wrote the subject line for this email, I buried my head in my hands for a moment.
I thought to myself:”How can I even begin to answer this question?”(The question was asked of me in response to “Not Liking Something Is Not A Valid Reason To Reject It”). As I felt the gravity of exploring this very sensitive and sad topic, my heart sank.
A part of me cried for adults and children alike. Abuse and violations are rampant in our world. They range from the extremes of murder, rape, war, and genoicide – to the smaller scale violations of not trusting our inner guidance, not standing up for ourselves or others when it’s right to do so, or even the momentary inner betrayals of falling back into the pains of unwanted habits that we’re trying to break free from.
The thing is, what I’m about to share applies to all of those situations… big and small alike. It may not seem so at first, but the thread is common.
Loretta had asked me: “If I am being violated, is it okay to reject the behavior? As in, ‘I dislike being in a space with someone who is violating my sense of self either emotionally, spiritually, physically and/or psychologically.’And if it is okay to reject the violating behavior, how do I reject the violation while still showing the person acceptance and love? Is there a key to seeing past the behaviors that I perceive as violating (which are being exhibited unintentionally and sometimes intentionally) and focusing instead on the essence and wholeness of the person when my sense of self is being pummeled and I am knocked out of center? (Which, interestingly enough, at these precise times, I do not feel whole myself.) How can I be closer to the person in love in that moment, when many things that I am working on healing in my sense of self is hurting and wants to push them away? ”
There is no easy answer to the questions Loretta raises. And while there are many ways to look at this, my intention is always to point people back to themselves for the Truth. The reason is that when we look only to solve the symptoms (abuse and violations), we’re looking at the results – not the cause. When we seek the Truth, we look for the cause which then prevents the symptoms from ever surfacing. This is also just a small part of why today’s discussion isn’t going to focus on children, but rather, adults like you and me who are committed to to living conscious, intentional lives.
To be explicitly clear: abuse and being violated is never okay.This isn’t a moral judgment. It’s an expression of compassion and our humanity. It simply isn’t okay to betray other people, nor is it okay to betray ourselves. Yes, it happens. Yes we all do it. And that doesn’t make it okay. And when I say “not okay,” it’s about the pain we feel. The pain of betraying ourselves informs us that we’re moving away from our True Nature.
Pain is like a compass. When its cause is betrayal, we can be sure that we’ve taken a step away from living our best, most abundant life.
When the pain is of healing – it’s not really pain of the Present moment. It is the pain of the past being released, and in this case, the compass is pointing us towards our best, most abundant life.
Unfortunately, abuse and violating behavior are part of the world we live in whether we “like” this fact or not. For this reason, acceptance of the behaviors is absolutely necessary. We must accept that it is part of our world because the rejection of it only furthers its energy… makes it stronger… makes it more painful.
Rather than focusing on the other person’s behavior as what needs fixing, I would suggest pointing the compass back towards ourselves. Taking responsibility for our perceptions and actions.
Specifically, consider the possibility that setting a clear boundary, and enforcing that boundary, is not inherently rejecting anything. It is affirming your Truth, your Being, and what you need to thrive in life.There is a world of difference between pushing somebody or something away (rejecting) and standing ones’ own ground with a clear boundary. Also consider the possibility that accepting and loving somebody does not require us to condone their behaviors. I liken this to the metaphor, “You’re not a bad child. You’re a well-intentioned child who did something that was hurtful to another being.” And consider the possibility that acceptance does not mean inaction. I believe it was Eckhart Tolle who said (paraphrasing) that when we are in an abusive situation, acceptance does not mean we sit there and stay still and be at peace with it.Acceptance means we see the situation for what it is, choose to remain at peace, and if possible take an action that removes us from the abusive situation or proactively seeks to reconcile it in an affirming way. The reality is that there is *no* easy answer to Loretta’s question. Books or even volumes of books could be written about it and the topic would still have much to explore. Every situation is different. In that light, my intention is not to fully answer the question that she posed. Instead, I focus on giving you more perspectives to explore within and see what is true for you. You may have a different experience or solution that is appropriate that nobody else would have thought of. And if you’re ever in an abusive or violating situation (God help you, I hope that isn’t the case), you may have to find the Truth that applies specifically to your situation.
I don’t know.
What I do know, is that my heart aches for every person on this planet who experiences abuse or violations both in big and small ways.
My heart aches for the person who tries to kick an unhealthy habit.
My heart aches for the person who has an abusive family member, friend, or significant other.
My heart aches for those of us who are in deep physical pain.
My heart aches for those who are in deep emotional pain.
My heart aches for these things and many more.
These heartaches are signposts.
They’re compasses that let me know there is more healing to be done in our world. They are neither good nor bad. My hope is that by empowering you with new opportunities to discover your own Truth, perhaps you’ll find ways to heal a little bit of that pain within yourself…And by extension, help heal the rest of the world a little bit as well.
Your Partner In Transformation,Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life