Friday, May 15, 2020

It was abuse, but you thought it was just the way that they loved

According to the national coalition against domestic violence, an average of twenty people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. 

It’s a sad and terrifying reality of modern relationships. 

And the worst part is, abusers are highly skilled at shifting the blame for their toxic behavior. They are experts at finding excuses to dodge any and all responsibility. 

Consider several of the most common abuse justifications. 

It wasn’t that bad. It was stress. It’s because they care so much. It didn’t really have much of an effect. It’s because they want things to get better. It’s just a phase. It hurt, but deep down there is love. It was just a moment of anger. 

Unacceptable, right? 

There is no excuse for abuse, as the activist mantra goes. 

And yet, we justify abusing ourselves every day. In all of those moments when we berate and act unkindly and torture ourselves mentally, the story we tell is no different than the spouse who hits their lover. 

If we don’t beat ourselves up about this behavior, then we will never change it. 

But it’s just another excuse. Shifting the blame. Dodging responsibility. 

If we have any intention of healing, then we have to figure out what story we are telling about the hurt. We have to interrupt the spiral of abuse before it gets out of control. We have to be gentle with the place inside of us that feel so bad. We have to stand with ourselves as a whole human beings, forgiving whatever imperfections we assume make us unlovable and worthless.

 In short, we have to open our hearts to ourselves.

Remember, lying takes skill, but honesty takes courage. 

Trust that telling the truth is the only way to exist in the future. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you bargaining with yourself to hold onto those abusive behaviors that don’t serve you?