Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I See Domestic Violence This Way

With so many news stories of late about sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, etc, it causes me to pause and ask, what is going on?  Actually nothing new as this has been around for centuries. Being a survivor of both domestic violence and sexual assault I have spent many years processing, forgiving and healing.  The forgiveness to others for their actions against me was given to them for my personl benefit.  Healing cannot take place until I choose to let go of their power over me and live may life to the best of my ability. This doesn't mean their actions were okay, nor that I forget about them, but that I no longer allow them to live in my head causing me to question and doubt my own choices and belief system.  I trust my judgement and know I am making choices that are in my best interest.

My definition and of abuse, "Anything I Say or Do That Violates the Golden Rule". That definition was adopted by me from (Terry Moore's batterer intervention program; Nonviolent Alternatives), where I was fortunate enough to have worked for two decades. The program teaches people to look within their own heart and conscience to decide for themselves if the life they are living is lived with integrity or abusive thinking patterns that are then acted upon against others ultimately living without integrity and causing their own bad outcomes.

We all have our moments of a lack of integrity, however a healthy thinking person will be made aware by their own mind/conscience, correct the wrong and work to not do it again. Once I have reconciled my conscience with the behavior and have deemed it abuse, I can no longer say, I didn't know that was abusive, thereby making any action of the same behavior in the future is done so by choice and disregard for others.

We keep asking ourselves over and over, why is "stuff" always happening to me?  If the statement has ever passed through your head, I suggest (as the " AA big book" would say),  make a deliberate searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Abusive actions are present in all of us. It is up to each individual to determine for themselves what needs changed in their life to bring their actions closer to the integrity they wish to live by and be seen by others as.

I recently had this conversation with a friend and stated that repeatedly trying to get someone to do something they don't want to do is abusive in nature. If they have told me, no I don't want to do that, then to insist upon my way to be had is abusive.  The only action with integrity would be to respect "their no" and move on. This acceptance on our part is a show of integrity and the ability to allow others to have their way allows them to maintain their dignity and self respect. To do anything less is a lack of integrity and thereby is an abusive action.

While I know there will be those who disagree with this idea of self recognition being possible and others will look at it and state how insignificant the trespass was, and I would say to those individuals I appreciate your opinion and recognize your choice and would respectfully disagree. If I am continually giving up on my own values to be in a relationship, I AM in the WRONG relationship!

Wishing all a day of joy, integrity and peace.