Healing the Effects of Abuse
You are magnificent! In fact, you are absolutely a fabulous, unique, one-of-a-kind masterpiece, and you are priceless! Has anyone ever told you that? Beginning right now, at this very minute, I am asking you to begin saying this to yourself every day until you believe it. Why? Because it is the truth!
Abuse is ugly and the pain of it sears the heart. It crushes and devastates the soul, and spirals one downward into an abyss of darkness. But that individual has the inborn power to climb out of that abyss, and I will share with you how this can be.
Abuse shows up in various forms: sexual, physical, emotional, financial, mental and verbal. Whatever form you experienced, it makes you feel lesser, small, weak, used and of little value. The reason is that the person doing this to you wants to control you because it makes them feel powerful. Why do they need to demean someone else to feel powerful? Because they don’t feel good about themselves inside, so if they crush you, they get a rush of power that boosts their ego and falsely convinces them they are in charge.
As they make you feel lesser and defective, you become the victim. If you hear it enough times – how horrible you are, how stupid, ugly or undesirable you are, you begin to believe it is a truth. We call this programming, or conditioning. From the moment you are born you are continuously programmed with the beliefs of other people: parents, grandparents, relatives, teachers, ministers, friends – everyone in your life. You don’t realize it of course, but you accept it as true because these are the significant people in your life. If they love you, you believe them even more deeply, accepting what they tell you unconditionally. After all, these people care about you so would only tell you truth, right?
Sadly however, these people in your life are only sharing with you what they have been taught, and often those things are based in fear. Fear-based thinking always expresses as negatives like anger, jealousy, rage, criticism, judgment, disappointment, rejection, harassment, control, shame, guilt, hurt, victim, abuse and much more. All of this programming comes from thoughts, and thoughts are alive!
You see, you and I are composed of energy, 99.99999…% energy. That means we are very little physical form. In fact, everything that is alive or ever was alive in this universe is composed of energy. Once energy is created it never dies, but continues to collect momentum as it travels wherever it is sent. Your thoughts are energy, and whatever thought you think in your mind creates your life experience. If you are thinking anger, the result will be an experience based in anger. Why? Because whatever energy you send out comes back the same to you; it’s the vibration that travels out and back. This is a law of the universe – likes attract likes – so it always brings back to you whatever you send out! Every thought is an investment that pays immediate dividends in your life experiences.
If on the other hand you have a heart full of love, it brings back to you good experiences and results. Love expresses as compassion, understanding, appreciation, acceptance, joy, peace, confidence, empowerment, kindness, humility. When you are appreciating something or someone, it is impossible to be in a negative space, so you bring back to you something good – it works like a boomerang.
What warrants mentioning is what we do to ourselves. I remember feeling so anxious and afraid for quite a few years, but didn’t know why. This anxiety created symptoms like nervousness, insomnia, digestive issues among other things. I didn’t like the symptoms so made the decision to take tranquilizers. I became addicted in time. Although I didn’t like the feeling of something controlling me like that, I didn’t like experiencing the symptoms. However, the dependency on those tranquilizers became an issue for me, so eventually I quit them. The withdrawal was not fun, and a veil of darkness overshadowed me for some weeks. However, it was the beginning of a new journey for me, one that had many questions and was seeking answers. After years of seeking and researching, I came to understand my internal fears, all of which were created because of my feeling of unworthiness. The symptoms I had experienced created a condition in my physical body called adrenal fatigue, which is simply self-inflicted stress.
Any type of addiction – street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, sex, abuse – we allow because we need to cover up something we cannot face. It is something we feel ashamed of, like our falsely believed perception of our worthlessness. So we hide behind the mask of these substances, but they can never help us heal. The tranquilizers, although they initially helped me eliminate the unpleasant symptoms I was experiencing, did not eliminate the core issue. And as I used the tranquilizers, I needed more and more to keep the symptoms at bay. So a dependency was created which was more abuse for me. I had placed myself in the mode of victim according to my choices, and I didn’t even realize it. In retrospect, I discovered that I was blaming all kinds of people and things for my feelings of worthlessness and the anxiety that plagued me for years. Yet actually, the negative feelings and the resulting emotional pain I experienced, even to the physical symptoms, were created in my thoughts because I allowed them to become my truth. I finally owned up to the fact that I had to change the way I thought and felt about myself if I was going to change my life and how I was living it.
So how do you begin to climb out of your abyss of pain and feelings of worthlessness? The first thing I had to learn as I traveled my personal healing journey from abuse (emotional, verbal and financial abuse mainly) was that I was born with the power of choice. That gave me the power to decide I wanted something different, something better. Later I understood that this was the vital first step for healing and changing my circumstances – I had to choose a different way to live. That may seem silly or impossible to you right now as the circumstances in your life may seem hard or depressing, leaving you feeling trapped. Although the circumstances may not change immediately, you absolutely must make the choice to change your life in order for God and the universe to begin helping you! We have to have the desire first. Remember when I talked earlier about energy, and how whatever goes out comes back the same? Well here’s how you put it to work for you. Think about the life you really want – minus the pain, hurt, abuse, anxiety – one that is full of good things and good people, and that energy will begin circulating into the universe and collecting momentum so it can come back to you over time.
Now it’s time for the second step. Envision the life that you want with pictures, images and emotion. How does it make you feel when you imagine a life in which you are happy, accepted, understood, appreciated and loved? See it in color with lots of details. Who would be with you? Where would you live? Those feelings associated with the dream/vision are what bring your dream to life, and that dream can then become real. Now understand something very important. If you start to doubt that dream, perhaps stepping back into your feeling of being a victim, you slow down the whole process because that is negative energy. Remember the energy thing – what you put out comes back to you every single time without fail. So you have to think good thoughts – what you really want in your life instead of what’s there now. Don’t sabotage yourself by slipping back into disbelief – you have to continually believe your life can change for the good in order to create that life, even when things around you right now are not what you want. Keep your dream alive by remembering the feeling of actually living in it! It may take a while to unfold, but patience is a masterful art that brings immeasurable rewards.
Here’s a tough one – the third step. It’s called surrender. Maybe you’ve tried many times to change things or change the way a particular person treats you. Perhaps you often hoped it would get better so you kept waiting for improvement, but it didn’t get better. You feel as if you tried really hard to fix everything, to be nice and do as you were told, yet it didn’t improve. Maybe you were threatened and felt very scared. However, if you learn to surrender your problems to God, you’ll be amazed at how a solution comes about. Surrender means literally letting go of any of the details for fixing anything – so hard for most people to do. We have been conditioned to take charge and “fix it”, yet we cannot ever “fix” another human being.
Now if you are in danger in any way, God would want you to protect yourself and find a way out of that danger. If you are in a situation in which you feel trapped, start asking God for help and anyone else you can. We are not to be helpless and endure the inflicted harm. We have to be strong and take care of ourselves, always thinking about what is good for us versus what is not good. Anything that harms us is obviously not a good choice.
The fourth step is all about seeing and understanding just how valuable you truly are. When you’ve been told you are a piece of trash, cursed at, or had demeaning names thrown at you so your ears burned, it is hard to believe in your worth. You may start out feeling okay, maybe even good about yourself, but over time these hateful words bore into your soul and the negative impact grows so that you lose your self-esteem and no longer feel valuable in any way. I understand that feeling only too well, but I have completely flipped the coin so to speak, and now appreciate and accept my own value and worth. I actually have come to love myself completely, just as I am!
Every one of us comes from the essence of love. Most people believe in a Higher Power of some kind; I call this power God. I personally believe I was created from God, and you were too. So that makes all of us part of the same energy, and the energy of God is love. We’re all made the same but with different gifts, abilities, physical looks and families. We are also made with the inborn power of choice, often referred to as free will. This means we are able to make choices throughout our life that create our life experiences. Every religion tells us that as a man thinks, so is he. So I go back to my earlier thoughts that in order to change your present life, you have to begin thinking differently. It’s not easy at first. Some people may laugh at you or tell you how stupid you are for thinking you can change anything, so perhaps it’s better to keep it to yourself unless you know they are truly your friend. (Real friends would not laugh or sneer at you) Know this fact, it can change!
The reason I know you can change your life is because I did it. It took time, years in fact, but it was worth every step I took to change my life. Now I am living a great life and I totally believe and know I am a priceless masterpiece, worthy of all good!
Finally, we reach the fifth step, the last one that completes the process. It’s really an easy one although for some it could be hard to believe. You simply begin thanking God and the universe for bringing your dream to you. Sound too simple? I understand it probably does, yet it really works. You see, the universal energy (vibration) of gratitude is always positive and comes from love, so it can only bring you good things. Oh, you may temporarily experience something unpleasant – maybe you need to learn a lesson or two so you can step into your dream – but in the end, if you continually say “Thank you” before your dream even arrives, it will show up! Every time I have implemented this and all the previous steps I’ve shared, my dream has unfolded in perfection, usually better than I imagined. It always amazes me how this works. Remember, it is impossible to be grateful for something and be negative. So gratitude opens you to a place where loving expressions appear for you. We talked about this – likes attract likes – which means that positive thoughts and feelings bring positive blessings and outcomes.
Does it seem difficult to be thankful, given all the abuse you’ve experienced? Begin by being thankful for your very life. Be thankful for your children, parents, friends, spouse, even if they don’t always act nicely toward you. Be thankful for people who have helped you along the way. Appreciate the sun that shines and the rain that waters the earth so nature thrives. Be thankful for your material possessions even if they seem scarce. Be grateful for the little things – a smile, a kind word, a helping hand, or a beautiful flower that catches your eye as you walk by. And yes, be thankful for your challenges, for even those are gifts. Through those challenges you have the opportunity to overcome them and become a victor! When you begin living in a place of gratitude, you will live differently and automatically open to receive more good.
Sometimes we don’t see how everything works out until after the fact. That’s okay. It’s just important to see it eventually and grasp the full meaning for your life so you can continue to live the way you want to live. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so understand your healing journey involves taking one step, then the next step, then another, until you reach your dream. It is never a quick fix solution! It may mean you need to seek help to overcome your feelings of worthlessness, perhaps the help of a coach or counselor, or perhaps a support group for abused individuals who wish to step out of being the victim and become a victor. Remember this one important fact of life: You were born with an incredible power – the power of choice – so no matter what has happened in your life, you have the power to step out of that old, painful story and create the life you want to live. I believe in you and I see your magnificence, a one-of-a-kind priceless masterpiece. Not only this, but I see you can become whole, happy, confident, prosperous and completely empowered. Right now, today, is the time to begin your journey into empowerment!
I imagine all of you reading this article know who Oprah Winfrey is. She is most assuredly an example of someone who has received the desires of her heart, and then some. But did you know that she was once fired from her job as a reporter and was told by her employer to give up reporting and anything to do with communication work because she was no good at it – a very unhealthy set-up for failure and feelings of worthlessness. However, instead of accepting that employer’s thought and words as a truth for her, she stepped away from that negative perception and created what she envisioned as her truth – that she could be more! I close now with what she said.
“I live in the space of thankfulness—and I have been rewarded a million times over for it. I started out giving thanks for the small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because what you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”
Dear friends…Create your vision…dream your dreams…then step into living them! May Peace and Love flow your way from this moment on.
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