There is far too much abuse spreading across local communities and global cultures. Even worse than the atrocities which have so feverishly been amplified through the news is the terror that hits right in our own home, our own space, our own hearts.
We all demonstrate our love for friends and family through our actions and words. We praise our children for their creativity and well mannered behavior. We record heartfelt, or even gut busting voice mails in celebration of our friends’ birthdays. We clean up the aftermath when our loved ones become car sick. We caress our partners hands during tender moments in the theater. We patiently repeat the same details over and over to our parents whose memory no longer serves them.
The abuse enters the room when we don’t reciprocate those same loving acts and words to our selves. When we allow others to physically intimidate us and say it’s just a scratch. When we allow verbal weapons to be shot in our direction and simply duck into the other room. When we put out a call for help, then send the line to a dial tone before the real work can be done. Physical intimidation, verbal attacks, emotional distress, even bitter silence in the wake of argument and confrontation are all forms of abuse. They neglect the body, mind, heart and soul. They never serve our needs. They never end with compromise or compassion. And they certainly never come from love.
If abuse has entered the walls of your home, your heart, your soul, the ONLY defense you have is a self defense. Love yourself enough to say “NO.” “That’s enough compadre.” “I won’t permit this behavior in my home.” “I love you but our relationship isn’t making either of us happy.”
And sometimes, sometimes, it’s necessary to take actions into our own hands, guard against a blow, shield our identity or release our own metaphorical punch for the sake of protecting our inner loved one. And for those who are lucky enough to find the love in protecting our selves, he will win the argument, she will defeat the villain and will come out undefeated every time the bell rings.
There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear.
Deepak Chopra, The Path to Love