I recently used this image on a social media post….and I had to deliberate as to whether or not I should share details regarding my own personal story. The post was centered around a few pieces of abstract art I recently did…I’ll toss those images in throughout this post. You see, my family, like many out there today, has experienced an element of abuse. However, I also find, that dredging up things and re-hashing stories, in some ways only serves to glorify the abuser, and so I chose to exercise restraint in this case. In the post I vaguely hinted at PTSD instead.
I strongly believe that art is an immensely powerful tool in healing us, much like dreaming allows the broken parts of our mind to heal us. So, all of this is to say that overcoming abuse, and taking our power back is a huge part of my cause and driving motivators in developing this site. And, because of my own experience with using art to heal myself, when I highlight art on the site – it’s more than just a pretty picture to me. To me, art is empowerment, art is a way of showing the broken parts of our soul and letting them be beautiful, broken and all.
As a result of my personal challenges, I believe I have an added level of empathy and understanding for those who are hoping to work their way out of a difficult situation. I know first hand how gripping and hard it can be. And so, every once in awhile, I plan to share tidbits that I learn along the way, that I hope will help educate people to understand and recognize abuse, and hopefully to speak gently to the victims. I find that for those that have never truly experienced it – they will never truly understand, and it almost seems illogical why a person would stay with an abuser or in an abusive situation. However, we have to understand that abuse, by it’s very definition is abnormal, and so the beliefs of the victim have been turned completely upside down. Logic and what would seem so easy to a healthy person on the outside, would seem like sure death to the victim, because most times – they change their beliefs as a means of survival.
As a qualifier, when I say abuse, I am NOT referring to being denied to bring your pet iguana to work, or being cut off of the internet for not doing chores. I am referring to an actual survival situation, with no judgements about severity or a “who’s suffered more” attitude. I am referring to a very specific situation: an abuser with an imbalance of some sort – typically there’s an element of ego involved, which causes the abuser to either knowingly or unknowingly harm another in an effort to heal their own broken ego. This could be physical, but more often, it is emotional. So many abuse victims wish the abuser would just hit them, because then people would see the bruises instead of thinking they are crazy, or a whiner.
The problem with emotional abuse that makes it so insidious is that it brings with it a tangled web of the abuser’s broken psyche, and the victim (for lack of a better word) has to then try and navigate their own tangled thinking that developed in order for them to survive. What a mess. And this is why we ALWAYS show love to other people – because, we have no idea, how broken they are inside. And, yet, at the same time, we strengthen ourselves. We make ourselves so stong, resilient and bulletproof that another person cannot toy with us, or manipulate us. In other words, they can’t hurt us, if we don’t let them. And this takes a massive amount of strength and resilience. It starts with self love, just a little bit, every day. Taking a few minutes, each day to remember why we are good people, what qualities we have that are true gifts, why we are proud of ourselves, and doing that one thing we love that reminds us, “Hey – you’re beautiful, and you’re worth it”. If we can tap into the play center of our brain and have rituals that pull us out of our slumps – even better. I believe there is a strong deficit in culture today, it’s a deficit of the mind, and discipline of our thoughts. Our mind is so precious, and internal dialogue is where all growth either starts or stops.
So – having said all that, one of my personal favorite tips is to create a happy playlist. In our family we use this as a ‘play’ routine and makes the whole house a happy place. And no – we DON’T have kids – well, not at home anymore! So, after we would get home from work, (ugh – traffic, stress, grumpies, etc) we would put on the happy playlist. Well, I do, and my husband tolerates it – lol! Before either one of us says a word, the playlist goes on, and on a good day we strip down to our chonies and dance like no one is watching. On a not so good day, I dance, he tolerates it, and cracks a smile by the end of the playlist. Lol! I can’t believe I am actually divulging this!!! After some time developing this little habit, as soon as the playlist goes on, anytime at all – I feel an instant perk up. If I’m feeling down – perks me right up. If we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, it will perk at least one of us up. Win-win! So – what’s one thing you can do to start a happy, play ritual? OR What songs are on your happy play list? I would love to hear. And, if you’re interested to hear some of my other hacks and tips, why not sign up for my free 7 day wellness course? Drop your email below and your in the club!