Why we take abuse for care and how to fix it

How to Distinguish Caring from Violence

  1. Reinterpret abuse: call violence violence, torture – torture, exploitation – exploitation, rape – rape, etc. This will help switch from self-destruction to protest and indignation, concern for less of this in the world, and, finally, care About Me.
  2. Create foundations for the practice of discriminating between violence and caring (more about this below). This will interrupt the self-replicating cycle of violence.
  3. Sort everyday life: sort out which events correspond to abuse or self-abuse, which ones correspond to caring for you shown by others, or taking care of yourself. The former promote self-denial, the latter – self-acceptance.

How can this be done?

The practice of discerning violence and caring is good to do in therapy, in the context of a respectful and supportive relationship with a counselor, or in a self-help format. Start observing the events in your life and sorting them into four types: external violence, self-abuse, external concern, self-care.

This can be done in any suitable form: just try to notice and name what is happening to you, or fill out the following plate at a convenient time.

Benefits of Practices That Help Distinguish Caring and Abuse

  • People have their own desires, intentions and preferences, they are easier to recognize. The energy appears for their embodiment.
  • The number of fears is reduced.
  • The feeling of “confusion”, “not one’s own life”, “gaps in history” decreases. We begin to perceive our life as more connected, clear, accessible to control.
  • A kinder attitude towards ourselves and towards people is born, because now we experience fewer fears associated with them.
  • The effect of isolation, which has arisen due to abuse: “life is like through fog or cloudy glass”, disappears.
  • The power of the consequences of violence is weakening: in our lives there is less self-punishment, self-destruction, thoughts about death and about ourselves as a “hindrance”.
  • We can calmly define our boundaries, fears can no longer prevent this.
  • We are better at defining violence and do not engage in abusive relationships.
  • The desire to live grows within us.

When you notice the appearance of any of these effects (usually after one to two weeks or a month of this practice), it is useful to start recalling earlier events in life that can be attributed to manifestations of self-care. A caring, loving attitude towards yourself can be expressed not only in actions, but also in thoughts, intentions, decisions, desires or attempts to make yourself better.

These episodes, large and small, can be recorded, given names, time and place. Gradually, they begin to take shape in history. Perhaps, in parallel, you will remember the moments of care and love from others.

Then you can recall earlier episodes of life related to violence by others, name these events and determine your attitude towards them: for example, outrage, protest, or disagreement. And continue the daily practice of distinguishing between violence and love.

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