Abuse – my understanding so far

by James Nicholson BNat, Somerset, England

The origins of the word abuse come from the Latin abus – ‘misused’; from the verb abuti, from ab – ‘away’ (i.e. ‘wrongly’) + uti ‘to use’. Yet we see that the law defines abuse as ‘the mental or physical mistreatment of a person, frequently resulting in serious emotional, mental, physical, and/or sexual injury’. In my mind, when I think of abuse I used to think of it as domestic violence – a man beating his wife; or sexual abuse, with the extreme connotations that I had been conditioned to think of it.

So what is it that we define abuse to be? Surely it should not only be any extreme action, and how can we define ‘serious’? Words and their meanings, over time, get changed to suit what we en-masse would like them to mean or define. Could it be possible that abuse, or being abusive towards another or ourselves, is simply any act, gesture, thought etc. that is not coming from and with love. From the Latin where the word takes its origins it could be expanded to be a mis-use of energy.

If we were to take this definition as being a possibility, then it would and does expose the level of abuse I have been with myself and with others. I could then say all my relationships, including friendships, have been abusive. Yet this level or form of abuse as a whole we put down to being ok, normal and an acceptable part of life… at least I certainly did.

The problem we here come to is that levels of abuse in relationships are seen as ok. We have graded abuse and put it into categories, we use excuses for it. Since when was it acceptable to treat a partner or family member any differently to someone else simply because it is behind closed doors? Since when is it ok to vent all your anger and frustration that you have, un-dealt with, towards those closest to you? Is it because you know you will get away with it … but still why on earth would you want to treat those closest to you, those that you hold dearest to you, at times with such distaste and utter contempt? I know my mum over the years has copped a lot from me.

What causes us to be abusive? Could it be that one of the causes of our abusive tendencies can be simply expressed as ‘a reaction to our unexpressed thoughts and emotions that we would have liked life or situations to be, being expressed at a later date’ – so it is like a venting, a coping mechanism. Whether it be getting really annoyed during a conversation, and not really saying what you felt to say, then leaving the room and slamming the door. With the resulting displacement of energy sending shudders through yours, and whoever else’s body that is nearby.

There are countless examples of what I would now call abuse which prior to my involvement with Universal Medicine I would have seen as an acceptable norm. For me anything that does not come with love is abuse. Any hidden agenda, form of control, any remark or action that is not loving, is abusive. Why do we allow it to go to more extreme forms of abuse before we do anything about it? What is it that allows us to let ourselves and others get away with it?

Whilst I am not here trying to present any answers, simply possibilities, could it be that underneath it all we have not committed to love, and nothing but love, as our foundation, our basis of life. If we were to, then surely anything that is not love will stand out like a sore thumb.

506 thoughts on “Abuse – my understanding so far

  1. I agree with what has been shared, that abuse is an excess of outward expression of the stagnation of not being willing to be love. Personally it then became the engagement into the pictures of love and lacking the greater commitment and love towards myself and then others. “From the Latin where the word takes its origins it could be expanded to be a mis-use of energy.”

  2. I think many of the reactions we experience when we talk about abusive behaviours, in any form, come from us resisting love and by that resisting being more of ourselves. When we are in relationships, be it with a partner or in a friendship there is always a constant calling to be more of ourselves.

  3. That is very true.. When we have such movements, it shows us that underneath — we have unresolved layers that do not hold truth or the love in our lives that we are worth. Meaning that we have empty pockets, where doors are no longer sealed, but an entry for the lovelessness. Hence, The Way of the Livingness simply proves a supportive way of living (with practical everyday tools) how to build more love and truth in your foundation in your life. So that the emptiness gets filled up by our own choice to bring love back in. How profound and powerful is that?

  4. “Why do we allow it to go to more extreme forms of abuse before we do anything about it? What is it that allows us to let ourselves and others get away with it?” Great questions to ponder on. Could the constantly making excuses for ourselves and others when there is any form of abuse, be from not wanting to deepen the love for ourselves and therefore not deepening the love, openness and intimacy with the other person. Each person is affected, the one being abusive and the one accepting the abuse, it is the same poison. Both are abusing themselves.

  5. It appears to me that the starting point of abuse, the little forms of abuse many of us inflict on ourselves every day, has been overlooked with the focus on the more ‘shocking’ abuse that we see reported regularly. But isn’t abusing ourselves in any form, minor or otherwise, shocking? So perhaps going back to the beginning, back to when we are young, is the place to start to begin to understand why anyone would want to abuse themselves or another in the first place.

  6. There is opt out we often use, where we think our level of abuse is somehow fine, but we’re avoiding the responsibility of who we are – we’re made of love, yet we live in a way that is less than that love and we at times see that as our right, in fact we can champion it. The truth here is we want to do things on our terms, in our time and we do not want to face the fact that we’ve championed abuse because it’s suited us. There’s an honesty needed here to see and feel that the abuse we’re tolerated adds to the cesspool of abuse all of us as a humanity can access. We need to start cleaning up in our own back yards.

  7. You are so right in saying that anything that is not love is abuse. There seem however to be many different levels of severity of abuse, all depending on our own past, and our current sensitivity to what is not true. A wise man has said that what is not loving is harming.

  8. When reading through your words James it becomes clear that not expressing our truth results in the abuse we have in the world. We learn to deal with things and all find a way and flavour we seemingly favour or that ‘suits’ us, but with that we basically invite abuse in as we open the door for endless versions of how life could be that however has nothing to do with the truth we know deep down – our natural way of being.

  9. We tend to think of ab-use as an action primarily directed to someone else aimed at imposing something through force (physical or otherwise). The action targets the body and its energetic makeup. It targets the target’s particles. It is about bringing them together as much as possible, so the person feels just human and re-acts from there. Yet, you cannot ab-use other unless you have ab-used yourself first. Ab-use is therefore, an action executed from someone who is divine but chooses to play human to make sure that someone else who is also divine acts humanly.

  10. What I got from reading this blog today, is that abuse is a result of those moments where we do not accept the love that is on offer each day. Every time we reject that which is being offered, is abuse to our being and all the people we live with.

  11. As human beings we tend to use a sliding scale for what we call abuse or not, while in truth there is only one truth and that is simply abuse is when we act or behave not from love.

  12. James, this is a great topic to open up for us to ponder on. I am beginning to become more aware of how many times during my life (and there were many) where I was less than love either with myself or with others, amounted to nothing less that abuse. This is a very bitter pill to swallow but now through reading your blog I know that I can turn this around, through ensuring henceforth that all my expression come from a loving foundation.

  13. As I move continually, on a daily basis deeper into the love that is inside of me I become aware of another layer of abuse, that maybe just yesterday, I would have classed as normal. This awareness is a very personal one for each of us and only comes to light when we take steps towards the love we are that this article brings to our attention.

  14. There are layers and layers to this I am starting to unravel. How willing are we to see we have been abusive to those we love? When you talk about the low levels of abuse we have taken as normal, acceptable and just OK like “so it is like a venting, a coping mechanism” then I have had a few when I have been tired, irritable, stressed, rushed. None of them have been OK and yet when you let one little one slide what is to say you don’t let the next, and the next and the next till it is much larger?

  15. It almost seems like the more people avoid expressing the love that is naturally and innately inside of them from birth, the more they resort to abusive behaviours to vent their frustration or resentment for dealing with their own hurts in this destructive way.

  16. This is a beautiful pondering on what abuse really is. I love the wording ‘a mis-use of energy’. This makes it so clear that every move I make that is not founded in love will be abusive.

  17. We flippantly use the term abuse to think of what we receive from, or do to another, but since when is abuse just this? We are way more abusive with ourselves than we truly realise and given our limited scope of what we term abuse, it would seem we are also trying to cover up the fact.

  18. Could it be that we have not committed to love – this is true for me. I was oblivious to how energies play out and that there was a choice to be made. I allowed whatever came through me to act it out as my ‘personality’ or ‘temperament’ and claimed that there was nothing I could do and it was others’/circumstance’s fault that I would be that way. And I am aware if I am not consciously choosing love, I would still let it slip and allow abuse. It is a relationship that needs to be built consistently and diligently, and it is a commitment.

  19. It is easy to see the abusive behaviours that are glaringly obvious, but not see the small steps of abuse that lead up to the extreme behaviour. As we start to bring self love and self care into our lives, our understanding of abuse expands to the point where we realise that anything that does not come from love is abusive.

  20. This brings to light the total responsibility we all hold in the way we are with ourselves and to heal our hurts, as from this point the way we relate to others and the world is determined and magnified. As the fact is that our bodies are moved by the quality we are aligning to, the quality we allow to move us. And if it is not love, it is loveless, which is abusive to who we are in essence.

  21. On another note, while reading this so many relationships and interactions came to mind and how I can clearly see they are abusive…. yet I sat here feeling thirsty and needing to use the washroom. As it is said ‘same same’ just different… or less severity but still abuse.

  22. I could have written something about every line you wrote James, powerful stuff! This though stood out the most for me because it is such a sneaky form of abuse, “Any hidden agenda, form of control, any remark or action that is not loving, is abusive.” that is often overlooked and masked sometimes as ‘caring’ and being dutiful.

    1. After becoming a student of Universal Medicine and studying there for some years I too have come to this awareness, but before that I was not aware and allowed a lot of abuse in my life I then accepted as being normal. That said means that as people we can have a different experience with abuse and what we call abuse or not, all dependent of how much we allow ourselves to be aware.

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