Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several women who have suffered from abuse in their lives. I am definitely not an expert on abuse (pardon any naivety) but feel compelled to share a few insights based on the profound experiences I’ve shared with these women.
First, abuse is slippery and not easily identifiable to the recipient, even when it might be blatant to a bystander.
Second, it can be hidden for years.
Third, it takes an incredible amount of STRENGTH to forge forward in life after experiencing such trauma, strength that makes it difficult for some to relate to the term ‘victim of abuse.’ The lack of identification with the term ‘victim,’ a perceived weakness, can in some cases create denial of the reality.
Fourth, it takes an incredible amount of COURAGE for ‘survivors of abuse’ to face the feelings associated with the abusive experiences. Sometimes, the easier path seems to be to compartmentalize or bury the feelings and just move on. Inevitably, like other situations in life, the day will come when the unprocessed emotions creep up in some form or another until they are processed.
Fifth, my recent experiences serve as a glaring reminder of the importance of two of the Four Agreements by Miguel Ángel Ruiz: (1) never make assumptions and (2) never take anything personal. We simply have no idea what the lady behind us or the man in front of us have been through or why they’re behaving a certain way. Accessing our kindness and compassion over judgment and assumptions might impact someone more than we’d ever know.
Finally, I’ve come to see the powerful role that Reiki can play in the healing process. During a session, some of the emotional charge is released from the energy body, allowing a space to verbally process the experiences and feelings. Within one session, the painful fog can begin to lift, which is a huge gift for someone who has been suffering.
Again, these have been my insights into something I do not have much experience with or training in. I share this as a general reminder that we never know someone’s story. So again, choose compassion and kindness over judgment and assumptions. Even when it’s hard, takes more energy, or isn’t what we want to do.