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Are You Pushing Your Abuser Down?

rotting leaves
Do you want your abuser to rot in hell?

Let’s Say You Were Abused

Most of us have been there on some level.

Maybe it was the extreme of physical or sexual abuse. Torture even. Or maybe it was more emotional abuse. Maybe you experience your employer as abusing you financially.

I saw a small version of abuse just yesterday at the Post Office when a teenage boy lipped off at his mom for 10 minutes in front of everyone.

There are so many ways to experience abuse.

But Let’s Say You Want to Move Past It

How do you do that? Abuse runs deep in the mind. And it may be hard to move on when you know that what your abuser did was wrong.

This is why, years after abuse, it is common for people to keep feeling like a victim, powerless and angry.

But there’s something worth noticing.

And it Can Come Out when you Do The Work

I find that one of the keys to letting go of abuse is to notice where you’re still pushing down your abuser. This awareness often comes out of your examples for the “turnaround to the other” when you’re doing The Work.

It takes stillness to see.

What they did was wrong. No doubt. There’s no condoning that.

But notice where you take their abuse and hammer them with it in your mind. This is your part. This is where you hurt yourself. And when you’re doing this, there is no way to disengage from the pain.

Your mind is engaged in punishing them. And that keeps bringing you back to the scene of the crime, over and over. Trying to right a wrong in a way that can never work. You are literally torturing yourself by pushing them down.

It Hurts to Push Someone Down

Even if that person was abusive to you, it hurts to push them, to attack them, to wish them to suffer, even if you only do it in your mind.

When you notice how you’re doing this, it can level the playing field a bit. It can tone down the righteousness. And it can help you to unhook from the pain.

Yes, they were abusive. No need to deny that. But where is the pain coming from now? In my experience it’s coming from where I continue to abuse myself and my abuser by wanting them to suffer.

Have a great week,

“If you haven’t undone your painful thoughts, you can get into a bubble bath, light candles, recite positive affirmations, pamper yourself in every way–and once you’re out of the tub, the same thoughts will come back to haunt you.” — Byron Katie, I Need Your Love–Is That True?

Todd Smith has been doing The Work of Byron Katie on an almost daily basis since 2007. He is just as excited about this simple process of self-inquiry today as he was when he first came across it. He also enjoys writing about The Work, and training others in the subtleties of this meditative process. Join Todd for The Work 101 online course, private sessions, virtual retreats, and his ongoing Inquiry Circle group.