I used to think of abuse as being a very physical thing, actions for example that could be clearly felt, seen or heard. Sexual assault, hitting, shoving or shouting are all obvious examples, but I also included behaviours such as bullying, manipulation, coercion and stealing as being clear forms of abuse.
God was never mentioned when I was growing up; not because my parents were anti-God, it’s just that they weren’t ‘believers.’ They were fairly unusual in that they got married in a registry office, again not because they could categorically say that there wasn’t a God but because they couldn’t categorically say that there was. I love the absolute integrity of my parents.
‘The hidden harm in ‘self-care’ may sound like a parody, but it is not an attempt to be either witty or clever, I am in fact being very serious.
My guess is that it’s fairly common for women to have a ‘shoebox’ or something similar in which they store their ‘treasures’. Letters, cards, photos, basically things of sentimental value. I carried my ‘shoebox’ with me around the world, periodically looking through it and never wanting to throw any of it out.
'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ is perhaps One of the Biggest & Most Damaging Lies in History
For most of my life I have bought into a myth of such magnitude that it is impossible to either calculate or fathom the sum total of its catastrophic effects. It is a myth that is held almost universally and one that is encouraged and perpetuated by both men and women equally. Popular culture coined the term for this myth, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus:’ in a nutshell it describes the seemingly irrevocable differences between men and women. And up until very recently this is something that I simply took as gospel.
About two and a half years ago I went to see my esoteric healing practitioner to talk specifically about what I felt was the inevitable end of my 23-year relationship with my partner. My usual steady emotional manner had been thrown into disarray and I was what can only be described as an ‘emotional wreck.’ I could see no way of preventing what was going to be a calamity, not only for myself, my partner and our son, but for our friends and family.
Here’s a sentence that you may have to read twice: “for most of my life I have been aware that when certain people have shared something good that has happened to them, I have felt disappointed – and when they have shared something bad that has happened to them, I have felt mildly elated.” My suggestion that you read this sentence twice is not because it’s a difficult sentence to understand, but more so because it’s difficult for most of us to admit.
I feel that there is so much to appreciate. For starters, I deeply appreciate my implicit trust that what I am about to write will flow effortlessly through me and this appreciation, in turn, leads me to appreciate all the choices that I make daily that enable words to come through me and not from me. Having said that I do also appreciate the fact that I am able to write well and in a way that makes the Ageless Wisdom very accessible to others. The appreciation that I have for my writing opens me up to yet more appreciation for all of those who have supported me with my writing over the years, not just through their encouragement but also through their wise counsel.
Last year my son bought me an orchid for Christmas. It was a fairly tall orchid, with a long slender stem and 5 magnificent flowers. When he gave it to me the flowers were in full bloom and they lasted for absolutely ages before gradually fading one by one and eventually dropping gracefully off. Having never owned an orchid before, I dutifully looked up what to do with my orchid and followed the instructions that I found, which said to cut the stem half way down after the last flower has fallen.
When I was a girl I used to go to friends’ houses for tea (‘tea’ being a word in England that refers to an early dinner. My favourite tea was macaroni cheese and chips). Going to other people’s houses was always a bit odd, because other people’s families never did things quite the same as my family did; for example some Mums used to tell their kids to wash their hands before eating, which is something my family never did. So when issued with the command to wash my hands by someone else’s Mum, I would dutifully file into the bathroom with the other kids and copy the way that they waved their hands in the general direction of the taps. There was one thing however that most Mums seemed to have in common and that was the nagging suspicion that the kids had not actually washed their hands! Funny that!
Alexis Stewart is the mum of a beautiful boy and the partner to an amazing man. She works as a yoga teacher and a disability support worker and is a dedicated student of the Way of The Livingness. Alexis has recently discovered a passion for writing.