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How the Shame and Guilt around Violence Affects Our Internal and External Systems

Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

Violence! This word conjures up images of horror, pain, shock, fear, disgust, destruction, shame, denial, guilt and an immediate sense of shrinking and reduction.

Violence contaminates human life and leads to loss of self-dignity and dignity as a people.

It leaves lifelong open wounds and unhealed scars that perpetuate more violence, self-degradation and multiplies the distorted past.

Unless dealt with at the deepest emotional and mental levels these are the patterns that we have been repeating for generations.

Some people attribute violence to physical only, however, there are many types of violence spanning from the physical, mental and emotional to the spiritual. We can look at the human wreckage left after wars and this component affects all levels of human existence. The same goes for rape, racial violation, gender abuse, beating children, disregarding the existence of another person, group or type of orientation, authority, and bullying.

The corrosion, corruption and greed within our systems is endless. The daily verbal abuse within relationships causing mental and emotional distress has reached catastrophic heights and this affects the children within family units. Similarly, the way many employees are treated by their employers is horrific; we have regressed to a sort of slavery.

Also read: Toxic Relationships: Here Is Why You Must Quit

The list is endless and yet we have a heavy and deep-rooted taboo when it comes to speaking about violence. The shame and guilt felt by a person who has been abused make them, rather than the abuser, the target for blame, Therapy/counselling/psychotherapy and other forms of help are considered a sign of weakness or total shame.

We are afraid of confrontation as it is avoidance of finding solutions; it’s safer to stay within the status quo rather than challenge it. This is irresponsible behaviour because if we don’t call out the perpetrators, the victimization will not stop and the status quo will remain. We cannot allow the taboos of the past to reign as there will be no future to create or look forward too. These are not just words – this is a cry for each of us to start taking responsibility for the future of humanity and the planet.

It is not possible to heal a problem at the symptom level, we have to go to the root cause and this requires external professional help. We need to learn to acknowledge the violence first, accept the situation, seek help, make better decisions and get out of the status quo…one person at a time. This is the only way we can dissolve the painful history we carry.

Consider confrontation as an opportunity to resolve issues and when the other party/parties are in denial then consider the opportunity to leave these toxic spaces, relationships, conformity and limitations. It is possible.

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