Self-Abusing – Not What you Think it Is

by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW

I used to hear the word abuse and what came to my mind was someone getting beaten up or bashed.

To me the word abuse looked like a physical blow to the body by someone else, or the verbal abuse when someone was being spoken to like a piece of…

What I had not ever seen was that abuse in the body can mean so much more, and that it can be done by me, to myself. I wasn’t even aware that I was being abusive… self-abusing, that is!

Here are Some of the Ways that I have Noticed How I was Being Self-Abusing:

  •  The way I spoke to myself, the voice in me always critical and hard.
  • The way I dressed, just throwing any old clothes on, and wearing clothes that were uncomfortable all day long, as if I didn’t think I had the choice to change what I was wearing.  I would often get dressed and then think, “no, I can’t wear that, that’s too pretty” and just put my jeans back on.
  • The way I would throw myself into the seat of the car, just shoving myself in.
  • How I would do the same when going to bed, just chuck myself in, without any care whatsoever.
  • How I would eat foods that I knew my body would react to, and I knew that they weren’t good for me, but I would eat them anyway without any consideration of the reaction I would experience shortly after. I did not stop to feel if I was actually hungry, or if I really felt like eating a particular food. I would just eat it.
  • The way that I would move, without any real awareness, meaning that I would often bump my body into the wall, the chair, and end up with bruises.
  • How I would drink 2 glasses of wine and then vomit all night. My body could not handle the alcohol but I would do it anyway.
  • If I was in pain I used to suffer through it, not take pain killers and not take myself to the doctor because I was a herbalist and therefore thought that I didn’t need any support!
  • How I hadn’t been to the dentist in years because I didn’t think I needed to and didn’t want to WASTE the money on ME.

Things have changed these days and I am so much more aware. I have started to really love and cherish this body that I am living with. I take care when I am getting dressed, I gently get into the car, and when I go to bed at night I prepare my bed and put myself to sleep as if I was putting a child to sleep.

My Perception of Going to the Doctor has Changed

Going to the doctor and/or dentist no longer leaves me feeling like a failure having asked for their support. It feels great as it makes me realise that I am not all alone. In the past, I was so held in my beliefs that I was a herbalist and therefore doctors were the bad guys and I would prefer to suffer and be in pain rather than seek their support. I felt that natural medicine was the only way to go and that doctors were only into prescribing the drugs regardless if it helped you or not. I was in a strong belief that doctors only treated the effect and not the cause so I did not trust them. Since I have opened up and allowed myself to feel the support of the medical world I have had awesome experiences and realised the belief I once held about the medical profession is not true.

I no Longer Need the Stimulation from Unhealthy Food like I Used to

My diet has changed and I no longer eat dairy, gluten, deep-fried food or much processed foods because I have a connection now with my body that I was never aware of in the past. I sometimes want something sweet so I have a gluten and dairy free pancake or a piece of cake. For me it’s not about trying to be ‘good’ or having a strict diet. For me it’s about honoring what my body is feeling at any certain time. If I do crave something sweet, I can normally see that it is because I am tired and wanting a pick-me-up. When I do eat something sweet the results are so obvious now that I’d rather not get the consequence of feeling tired, bloated, grumpy, or feel the pain in my stomach just for those few moments where the food tasted good when I put it in my mouth.

I no longer bump into things, and I have started exercising regularly. I realised recently that although I was not overweight, I had very little core body strength. My body is loving the daily exercise routine and I always feel so great afterwards. My mind tries to get in the way, telling me that my bed is warmer and I could just lay there… but when I make the effort for me and my body the results are so much better than lying in bed! I can really feel that taking time to exercise my body is a really loving choice, and the choice to stay in bed and not move my body is just another way that I can be self-abusive.

I no longer need to drink alcohol or smoke because I am now looking after myself on a whole different level and no longer need these things to get by through the day – I feel great without it and I have absolutely no desire. I don’t feel like I am missing out at all.

I get regular esoteric massages, esoteric Chakra Puncture and I get support from doctors and dentists to ensure that I am taking the best care possible for me.

I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long.  

I have been inspired to this new level of care for myself by the Esoteric Women’s presentations, Natalie Benhayon and Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine present.

463 thoughts on “Self-Abusing – Not What you Think it Is

  1. Self-abuse is anything that is not self-loving. The more we choose to be self-loving in all that we do, say and think the more we can feel where we may still hold pockets of self-abuse. When we do not appreciate, feel and live all the love that we are this is self-abuse.

    1. I agree Mary in that not appreciating myself, my choices, my life and others is abusive. Because if my space isn’t filled with connection or appreciation then it’s filled with the complete opposite and I feel miserable.

      1. If we don’t stop to appreciate, it is as if we don’t make enough space for more to unfold. If we don’t allow this, it affects all of us.

  2. As I have become more acutely aware of how delicate and sensitive we truly are, behaviours that I would have never considered abusive are now very obvious. The more we embody the love we are, the pockets that are less than love start to get exposed.

  3. There is something we can learn about ourselves isn’t there… What we accept as normal behaviour can be, as Rosie explains actually be abusive to ourselves… In fact it behoves us to become as self-aware as possible so that we can start to live a life where even the smallest details are an act of self loving awareness.

  4. A very useful expose of how we only want to see the more extreme behaviours as abusive, and are quite happy to put up with what is in the everyday as normal. This in spite of the fact that our ‘normal’ way of living is leading to a world in crisis from ‘normal’ things like obesity and domestic violence that are crippling the world we live in, and provide the building blocks for the extremism that is propagating the world.

  5. Self abuse is a huge topic that we don’t talk about enough. Having you pull apart the meaning like this Rosie really stops you in your tracks and makes you consider how we’ve been treating ourselves. There are many things in your list that I can relate to and I could add a lot more to it too. I’ve been making a conscious choice to be mindful of the ways I self abuse and slowly I’m becoming more and more aware of my movements with myself.

    1. Feel free to share the ways in which you have found that you self abuse Elodie, I may be using your ways to and am not aware! It is only when we get aware and honest that we can make changes.

  6. I used to believe the word abuse was attached to an act from one person to another often extremely violent. Either verbal or physical. These days I can see abuse is prevalent in a million more areas of life than what I grew up to believe. It makes me realise just why we as humanity are so shut down, because if we really let ourselves feel what was going on in our world, we’d all be devastated at the level of abuse we have allowed to play out.

  7. I met recently a women who said ‘I love my body’ and I could feel how it was true what she said, that she lives that. And there was this feeling of, no one would like to harm her. She emanated honoring and all around her started to honor too. This was very much inspiring for me and showed me how my choices and way of living has an effect on my surroundings….and on me off course!

    1. The picture of abuse can be different for each person depending on their ideals, beliefs and their awareness as we often only see what we want to see.

  8. The more deeply I connect with myself and my love for myself I naturally become more sensitive to what I expose myself to. This is a forever changing and refining what was loving and nurturing 2 years ago is now abuse and my body lets me know this.

    1. Yes it’s always changing as you are able to feel more and accept more love for yourself or at least that’s how it has been for me

  9. I have come back to your blog Rosie, because I find myself wanting to eat something, anything really to numb what I am feeling in my body just now, yet I am not hungry. I have decided in this instance to stay and feel, in doing so I have a much deeper understanding for others for what I feel ATM is quite intense and I could easily eat to numb it. But, I know from experience that numbing it doesn’t help. I always feel worse after I have eaten to numb something than I did feeling the intensity of what I feel.

  10. We mark the care or abuse that we offer ourselves through our every movement… and the examples you picked out Rosie are typical, mundane and perfect. How do I strike the keyboard as I write this comment? Is it hurried and banging each key, or is there a flow and space around the action itself. Really brings an awareness to my fingertips!

    1. How we strike each key on the keyboard is just as important to how we open the door or how we talk to another. It is great when we bring our awareness to every thing we do and not make one more important than another.

  11. “I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long.” The things we do to ourselves we often don’t think of as abuse, because they have become ‘normal’, but you’re right, they are. Making a choice to change them can then result in an appreciation of self rather than self-bashing and not caring. Everything matters.

  12. Rosie what you have exposed in your truthful blog is very important because: “What I had not ever seen was that abuse in the body can mean so much more, and that it can be done by me, to myself.” This is something most people are not aware of and therefore I love it that you shared this insight you have made so openly.

  13. Anything but love is self abusive, and thank goodness with the support of Serge Benhayon, I am aware enough now to know the difference.

  14. “I can really feel that taking time to exercise my body is a really loving choice, and the choice to stay in bed and not move my body is just another way that I can be self-abusive.”
    I agree Rosie, when I stay in bed too long my body starts to ache, which shows me how important it is to move it and exercise regularly.

  15. Reading through your article, Rosie, it’s very evident to me that my self-abusive has been way more significant than any abuse I may have received from anyone else in my life. A pretty sobering realisation, particularly when I consider that, until a few years ago, I considered that my hurts resulted from someone else’s actions, without stopping to consider the reality of how I was treating myself.

  16. Any, thought, spoken word, movement that isn’t honouring of the tender, delicate woman that I am is self-abuse and therefore, abuse to another also.

  17. It is amazing when we think about it how much we self abuse and self disregard. Essentially we are love and so any movement, action or thought that is not from the same quality of love we are from is a form of abuse. Obviously we are not perfect so there is no judgement here, just something to observe and an opportunity to go deeper within ourselves and become more honest and truthful about the way we treat ourselves.

  18. The meaning of self-abuse now means so much more than it did since building my awareness and connection to my body and developing a more caring relationship with it. In choosing to be more consistent in honouring how I am feeling supports me to embrace and accept more of myself which builds a steadiness within me.

  19. I too have come a long way in understanding what abuse is and can see all the little ways that I still self-abuse or allow abuse in my life. Recently I have been tidying up my cupboards and discovering that when I do not have an order in my cupboards that is actually abusive towards myself as order facilitates flow and harmony in my day and supports me in my everyday activities. This is so great to feel and attend to.

    1. I love this Elizabeth, I used to think that my need to have order in the house was over the top and I judged myself and know others who judged me too but what I have come to realise and really appreciate is that the order is something that supports me, and without it I can feel quite out of sorts. In the past I never put two and two together, but now I know and I feel so much better when there is order. If a cupboard is messy, even if I can’t see it, it still has an effect in the house. Its like that old saying of sweeping the dust under the mat. It is still there and I can totally see how allowing that, is allowing abuse.

    2. After reading your comment Elizabeth and Rosie’s blog, I realise I am living with self-abuse on some level. It is very clear to me that anything that I choose that is not loving or support is actually abuse. No matter how big or small this may be. I know to continuously develop self-love, self-care and self-nurture will support me to choose love over abuse.

  20. Yes we really do need to redefine abuse, we can be very abusive towards ourselves and others and it doesn’t involve violence. Yes when there is actually physical abuse, that is awful, but abuse can turn up in so many other ways. There can be emotional abuse, psychological abuse, self abuse. Learning to honour what we feel is supportive for us and not seeing it as abusive will and can go a long way to changing the relationship with abuse that is rife in society.

    1. I was in a class yesterday and we talked about how we would not allow someone to urinate in the corner of the room, yet we do allow people to walk in a way or have abusive thoughts in the same room we are in. Having these thoughts, or walking into a room full of anger is abusive not only to yourself, but to everyone else in there. We wouldn’t urinate yet this other behaviour is often just accepted or we turn a blind eye to it rather than speak up and say this is totally not okay.

  21. Great blog Rosie, understanding what is abuse and being aware of the many forms supports us to not choice them again. We tend to only recognise the more severe cases of abuse but it is the minor day to day abuse that goes unnoticed and they are equally as harmful as any other form of abuse. There is no in between, it is either abuse or not, so clear, so simply and easily for me to understand.

    1. Yes that is exactly it and when they are not so obvious, we are often not even aware of them so how do we begin to change something that we are not aware of.

      1. I have found it comes down to pretty much an all or nothing in each and every moment. For if I am not being all the love that I am, whatever that may be at that time, then effectively not only am I abusing myself but I am also abusing those around me. And when I say being all the love that I am this is going to differ for each of us until we all fully reclaim the love that we are that once seeded us forth. So we cannot compare with another. All those thoughts of that doesn’t matter or I can get with it are all forms of abuse – because love is love. We are either love or not and thinking otherwise is pure delusion.

  22. It is amazing how the more we start to take care of ourselves the more obvious the areas of abuse are that we allow in our lives. Things which before I would have considered normal, I now consider deeply abusive. For example coming home with the pressures of work still weighing me down and wanting to somehow find relief from my partner is deeply abusive, it is not taking responsibility for myself at all, rather wanting a fix at the end of it all. Now if that happens I do my best to go for a walk and take responsibility for myself rather than bringing the days stuff into the home. It may seem minor but it makes a massive difference. And then when things have gotten too much I can ask for support but if I have not put any effort in what so ever it comes across for the other person as if I am using them which is deeply abusive. Yet how common is it for people to bring work home, or try to switch off from the world at home because they cannot cope. Effectively by doing this we are also shutting off our partner and so not deeply cherishing them and fostering the relationship we hold so dear.

    1. This is so true James, if we don’t take responsibility for our stuff and we bring it home and are needy and expect another to fix things for us and make it all better, that is so imposing and draining for them and abusive to the relationship.

      1. Yet the crazy thing is it seems to be common place that behind closed doors we ‘think’ we can do whatever we want and get away with it. How is this being love? The true joy in a relationship is found when both parties deeply commit to love within themselves and then share it – anything less comes with needs and attachments and can be felt. After all how can we cherish our partner or friend if we 1st do not cherish ourselves?

      2. Is we don’t cherish ourselves, we cannot cherish another, and the more we do, the more we can cherish others and it does rub off on them so it is a win win for everyone.
        It is common place that behind closed doors we “think” we can do whatever and this doesn’t only apply with our partners, but with our children also.

  23. Yes, what you have shared here Rosie is super important and revealing. We don’t class some of those things you’ve mentioned as self abusive. Kind of ‘just the way we are’, but actually those things are really exposing of the type of relationship we have with ourselves. Is it loving and supportive, or is it destructive and abusive. I know what sort of relationship I have had in the past, but now I choose otherwise.

  24. I really value reading this today. It is so true, we don’t look at abuse as the small ways we take care of ourselves or not, that has become so abnormal that we have had to look at abuse that should NEVER happen as what we term abusive. Over the last few years I have taken time to peel back the layers of my ‘normal’ to see if there was a more tender way I can be with myself and can honestly say it has been extraordinary to see how my perception of normal has shifted.

  25. It is amazing how abusive we can be being towards ourself without even realising it. And how helpful it can be to have the reflection of someone who takes greater true care of themself to see that there is another way. Something that I’m recognising more is how damaging I can be towards myself with the kind of thoughts I have – berating myself or second-guessing and undermining what I’m sensing and feeling to do. The more aware I am of the quality of my thoughts the clearer I’m getting in discerning what actually feels like a helpful thought and what doesn’t!

    1. Sometimes we react to the reflections others bring because on one level we know it and we are sad that we are not choosing that for ourselves and also sometimes we just don’t want to take responsibility and make the changes so rather than appreciate the reflection, we react to it and avoid those that reflect to us so clearly.
      I don’t always do this, but am working on appreciating the reflections, even when they bring things up for me, for how else am I going to be aware. It is good to acknowledge that I am feeling a certain way and then understand why. There is so much to learn from each other.

  26. Love this blog and all it’s comments. I know that the more I love and cherish myself the more I realise how what I had considered normal before feels abusive in this ever expanding love and appreciation for myself and others.

  27. This is such a support to your body! The choices you are making are huge and I love how you speak about exercise as a compliment to your body rather than a chore and something to push through. I have been rebuilding my relationship with exercise, and like you, it feels so amazing once I have done it.

  28. Thank you for sharing your insightful revelations regarding your relationship and understanding of self-abuse. I thought I was doing OK but clearly OK simply doesn’t cut it – there is always much more than we think!

    1. OK is great when things have been bad but OK is not a place to settle as like you say, there is always much more and we are worth a lot more than we often settle for.

  29. A great sharing Rosie for I love all the things you called out as abuse …. so many people do these things without thinking of how harmful it is to the body…. or consider that there is another way that could reward them so richly should they choose to bring a little love and care to the things they do. How you now feel is a testament to the power of making such choices.

  30. Yikes I can relate to all of these points Rosie and the way one can be self destructive and abusive! And what’s more – because I was abusing myself I was also letting others abuse me too. It is only now that I don’t let abuse in that I am able to identify it more clearly from others and say no that does not feeel right.

    1. What I have found is that I can identify the abuse from others but am not so honest in identifying the abuse from myself, but that is slowly changing as I stop playing games, pointing fingers and take responsibility.

  31. Yes it is not just the obvious things like hitting someone or calling someone names that is abusive our whole way of living can be abusive just because we don’t take deep care for ourselves. This is seen as normal in society and I often feel this pressure to not care for myself in the way I am used to but it is important to observe this I found and to choose to feel the delicacy and tenderness of my body and the need to deeply care for that. I just learned about the anatomy of the body today and saw a picture of our kidneys in our bodies and how small and fragile they look, it is in that moment I felt deep inspiration to handle myself very delicately.

    1. I feel that everyone should learn Anatomy as having a greater understanding of our body is really important when it comes to caring for it. The more understanding we have, the more it makes sense to look after it as best as you can.

  32. Really, all we have to do is observe the way that most people walk down the street to see the depth of lack of self-care and indeed self abuse that is happening all around us.

  33. When we have no true measure on love, we would have no idea what qualifies as abuse. Things I used to do – because it was fun, everyone was doing it, because I could do it, I deserved it, I needed as a reward, someone said it was good for me… I actually thought I was ‘loving’ myself by abusing myself. As I reinstate self-loving choices in my everyday life, I am getting to know myself again as the love that I am.

    1. ‘I actually thought I was “loving” myself by abusing myself’. Oh yes, I know that feeling and the shock when we wake up and realise how abusive it really was!

    1. And whilst we compare to another, we actually just limit ourselves as where we can go to, what we can feel and what we can heal. Another’s limit and life story is not ours. When we compare we get caught up in pictures of how I should be or I am doing great compared to so and so or even compared to where I was a year ago, we are just putting a lid on our own potential or dimming the light switch so we can’t see.

  34. From self abuse to self love – such an inspirational journey, and one that I have taken too. I ticked nearly all the self abusive habits on your list Rosie and I am sure that I could add a few more. In the past I would never had considered that I was abusing myself; but abuse it was and there’s no escaping from that fact..

  35. A wise friend said to me that running with self-doubting or bashing thoughts is like buying junk food – it was a great analogy and I could totally relate to it and how being discerning of how we are thinking is important!

    1. That is a great analogy! Thanks for sharing. We can so no to junk food but how often do we just allow those self doubting thoughts!

      1. Yes I love this too, it really brings it home. Recognising self doubt and other depreciating thoughts as junk food or even just junk means we can turn our back on them much more easily.

  36. Just recently I have been taking a closer look at my diet and realised by hanging onto something which I had clocked many times has been causing sinus problems was abusive, but underneath a sense of stubbornness revealed itself.

  37. I used to pride myself on not going to the doctors. When I get ill I still tend to see it as an inconvenience to my life that stops me getting on with all the things I have to do. These day I have a different perspective and have regular check ups with my doctor. When I get ill I don’t try and keep working but allow myself time to rest and get well again.

    1. I recently recommended to a friend to go to the doctors and they were resisting it as they don’t like them etc… but when they did go, they found out that they no longer needed the medications and since then don’t feel dizzy and sick so you see, it was a good thing to go… and it always is because it is such a loving thing to do for ourselves. To care for ourselves and to stay informed of what is happening within our bodies and from there, you can make informed choices, not just I don’t want to know or care kind of choices.

  38. Rosie the list of self abusive things you did is pretty similar to mine! Particularly when it came to spending money on me- I would do the same thing and avoid the dentist because people don’t see that from the outside but they will see new clothes. But in that I am not truly caring for myself from the inside first.

    1. I wouldn’t go to the dentist because I just never valued looking after my teeth and never realised how much my dental health affected my overall health but what you share makes sense too. How common is it to worry about what the car or house looks like on the outside, yet have a complete mess on the inside.

  39. We use food as a way to attack our own awareness so we continue living being irresponsible at the expense of our bodies in the indulgences and ignorance that just keep us living less than the magnificence of who we truly are.

    1. Very true Francisco, it’s not a game we are playing with, it is our bodies and each time we are irresponsible with our food choices, we do eventually pay the price for it. You only have to look at the health and shape of most of society today to see the damaging effects of such choices.

  40. Bringing a deeper awareness and connection to our body enables us to feel and listen to how our body is reacting or responding to the choices we make. The more we embrace self-love the more we are able to refine our choices and the deeper our level of awareness of what is abusive.

  41. Thanks Rosie, this is a great topic. In the same way we don’t consider self love we don’t consider self abuse. We live in a kind of grey zone and until self love enters self abuse may not be highlighted. Strange that we make love or abuse what we do to others or have done to us. Meanwhile our own love goes untapped meaning we live and make choices that are not loving for ourselves. I have recently been coming back to the analogy of how I would treat a precious baby and using that as a guide to how much care I can actually take with myself.

    1. Isn’t it amazing how much care we would offer and care or consider for a baby yet we actually have to work on trying to bring that to ourselves…. really should be the other way round…. natural to be this caring with ourselves, and therefore easy to share that with others.

  42. Making the choices you have made to finally care for your body after “abusing” it for so long is very inspirational Rosie, but in fact these ought to be choices that we consider to be normal and naturally make every day. Instead the majority of humanity live in a way that ticks everything on the “self-abuse” list, but sadly don’t consider living this way to be abusive; I never did but now I realise that was simply a self-perpetuating illusion.

    1. My normal is always changing as do I. And the more that I live that, the more I can inspire others around me… and hopefully in doing this, we will all start cracking some of the illusions that our brothers and sisters get caught in.

  43. Compromising our true nature in order to protect that which we find valuable is in truth abuse, as it is only when we get to be all of who we are with no holding back that we are free of the illusion we live in.

  44. Thank you Rosie, this is revolutionary simply because you give us insight to what we might once had seen as normal, whilst actually showing that there is another way, and so that this ‘normal’ is not so normal at all, but actually abusive.

  45. ‘I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long’.   When we come to realise that the most abusive person in our lives is ourselves as in what we do to ourselves in all the ways you have described in this blog Rosie, a transformation can begin with the realisation that we can a different choice, and that is to self-care and self-love.

  46. Being resistant towards western medicine for more than two decades, and being able to feel joy now every time I visit the doctor, not because I like to be sick or emotionally depend on my physician, but because there truly comes a deep joy when I say yes to taking care of myself. I am also learning heaps with food, how it is not about being perfect, but simply honoring what my body is truly telling me. Sometimes my body tells me I am tired or I need comfort, I still honor that and not judge it or try to tell myself otherwise. Just being honest to myself, that sometimes I am off and I am not myself, is much more loving than just pretending these things don’t exist.

    1. Being honest is the key here Adele, and for me I am always using myself as a test and trying this or that. I have been feeling sad about giving our lovely dog away, only because she loves people and cry’s all day while I work….. so after a year of that happening I finally chose to re home her. Since that, all I have wanted is comfort foods and I know why and that is okay, it is where I am at. For me, the important thing is to be honest… as in, why am I choosing that. What is actually going on?

      1. Judgements can be crippling… but calling out what is can be life changing… it is important to state the facts and be aware of what is…. but then not to go into any self bashing or such crazy behaviours have been quite normal for many of us.

  47. Yes being honest with oneself is the first step in understanding if one is abusing. I know for me there was an enormous amount of self critique and abuse when growing up and as a young adult. This has changed completely now and there being many reasons why – but the key is what you ended with “I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long.”

  48. Beautiful truths, written here. When I read them I actually know them and recognize them too in my life. The crazything is that I once could not have my mind to think of this being possible self-abusive ways, but since I become more loving in my daily manners and make effort to self connect everyday – the awareness of self-abuse stand more out – even in the slightests ways. A very obvious truth now.. And the more love i choose the more love we are (live) and will see that certain behaviors are no longer serving or have never truly served us in the first place.

  49. This was such an enjoyable read Rosie. I especially love the way you describe your new relationship with exercise. It’s eye opening to see that even lying in bed can be abuse if our body needs something else.

  50. I am starting to see abuse on a whole new level. What you illustrate here is what we can change in our lives, no matter what our circumstances or who is around us. We can change those things and from my experience there is no end to the love we can offer ourselves by not presuming we have no self-abuse but to see if there is more love available that we were not previously aware of.

  51. I also used to think abuse was only just physical and no more than that. Abuse is so much more than this when you take into account the quality of living one is essentially choosing. Holding back from saying or doing something one knows is true for example may not have any obvious physical consequences but it does have a massive impact on ones overall quality of well being

  52. I love what you share here Rosie about the self-abuse we live with and often don’t address. For me the key has been in deepening the relationship with myself and learning to appreciate myself and the many qualities I bring and then the attack towards myself began to naturally drop away. There are times when I slip back into self-abuse and for me it is usually with my choices around food and it is interesting when I make this choice how the quality of my thoughts and movements are affected.

  53. This is so true Rosie – we can even make self abuse look appealing – look at how fit this body is, look at how ‘good’ or generous or benevolent I can be, look at how much I can do etc. etc. etc.
    We can hide our self abuse from others, and even deny it to ourselves – but the truth is that any time we go against what our body is communicating to us, we are in abuse, and our body will ultimately show us this.

    1. Ah I love your response Kylie, because you have just hit the nail on the head for another way that I self abuse….. look at how much I can do!!! BANG! Love when another thing gets brought to my attention. I mean, I already know it.. but yes, I needed to be reminded. Thank you.

  54. It is good to stop and see what we have accepted as normal or as our fate in relation to treatment of ourselves. Sometimes it takes seeing someone else living life in a vital love filled way to remind us of how life is supposed to be.

    1. I have often seen someone living life in full and loving it and reacted to them, been jealous of them but now I see it as a great reflection, a reminder that I can have that too and perhaps I just haven’t been making the choices that will lead that way. I also think to myself, well if they can do it, so can I…. and ask myself, okay what next then?

  55. I’ve noticed how the more I care for myself the more I feel what is abusive, such as having ugly thoughts about another or myself, or my tone of voice or even how I walk can be self-abusive. It can appear strange or extreme to others but it feels normal in my body to claim that these everyday movements can be abusive our loving and abuse is not limited to violence or substance abuse.

    1. Totally, that is it… we need to be aware of the abuse, no matter how small or irrelevant it is… because abuse is abuse no matter what size it is and it has an effect regardless.

      1. Agreed, and not making it any less because someone else might be doing something 10 times more abusive. It is all relevant to where we are in our awareness and our relationship with our bodies.

      2. Yes there is no need to compare because we are all at own level of awareness and what is harming to one may not affect another at that is fine, as it is just where they are at.

  56. ‘I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long’ – it is so easy to disregard ourselves and allow behaviours that we would never impose on another person. This is beautifully articulated Rosalie and I know I could certainly identify with allowing most of these disregarding ways in the past. Today, through being more loving in my relationship with myself everything has changed and as I type these few words I am celebrating the clarity, ease, harmony and stillness that is now an innate part of the way I live.

  57. Great blog. When we look at how we abuse ourselves and if we choose to make the change to be more loving and caring with ourselves, it’s unlikely that we would allow any abuse from others. We are the ones who set the tone for how we are to be treated.

      1. I hear that one Rosie, especially when the last ruminates are at the surface for us to feel and clear.

    1. So very true Kim. For a long time I could not feel the abuse I was doing to my body, but these days my body speaks loud and clearly when I go into this old habit, and I do listen. Always a work in progress.

  58. I used to have this thing about not taking any tablets, so I too used to suffer through headaches, feeling I was showing how tough and brave I was. Not any more. Even though I don’t often get headaches, I have some painkillers in my bag just in case.

    1. I had to laugh at myself as I read your comment and remembered how solid and adamant I was about not taking medication, as I had this belief it was bad for you…. yet I thought drinking alcohol was okay! How wrong was I. I love the support that medicine can bring these days as I am proud to say I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for over 7 years now.

      1. That’s so funny Rosie, I was exactly the same. My friend use to call this way of being the ‘hippycrit’. It just shows you that lies have their own truth they guard over, which is totally void of true truth.

      2. Isn’t it interesting how we choose to join up in a sense, or be part of a group that has similar thinking, and then we feel that it is okay because others are doing it or believe it but more often than not we don’t really question it. So we become part of the lie and we live it blindly.

  59. Beliefs and ideals are abusive in themselves because holding on to them more than not aligns you to a reflection that will confirm why you should keep them. There is so much freedom to truly feel what is supportive for the body once we drop the beliefs and ideals that have got in the way.

  60. I was away for the week-end, and decided to visit a favourite place I used to eat at and knew they would still have my favourite raw choc chia cake (gluten, diary and sugar free) which of course I had to taste while I was there, right? Immediately afterwards I felt irritated and was left feeling I wanted more. And I did suffer much later. In the wee hours of the morning my left calf had super painful cramps and no surprise really because every time I eat ‘sweet’ now even if it is ‘free from’, I always get cramps. So for me it is really simple, my body is telling me loud and clear that it no longer needs this.

    1. Yes, I know the feeling.. when I eat certain foods I get really blocked up in my nose and bloated in my tummy and its not nice!

  61. I also have esoteric massages and Esoteric Chakra Puncture. I just had a chakra puncture session at the week-end which released an old and deeply ingrained configuration in my body. I had felt my abdomen really tight and tense for a whole day, and I could feel something was definitely bubbling to the surface to be cleared. I always find esoteric chakra puncture an amazing modality to clear old energetic imprints that get stuck in our body, and afterwards my abdomen was able to relax again.

  62. Every moment of not treating ourselves as the tender and precious beings that we are can be called self-abuse.

  63. We can be really self-critical and berate ourselves over many things, from eating things we know don’t support us to criticising ourselves in front of the mirror, and what we are doing is actually self-abusing ourselves. Abuse comes in many forms and there is no need to self-abuse or abuse another, therefore we need to change the patterns we have that make us self-critical.

    1. The more self critical we are, the more we will critique another. So if we catch ourselves doing that, we know there is still more to appreciate and accept rather than pull apart and abuse.

  64. Like so many other things, Universal Medicine has redefined abuse for me and as a result I’ve changed my relationship with it too. Now I know it’s not only something extreme, happening ‘over there’ to ‘someone else’, it’s something I’ve done, 100 and 1000s of times in my daily life to myself and others, simply because I’d normalised it and not seen it for what it was.

    1. It is very important to look at what we have ‘normalized’ as it is in this area that so much goes under the radar and can be really damaging to ourselves and others, with no awareness at all.

  65. We are ever evolving back to who we truly are, and so these loving steps you brought into your life back in 2013 have I suspect evolved even further now.

  66. I too used to abuse my body, but at the time thought I was being healthy, I would exercise regularly, but to extreme levels, and totally disregarding how my body felt, thinking more was better. My body was wise, and after many years of ignoring and over riding its many messages I now have to listen to it, which is a blessing in disguise. In fact I love how my body feels when I fully honour and respect it.

  67. This is something that recently came to my awareness as well Rosie, that is how do I abuse myself. And it might not be massive things but what I realised was not honouring what I feel or loving me is abuse. Is me abusing me.

    1. We are our worst abusers! We need to really stop the way we speak to ourselves and the way we can at times put ourselves at the bottom of the list. Or at least I know I need to!

  68. When we choose to reconnect to our innate gentleness and tenderness with ourselves we open up our awareness and our understanding of what we accept is love and what we know is not love.

  69. ‘…and wearing clothes that were uncomfortable all day long, as if I didn’t think I had the choice to change what I was wearing.’ I had to laugh as I know this one so well, it goes from wearing uncomfortable clothes to clothes that were not comfortable for the type of weather and also to wearing shoes that were to small and made my feet very painful and although I felt this I made the way I looked more important than how my body felt. Nowadays when I become aware of one of these i change my clothes and or shoes, or put on an extra layer to keep me warm.

    1. Yes I know this well, and yesterday when putting my shoes on, I felt the smallest bit of stone or grit in my shoe. In the past I would of just carried on regardless and hoped it would move as I started walking, but yesterday I did the laces, cleaned out the shoe and put it on clean and comfortable. It felt so lovely to do something so simple for myself purely because I know how many times I have just over ridden my own needs or comfort.

  70. In the past I would think there would be person who would ‘just be’ abusive towards others and I never really gave it much more of a thought but since attending Universal Medicine’s courses I have become much more aware of the fact that abuse starts with ourselves in the most subtle levels like you have explained so well Rosie. We complain about the obvious but don’t consider talking ourselves down is a problem even though it is and it is the one we can easily start with.

    1. When we start with how we talk to ourselves, we then can get to the point where we won’t allow it from others. We have to be aware of it in the first place and for years I wasn’t.

  71. Thank you Rosie for these clear markers and reminders of where self-bashing can so easily be part of our day and cause inner tension and self inflicted discomfort. Once the awareness is in the body, it is easier to catch them and change the movement.

  72. The more I self-care the more refined ‘abuse’ is. Like yesterday I knew something was disturbing me as I was eating green bean chips (dried, salted green beans) – a ‘healthy’ snack but I still felt like something wasn’t being addressed!

    1. I can get quite into salty snacks, even so called healthy ones, but they are not really healthy for me as I have noticed that when I do eat them, I feel quite crappy and reactive after.

  73. I can easily relate to your list of self-abusing ways Rosie, as most of them were mine too, except I didn’t vomit after drinking two glasses of wine, my nose would start running and wouldn’t stop. Regularly I would wake up in the morning feeling totally miserable with the floor next to my bed covered in tissues. I knew there was a problem but that’s as far as I got as I didn’t want to give up drinking, convincing myself that it was just that particular brand of wine and next time it mightn’t happen. What a huge illusion I created to not stop doing something that was obviously harming me; where’s the common sense in that? Not for one minute did I consider that treating my body this way, and repeatedly ignoring its messages, to be self-abuse – but it is and that we cannot deny forever without serious consequences to our precious bodies.

    1. Ha, you have reminded me of how I used to just eat foods that would contribute more to my sinus problems… and instead of realising I had an issue with the food I was choosing, I just blamed it on my sinuses! It is so important to figure out the cause and not just the effect.

  74. ‘That hidden self abuse’ that is no longer hidden the moment when we choose to feel the consequences to what we are doing with our body. I still can choose to not be aware but in the end my body will be very clear in its message so I can no longer ignore and my level of self care needs adjusting to what I feel and honour the preciousness of my body.

  75. We may sometimes look outside ourselves and see the abuse that occurs in the world but if we look a our own lives with honesty we begin to connect and feel the different pockets of abuse that we in turn inflict upon ourselves. The more we appreciate how much our movements in responsibility shift our lives as a whole we then become aware of the other smaller and more tricky pockets of abuse that we allow to seep in. Once we begin to plug the holes of abuse within our own lives we begin to see the world with a greater understanding and honesty of how and why things happen and how our responsibility to move and express in certain ways can actually affect the world as a whole too.

  76. My understanding of abuse has also greatly shifted. I too used to believe it just meant physical contact. But now I see abuse almost everywhere all of the time and it reminds me why I was so comfortable believing it was isolated to just physical abuse. The world is thick with abuse, from corruption to advertising to emotional, to our self esteem, or lack there of. The world is not all bad of course, but bringing attention to the reasons why our world is not where it could be is a step toward undestanding how we can change things, and it always starts with our relationship with ourselves.

    1. Yes I feel that if we are not aware of all the layers, styles and ways of abuse, then there is no way that we can change them. Also if we aren’t aware, we can’t understand why another may be abusive too.

  77. I can so relate to what you say here about wasting money on yourself.. I used to feel exactly the same, and then went completely the other way – on a big splurge to make up for everything I hadn’t bought myself that I’d needed – and now coming to somewhere in between; spending money on myself to keep everything not just basically functioning but lovingly cared for, nothing more and nothing less.

    1. I still at times find myself over shopping, as in shopping too much, and then justifying it all. I also have to question myself as to why I need such and such because I know there are times when I use food and then there are times when I use shopping to try and not feel, or as a distraction to whatever is going on.

  78. Self abuse comes in all sorts of flavours and it does not matter which flavour we use it is still self abuse. We can easily tell ourselves that something is good for us but the only true marker as to whether it is or is not is our beautiful and loyal body.

    1. I am starting to feel that even judging myself or another is a form of abuse, because there is no understanding or acceptance in that and it can hurt.

  79. I have had my fair share of abuse from others this life but the thing that hurts much more than anything is the harm you cause yourself. There is a part of us that seemingly doesn’t care and a part that knows that we are far grander than we act.

    1. I think that we always care if we are connected to ourselves… the problem is, well for me it is this way…. is when I lose my connection to me, when I harden to life or don’t allow myself to feel what is going on….. that is when I go into the I don’t care about myself or my choices. And from there its a downward slide.

  80. “I used to think that abuse only came from others” – self abuse and self loathing can have a huge impact on our life that, if we choose not to see it, can make us feel impossibly lost ‘without reason’ because we can’t associate it with a physical punch.

    1. Yes sometimes the physical punch is just so much easier to see and feel and deal with, where as when it is is hidden, it is easier to ignore it.

  81. Another way of self abuse is not going to the toilet when we feel the impulse to go, Sometimes in the morning I lay in my bed and feel I got to go pee but I do not as my bed is warm and I don’t want to step out. Nowadays I am aware what I am doing to my body when I refuse to follow the signals of my body and when I start my day already in self abuse it is likely my movements will confirm this instead of the loveliness of my body.

  82. Great call Rosie in that when we talk or discuss abuse we think it comes from others and completely overlook all the ways we abuse ourselves throughout the day .. everyday!

  83. Rosie, this really feels very lovely, rather than just reserve this tender care for children, it is beautiful to treat our adult selves in this way too; ‘I gently get into the car, and when I go to bed at night I prepare my bed and put myself to sleep as if I was putting a child to sleep.’

    1. And how do we talk to ourselves when we get it wrong.. I think there is a lot that we can be aware of and speak a lot kinder to ourselves rather than beat ourselves up when we make a mistake.

  84. Rosie i love the way you expose the subtle self-abusing ways that we think are not abusing [because they’re not extreme or violent for example], and that we would never ever say we were abusing ourselves…. but the thing is, is that if we are self-abusing, then that abusing quality is going to be there, unconsciously present when we’re with others too, and so in that way although a hard pill to swallow, we are using abuse with others.

  85. It is amazing how our perception of what we feel to be self-abuse changes the more we deepen our awareness and listen to what our body is communicating, adjusting our movements and our choices to be far more loving and caring.

    1. Aren’t we lucky that we can keep on adjusting and fine tuning. Some like to polish and care for their cars, I am enjoying doing this with my body.

  86. This brings to light the trick of how we keep ourselves less. Even today I had a situation where I felt really sad – and so I ate something not great. And i could feel the level of self-sabotage that came with this. It was afwul. We are so aware of why we do things, and the fact is we can continue to love and nurture our bodies to a point where abuse is not even part of us.

    1. I can totally understand and relate because when I get to that point, there is no control really, I just want to stuff my face and I know why I am doing it, how I will feel and I don’t care anymore.

  87. This is great Rosie. As the reader what is clear is that there is always going to be more love that I can bring to my every movement as even when the obvious abuse has been addressed there is always more subtler levels to challenge us to go deeper with our love.

    1. I agree Kathleen, and am becoming more and more aware of my movements and the ripple effect that they have, not just for myself but for others too.

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