Workplace Abuse: Are You Being Followed?

For most of my life I was locked into complaining about the abusive situations in my life being unfair and unnecessary. It was my “Why me?” war cry. I felt picked on and bathed in a tremendous amount of self-pity at the personal nature of the abuse.

And yet abuse is experienced by all of us at one time or another. We don’t always allow ourselves to feel it, preferring to pretend that it isn’t there. Maybe we feel unable to deal with it or maybe we don’t want to deal with it, or perhaps it is so commonplace that we’ve just become submersed in its subtle ways. When the abuse becomes extreme, we often become much more motivated to explore what it might be about, because the tension in our body is so uncomfortable.

At one time in my working career I found myself in a job that I really enjoyed and I saw that in that role, I was very capable. It was a creative position and each step or activity seemed to come to me easily. I had a lot of friends, there was a playfulness in the team environment and I began to beam for the first time in many years. My confidence in myself and my abilities rose to new heights and I began to feel good about who I was.

That was until a new employee was brought into the team and everything started to change. Within a week the abuse started – hurtful comments, sniping, put downs, questioning and complaints about my work. It was all very subtle and sneaky in the beginning, so much that I would just try to let it ride, confused as to why this person was behaving in this way. As time progressed the abuse grew in intensity and regularity, and became much more manipulative, involving many more people who did not necessarily realise what was happening.

In reaction to this, I began to change for the worse. My newfound confidence faded away and I felt miserable each day going to work. I had lost the bounce to get out of bed, my anxiety escalated through the roof and not even the creativity of the position was enough to provide any spark. I felt squashed, belittled and was busy nervously watching my back for the next setup or abusive attack. The bullying didn’t just affect my work, it affected my whole life.

The work unit was aware of the situation, but they said there was very little that could be done to make another stop their behaviour. There were formal procedures to follow, of course, but quite often it was more traumatic than the bullying itself as the organisation was defensive and keen to protect itself from any liability. Each time I googled ‘workplace abuse,’ it told me to leave and find another job and, in the end, that is what I did. Once I had made up my mind, I immediately found another position, only to find bullying present in that job too. I was beginning to fall apart.

I was being followed by abuse and it felt unfair.

I wallowed in self-pity for many years after that and my anger at the unfairness of this grew in intensity. It was clear to me that there was no point in running again from the abuse as it was all around; it would catch up with me again. Now feeling pushed into a corner, I knew I had no other choice but to address it myself and I did that by committing to learn more about myself.

Addressing the Abuse: Knowing it Inside-Out

It became apparent that the way I had learned to live with abuse made me a very easy target for any abuser, because I had learned at a very young age to not speak up. I did not hold myself in high regard, nor did I value or deeply honour myself. I relied on other people for approval so that I could feel good about myself and I allowed people to treat me as a doormat. I would go to any length to avoid having a difficult conversation, to avoid conflict or say what was really needed at the time.

I was a peacekeeper and desperately wanted everyone in the world to be nice to each other, to be pleasant. I just couldn’t accept that life was the way that it was and longed for it to be different. Those beliefs allowed me to be abused for more years than I am willing to admit. It didn’t matter how hard I was pushed or how cruel the bullying became, I would never say anything to the person or expose it for what it was. I had become a professional peacekeeper to my own detriment.

Universal Medicine, at this time, offered great support and helped me understand life to a point where I made small changes to myself. I began to focus on honouring and loving myself first and foremost and from there I knew I would find the wisdom needed. No tactics on what to do in these situations or what to say, just to bring love to me and not to expect it from the workplace or the world. Eventually I knew I had to stop holding back in expressing myself in everyday life and in every way: in the way I dressed, the way I walked, the words I spoke, the way I worked…. Every. Single. Way.

In the early stages of this change, when I opened my mouth to address the bully, the years of hurt, frustration and peacekeeping meant I would often react and say what I felt in an unloving way, or I would change my words to be all soft and mushy. So even though it appeared that I was addressing the situation, the expression was tainted with a horrid energy that was not there to heal, but focussed on getting the threat off my back. I knew inside this was not the way, but opening my mouth was a good step in the right direction.  There was more to learn.

As the years rolled on, I continued to take one little step at a time, learning more and more about myself. I began to see that I could speak up much more easily than I was able to do before, and I felt much more empowered by honouring what I felt, and in a way which was not reactive or emotional. The first few times when this happened I surprised even myself. I had found my way forward.

I came to realise that there was always a belief standing in the way, and this belief had to be challenged each and every time“I can’t say that, they’re a Director,” “I can’t say that, they helped me out last week,” “I can’t say that, I might lose my job,” “I can’t say that, it might hurt them.” The list of ideals and beliefs are endless indeed.

The biggest shift came though when I began to see a pattern in my life – jealousy – a topic introduced by Serge Benhayon at a Universal Medicine Retreat. At first I found it impossible to conceive that someone would be jealous of me because I didn’t see there was much about me or my life that was very special at all. But when I cast the notion of jealousy over every abusive situation in my life, I could see how it was possible that another may react to me in a jealous way. There were attributes about me which were strong indeed – determination, creativity, initiating, appreciative, understanding, loving, sincerity, competence, playfulness, caring – all likable characteristics. What a turnaround point in my life.

Whenever I felt amazing, whenever my confidence began to emanate, whenever great things were beginning to happen in my life, whenever I began to shine, a situation would happen where a person would appear and become abusive towards me. It was always much more devastating when the attack came from someone close to me and who I trusted dearly. Instantly I would feel threatened by the conflict and would contract away, becoming small and sad about my life once again. The pattern was now exposed, and I knew then that I had spent my life purposely keeping my shine down so that I didn’t have to deal with these types of attacks.

But living like this had become too destructive and was personally cruel. I had to find a way to live in the world in my fullness, and to deal with these attacks for they would never stop. The alternative, to live suppressed and in sadness, was no longer an option.

Realising that there was nothing ‘wrong’ with me and that I wasn’t ‘bad’ because I attracted such abuse was liberating! I came to understand that we live in a world where people make choices to live less than who they really are and have invested in so many things to try to make life work, and when they feel another has chosen not to sell out and has made more loving choices, they attack in their jealousy and outrage. It was clear, this was the perfect way to bring another down, to make them less, and observing this play out was groundbreaking to say the least.

I experimented with this for a while, as the world is a fabulous playground that offers opportunities time and time again. I now feel within my body the beginnings of an inner power that allows me to read what is happening in the moment, and respond in a way that is needed without an ounce of emotion. It doesn’t mean that the abuse does not hurt, as it is certainly horrible to feel, but it doesn’t have to get out of hand and spiral into much more than a simple acknowledgement that what was said or done in that moment wasn’t loving at all.

It is so beautiful to get to the place within myself where I can allow myself to feel the love-lessness from another in their accusations and behaviour, and be able to read exactly what the intention is, stay open to them and respond in a way that is needed, without the imposition of emotion or defensiveness.

I can feel how life from this point forward is really going to change.

In the world we live in – in its current state – there may be those heartless situations for many years to come until we all get the fact that this abusive way to be with each other is not coming from Love and is not coming from a place that represents who we really are. To use these times as practice sessions and to learn what is being asked of us, gives power back to us all.

The abusive situations allowed me to find the authority within to stand up for what is truly loving and to live from this to the best of my ability. I had to begin to allow myself to read what was really going on, instead of reacting to what I would see or hear and make myself less. It was essential that I learned to trust what I felt in my body, as that was the true reading in the situation if only I didn’t dismiss it, reinterpret it or push it away because I didn’t want to deal with the situation.

If we were to be raised knowing that all that happens to us in life, happens to unveil our deep commitment to Love and to Truth, and to support us to evolve to be our true selves, then maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid and maybe our choices and responses in life would begin to change and reflect a true way for us to live together in the world without the need to resort to abuse, jealousy, control, manipulation and even contraction.

Abuse may follow us for the rest of our lives, but we have an inner knowing and a strength that is so much more powerful than the love-lessness of abuse. Surrendering to the world just as it is allows the space for us to deal with life in a way that is needed in the moment. This is not something that we will master to perfection, but our commitment to this way will always be a wonder-full step in the right direction.

By Maree Savins, Australia

Related Reading:
Abuse – My Understanding So Far
Understanding in Relationships – How Judgment Contributes to Abuse
The Truth about the Cycle of Abuse

461 thoughts on “Workplace Abuse: Are You Being Followed?

  1. “Each time I googled ‘workplace abuse,’ it told me to leave and find another job” – Isn’t this crazy, that instead of addressing the lack-of standards, guidelines and policies in workplaces that say NO to abuse, we have created a system where we’re told to just ‘move on’ or ‘deal with it’. This is not only happening in workplaces, but in society too with racism, domestic violence and discrimination where we’re not meant to take anything ‘personally’ because who knows, our partner could be having a bad day.

  2. Sometimes situations can just seem like a burden and a pain to have to deal with but changing my perspective to recognise that there is always an opportunity for us to learn, evolve and deepen the love that we express with helps me to reconnect myself with a bigger purpose than just thinking about me…

  3. It’s so important to deal with abuse when it occurs and learn to speak up against it. This is easier said than done as sometimes it is not easy to spot. If we do not deal with it it will simply occur again and again. If we have spoken up and dealt with it and it still happens the only thing left to do is walk away. In my case I also reported it as I left.

  4. No matter what are issues are, they will always follow and reoccur until we deal or re-imprint the issue. As everything is energy and because of energy, dealing with issues means looking at the energy behind the issue.

  5. A powerful account Maree. – ‘I began to focus on honouring and loving myself first and foremost and from there I knew I would find the wisdom needed.’ – This sentence alone is gold and offers a reflection much needed in the world, if we all focus on honouring and loving ourselves first and foremost, we will naturally know where to go next.

  6. Holding back our expression creates an opening for any abuse to come into our lives, for there is always a paper trail where we have compromised what we feel in our bodies for a value that is not real but a picture of how we like life to be. Saying no to abuse is the beginning as it asks us to take more responsibility on our day-to-day living.

  7. When I became a Team Leader a year ago I became aware that I was potentially in a position in which I could abuse others. Being in a position of power within a job comes with responsibility and that needs to be taken very seriously. A job title does not give us the power to abuse. It is simply a role that has a function. Beyond that we need to remain human and practice compassion and understanding in any situation that may otherwise be volatile.

  8. ‘Surrendering to the world just as it is allows the space for us to deal with life in a way that is needed in the moment.’ – How true – we can attempt to ‘save the world’ or ‘fix a situation’ only to find that we are exhausting ourselves and that in truth nothing gets changed.

  9. The level of self-awareness that you have gained with your willingness to look at your experience from a different angle is amazing and an important reflection for all.

  10. It can become a habit, once abused, we almost expect to receive abuse again, and the pattern can set in. Everyone can feel this, so we become the easy target for the bullies who are actually cowards themselves. Once we know the inner power we have within, we can stand up and say no to abuse, and the energy changes.

  11. If we look at life through the eyes of truth we can see that life is all about cycles. The scenery may change and the cycles may repeat for many lifetimes, but cycles they are. Until we complete a cycle, we will stay in it.

  12. “Abuse may follow us for the rest of our lives, but we have an inner knowing and a strength that is so much more powerful than the love-lessness of abuse.” Yes absolutely, Love will always be felt, it is always there we just need to choose it. When we are sure of the love we are abuse has absolutely no where to go.

  13. Today there is a big focus on cyber bullying and stalking – on privacy laws and us all being monitored and observed- big brother style. But what I feel in reading your words Maree is the greatest and the most relentless pest in human history is this abuse. It tracks our every step and is there just when we least expect, it turns up to our most intimate moments. But what we need to see is we actually invited it, magnetically. Like a recipe you cook you can’t complain when the results turn out unpleasant and cause you pain. The key is what you choose to put out or in. We make our own life, so if we don’t like what is coming our way, it’s time to reconsider the choices we make every day.

  14. Bullying in the playground, at the workplace, at home or wherever, is not on, and needs to be called out for what it is…but there is also the element of a person not playing the victim and not playing the game either. You can only have a bully when you have a victim, for without the victim the bully is simply a hurt and unbalanced person who needs to be supported back to balance again. When we see it like this, then we can approach it differently and support both parties to come back to their own innate strength and balance.

  15. What an amazingly expansive way to see life and even abuse that it’s there to allow us to live the greatness we are, and if we can see life in this way nothing is a struggle.

  16. You really have blown apart the workplace bully concept. You have taken the ultimate responsibility, without for a second letting the bully energy off the hook, sounds like you are seriously nailing it, well done!

  17. There is no point addressing bully behaviour outside of us until we feel just how we bully ourselves. A humbling but necessary step.

  18. The thing I have noticed about life is that where ever you go, any un-dealt with issues keep coming up until you decide to tackle them head on. I tried moving to another country to avoid mine, but it didn’t work.

    1. Yes spot on “any un-dealt with issues keep coming up until you decide to tackle them head on.” This ought to be a well known and recognised fact that we learn early on. Too many people have noticed the same situation keeps repeating, but instead of reflecting on how come the situation is ‘following them’, they point the finger outwards and give up on society.

  19. Our life is full of relationships – whether that is with parents, partners, work colleagues and more, a relationship which is true allows us to be in our body and let it be what it naturally is where as a relationship which isn’t true always makes us tense up and change. And this is the beginning of abuse.

  20. Many years ago I had a work situation that could have potentially dragged through the courts as an unfair dismissal case here in the UK, and at the time all my work colleagues were keen that I should fight my corner, and in a way theirs. But I chose to let it go because I realised that I would have to stay in the same energy of being treated unfairly or the victim for what could be several years, and I was not prepared to do that.

  21. And the thing is that for so many millions and millions of people they really feel that there is no alternative but to actually put up with this deep level of abuse that is happening at their workplace. It really is time for a very big paradigm shift

  22. We have to bring understanding to every situation we are in. People react for all sorts of reasons and if we can just remain steady within ourselves then it does not matter about another’s reaction.

    1. Yes, it comes back to every single one of us, and any situation requires the responsibility of all (involved). The more we learn and work on staying steady with ourselves the more of a help we are to others.

  23. What we do not learn but what you show here clearly is that everything always has everything to do with us and thus we always have the power to change that what is not working.

  24. Yes we don’t tend to address abuse until it becomes uncomfortable. Hence comfort is the real abuse to address for it allows any manner of ills to continue for far too long…

  25. We communicate either a yes to abuse or a no to abuse through the way we move. If our moves are in an apology, a cowering of who we are, we are already in abuse – and hence, like attracts like.

    1. Katerina, your comment is just what I needed to read today. This is the way I dealt with bullying in my last job – to stop cowering and to stand up straight and in my power. Currently I am dealing with a different kind of abuse at work which is much more subtle. Reading your comment I realise that I have started to cower again. A great reminder of how it is not something to figure out in my head, but my movements have the power to change the energy and what I will allow. Thank you.

  26. I love what you’ve shared here Maree. Abuse absolutely follows us around and taunts us until we find the courage to stare it back in the face and call it for what it is. Once we know who we are, and build a foundation of that knowing, we’re more able to start to see it, and step by step, stand up against it.

  27. It’s crazy and very exposing of our incompetence to stand up to abuse when the common remedy is to leave your job! Learning to deal with abuse out there must start in here, within our selves and own lives. Bullying in the work place shows how lost we are as humans, how disconnected we are from ourselves and and thus disconnected from each other. We need to set the standard by having a relationship with our self and offer another point of how to live in harmony with that.

  28. We complain to the police about being followed at night, or stalked by someone who always keeps us in sight but what we choose not to see is that this is just the literal tip of the iceberg . Each of us is effectively stalked by abuse every day, it follows us, keeps careful tabs, finding the perfect moment to pounce. But what is so crucial for us to understand is it’s us who are inviting this horrible stalker in, it’s we who are making it all possible just by the way we treat ourselves every day. Like a murder where you ordered and paid for the guns and bullets yourself, it makes no sense to keep selling ourselves out. Thank you Maree for clearing this up.

  29. Lets face it office politics is rife with many forms of underhanded abuse. It is for us to stand strong, claimed in what we know and don’t ever not ever give up on Love. It is possible to have a loving and evolving relationship with those we work with and this starts first with us saying no to abuse.

  30. Maree Thank you so much for sharing. It is as if you are my twin sister, knowing excactly what you mean.
    How beautiful it is to re-discover the way to express ourselves which is honoring to our self first And foremost and to feel if expressing While feeling that deep honoring to ourselves and make clear observations what happens And ehy we are rock solid, nothing else needed.

  31. The drama we experience in work and life we often also create, perhaps not intentionally, but certainly we are active participants. The great thing about that is we have the power to change it.

  32. I am pondering on the word abuse. We can just be abused when we let it happen. There is a quality in one’s action and it is up to us in what quality we respond. Love doesn’t allow abuse nor does the light we carry within.

    1. I agree with you Sylvia. Abuse can only affect us when there is a hole that allows it to enter. Within the Love we are, the abuse can be felt, without affecting us. From Love we are able to observe, read, understand and as this is embracing the situation, we allow the profound healing that is at our hands in that situation for all those involved. When someone abuses, there is something deep inside of them that is actually craving for that which is wanting to crack. When we stay firmly connected to that Love the other has missed (but we know they are also able to connect with), we offer them the opportunity to re-connect with it too… and this is pure compassion.

  33. It seems like it is common for the ‘abused’ to not speak up. Bullying energy likes to isolate and suppress the other person, so they feel they can’t speak up. I have also found the ‘bully’ feels what your weak spots are and works them, which confirms any doubts or lack of self-worth the ‘abused’ may carry as a secret within themselves. Although hard at the time, it is actually a great opportunity to become aware of these doubts and holes and clean them out.

  34. Maree your sharing invites me to reflect on the word abuse from another perspective. Most of my life I’ve seen it as something unfair, horrible and that had nothing to do with me. But now I’m questioning, it could be possible that the abuse that I see outside would be a reflection that the self-abuse that I still allow with myself? The times when I’m critical with myself, not expressing what feels not right, the times when I play the “peacekeeper” role…to name a few. All of that is contributing to the abuse energy that is playing in the world.
    There is an openess and honesty in your words that allows me to check the level of care and love that I’m living with and to discard all that feels abusive with myself. Thank you.

  35. Bullying is such a prolific problem in our society and the fact that jealously and comparison is a major reason that bullying is a reality, really makes one stop and begin to consider just how beneficial it is to champion competition, on the many levels that is is championed, supported and encouraged. Does this then mean that we, each and everyone of us is the reason that we have, allow and at times agree with the culture of bullying?
    There is much to consider in how we conduct our lives and what we champion and look deeper into the future results of our behaviours.

  36. There is much to be said about jealously, when we find within ourselves the steadiness, stillness and grace that we all hold, it is naturally seen and felt by others. I cannot but be felt because we are different in how we conduct our lives, live in our bodies and in how we respond to others. The down right truth and honesty that this brings and exposes for another can be and is often confronting. For any of us to respond with jealously is a complete diminishment of our own power and glory, yet this is chosen rather than facing the reality that we have, that is to chose to not see, feel and live by our own steady essence.

  37. As a leader of people my approach is simple. Care for one another, be loving towards one another, care for yourself so you can be this. We are all in it together at work, that is inescapable.

  38. Speaking up when something feels not right can be done in a very loving way, including, respecting and understanding the other person. Abuse no longer exists when we claim the level of care and love that we all deserve. By doing this for ourselves we are offering others what is possible for them too.

  39. Surrendering is a really beautiful way to look at not being affected by abuse as by surrendering we are no longer playing the game by reacting – which in fact means we are no longer participating and putting up a fight.

  40. Maree, thank you for sharing your experiences of bullying, this is really helpful; ‘The abusive situations allowed me to find the authority within to stand up for what is truly loving and to live from this to the best of my ability’, this is something I am learning to do after many years of not speaking up, I can feel that I have a natural authority and so I am learning to trust and to express with this authority rather than keep myself small.

  41. There can be a lot of fear around saying no to abuse. What will be the outcome ? Will I lose my job, my relationship, my friend? But nothing new can constellate until we do say no to what does not serve.

    1. “But nothing new can constellate until we do say no to what does not serve.” A beautiful sentence. It is like to keep on swimming in the same murky pool while wishing to be in the clear warm waters next door. It always takes a step or two to get out of what we can so clearly see does not work to then have a new and fresh surrounding to unfold in. If we combined the two pools everything becomes blurry. We need to make clear decisions and let go of that what does not work.

  42. What I love about your sharing is that it shows how that what bothers us is not necessarily that what is so obviously in front of us but that what we are asked to step up to. So it is almost like we need to look beyond the situation and then ask ourselves what do I need to do to strengthen my foundation to go the steps I am next to go. So in other words the not liked situation is there to distract us and hinder us to bring to the world all that we have to offer.

  43. Our behaviour cannot change unless something within us changes first. When we don’t make an inner shift within ourselves then the same things tend to happen to us over and over again.

  44. We are ‘followed by our past’ if how we have lived has not been true to the love that we are. That is – our energetic imprints stain the air that we breathe until such a time that we see them for what they are (behaviours, thoughts and beliefs void of such love) and are able to make the necessary adjustments to our lived way. This is why it is often said that ‘our past catches up with us’. The truth here being, it never goes away but is carried with us day in and day out until we renounce the patterns of behaviour that have incarcerated us in a self-perpetuating momentum that prevents us from expressing our true and authentic self.

  45. I find it ironic that when we cry ‘Why me?” there is nothing in us that actually wants to know why. What we are really saying is this is unfair and the world shouldn’t be this way. This may be true, but it wasn’t until I saw my part in playing the victim role that anything changed.

  46. Self abuse starts when we take one step away from adoring and cherishing ourselves, so letting a nasty comment or look slide is a simple reminder we have probably taken several steps away from adoring ourselves and to come back to cherishing and supporting ourself, as this naturally supports the all.

  47. ‘Workplace Abuse: Are You Being Followed?’ Love this title – great reminder and it applies in all aspects of life.

  48. We are way more affected by jealously and comparison than we know. As is shared here it is not until we again settle into our bodies and allow ourselves to be, that we can even consciously feel the constant barrage of it. Thank you for writing this article Maree, it is a clear understanding that so many can gain from, and again claim their lives back.

  49. It is great that you started to speak up about the abuse. One thing I have foudn it is amazing how much abuse we tolerate in our daily lives as essentially anything even a little comment that does not come with love is absue because we are all love and to be any lesser is diminishing initself. The more we claim back and live the love we are the more the little things will stand out as a reminder to see their is more work to be done and deeper levels of love we can go to.

  50. Reacting to what we think is ‘unfair’ is something that I have done a lot, it is crucifying in the pain within I have felt, the injustice has exhausted me, I doubted myself, humanity and felt helpless…so how do you shift this feeling. The one and only way is to take responsibility for our part in all of life. If I react to anything I have something to learn, and I have something to learn I have a part in all of this and so it continues and enables us to pull ourselves out of the pit of emotion. Things occur that are not truth and they are evil but to react to them continues the cycle of pain. To be aware and see it in full, but choose to respond instead react allows something new to bloom, it is the only way we can get ourselves out of feeling disempowered. Responsibility is key.

  51. What I love about what you have shared here Maree is that there is no looking for a fix to a situation. By stepping into self-care and self-love and connecting to the deeper aspects of yourself and of life, what is offered is a much greater appreciation of what life is bringing and an acceptance that these attacks, although hurtful are actually not personal. It is about us not getting hooked by them so we think they are personal. All these events are is an opportunity for us to see more of who we are and bring what is within, outward so its seen even more.

  52. It makes a big difference to see something as an opportunity to learn, to bring out more of who we truly are and commit deeper to life than to see it as just a burden…

  53. Whenever we hold values which are not of truth in our lives, we allow tolerance for abuse; and it is only through the power of nomination that can finally let go of these beliefs that have been holding us back and start re-imprinting life with truth, love, and respect that we all equally deserve.

  54. This is such an amazing blog to read Maree, as you lay out your steps along the way to dealing with abuse. Some I’ve experienced myself and what I love most is your openness in addressing what arose in each moment and that when we get to a point where we read and trust what is in our bodies, to honour ourselves we find our path forward. And to know and live an understanding that everything that comes to us is there to allow us to bring more of us out is a hugely supportive understanding in how we can live life. Thank you for sharing this.

  55. “Surrendering to the world just as it is allows the space for us to deal with life in a way that is needed in the moment.” It is the surrender to the what is in life, that we then allow space for us to feel from our bodies what is true. That our movements in every part of our life then become one big movement, because everything in our lives is then not seen as separate but just another part of the bigger picture and that every connection, situation and or behaviour is a reflection of how we move, express and explore life everyday showing us that when we walk, talk and express from our connection to our bodies we ignite the light within and this is then shared with everyone too.

  56. Workplace abuse is rife. Many would look at a situation on the outside and might not see abuse, but look under the covers and there is manipulation of others to get recognition, or to overcome comparison issues with colleagues, and so it goes on and on. The only way forward with this is to choose to be who you are, regardless of what is going on around you.

  57. Maree, I find this article really helpful, it feels great to have more understanding around abuse and to read why this maybe happening and rather than trying to avoid the abuse – expressing what we feel and standing up for ourselves and for what feels true, this feels very empowering.

  58. I like how you started to honour and love yourself first, building this as a foundation will change the dynamics, from how you were ‘ a very easy target for any abuser, because I had learned at a very young age to not speak up. I did not hold myself in high regard, nor did I value or deeply honour myself’.

  59. Yes it is not until we are prepared to consider things more maturely that we become open to our part in abuse, rather than continuing to perceive that we are merely victims of something we have no control over. In the latter there is no where to go, no understanding and we are locked in to the pain and suffering this way of thinking brings.

  60. It seems that the non-acceptance of how humanity is with each other, and where we have allowed the abuse to get to within our work environment is the key to why we have ended up in this situation. I used to rage at the injustice of being bullied and could not accept it as being ‘right’ but what I now realise is that I was adding to the abuse. Since I have more acceptance and understanding as to why people are the way they are, things have become less personal and there is the space to look at things from all angles, not just from my own reactions.

  61. Abuse comes from misuse. It is part of a movement whereby the abused is not able/willing to put into use everything it is and has as his/her disposal, reduce him/herself to match her/his self-worth issues, accept the situation and choose to go from there.

  62. We can often turn a blind eye to these situations if they are not directly happening to us, which in truth is worse that the perpetrating of an abuse. So really the hurt that is caused affects everyone, but for slightly differing reasons. So the person abusing is hurting because they can’t stand to see what they have chosen not to step up to. The person being abused is hurting because abuse at any level just hurts. Then there are the bystanders who are hurting by what they are feeling and seeing. So we have a group of people who are not wanting to deal with their hurts and reacting to or avoiding what they are feeling. This so highlights that burying our hurts simply don’t work and to move forward in our work lives, but in life in general we need to start to deal with them or we keep facing the same patterns of abuse over and over again.

  63. Abuse or bullying and the targeting of those being more innocent or possibly showing less protective bravado, is definitely wrong and common place in our world. There is also a lot of abuse in protection and holding others and the world at bay by putting out the air of dont even try and bully or I will attack.Its like a game of cat and mouse that is played between the bullies equally scared/seperated /contracted in protection and there victims.Jealousy plays a big part underneath all of this, as the bullies are in reaction to what the more gentle souls reflect in their simplicity with less protection perhaps.

  64. Learning to speak up, value, love, honour and appreciate ourselves is an important foundation to build, ‘I began to see that I could speak up much more easily than I was able to do before, and I felt much more empowered by honouring what I felt, and in a way which was not reactive or emotional.’

  65. It is so interesting that peacekeeping is actually a precursor to abuse not a way to avoid it. When we go into peacekeeping mode we energetically communicate that abuse is ok.

  66. “It was essential that I learned to trust what I felt in my body, as that was the true reading in the situation if only I didn’t dismiss it, reinterpret it or push it away because I didn’t want to deal with the situation.” Listening to our body – and honouring its messages is so important in all aspects of life. .

  67. It’s great to read this article again. I’m struggling with some dynamics at work at the moment. My reaction to this has been to eat things I don’t need in order not to feel what is going on. But this is literally putting my head in the sand, and I’m ultimately abusing myself and escalating the problem and therefore inviting more of the same. I love the clarity here gained over years of observing abuse. Very helpful at this time.

  68. This is such an important blog Maree because you have clearly shared the realities around abuse and comparison, and also not only how they affect us but that it’s possible to recognise it for what it is, not take it personally, and respond with love for self and others but without compromising the truth. It’s an important point you have made here about abuse “No tactics on what to do in these situations or what to say, just to bring love to me and not to expect it from the workplace or the world.” Its in our own foundation of self love that we learn to hold steady in abusive situations. Thanks Maree, much appreciation for all you have shared here

  69. Maree I love the step by step approach to your understanding of abuse and bullying. The reflection for me is always back to self and what in me is drawing this abuse towards me. Perhaps it is there for me to see exactly how our world operates and realize I am part of it all. True connection I feel is the only way to read and see clearly what is being shown here. I then have a choice, to feel the abuse and not react and stay steady within myself and realize, that in our present world, abuse and bullying is everywhere. This for me then, is to continually understand my patterns and behaviors, that have been with me all my life and step by step let them go.

  70. It is amazing how situations in life follow us around until we learn that particular lesson and move on – a gift really, for how else can we develop and evolve?

  71. When we lose the ‘bounce’ to get out of bed in the morning, do we beat ourselves up and ‘struggle through’, feeling two steps behind what needs to be done that day, or do we apply some understanding and look at the bigger picture of whether we feel exhausted, whether we are avoiding getting up and doing something and so forth?

  72. This blog is brilliant in its simplicity and it is hard to argue when you lay it out, it just seems like common sense. I was talking with my kids yesterday giving them a little history on how it was for woman over the last 50/60 years, I was explaining that there was a time when woman did not work or only did some specific positions, like being secretaries or cleaners, no positions of authority or responsibility.
    My kids were asking lots of questions and I was explaining to them, that it was not a war between men and woman, like they thought it was, it was actually considered quite normal for woman to be less capable than men, until the men went off to War and the woman stepped in and discovered their own brilliance.
    It got me thinking about what our “normal” is now and that one day, this “normal” will be considered weird and abuse will be seen as abuse, no matter who it’s inflicted upon, even if it is on ourselves.

  73. The tension in my body after feeling the abuse is what supports me to dig deeper, feel the choices I have made and begin to change my ways. Much sadness and regret can arise as I let go seeing these emotions for what they are having suppressed and abused my body. Isn’t our bodies amazing when we choose to align and listen to them.

  74. What an amazing blog you have written here Maree – you have completely deconstructed the myth of ‘being a victim’ of the world and so many people would find reading this deeply healing as I have. When we get hurt the first thing we tend to go into is the mode of feeling hard done by, but what you are presenting here is that we have all have a much greater role in the cycle of abuse than we realise, no matter which side of the fence of abuse we believe we are stting on.

  75. There are so many ways we can let abuse in if we choose to. Note here the emphasis on our choice as equally we can make a different choice and while that may not be easy or popular, it is hugely important not just for ourselves but for everyone to see that we can say NO.

  76. I love the awareness that everything, literally everything in life is there for us to learn, grow and evolve to be our true selves. That is, what I would say, true love and support us!

  77. “Addressing the Abuse: Knowing it Inside-Out” – agree Maree, reading your post and the entry points of abuse makes me reflect how abuse knows abuse… and so too does love know love and in that knows abuse.

  78. ‘The bullying didn’t just affect my work, it affected my whole life.’ Abuse is abuse, whether it is online or in person and the impact is huge. Even more reason to say NO and not allow loveless behavior.

  79. I agree, Maree, reading what really goes on, trusting what you feel in your body, accepting what is before you, letting go of any ideals and beliefs and deal with the situation are the key ingredients in every situation.

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