One morning, I woke up from a distressing dream. I had some marks on my face like camouflage paint, that despite rubbing and washing, were not coming off. I had to go out with family and they said, “you can’t go out looking like that?”
“I have no choice, but to go” I replied.
That’s when I woke up , still contemplating about the dream. I have never had tattoos (Scars? yes. Body art ?no !) I snuggled with my warm cup of tea, looking at the swirling smoke over the cup creating a haze, which somehow always makes me think clearly.
During that moment of “Chai Nirvana” it occurred, not all violence is physical. The marks on my face represented the emotional wounds.
As women, we stand up for women who suffer domestic violence and violence outside in society. As humans we stand against any physical violence whether to man ,woman or child… even the four legged & winged friends.
We often ignore and undermine the non-physical violence.
The three common forms of non-physical violence 99% of humanity has suffered from are Complaint, Criticism and Comparison.
The unconditional love is definitely not complaints-free. When your spouse is constantly complaining to you about everything at home, at work, and in life; As though everything wrong in the world is your fault? Often complains are projected at the receiver like guns charged with bullets of blame.
From house being disorganized, to late bill payments, misplaced objects, to food not made to suit someone’s high palette, dirty laundry, to unruly kids, travel plans not going as imagined, monthly budget gone astray because of unexpected expenses, maid miseries, issues with his/her family? Trust me you cannot be everything rolled into one- an organizer, personal assistant, butler, chef, financial planner, HR department, travel agent and in-house psychiatrist… oh ! lest I forget Mary Poppins too!
Unfortunately, in light of complains, we strive to be everything and land up being just a beaten down version of wonder-woman/superman. Yes, we all have super-powers. Please accept that you are superhuman because unlike the movie, real life is not scripted. You are playing your part to the best of your abilities in any given circumstances. Just like the superheroines/superheroes in movies, you are dealing with unimaginable situations using your wits and having faith.
Complaints are little invisible stones thrown at you. They scar your soul, leaving a wounded individual. Except that the wounds are not seen by naked eyes.
Now second form of violence is criticism. Like advice, it is dispensed freely. We criticize everyone as though we are qualified to do so- the rare jack of all and master of all too!
It appears most humans have Honorary Doctorate in criticism from the school of life!
The next time someone criticizes you for not doing your work well, ask them “ do you really think you can do it better? Then go ahead, do it!” Criticism is perfect imagination sans action. It’s someone being king of cloud cuckoo land. Of course there is constructive criticism, but that’s rare like common sense.
Lastly, we mortals have found a way to self-torture ourselves by just using our mind. This method is called Comparison. It is one of the worst forms of emotional abuse that we all are subjected to. However this one is often self-inflicted in most adults. Even though as parents we keep comparing our children with their peers and increasing pressure on them, we seldom remember how terrible we felt when compared to our classmates and siblings? Comparison lowers self-esteem , but what it also does is crush the spirit and shrink the infinite ability we have to dream and achieve.
We compare our situation with those appearing better off in anyway, our looks with the apparent modelesque friend, we keep comparing our income, our lifestyle, our success, our appearances, our family, our opportunities!
If only you could swap life with another, you will face a set of bigger challenges. Would you all like to be a successful businessman who was kicked out of his own company, gathered fortitude to succeed, touch lives but died of cancer? Will you be willing to workout like the fit buddy in gym or a farmer who toils at the field everyday? Is there an ideal family with no friction? Is the prada wearing, botox filled, chauffer driven lady as happy as her appearances, or she has a well of tears in her heart and laden with insecurities?Does any job have a boss who let’s you work on your own terms and never criticizes you? Does any business has customers who won’t complain?
If every comparison was a permanent tattoo on your body, then imagine what you would look like? You would be a big piece of art screaming “I’m not good enough” . Yes, the camouflage paints from the dream that won’t wash off.
Recognize these abuses in daily life. Accept that complains, comparison and criticism exists, in us and around us. Accept them for what they are–a form of violence.
Finally, let go of it, because not all violence is physical, but the non-physical violence leaves deeper wounds.
Do not receive it; Do not give it.
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