In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the #metoo campaign has spread globally through social media. When this first crossed my Facebook page with a request to copy, paste, and share if I too had been sexually harassed or abused I paused. I haven’t experienced sexual abuse and I couldn’t recall any specific occasions of sexual harassment either – although as I write this the wolf whistles received as a teenager come to mind. Then I recalled an incident from my childhood.
When I was about 8 or 9 (back in the seventies) I had a male teacher. I clearly remember being called the ‘teacher’s pet’ by my classmates and I hated this label. I was a naturally hardworking student because I enjoyed school and was often top of the class. Undoubtedly there was a part of me that sought the approval and recognition from my teachers but in this classroom, I felt I was receiving more attention from the teacher than was needed or wanted. Obviously, my classmates also recognised this hence the nickname. I recall a having a sense of unease in the classroom and it felt like he was looking at me and smiling at me more than others. I also used to see him out and about in the small town we lived in and felt the same sense of unease. Then one day he winked at me in class. Every part of me knew this was not OK and I told my parents that night. They called a meeting with the teacher and shared what I had told them. He denied winking at me but I had the full support of my parents who let me know that they believed me. No further action was taken but I don’t remember any further incidents with the teacher so something changed after that meeting.
I carried a lot of hate and resentment towards this man for many years but it was not until reflecting on these events in the last couple of days I finally understand why – it has to do with the loss of innocence and the shutting down of a part of me. I realised that as an 8-year-old girl I expressed myself freely with a natural joy, innocence and enthusiasm for life, even in the classroom. The events with this teacher led me to believe that simply being me brought unwanted attention, from men, but also from my classmates. I can see how I then decided it was safer to keep at least a part of me out of sight, protecting it from the ugliness of the world I was starting to become aware of. In my body yesterday, as I reflected on this incident, I got to feel the tension, hardness and aching in my arms and hands, as if I have been clenching my fists to make sure I don’t let that part of me out in any way, ensuring the joy and love I naturally am has not been expressed for fear of ridicule, humiliation or abuse.
And so a fairly subtle incident of sexual harassment that occurred nearly 40 years ago has affected me far more than I realised. For me it is now clear that abuse, in any form, is a weapon of suppression. Whether wielded by others or ourselves (as in self-abuse), it is designed to make, and keep, an individual less than who they truly are. While I said no to sexual harassment and have not experienced it since, nor any form of sexual abuse, in holding back a part of me I have made myself lesser than who I truly am. This has impacted on my relationships, my career path and on my sense of self-worth. In all honesty, I opened the door to years of self-abuse through food, alcohol, self-criticism and a persistent feeling of not being good enough although it is only recently that I have come to understand that these things have been a means for self-abuse in my life.
It seems we have become somewhat blind to abuse in its many and varied forms, particularly the subtler forms. Indeed, it could be said that abuse has become a way of life, and that we have accepted this. I know I had and I was largely blind to the abuse I was inflicting on myself and by reflection, on others. What has changed now is that I have been able to reconnect to that part of me that I ‘put away’ all those years ago, the very essence of who I am – joy, love, truth, stillness and harmony – the same divine qualities of the Soul that reside within us all. My heart is opening again to the world and I have rediscovered a deep love of life and humanity. I am again saying YES to being me, all of me and learning to express who I am. This is an ongoing process guided by the teachings of The Ageless Wisdom as presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
In my experience, when we reconnect to the love and joy that we naturally are there is no space for any form of abuse nor acceptance of it. It is now clear to me that abuse, in any form, is a weapon of suppression. Whether wielded by others or ourselves (as in self-abuse), it is designed to make, and keep, an individual less than who they truly are. Perhaps then, our first step in breaking the cycle of abuse we are living in is to look within, to allow ourselves to feel what has been suppressed, or what we are choosing to suppress, for in this cycle of abuse the world is missing out on the love, joy, stillness and harmony we are all naturally are and the truth we all naturally know.