It’s the holiday season!! And it has truly been a hectic, busy time in my and my husband’s life this year with some huge, overwhelming, but ultimately wonderful changes. Regardless of our busy schedule, I had to make time for a brief post this week.
One thing I know that weighs heavy on the minds of those who have endured or are currently enduring spiritual (or any other form of) abuse is the fact that holidays often bring with them something other than peace and good will. Many times, those who have bought into oppressive spiritual systems or actively perpetrate abusive behaviors will use special holidays or events as opportunities for hurtful and manipulative behavior. Often, this abuse can come from former friends or family, who usually have the largest emotional weapons to wield.
If you are being hurt and abused in any way, please remember that NO ONE is owed your presence, your energy, your time, or your response. I once received excellent advice to “never let anyone steal my joy”. However, years of walking through religious abuse have enabled me to add to this sentiment. It is toxic, unhealthy, and unwise to repeatedly place oneself in situations where we know that we will be hurt: physically, spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise. If you are being hurt repeatedly, the best and most loving thing you can do, both for yourself AND for the abuser is to walk away. Remove the opportunity for harm to occur.
You are worth far more than to be used as an emotional punching bag. Don’t allow your joy to be stolen by hateful people this holiday season. Instead, choose to surround yourself with those who truly love, cherish, and appreciate you. Make memories. Live and laugh freely. And give those oppressive people a chance to realize that hurting other people does not pay off. Loving others, however, always will.