Are You Battered?

Author: Julia White ©

used with author's permission



This article does not deal with physical battery, but battery of the heart and spirit. I can hear most of you saying "Of course I'm not battered", but let's answer some questions first:

Do you put yourself, your wants, your needs, your feelings last? 

     Are your children tyrants who lead you around by the nose? 
     Does everyone you know come to you for everything in the world? 

     Is your life one compromise after another; giving in; settling? 

There is a very faint separation between being a loving, nurturing, supportive, giving person, and being a used, taken-for-granted, UN-thanked doormat. The foundation for this crossover is laid very early in life. It takes some serious self-examination and honest awareness to recognize the symptoms.

Many times this begins in childhood. A happy child wants to share its experiences and feelings -- and is continually told to "Be quiet. I'm busy." Before long, that child stops sharing anything, and retreats into itself. This is where the feeling of not being important starts, and this leads to a lifetime of feeling unworthy, unwanted and subservient. As this child stops making its feelings known, it becomes prey to bullies who take lunches and lunch money, playmates who take toys, date rape, domineering bosses -- the whole works. The pattern for a lifetime has been set, and it's so insidious that we never recognize what's happened.

It's never too late to recapture your own spirit, and build the life you want that gives you pleasure and satisfaction. I will tell you this -- IT IS HARD. Old habits are hard to change, and the world is full of those you've catered to and allowed to push you around to suit their own wants and needs. They don't even know it. It's just the way you are. Well ---- is this really the way you are, or is it what you have allowed yourself to become?

The way to move this mountain is with a tiny spoonful of dirt at a time; not a bulldozer. If it's time to discover yourself, get out the spoon. :)

Learn the magic word "No". Little word. Simple word. Tough word to say. Learn it, master it, and make it your friend. It will change your life. "Sally, can you take me to the store? I need some vanilla right now." You would have dropped everything to run to the store. Stop. "No. I'm sorry, but I'm in the middle of something. How about this afternoon?" See the subtle change? You're still doing it, but on your terms. If this person is a general pain in the neck and you really don't want to be bothered, don't offer to go later. Suggest they call someone else. You might get anger, pouting, indignation that you would dare say "no" and you will surely get guilt heaped all over you. Don't Do Guilt!! Guilt is merely manipulation used by selfish, self-serving people to get their own way. Don't buy into it any longer.

     "I want spaghetti for dinner, Mom." 

     "Sorry. We're having meat loaf. You should have said something this morning."

     "What happened to that new mixer I gave you for Mother's Day?" 

     "I exchanged it for the beautiful new sweater I've been wearing. Thank you so much."

     "You EXCHANGED it?? You never exchange what I give you!"

     "I know."

     "You don't love me any more."

     "I'm sorry you feel that way."

See what's happening here? A very subtle, non-confrontational shift in power and control. There's no need to beat a drum about what you're doing. Just do it. It takes courage. It takes determination. It takes being strong for yourself. The rewards are mighty, and that feeling of warm satisfaction is a glorious emotion that you'll want again and again. You are nurturing the most important person in the world ............YOU. It's about time.

As your own awareness of how you're treated grows, become equally aware of how you treat others. DON'T DO TO OTHERS THOSE THINGS YOU HATE DONE TO YOU. Do you?

Julia White is a Cherokee/Sioux (Catawba) born in North Carolina. Julia is currently writing freelance articles on Native American cultures and various approaches to self-empowerment, and conducts workshops, seminars, and lectures on both Native American Awareness and self-empowerment/self-awareness called "Re-creating You."

To schedule Julia for an appearance in your area, contact

Julia C. White
3285 Park Lane

Long Beach, CA 90807

Phone and FAX 310.490.0344

Be sure to visit her site InnerSpace



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