Last year I had a complete melt down about the breast cancer awareness facebook campaign…you know these by now – first there was the one where you post only the colour of the bra you are wearing. You only share the secret with your female friends, apparently to raise breast cancer awareness. Then there was the one where you say where you usually keep your handbag, then there came, actually, it was inane. My question – how do these cryptic facebook posts raise breast cancer awareness?
Today I was the culprit. I found a cool picture on the net and posted something blah about self harm awareness day . This as I said does nothing to raise awareness of self harm. How do you even begin to raise awareness of the depth, subtelty and complexity of self harm/deliberate self harm/self injury/self poisoning/self mutilation?
Do you recognise this word?
This is ahimsa, and it represents a personal practice of non-violence. Beautiful isn’t it?
If we are talking about harm, then we are surely talking about violence, I want to challenge you to look deeper into that word, and what it means.
Yes…it’s easy to see violence outside yourself, outside your community, you see it there in the movies, you read and hear about it in the media. It’s easy to see harm at the hand of a rapist, but can you find the rapist within yourself? Can you see how sometimes your own best intentions, your opinions, and well meaning assistance can be an act of violence?
If you are the parent or partner of someone who harms themselves it is not your job to decide what is acceptable behavior before you accept this person as is. It is your place to open your heart to understand that sometimes what you are doing to help is actually making things worse. Put your fear aside, and listen with your love.
If you practice self harm know that there are others like you, and even others who may not understand, but are willing to accept without fear. If we work together we can bring the walls of fear and judgment down.
Take some time to reflect on the (subtle and not so) ways you are violent with yourself. Decide how you are going to act/think in more accepting, and forgiving ways.
By making it personal you will have done the most you can, because you will have raised your own awareness about your own self harm. This is my most sincere hope.
<from deep in my heart>with all my love