One doesn’t need to look very far to see violence or to hear about violence. The media for instance, is only too happy to inform people of what is taking place at a local level and around the world.
And then one can hear second hand accounts of violence that have taken place in another person’s life or through their own personal experiences.
This can come in all shapes and forms and include physical and emotional. It is often the physical forms of violence that receive the most exposure; with emotional violence generally going unnoticed in comparison.
The Common Labels
It is often natural to label people who are violent as bad or even evil. And based on someone who sees themselves as the opposite of violent or who commits violence in another way than is being described; these judgements can seem apt.
In recent years, through the developments in genetic research, they have even claimed that some people are predisposed to be violent. Labels and reasons such as these may quieten the mind and appear to be realistic conclusions.
However, saying someone is simply evil or bad doesn’t answer much or look at what could be going on at a deeper level. And saying it’s simply a matter of genetics, renders someone a victim and takes away their personal responsibility.
These mainstream influences rarely consider how an individual’s life experiences or early childhood development can play a role in whether someone is violent or not. Emotions are also often overlooked and seldom make it into the headlines.
And yet this is not much of a surprise considering how emotions are generally viewed in today’s world. Whether it is during someone’s childhood, through their years in education or in later life; emotions can end up being completely ignored.
They are then not something that one has a healthy and functional relationship with, but as something that one needs to avoid and deny. And this inner rejection and denial is then mirrored in the external world. So as a result of people being unaware of their emotions and not having a relationship with them; it then leads to a society that avoids and dismisses anything that would relate to emotions.
For if one has repressed their emotions for much of their life, to talk about them or focus on them, could create a lot of inner unrest and chaos. Living as if they don’t exist or have any effect, is then normal and a way of life
Even though emotions can become repressed and therefore removed from the mind, this doesn’t mean they no longer have any influence. This influence can relate to how one behaves, how they see themselves and others and even the health of one’s physical body.
And ones first emotional experience will be during the childhood years. It is during this time that will often define what kind of relationship one has with them. Although it is possible to alter this relationship as an adult, for a lot of people, it is unlikely to change.
A Big Factor
One of the biggest factors in defining what kind of relationship it will be, is how emotionally available the primary caregiver was. If this caregiver was someone who was empathic and available, it would have lead to the child forming a healthy relationship to them.
This would typically be achieved by the caregiver regulating the Childs emotions. Through validating, mirroring, matching and soothing the child during times of emotional unrest and unease. The child would then gradually internalise this ability and learn to regulate their own emotions or that it is safe enough to seek assistance in others.
But when the caregiver is emotionally unavailable in some way and generally doesn’t engage in the above, these emotions will often have to be denied and repressed.
Now, the reason a child feels emotionally unstable can depend on numerous factors: ranging from something that is fairly minor at one end of the spectrum to an experience or experiences of extreme abuse at the other end of the spectrum.
And while these emotions will often have to be pushed out of the Childs awareness in order to survive, they won’t simply disappear. The child may even act out these feelings on someone who is weaker or through another form of expression.
As years go by and the child grows into an adult, the mind can lose all awareness of these emotions and of where they came from. They then become trapped and frozen in the body.
But although the mind may want to repress the emotions, the body wants to release them. This means that they are likely to come out in some way or another and it can be through other people triggering these emotions.
One can even re create similar experiences and this will lead to a monetary release. And as they have been trapped for so long, when they come out, they can completely take over; with all rational thought going out of the window.
This is not to say that emotional repression always leads to violence. It can depend on: how much emotional repression took place, what emotions were repressed and how strong they were. It is also possible for one to become aware of them in latter life and process them in some way.
Just One Way
Emotions don’t simply disappear because the mind doesn’t want to deal with them. And while violence against others is often given a lot of attention; it is just one way that emotional repression is observed.
One person’s primary way of dealing with their pain may be to go outward and regulate it through harming others. But for another, this pain can be turned inward and one can abuse themselves in numerous ways.
This is why emotional abuse if often ignored and physical abuse is given the most exposure; as it can be seen by the eyes.
As we live in a world where emotional repression is normal, it is not much a surprise that there is so much violence. Violence is one of the many consequences of not dealing with emotional pain.
If there was greater awareness around the effects that emotions have, the world would be a very different place. One way of dealing with this inner pain is to work with a therapist or healer that will enable one to release their emotions in a safe environment.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.