What is violence? One definition of violence is that it is a behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or something. This definition in my opinion is limited and very lacking. There are many forms of violence and violent acts, and I suspect that the violence that is acted out physically only represents a very small percentage of the total acts of violence that occur among people. Other acts of violence include demeaning, shaming, silent violence, and many other forms of micro violence that frequently go unnoticed. Although these actions often go unnoticed they may ultimately contribute to the violent acts that we read about or see in the news. What purpose does violence serve? I suspect in the short term it provides protection, it can release body tension, and is an effort to help us feel better about ourselves. It may be a way to protect our physical body, someone we love, or protect our sense of self. I suspect that most acts of violence are about protecting our sense of self. In the last post I talked about the stigma related to receiving mental health services and the issue of violence was addressed. We have been noticing is an increase in physical violence over the past months, Domestic violence has increased globally, and partner violence has increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic in the United States. Oddly enough there appears to be less reported child abuse. Because it is not being reported does not actually mean that there is less abuse occurring. Homicide rates have increased by more that 50 percent in many cities in the US, over last year. The pandemic has been a major contributor regarding all of these concerns, Might we say that most of us are experiencing more stress than usual? I know that my life has been more stressful, and it seems to be the same for most of the people that I talk with, including clients, family, and friends. I have been surprised that I have had less referrals for services since the beginning of the pandemic, and I haven't made much sense of this, although things have been changing in that regard more recently. It does make sense, that as we experience continued frustration and stress regarding so many things, we can become more easily "undone", and maybe even immobilized. It is difficult to process so many emotions, and we might become easily frustrated with those around us, and ourselves. In difficult times we tend to regress into behaviors that we might have thought we left behind and outgrew. A question I keeping ask myself is, What am I feeling and how can I how handle these feelings productively? "How can I handle stress most effectively? And how can I be kinder to both myself and those around me? It looks as if we have more months of this, so it might be helpful to be more mindful, and draw on the archetype of the wise person, (man or woman) within us, to help guide us internally, and deal with others and ourselves more effectively and compassionately. Is our behavior helping us to accomplish what we want to accomplish?
What is Violence and What Does it Accomplish?
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