As the lockdown for Coronavirus continues, so the domestic violence crimes are increasing. Of course, only those reported are in the statistics, if a all. So why is that?
To me, the answer can be found in two areas which we have defined as "Fact" - at least in our heads.
The first answer I offer is, that when a person isn't at peace with him or herself, then it's not going to be long before you are not at peace with others.
The second answer is that the domestic situation started with a misconception as to what love is.
Let me expand on this.
Of course, in my view, there is only really one answer, but two aspects. If you are filled with love, you are automatically filled with peace. But let's focus on that word: love.
Love, defined as an intense feeling of deep affection. Affection for what? To me after a lifetime of longer and shorter relationships (in my case, with women), it's clear that we use the word "love" in a number of different ways. So let me tell you first what that word means to me.
Love is the feeling which enables me to accept the moment as it is without judgement. It is not a feeling that comes from the outside - it is not a feeling dependent on another person or situation, although these things may lead me to that feeling, but the feeling is mine. It is a feeling that wants to give, not one that wants to take. It is in the deepest sense, the basis of life; love on a level which passes understanding, is the creative force of life and as such impersonal but utterly inclusive.
So how is that word used in our largely fake world? Well the first word that comes to mind, is that it is a statement of ownership.
"This is my wife; this is my husband; this is my woman this is my man; this is my child; this is my house; this is my dog; this is mine, mine, mine". These are the possessive pronoun we use all the time to identify a relationship: me and my or mine. You belong to me and I belong to you. Love is exclusive between us.
I hope that just reading the paragraph above makes it clear that whatever the meaning of the word love as it's used, has nothing to do with my own definition. It seems utterly absurd to me that we look and use the word love in this narrow and exclusive manner. But that is now part of the culture.
Even sicker to me, is that in 99.99% of all cases, it's the man who is the possessor and the woman the possession. The absurdity of this is enough to make anybody feel disgust.
We use love to mean so many wonderful things, including generosity, , caring, empathy support, etc. And yet, in the same breath we can just as easily talk about what it means for a woman to be loved as a possession: you belong to me - exclusively; You have to obey me in all matters; you have to be there for me when I want; you are a chattel to be taken up at will and chucked away as easily. That is loving a woman as a possession. Pathetic. This is modern slavery and it's practiced all over the world.
Listening to our love songs, reminds me of the absurdity in the lyrics. What are the common themes in love songs. So here are a few repeated sentiments:
- I'll be yours forever, you'll be mine forever
- Please be mine
- I'll always be here for you
- I'll never leave you
- I'll never let you go
- You are my everything
- etc, etc,
- My heart is broken because you left
- You treated me unkind
- You treated me unkind, now I'm going to get my own back
- I'll never love again
- I'm lost without you
- I'll die without you
- etc, etc
Look at these statements that we hear in almost every love song or poem. They hark to some idea of romantic love which has never existed. But each one of those statements contains a threat of something awful being the case if our love should end or not be reciprocated. Love and threats do not go together in my definition of love as a universal feeling. Hurt and pain are the inevitable results of the kind of love based on property and ownership and (usually) macho threats.
Love has no boundaries. Love is an outpouring of a feeling which encompasses those it touches. It accepts others as they are, because the lover accepts him or herself completely.
So how to get away from the slavery of what people usually call love? The statements listed above are also filled with expectations relating to the other person (and sometimes themselves). And the twin to expectations is disappointment. The disappointment of unfulfilled expectations leads us almost inevitable to the blame game. I feel shitty because of you. It's your fault this has happened. You don't love me any more. Etc. Add to that pressures from family, religion, tradition, social conventions and the pressure is enormous for both men and woman to make commitments most regret later, although, generally speaking, it's usually stacked in the man's favour, of course. How can love be involved in this? Passion, yes, but not love. And I doubt anyone who has been in a relationship would deny that the Initial passion faded and was replaced with other things, together with the respect previously shown that person. And that's not love. Love lasts and doesn't change, so what's going on? More importantly: why the heck do we keep on doing this to ourselves? Clearly, because we don't love ourselves enough to say I'm not going to do what all these conventions tell me I must. It's not me.
So that's how we get to domestic abuse and violence. The world and in particular the partner, are not conforming to my expectations and wishes, therefore the world is wrong, not my expectations and wishes, and so I'm justified in trying to make the world conform to my expectations. And that usually means those nearest and dearest, if that's the right expression. If this describes you, learn to and sit on the toilet before you freak out and close your eyes and take ten deep breaths, focus on each slow in-breath and on each slow out-breath. You will feel in a better position to look at the problem again for which you were about to use violence as the solution and see if there is another way, or if it's even important. And ask yourself why it got so uptight - what had you been thinking about that threatened you? And work on that. That's constructive use: get to know yourself better.
Because if you don't change then you practice a kind of love which is creepy and disgusting. If you use the word "love" to mean this, you are in for endless disappointment and unhappiness. Look at what's real and then get real yourself. You are always both the problem and the solution.