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How to deal with abusive spouse? 6 loving tips to survive

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A real life story:
I was surprised by what my friend X has done on the 4th Sunday of June 2013.
She reported her spouse to the police for making repetitive threats that he will kill her.
The couple appears loving to me.
They are kind, charming, polite, educated people.

X and her spouse are from a Christian family,
and I know many loving Christian families
who endure hardship and have long lasting marriages.
However,
as one of the priests (whom I had the fortune to listen to) mentioned,
the Church comprises saints and evils.
Instead of naively believing everyone is good (人心本善),
my view is that,
no matter a person believes in a religion or not,
a person can have the potential to be good or bad.
What matter is to discover the potential to be good, be good and do good.

X shared with me that her spouse has been abusive to her,
she does not know if she is supposed to continue tolerating his actions.

According to BabyCenter,
domestic violence doesn’t have to be physical: it can also be psychological, sexual or financial.

People often assume that women (girlfriends / wives) who are abused come from disadvantaged or deprived communities, but middle-class women (like X) are abused too.

X told me that although she was fearful for her husband’s job,
she has gathered all courage to face the consequences of reporting her husband’s threats.

According to her, her spouse:

# threatens to divorce X, knowing that X wants to hold the family together.
I asked X if he did so only when he was angry at X, but he also did that after they have reconciled,
hence giving X emotional stress.
(X seems to be the bedrock of the marriage.
It is not easy to be the bedrock of a family, a society, a nation.)

# threatens that he will kill X.

# makes X apologize for many times, even after X thinks that they have reconciled over a disagreement / dispute. X’s spouse would want X to kneel for even small matter, which X did to appease him.

# threatens to bully their child.

# seems to be 斤斤计较 / petty-minded / selfish.
X’s spouse was unhappy if X is using laptop or appears to X’s spouse taking care of their child less.
I believe that no matter how superwoman a mother is,
a mother deserves a break.

X mentioned that her spouse argued that if he did not see her taking care of their child,
then it would not be considered as taking care of their child.
Many times, X quietly does the house chores and child caring beyond what they agreed upon.
Then, I learned that
X and he grew up in different family backgrounds.
X was raised in high discipline and independent setting,
whereas he was pampered and spoiled by his mother,
who does not mind being scolded "stupid", "fat pig" by his son.
X does not accept this because to her,
she owes a life to parents.
Such a lack of respect attitude of X’s spouse is perhaps a factor of why X’s spouse is abusive.

Reflection: in my experience, I observe that people who are stingy tend to be 斤斤计较.
Although being stingy and frugal is different,
there is only a fine line between them.
It is important to be aware of the difference.
We strive to be frugal but not stingy.

# often blames X for consequences that are also due to his behavior / actions.

If I am his friend, I will likely to get another perspectives.
However, I am a friend of X,
so many of my sharing will be based on X’s standing point.

Here are loving tips for victims / survivors like X:
1. Love.
Love yourself.
If you do not love yourself,
it is hard to love your children.
Only when you love yourself,
you can genuinely love your children and spouse.
If you do not love yourself,
you cannot love your enemy.

In my opinion, X’s spouse suffers from low self-esteem.
He does not love himself enough,
so he unleashes his built-up anger, resentment, frustrations to his wife,
because he knows that his wife is always forgiving him.

Forgiving is a virtue, but forgiving without loving yourself is not forgiving.
Loving yourself here does not mean being selfish.
Loving yourself means respecting yourself.
A mentor said,
although
(i) Matthew 5:43-48 writes
"Don’t resist violence! If you are slapped on one cheek, turn the other too."
(ii) "No, not seven times," answered Jesus, "but seventy times seven." Matthew 18: 21-22.
but if you cannot be (physically / emotionally) alive after being slapped (inclusive of being abused),
and you have the responsibility to be alive
for the sake of your aging parents and young children,
you are being selfish to them
for upholding what you believe in "false sense of forgiving".
Moreover,
although you aspire to be like your role models (e.g. Saints),
you are just a human being.

2. Pray.
Pray in the morning when you wake up and at night before your sleep.
Daily prayers really help.
Praying is a form of believing,
the law of belief works.

The family that prays together stays together
.
Praying together allows you to communicate with each other.

3. Seek family help.
X told me that she has been informing her spouse’ parents on the repetitive threats,
but they told X that he was joking.
Some jokes are not funny.
His family seems to tolerate his abusive behaviors to X.

On a side note,
X feels sorry for her parents in law,
because they are among the nicest to X.
They love to offer buying her food,
but perhaps very kind parents who do everything for their children,
may result in children who take things (including people) for granted.
X is wise enough not to blame her parents in law,
because we are all victims of victims.
X shared with me that her mother in law lost her father in her early childhood,
so she showered all his love to X’s spouse.

Indeed, according to BabyCenter,
it is not true that all men who are violent have grown up in violent homes.
Honestly, I want to have parents in-law like X’s parents-in law, but not a spouse like X’s spouse.

4. Seek spiritual / religious supports.
Personally,
I believe in God and a religion,
so it helps me in my daily life.
A friend who had a severe accident (she ended up wheelchair bound) also found serenity in religion.

Marriage is a major event in human life,
so when one’s marriage is shaken,
it is natural to feel insecure.
But,
human beings have the capacity to harness our inner security / inner peace.

In the case of X,
X told me that she had tried to seek religious helps.
She went to counseling at church,
but he refused to go.

Before their marriage,
X told me that they attended Marriage Preparation Course,
and things seemed OK at that time.
Both proceeds to the marriage at their own free will.

There are also other spiritual supports.
Louise Hay suggests us to repeat,
"All my relationships are harmonious."

X was a migrant from a developing country,
who struggled since her early life,
although she has evolved into an educated woman,
I sense that she still have some traces of feelings of unworthiness / a belief that she is unlovable,
that’s why she attracted her abusive spouse.

Fortunately, X is aware of it and is working hard to change herself.
She is indeed lovable.
She recalled her spouse asked why she wants to get married with him,
given her good qualities.

The good news is
when we change ourselves (change our habits / beliefs / behaviors),
the other person will change or
he will leave our lives.

5. Seek legal supports.
This is what X did by reporting her abusive husband to the police.

If there is an immediate threat to your life, call 999.
Otherwise, a police report can be lodged at any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC).

In family violence cases, the Police is concerned with the following:
(i). The safety of the victim / any physical injuries?
(ii). With the consent of the victims, the Police will also refer them to the relevant Family Service Centres or Crisis Shelters for assistance.
(iii). If they wish to seek further legal protection, they will be advised to apply for a Personal Protection Order from the Family Court.
(iv). Where warranted, the Police will take action to prosecute the perpetrator.

6. Seek social supports.
A social worker told me,
after listening to many problems of people,
if you put your problem into a pile where others also put their problems,
and you have to take a problem,
you will definitely choose to take yours back and not others.

However, if your life is being threatened,
you must take actions to protect yourself and your children.

You can call / visit the Family Service Centre near your home if you need help or advice, or if you just need to talk to someone.

If you find my post useful to you, please donate to me. Thank you!
If you are a victim of domestic violence,
I pray for you to regain harmonious relationships.

Written by blueroselady

June 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

The four aspects of wealth

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There are four aspects of wealth:
1. Intelligence / wisdom (智慧)
2. spiritual (心灵)
3. horizons (眼光)
4. materials (人财产)

I could not agree more.
Since a young kid, I always admire religious family, they seem to be happy even if they are not rich by the world standard. This is because they have God in their heart. God is a source of wealth and love. God is wealth and love.

Do not work for big companies forever, we must 创业.
Ignore those people who say that you have ambition (野心).

Thank you so much to my doctor for this advice.

March 2013:
While reading my old green notebook inherited from F,
I encounter a quote from Theodore Forstmann.
REAL WEALTH is not PHYSICAL.”
According to him, physical wealth can disappear;
government can take it away,
natural disasters can wipe it out,
criminals / terrorists can steal / rob / destroy it,
and so on.
METAPHYSICAL WEALTH cannot be taken away,
it is the driver for all of the growth
that takes place in the world.

Blueroselady thinks that
METAPHYSICAL WEALTH is the FOUNDATION for PHYSICAL WEALTH.
METAPHYSICAL WEALTH includes spiritual wealth, knowledge, wisdom, and horizon.

Written by blueroselady

March 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm

"Do It Anyway" poem by Mother Teresa

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Over two years ago, I posted this poem by Mother Teresa, and today I encountered this poem again through DZ. Ideas and questions that come back to you again and again may mean something worth pursuing, this is a sign from the nature / God for me.

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Written by blueroselady

December 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

The journey to the West @ our home

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My partner and I had a discussion about history.

Why the chief leader of his and my birth countries (at the time when we were born) are good friends?
He asked me some Q.
I tried to use REASONing to answer.

He was reading on the history of my birth country, which he thinks as exciting as Hollywood movie. Movies are fun to watch, realities that had profound effects on your life are not fun. They change your life for worse, or better if you can rebounce from your hardship and insurmountable obstacles.
I find an analogy to explain my revolution in learning and life. It has to do with my life history (of course somehow tied to the history of my birth country), and circumstances that were beyond my control. We did not choose where we were born but we can choose how we want to live our life.
Imagine that if you had never experienced your mother’s love, you will not bother if you have her love or not; until one day you find out how loving your mother is, then you feel betrayed.
Only then you realized what had been stolen from you, your basic right for mother’s love.
But the good thing is you progress to learn about forgiveness.

I found peace after arriving at a conclusion that satisfy my many WHYs.
The leaders have their own agendas, which we commoners will possibly never understand.
My partner told me that some things (in life) do not need conclusion.
What do you think? I would love to hear from you my dear readers.
For me, having a conclusion based on understanding why some people commit some actions help me to forgive them or at least not to seek revenge or keep the bitterness in my heart.
I have been trying to release my past.
Until today, I may have the reluctance / disinclination (or fear) to read more about the massacre at my birth country.
However, to share with you, one of the most effective ways to overcome fear is to face it.
Things that happen in the past will not be able to do further harm on us.
Yes, we are still be alert but not becoming paranoid.
Now, what we can do is to create a better now and future, for a peaceful world, for our children and grandchildren.

Then, we talked about consciousness, including different levels of consciousness and how to raise our consciousness.
My partner honestly revealed to me that my weighted average of consciousness level is at sadness (it is just below the level of fear, desire, anger, pride) before reaching the positive level of courage.
It seems that there are many work that I still have to do in order to better myself.
I have to be MORE HAPPY every day, every hour, every minute, every second.

Honestly, I love to learn about many things.
When a person talk, the other listens; and vice versa.
Sometimes our home resemble the “Journey to the West” (西遊記).
Journey to the West is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.
The monk Tang XuanZang continues with his lectures (or preaching).
The michievous monkey (with its child-like playfulness) continues with its I-don’t-care- behavior (but listening with astute mind).

If you like adventure and spiritual quests, you may like Journey to the West.

Written by blueroselady

March 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

Tips: photography. Practice makes perfect

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Wake up call for my deteriorating photographic skills.
1. Pre-trip: always revise summary notes + images in Ideas folder.
2. The art of combining (beautiful shots + less artistic but memorable). Think summer 2010 in China.
3. The art of post-processing (crop, rotate / tilt, saturation, bw / sepia, clone).
4. The art of narrative (label with venue and dates, quotes / poems).
5. Open your eyes, heart, and mind.
6. Thank God for letting us to see through another angles and lenses.

PS:
1. see diary
2. keep on shooting

@~@
Ref: Portrait and candid photography. Photo workshop. Erin Manning.
I am donating this book to libary, though I have not finished reading.
It is better to share with more people.

Tell a story.
A wide shot of a room
a medium shot of someone’s face
a close-up of a foot / hand or other detail in the scene.

How to photography children or even the grown-ups?
people want to feel respected, appreciated, and comfortable.
begin shooting by talking with everyone.
turn on some music.
blow bubbles.

Written by blueroselady

March 29, 2011 at 12:48 am

My favorite Quotations

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@~@ General
生命的偉大在於他的微小; 生命的力量在於他的脆弱; 生命的永恆在於他的短暫. J.L. facebook.

@~@ Scientifc pursuits
磨刀不误砍柴工。It means it is not a waste of time to sharpen your knife before chopping the wood. There is also another quite similar saying: 工欲善其事,必先利其器, meaning “a worker needs to improve his tools before getting hands on his job”. (Thanks to Y.L. for sharing).
International exposure is v. impt in education, to helps us to break away from the impression that there is only 1 way of doing things. We also become more receptive to new ideas & perspectives.

@~@ Artistic pursuits
Dreams are like the paints of a great artist. Your dreams are your paints, the world is your canvas. Believing, is the brush that converts your dreams into a masterpiece of reality. Unknown.

@~@ Miscellaneous (sorry, I was too lazy to cluster them)
Can you live with your lover? Well, we can live with many people.
Can you live without your lover? Then, he is indeed your soul mate.

“Positive people have higher self esteem. This makes them display positive behaviour which makes others like them more.”

There is something nice about everyone, its just that we might not have seen it yet.

Written by blueroselady

February 27, 2011 at 2:22 am