Practicing Peace with Ourselves for the Benefit of All

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The #metoo movement, the Time’s Up Campaign, and the massive energy behind women’s empowerment and what we expect from others as women has me all fired up in so many ways. 

It’s kind of like waking up from a life-long dream… 

Wait.... of COURSE, we need to speak out about the daily misogyny we experience as women! 

How could I have just been letting the cat calls, the uncomfortable comments like 'your jeans look like they fit really well,"or the lack of respect I feel, every time someone chooses to comment on a physical attribute of mine, instead of commenting on the attributes of my mind, my intellect or my kindness? I was just letting that stuff “go” as “part of the life in this world”. 

It is majorly messed up alarmingly often women get sexually assaulted in their homes, places of employment, etc and don’t speak out about it because they are worried about retribution, judgment, and being seen as the one who “stirs things up.” 

Well it’s over, time is up now. We WILL STIR THINGS UP, because we are all humans beings who deserve to be respected and seen for more than our bodies. 

 This is a great rule of thumb. 

This is a great rule of thumb. 

The thing I want to write about today is more about the source of this misogyny and how we, as women, can also be the perpetrators of violence. In our society when we think of violence we generally think of physical violence: inflicting physical harm to someone else. However, I want to expand that definition to any type of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual harm we cause to ourselves or others. 

We must realize that gross and extreme examples of violence aren’t just random acts. Like all things that go against the goodness of human nature, they build up slowly over time. Definitions and boundaries; slowly being eroded with small toes over the line of decency. Something, and then another thing, and then another thing, gets shoved underground, passed off as "normal", and eventually all these subtly not-OK things begin to fester, become toxic, and turn into something really ugly. 

In the case of extreme acts of violence, it’s the more indirect acts of violence that are consistently permitted on a larger, broader scale. When these seemingly “small” harmful acts are allowed, deemed normal, or seen as necessary, it is inevitable that larger, more extreme acts of violence will eventually take place. In this way, the violence we perpetrate on ourselves on the seemingly inconspicuous levels contribute to the society-wide severe violence we seen in our culture. That is why, as women, we must say “no” to any and all violence inflicted against us by other people, but more importantly the acts of violence we inflict on ourselves. 

Internal violence is pervasive. These violent sentiments can show up in so many seemingly “normal” actions. Suppressing our hunger is an act of harm to our bodies. Overeating to fill an emotional void is an act of harm to our emotional state as well as our physical bodies. Deciding to push our bodies way harder than they want to be pushed in the gym is harmful. Eating junk food mindlessly. Starving ourselves. I would argue, that certain types of plastic surgery could be considered acts of violence towards our bodies. Literally cutting our skin, manipulating precious body parts to be closer to a standard of beauty that society sets for us and has nothing to do with our worthiness. The way we talk to ourselves, treat ourselves, and the disrespect for our bodies and what they need/want/are asking for, is a massive source of “subtle’ violence in our world. 

We can’t expect people who don’t love themselves to be able to love other people. It truly does, and always will, start with us. {This isn’t a call for the victims of sexual assault or violence to blame themselves, and if you’ve been violated or had violence done to you by someone else it was not your fault in any way, shape or form.} We all have to realize that we must stop the violence where ever we can. We must say “NO” to the violence perpetrated against ourselves in the form of negative self-talk, cruel self-commentary, and the assumption that we need to use harsh language or action with ourselves to create internal/external changes. 

Non-violence and peace starts with you and me. It starts in our ability to forgive ourselves. It starts with allowing ourselves to be flawed, and still speak to ourselves lovingly. It starts with complete and radical self-acceptance. It starts with having grace with ourselves. It starts by refusing to inflict violence on ourselves. 

Practicing peace towards ourselves, daily, will allow peace to overflow from our hearts and into the collective. As we are less judgmental of ourselves we become less judgmental of others. As we become more kind with ourselves, we notice we are kinder to others.

So let’s say “time’s up” to the violent, abusive thoughts, behaviors we have been perpetrating on ourselves. Let’s bring awareness to where we are allowing violence in our daily lives, and start to choose Love instead. As we build the momentum within our own lives, we will see it spread out to others. 

I'm with you relearning how to treat myself with more love, forgiveness, and allowance every step of the way. 

Clara Wisner

Clara Wisner is a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She attended school at the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, CO from 2012 to 2015. Clara Wisner is also a Certified Primal Expert and a Certified Sugar Detox Coach. She has a BS in Resource Conservation and Economics from the University of Montana. She is a world traveler and is working on cookbook tentatively called Paleo Around the World: A modern Take on Traditional Recipes. Clara organizes the Paleo Pop Events in Denver, helping to create a healthier, stronger, more connected community. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her husband and the paleo puggle, Ooli. In her free time she crossfits, cooks, writes poetry, walks dogs (other peoples’ and her own), listens to A LOT of podcasts, reads fantasy novels and also loves to read about biology, neurology, and marketing.