Is Self-Abuse of Body and Mind Normal?

We are all normal! Since normal is a average, we are each average for who we each are. It is not reasonable or responsible to compare one normal person with another or to get an average of average people since they are not us. We are who we are and that’s it. Instead of normality, the real issue are the statuses of our bodies and minds? It is normal to not be using our bodies and minds optimally. This less-than-optimal use of our bodies and minds is a form of self-abuse. Thus, is self-abuse normal?

Self-abuse of the body is pervasive. Vaccinations are the major medical advancement that prolongs longevity and they are being withheld from children by ill-informed albeit well-meaning parents. Unfounded fear of the unknown has overshadowed what should be well-founded fear of the known, i.e., the risk from the infectious diseases they prevent. Why would parents not want to prevent cancer in their sons and daughters with HPV vaccination? There are plenty of other and worse infectious deterrences to sexual activity and the HPV vaccine does not diminish these bigger risks.

Obesity is a pervasive form of self-abuse. It is self-abuse because we stress our bodies by eating what it does not need and thus become obese. Obesity then stresses other organs and may lead to one or more well known problems. Unfortunately, science, medicine and the government have offered little leadership in preventing obesity. Capitalism on the other hand flourishes while people get obese. To the same extent bulimia and anorexia nervorsa are opposite types of self-abuse, i.e., denying the body of what it does need. We are what and how much we eat! To over- or under-indulge is self-abuse.

Lack of exercise is self-abuse but so are a “six-pack abdomen” and an abnormally muscular bodies. Physically fit people are sinewy, i.e., lean and muscular. Physical fit regarding the heart means walking for at least thirty minutes a day at least five days a week and not eating what is not needed. It doesn’t mean fad diets and gym or exercise for hours a day or marathons.

It should be apparent that self-abuse of our bodies comes from our minds. Our bodies evolved to survive by being physically fit. Our minds override the body’s efforts to be physically fit thus abusing it and this mental self-abuse shows up on our bodies. Obesity, over-developed muscles, tattoos, piercing are just some bodily manifestations of mental self-abuse.

Mental self-abuse is normal. We turn our anger inward rather than just accepting or forgiving ourselves for letting others get to us. We forget what others do is their problem–not ours–and we participate in it when we should just laugh or shrug and ignore it.

Mental self-abuse occurs when we are unable to stand in front of a mirror and look at ourselves and into our eyes and say “I love me the way I am now!” wholeheartedly and mean it. The love of others starts with self-love. It is mental self-abuse (even torture?) to love others without loving one’s self.

If it is normal to self-abuse then it is time to be abnormal and love ones self and stop the self-abuse. A good start to this path is Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements. It gets you more than half-way there.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.