Breaking the Cycle of Abuse


I am awaiting my divorce due to domestic violence issues since a few years and my ex husband frequently changes his mind from a yes to a no to prolong the settlement of the matter and to keep me entangled in court. Apart from unresolved karma,I also feel that maybe subconsciously I might still be attached to some aspect which is not allowing me to let go of this abusive relationship energetically.Is there any affirmation for non-attachment that can help me?

—Saraswati, India


Dear Saraswati,

One of my favorite affirmations (written by Swami Kriyananda) goes like this: “I am STRONG in my Self; I am complete in my Self; the joy and perfection of the universe await discovery within my inner being.”

You are wise to heed your intuition that you may have a lingering attachment. Consider it as simply a habit. In a cycle of abuse it is common for even the abused to become used to the attention “bestowed” by the abuser. A person can even almost miss that attention but it’s mostly just a habit one gets used to and when it ends one is left with something of a void. “This, too, will pass!”

When separating, it is best not to make the mistake of believing one should spend psychic energy replacing negativity with positivity toward the abuser. That is simply another version of the same cycle. During a period of separation (like a teenager growing up), refocus your attention on starting a new life. The time for forgiveness, acceptance, and even a more sober and adult-like relationship will have to wait, if it comes at all, until you are “on your feet.”

While it is impossible to not dwell at times in the past, re-living the abuse or even dwelling on happiness that may have preceded it, try, instead, to focus on your new life, free from this “incarnation” of abuse. Let the legal process move along at its own pace applying patience and calmness no matter what shenanigans your “ex” employs to continue to make life miserable! Don’t submit or rollover, but stay calm and patient, relying on common sense, good legal advice (if necessary), and be so focused on your new life that this process is nothing other than going to the dentist.

These last vestiges of his own unhappiness are but the price of your “exit visa.” Don’t let him get the “goat” of your inner peace and spoil the new life that awaits you. More than anything, pray and meditate and chant every day, knowing that the only thing that matters, come hardship or success, is God’s love in your heart. This particular storm of delusion will spend its force and disappear as if it never existed. God alone is real. God’s love alone is true.

May the peace of your soul remain like a flame in your heart that never flickers,
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA