DO NOT LET YOUR ‘BELIEFS’ KEEP YOU IN GRIEF!
By Sherry Brantley
Since no one can live beyond what they truly believe, it is imperative that we begin to take a look at what we really believe. Many times people stay in situations that are unhealthy either spiritually, mentally, physically, financially or emotionally, and rationalize this to be their lot in life, based on some type of religious doctrine, personal background or current environment. Although men certainly practice this type of behavior in various stages and periods of their lives, I have noticed that for the most part, women seem to do it—and do it so abundantly! Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to speak to my spiritual female siblings.
Women have used everything from their background and environment, to man-made laws to continue to be abused sexually, physically, financially and emotionally. And more importantly in connection with that, what we teach our children by our actions—they learn!
All of us have witnessed the devastating effects this type of teaching has done to generation upon generations. Mom’s mate mistreats her or abuses her physically on a regular basis, so male children think this is normal behavior to exhibit once they are grown and out on their own. Girls also think it is normal to continue in that type of tradition once they leave home, allowing themselves to also be subjected to the vicious cycle of abuse in various forms.
This is why it is so important that women especially, begin to learn and use any and all information which teaches that all humans, including themselves, are divine beings. Being fully aware of this knowledge you will cease to allow any mistreatment towards you or your children—by anyone. Knowing that the universe will certainly support you in your now positive belief system, you won’t tolerate abuse in any area of your life. Not on the job, not at the grocers, not from a neighbor, spouse or children.
Once you have grasped the understanding that no one has the right to abuse—in any form, you will begin to simply not allow that type of behavior to permeate any area of your life. No person, male or female that ever experienced problems in this area who has grasped this principle ever goes back to being the same again. As you begin to tap into and utilize your Personal Power, you’ll find a myriad of positive ways to not only remove yourself from these types of negative lifestyles and situations, but you’ll also learn to not allow them to become a part of your life in any way, therefore there will not be a need to sidestep them or try to remove yourself from them.
Consequently, when I realized the ‘lessons’ my ex-husband and I were teaching our children, (for mom’s, if we allow aberrant behavior in our households whether we condone it or not—we are certainly teaching it) then I realized I no longer wanted that for my girls. Many times people exclaimed: “You should have stayed in the marriage for the sake of the girls!” I always reply, “My dear sibling, it was because of the girls that I left!” There was no way I could teach them to choose a spouse that took his family and fatherly responsibilities seriously as long as they saw me with someone that didn’t. (My ex-husband was an alcoholic and did not work for the first 6 years of our 7 year marriage!) I didn’t leave in a huff. There weren’t any ugly battles. Just a revelation that I believed in something much grander, more powerful than I could describe to anyone, and my spouse could not at that time in his life, see, believe or even entertain the thought that possibly, it could be so.
Today when my girls see negative behavior exhibited towards one of their friends or even one of my adult female friends, they’ll ask me why the abused party deals with that type of behavior. They express concern for the individual but they will not remain in their environment. Ultimately this is the lesson I wanted to teach. This is not to say they will remember or even embrace all of the lessons and principles which I’ve attempted to instill in them, but should they decide to develop a belief system which supports a negative behavior pattern, it certainly would not be because they were raised in that type of environment.
As parents we have to do the best we can with the knowledge we have available to us at any given time, and trust that our children, although certainly making mistakes of their own, will ultimately begin to choose decisions based on positive principles and lifestyles. We all make choices. They will be either positive or negative, and they will be based on the belief systems which we have created for ourselves.
There is a saying that states: “The first time a victim, the second time a volunteer.” Understand today, here and now, you no longer want to hold the volunteer position of being abused either verbally, mentally, physically, sexually, or financially. There is no need to raise our voices, stomp our feet, or walk away in a huff. All that is needed is that we take three deep breaths, pray silently, and look our (spiritual) siblings directly in the eyes and say sincerely. “I’m sorry. This type of behavior is not—or in some cases, no longer acceptable to me. This is not working out as I envisioned. I am removing myself from these circumstances,” or this situation, AND THEN WE MUST FOLLOW THROUGH! We must be willing to do what it takes to ensure we will be treated in the manner which we were created and designed to be. We must not allow ourselves to be worn down by ‘sweet promises’, flowers, or a trip to see a romantic movie, only to return to the mental and verbal abuse we say we want to leave behind. Will it be difficult at times?
Perhaps. It certainly was for me when I left a fully furnished home, family and friends behind. Today I don’t tolerate abuse or even a facsimile of it. If I find myself around someone that for whatever reason doesn’t understand negative behavior is unacceptable to me, I simply remove myself from their presence. We need not attempt to change others, only ourselves and our own environment.
For those of you that are not in a position whereby you can remove yourself and your children safely from your environment, if there is a violent or volatile situation at hand when you’re suddenly faced with the realization that you no longer want to endure that type of behavior, that may not be the ideal time to state your intention in relation to the dissolution of the relationship.
Perhaps you may need to request help from outside sources or seek a woman’s shelter or even help from the local authorities. Do not place either your or your children in harm’s way ‘just to make a point.’ If you must leave as a ‘thief in the night,’ silently and stealthily—then plan your actions and know the best way and time to execute them.
Ladies, we must also realize if a physical separation is the path that we find ourselves taking, that what we are leaving behind is simply the spousal or mate portion of the relationship. Perhaps we can still maintain an amicable friendship with ex-partners, as I was able to do in my case. We are not to be judge and jury as to the relationship the absent or ex-spouse may have with their children. Unless our children would be in situations that are abusive or dangerous to them in any way, we should always strive to do the right thing when it comes to spouses having contact with their children. Contact can take many forms from writing, sending cards, calling, e-mailing, etc., to showing up to special events, being involved with the school system and keeping them during week-ends or at other times. Realize if dads are unresponsive, immature, or not taking care of their financial obligations—the ball is in their court, meaning this is not your responsibility.
Your responsibility is to ensure you and your children are safe and their basic core needs are met. Show them they are loved and are in no way responsible for the separation the adults are now going through. You need to be aware that you do not need to ‘get permission’ from others to leave a negative environment. You have the right to create a positive, loving world for you to experience and you owe no one an explanation as to why you are doing what you’re doing—unless you choose to share that information.
Sherry Brantley is the author of several books, including the Best-selling author of STEPP- Start To Exercise Personal Power—How To Create Positive Change In Your Life! She is a dynamic leader and trainer, specializing in the areas of Goal-Setting and Goal-GETTING! Her website is sherrybrantley.com and email is
This column was printed in the June 12, 2016 - June 25, 2016 edition.