Abuse can cause deep resentment and conflict between the people involved. These conflicts can hide the truth or make it difficult to uncover.
Dealing with Resentment and Conflict Resulting from Abuse
Abusers often use threats and manipulation to keep victims from talking about what has happened. These tactics isolate victims from friends and family, preventing them from getting the support and understanding they need.
In addition, resentment can take over a victim’s life. Resentment toward the abuser can make it difficult for the victim to see the truth and can lead to an attitude of victimization.
This can prevent the victim from seeking help to get out of the cycle of abuse. It may also lead the victim to lie about what happened, which can prevent justice from being served.
Therefore, it is important for those affected by abuse to find ways to combat resentment and get the support they need to work through the conflict and uncover the truth.
The Destructive Truth of Opposition and Contradiction
Abdu’l-Bahá, the son and successor of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder and Prophet of the Bahá’í Faith, once said: “Antagonism and contradiction are unfortunate and always destructive of truth. This quote, which I discovered in Bahá’s book The Announcement of Universal Peace, made me stop and think.
I had never considered the connection between opposition and contradiction, so I looked them up to make sure I understood their meaning. Antagonism means rivalry, resentment and ill will and contradiction means disagreement, defiance and denial, so this quote could also be understood as
Always detrimental to the truth.
- Conflict and resentment.
- Confrontation and malice.
- Conflict and denial.
Anger, Resentment and the Need for Control: Understanding the Cycles of Emotion to Overcome Anger and Resentment
People do not become angry and resentful on a whim.
Often they have suffered an injustice that has hurt them deeply and that they cannot forgive. Many resentful people have been through difficult and painful situations in the past and have seen no choice but to hold on to their anger or defend themselves.
This can become a habit.
We long to maintain some degree of control in our lives when circumstances seem completely out of our control as a result of traumatic events. This often manifests as a desire to follow rules and/or a desire to be “right.
When we were children, being “wrong” or not knowing the rules could result in punishment or abuse. Because abuse is always the choice of the abuser, it is never our fault. It is never the result of anything the victim did or did not do.
Children who have been abused need to make sense of what happened and often blame themselves for what happened. When abusers lie, they may even claim that the abuse was the result of something the victim did.
The damage caused by abuse includes not being told the truth as a child; not being able to tell, see, know, or hear the truth; and not being able to live or participate in the truth.
For this reason, those of us who have suffered severe child abuse may have a strong desire for the truth.
Abdu’l-Bahá stated in the book ‘Answers to Some Questions’ that
He affirms that lying is the most pernicious and repulsive quality that exists and that it is the worst of all qualities, the vilest attribute and the very source of all evil. It eliminates all human virtues and gives rise to innumerable vices. It is the root of all evil and the worst quality that exists.
The need to control: A Divide Between God, Ourselves and Others
When we feel the need to control and act negatively, we sometimes do so to ignore and avoid the discomfort of introspection.
This need to control can create a rift between God, ourselves and others when it permeates adult relationships and results in rivalry, resentment, ill will, conflict, defiance and denial. It also counts as lying.
In a speech given in Paris, Abdu’l-Bahá added
“We are happy when we find truth, consistency, fidelity and love; but we are unhappy when we find falsehood, infidelity and deceit.
Given the statements in the Bahá’í teachings that honesty is “the foundation of all human virtues,” that without it “progress and good fortune in all of God’s worlds are unattainable to any soul,” and that “antagonism and contradiction are destroyers of truth,” it seems to me that the presence of antagonism and contradiction in a relationship has the potential to undermine the foundation upon which a relationship is built.
Think about it: how many relationships-marriages, friendships and workplaces are tainted by deception, hostility and contradiction?
To adorn our souls with honesty: A Divine Invitation
The desire to be close to God and His Truth is innate in the human soul. Perhaps this is what Bahá’u’lláh had in mind when He exhorted all people:
People, adorn your souls with the ornament of truthfulness by adorning your tongues with truthfulness. Humans, be careful not to treat anyone treacherously. Be God’s representatives among creatures and symbols of His grace among men.
With information from Susan Gammage for bahaiteachings.org
Beliefs of Baha’ism
Baha’ism is a world religion based on the principles of love, tolerance and understanding. Its beliefs are based on the unity of God, the unity of mankind and eternal spiritual progress.
It emphasizes the equality of all races, cultures, genders and creeds. Bahá’ís believe in
- The Oneness of God: They believe that God is the source of all goodness and that there is one God and one Spirit.
- The unity of humankind: They believe that all human beings are part of the same family and are interrelated.
- Eternal spiritual progress: Each of us is on a quest to discover the truth of God.
- Gender equality: Men and women are equal in all aspects of life.
- Education: is the key to helping people develop their potential.
- Peace: is a supreme value and justice and human rights should be promoted.
In conclusion, Baha’ism is a world religion that advocates the unity of God, the unity of mankind, eternal spiritual progress, gender equality, education and peace. These principles encourage us to work together to build a better and more just world for all.