Barclay Littlewood

An Insight Into My Life

Are you self abusive?

It’s all about the love. That’s what we all want. We want to feel love. Feeling love makes life a breeze. Without it, life is hard, it’s a struggle.

But why, I ask myself, do I find it so hard to love myself? To give that love to myself freely? Why do I make it so dependent on conditions being met? In the end, why am I so self abusive? For a long time, I have made feeling love so dependent on something. Being someone, being a certain way, looking a certain way, getting to a certain point in life, being viewed a certain way by others, extracting particular reactions from people. Of course, making love dependent on all these things, becomes a mirage. You chase it, get there, make the change, and hey very quickly, “I still feel the same, not so great, not so loved!”

The love we seek, really has three crucial sources. The first is the relationship we can foster and build through a series of processes, with our own source, that mysterious force which creates and sustains all life, that which I call God. The second source of love, is ourselves. The third source, is love from those around us – but it is no substitute ever for sources one and two.

It is this second source, the love for ourselves, that I will focus on now.

We all do it, but some of us, do it a lot more than others. We are self abusive. We abuse ourselves by beating ourselves up within.

Are you self abusive? Here’s some signs you could be, and that you ease up on yourself not just a little but a lot!

  • Nothing you do is really seen as good enough by yourself.
  • You are overly critical and harsh on yourself. (I always feel like I am living under my own critical spotlight, and that I subject others to the same too.)
  • Anything remotely resembling criticism from others sends you into a downwards spiral or makes you angry or defensive.
  • You are very sensitive to how others treat you or how they respond to you.
  • You may seek to continually strive and change to feel love, to keep changing until you feel that elusive feeling.
  • You may seek approval and love from others in every social situation, sometimes even at the expense of how we can effect others.
  • Your entire well being may hang on each and every social interaction as you try and make each one perfect.
  • You try so hard to reach perfection in every part of your life, but never feel you make the grade.
  • You resort to drinking or drugs to make yourself feel good.
  • You rarely offer yourself encouragement, grace, compassion, forgiveness and love.
  • You withdraw or withhold love from others who are different to you – perhaps they don’t hold the same beliefs as yourself, or values, or are a different race, nationality, level of perceived success, wealth, or fame.

We may think that being “X” may fill this inner void of love. It could be being intelligent, wealthy, powerful, famous, better looking, popular etc. anything.

It doesn’t.

Everyone that has tried to be or has been all of those things eventually finds that out.

Love that you give to yourself, can be given freely now, you just have to feel it. You have to break old habits – giving love to yourself isn’t dependent on a single thing. There’s no qualifier or qualification needed to feel love!

And if love from others is something you really want or need, there is nothing more loveable and attractive than someone who feels deep love for themselves, who genuinely deeply is in love with themselves.

Here are some great ways I have found, and been taught, to feel more love. They take various levels of practice, but they do get easier the more you do them!

  • Reach within and just feel some love for yourself. Close your eyes if it helps. Breath in deeply, and as you do, breath in love. Breath out any need to change or please anyone, any desire to gain anything or meet any condition to be loved.
  • Look in the mirror in the morning. Tell yourself some good things, give yourself some happiness and love. Actually speak out loud, and be kind to yourself.
  • Take 10 minutes each morning and evening to pray. To offer thanks to God for all you have. Feel that divine source of love you have within.
  • Meditate, there’s plenty of guides online.

As you feel more love for yourself, you will see your love flow more naturally and effortlessly to not only yourself, but outwards towards all those around you too. It’s really a practice that benefits everyone!

A quick glance at the world will show you that everyone’s inner relationship, reflects outwards to how we treat others. Another good reason to practice being self loving, rather than self abusive.

Best Wishes & God Bless


Coping with abusive behaviour from others

Coping with abusive behaviour or unloving behaviour

If you’ve been on the end of unloving behaviour or abusive behaviour from others, it can always feel very personal. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? The truth is, often, you did nothing.


Abuse may feel even more personal when the abuser highlights you as the cause of their abuse. They can in no uncertain terms tell you that it’s all your fault, and that you are to blame in totality, that you deserve what you got.

That never feels good, and often, we react. We add fuel to the fire, we bite back, we often can’t resist. Hurt breeds, hurt. Yet in the end, what is the best way to go about coping with abusive behaviour from others? In my experience, the answer is love. More love shown within, more love shown outside. Only love turns away hate, only a kind word turns away wrath.


Coping with abusive behaviour – taking responsibility for our own actions

Of course, we can all contribute to circumstances, but ultimately, we all must take responsibility for our own actions. You see, anyone that acts out abusive behaviour, is really reflecting some issue within. Either something that existed within them as of right, (they initiated), or something outside of them they reacted to and couldn’t cope with. (They reacted.)

For example, you may have not started the harsh words, but you retaliated because of the power they had over you. You may not have given out the rude service, but you sure reacted in a rude way!

All our interactions with others, really, ultimately, reflect the relationship we have with ourselves. And that relationship, is often heavily influenced by past events and relationships, especially with our parents. When anything outside of us threatens the love we feel within, we can feel hurt, we can bite.


Coping with abusive behaviour can take many forms, let’s take a look.

Did the abusive person steal? Then they want to feel love by having something outside of them. They think that the item, or the drugs bought with the proceeds will make them feel love. And often for a while it will, but it won’t cure the real lack of love they have within. Often that lack of love can come from the problems of a broken home, or an emotionally distant parent or parents. Do they deserve punishment, of course, but ultimately, they are sick. As a victim of theft, you have to be careful not to let their sickness become yours.

Did they cheat on you? Again, they have rejected your love, and have gone looking for it elsewhere, without a thought for you and your feelings. Often, this is because the person within doesn’t love themselves enough to respect those that do love them.

Are they excessively jealous or paranoid? They are simply showing you how insecure about themselves they are, that they lack true love for themselves.

Are they being aggressive with words or actions, even violent? They might be reflecting inner turmoil and suffering, or they may feel threatened by you, something you said or did, or what you are, maybe your nationality, race or religion.

Are they always trying to put you down? Well they are simply trying to build themselves up, because a lack of love they feel within.

Are they being very critical of you no matter what you do? Chances are that’s how they treat themselves deep within.

Do they criticise you for your different beliefs? It’s likely that they try so hard to meet a certain standard within, that anyone that doesn’t adhere to their ways they take issue with. When I hear a pastor say “this is the only way” I know they are just trying to convey God’s word. I have learned to live and let live here, because as compelling as the argument is, the facts, show something very different. People do come to God via different paths, the real of interpretation of our experience, is secondary to the realm of actual experience. And that includes my interpretations as well!


The source of all abusive behaviour is within each of us!

Ultimately, all abusive and hateful behaviour has it’s source within. It comes from us being abusive of our self or when we place the power of our well being not in our own hands, but in the hands of others. (I call this reactive abuse.) Should I feel threatened by something outside of me, which is natural, and be abusive, I have to handle that reaction and improve it. The person that is abusive, well, their issues are theirs to resolve.

The world, is realising that there are cures to the suffering we all feel within. The cures are not what we buy, our achievements, popularity or our social status, those things are addictive mirages. The cures are meditation, prayer, worship, counselling, support of friends and groups, fellowship, forgiveness and love – those are the real answer. The problem is not out there, and never was, it is within – within us all. We are all the victims and we are all the perpetrators.

The less love you feel within for yourself, the greater the outside world will affect you, this is all our challenge to meet. The true source of love is a wonderful relationship with oneself, and our source, that which goes under a thousand names, the suffering outside of us, will lead us all to suffer less and less.

Best Wishes & God Bless


Some words of wisdom about others and their treatment of your self

Words of wisdom

Let’s begin with some stunning words of wisdom that sum this page up.

“Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet.” – St. Augustine.

What’s the reality? A lot of the time… it’s hard, I don’t think people always see the objective reality about someone and their interactions with them. They may confuse how that interaction makes them feel and their subjective judgments about that person. They too may struggle with themselves, and how they feel about themselves.

So what is true? And what is false?

Well, if you want better relationships with the world, you have to start with yourself. Your relationship with yourself, reflects outwards.

Here’s some words of wisdom from my experience that apply to every last one of us –

Each one of us displays our relationship with ourselves by how we interact with the world. It is always a display. It is never personal – as much as someone may try to make it seem like it is!

A person that truly loves others, truly loves themselves.

A person that has achieved greatness, will tell you, that you can achieve greatness too.

A person that abuses others, is abusive to themselves, often because they have suffered abuse.

A person that tries to prove their worth to you, is still trying to prove their worth to themselves.

A person that tries to compete with you, hasn’t realised the real competition is within.

A person overly obsessed with material, is still trying to feel love for themselves.

A person that tries to deceive you, is still learning to be honest to themselves.

A person that abuses you hospitality, has still not learned to be hospitable to themselves.

A person that tries to bully or harass you, is just as unpleasant to themselves.

A person that withholds or awards love based on perceived social standing or ability, does the same to themselves.

A person that is sure about their future, is sure about themselves.

A person that is stable within, is stable in all situations.

A person that is conformable in the moment, is comfortable with themselves.

A person that is overly bothered by others opinions about them, is still unsure of who they really are.

A person who is overly bothered by other peoples treatment of them, has still not learned to treat themselves well enough.

A person that uses you for their own means, has not yet realised that their quest for self fulfilment is ultimately futile.

A person that craves acceptance from others, is yet to genuinely accept themselves.

A person that cares too much about benefiting from specific results, rewards and consequences of their actions, fails to see the reward is more often inside doing the action itself.

A person who craves stability on the outside, has failed to find stability within.

A person that is always critical of you, is just as critical of themselves.

A person that scorns you often, scorns themselves just as much within.

People can only love you, as much as they feel love for themselves.

A person who withholds love based on race or religion, loves themselves more, because of their race or religion.

A person who loves you more or less based on your views matching theirs, has learned to love themselves more based on their views being ‘right’.

A person who cannot take constructive criticism, is often trying hard to be perfect in order to be loved.

A person who cannot let the problems of your past go, still beats themselves up over their own past.

A person who shows warmth to others, is warm to themselves.

A person who is cold towards you, is usually cold towards themselves.

A person that blames you for their suffering, fails to see the cure for their suffering lies within.

A person that says something complimentary to you, is in the habit of being complimentary to themselves.

A person that encourages you, has learned the power of self-encouragment.

A person that has not forgiven you, has not forgiven themselves.

A person that doesn’t respect kindness, doesn’t give much kindness to themselves.

A person that tries to be violent towards you, has suffered as a victim of violence themselves.

A person who criticises your intellect, is often not secure in their own intellect.

A person who tries to show you how smart they are, is often not so sure of their own smartness.

A person that tries to hurt you with their words, is always hurt within.

A person who puts you down a lot, often puts themselves down a lot too.

A person who builds you up and gives you confidence, shows you how they treat themselves.

Remember too – where there seems little, there is often a lot, where there seems a lot, there is often little.

For example, all people that have achieved material success or fame, will tell you that it holds far less happiness in itself than they often believed, and others still believe. Likewise some of the poorest people, are the richest within.

Few people see the true reality of this world.

In a nutshell, all people can achieve greatness in any endeavour, should they find their passion – then focus on learning, practicing, growing and evolving for many years and surrounding themselves with the right people to help them grow and succeed. Remember everyone started off as a beginner, as a novice, knowing nothing about what they now master! Becoming a genius in anything, is really a process – a long one. There is no place for todays all too popular instant gratification mindset there.

The people you may see as great, are in reality, blessed with the very same tools you are, all that separates anyone, is how they used them!

In the same way, almost all people are blessed with the faculty to experience God within. That is scientifically proven – worship, meditation, prayer, all have the same effects on the brain (e.g. who you are) in all people to produce the feelings of peace. They are the physiological processes by which your brain changes through specific ‘exercises.’ The more you do them, the better you get at them, the more you benefit.

If you want to experience heaven on earth, do those exercises, otherwise, you will end up using the faculty for the worship of something else that will not provide true spiritual fulfilment.

And what we say about God, our experiences? Well, having an experience of God takes work, it is a little like using a treadmill to be fit, I can believe anything about the treadmill, it may seem bizarre and odd to everyone else, but, the treadmill still works the same. It’s the same treadmill everyone else uses (or doesn’t use), no matter what I believe about it, the name I call it, the instructions I use to work it – it does the exact same thing.

Thanks for reading these words of wisdom, and to finish,

“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”. Ephesians 4:22-24

God Bless