The Spirit Crushers and Human Soul Demolishers

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“Sprit crushing and human soul demolition” that is what I’ve seen done to others.

The name for it came to me this morning as I got out of bed, which is very weird, because my bedtime post on Facebook last night was that I was: “Off to nourish my soul.”

We all know, and it has been highlighted in global technicolour this week with the passing of a much loved Actor to suicide, that the world can inadvertently do this to us.  The devastation, the loss, the destruction of parts of our world and other human beings, a feeling that things are out of our control.  Compound that with whatever is happening inside of your mind and the depths of your soul, and it can all take a silent toll.

That seems to be par for the course for the human condition.

Even Kofi Annan, a man who dedicated his life to peace as Secretary General of the United Nations, admitted that he was unlikely to see global peace in his lifetime, and that such struggles seem to be part of the psyche of our evolution on this planet.

Not the world, but individuals

What I am talking about here today is not the world at large, but  individuals.  People who are not at war yet appear to posses the unfortunate skill of single handedly crushing people.

Some I’m sure do it without realising, throwing words around and not recognising their impact on others.  For others however it appears to be a more calculated and deliberate game.  A strategy of wits, planning every interaction with precision, and trying to hide their spirit crushing and soul destroying words in amongst ‘innocent’ actions or in the name of being upset or expressing an opinion.

We can’t raise ourselves up by making others seem small yet this is what the spirit crushers and soul destroyers do.  And while it might not work in terms of elevating their position (except for inside of their heads), it can certainly work in terms of crushing the spirits and souls of their victims.

I am seeing the pattern more and more in the therapeutic work that I do.  Wonderful human beings whose spirits have been broken by the harsh words and actions of others.

It takes much courage to pick yourself up and carry on under such conditions, especially when those that break your spirit and crush your soul, often little by little, are partners, close friends, or family members.

When perpetrated by a work colleague or acquaintance it can be slightly easier to take and understand because in some industries it’s a dog eat dog world out there and you know not to take it personally.  When it comes however from those that you love or trust, it seems almost inexplicable, and the pain and devastation can run far deeper.

Are you the common denominator?

If you always seem to find yourself at the mercy of these people I say look for patterns.  If it has happened to you over and over again, in different scenarios with different people, in a host of different situations, even over a number of years, there is a chance that you could be the common denominator, so stop and check what you might be unconsciously projecting that draws these people to you.

It might also come down to what you think, feel, or believe about yourself; The ‘I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough’ kind of thoughts.

Much like bullies, the spirit crushers and soul demolishers seem to have a shark like sense for such vulnerabilities.

If it’s a rare occurrence and a one off, something that doesn’t usually happen to you, look for patterns involving the other person in the scenario; Have they done it before?  Have they left a trail of devastated and broken souls in their wake?

If they have, the good news is that it probably isn’t something that will follow you around, and you have just become temporarily caught up in their web.  There may still of course be a lesson to learn, or some aspect of your character to be explored, but there also comes a certain sense of relief when you realise that it isn’t just you.

Wake up

I feel like I am on a little bit of a mission at the moment to help wake people up to such behaviours because words can have devastating power when used in this way.  Once you at least wake up and realise what might be going on you can then decide whether or not you want to do something about it.

When called on their behaviour those who genuinely throw words about without thinking will say exactly that: “I had no idea.  Sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”

For those where this is some kind of emotional blood sport, they will usually justify their words, or make a lame attempt at a retraction but there will be no true recognition, and it will most likely happen again and again if you allow it.

Stop It!

There is a fabulous video by Bob Newhart called ‘Stop It!  If you have never seen it, do look it up on YouTube because it is hilariously funny.  Designed as a skit about therapy, it is also oh-so-straight to the the point:

“Oh no, we don’t do that in here.”  

“Stop it.”  

“We don’t go there.”

If you have been caught up in this pattern, in very basic terms, Bob’s comedic take can serve as a useful starting point:

  1. Make a decision that you no longer tolerate that kind of behaviour in here, here being your life.
  2. Stop it.  Tell them it has to stop.  Tell them with words, and if that is too much to start with withdrawing your energy from the situation.  When there is nothing for them to feed off, the energy after a time naturally dissipates.
  3. Thank people for their insights into your life and make it clear that you no longer choose to go there if they insist on continuing on a destructive path.

Of course, if this is a pattern that hinges on what you think, feel, or believe about yourself, there is also work to be done in order to resolve that, however making a decision about what you will no longer tolerate for the good of your soul, spirit, and psyche is a very powerful starting point.

I am also a huge fan of using laughter as a therapeutic tool, not to belittle your experience, but to break the hold that it has on you.

I wrote a few words about the Actor Robin Williams this week, and a facebook friend, Daniel Latto took those words and turned it into a beautiful quote and added a picture.  It feels appropriate to close with a reminder of those words and Daniel’s lovely and unexpected handy work:


"Remember that you are a contribution to this world . . . " Marilyn Devonish

“Remember that you are a contribution to this world . . . ” Marilyn Devonish

Wishing you a life filled with people who nurture, support, respect, and honour you.

Marilyn ♥



Marilyn Devonish is an increasingly free thinker (I ‘think’ it might come with age), Freelance Magazine Writer, Social Commentator, and Keynote Speaker.

She is also a Life and Executive Coach, Certified Trainer of NLP, Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy, a Soul Plan Reader, Archetypal Profiling Coach, Access Consciousness Practitioner, and Past and Future Life Progression Therapist.  In addition she is a Corporate Trainer, Project Manager, and Change Management Consultant.

Always an observer of life and what make people tick, Marilyn now combines both her business and esoteric skills to create lasting change for both individuals and organisations, usually starting from the inside out.




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About the Author:

Marilyn Devonish has been described as the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Anthony Robbins, a dash of Doreen Virtue, and the trio from Charmed all rolled into one. I (Marilyn Devonish) have admit that was too big of a statement for me to own, but I equally admit that I do like the sound of it and it did make me smile. Marilyn Devonish - Herself since Year 2000.

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