Hurt is Complicated

There’s the hurt that is happening now and there’s also what we do with the belief called “I am hurt”, which is mainly from the past coming into the present.

What really complicates the process of distinguishing whether we are holding a belief that we are hurt is that this belief comes up most prominently when we are triggered by something happening in the present. We are feeling both the present hurt and the past hurts simultaneously. When we feel something, we think feelings make something exclusively real and much more than a belief. So we may ignore the value of discovering if we have a belief, too, that we can do something about, as well as something that hurts right now. I am hurt is nearly synonymous with I am not safe. It makes sense. In the short term, the safest you can be is to relate to something that hurts as real. You’ll probably fight or flee and get away. When we look at the cumulative impact of what we do with the belief that we are hurt, the illusion of safety disappears.

Many of us who are stuck in the belief that we are hurt, hurt others, often with very little understanding of the impact. When we live with the belief that we are hurt, we may hurt others physically, we may hurt them by withdrawing, we hurt by not being reliable, we hurt by vociferously defending ourselves, we hurt by assuming that others are trying to hurt us and making them wrong, and on…

We may also hurt ourselves by blaming ourselves, not speaking up, holding low opinions of ourselves, accepting a consistent experience of suffering, going along with what we think others want to our own detriment, and on…

Many of those people who are hurting us and who we believe are hurting us, are stuck in the belief called “I am hurt”, too and may be unaware of exactly how they are hurting themselves and others. We’re usually more concerned with feeling hurt, consciously or unconsciously, than taking responsibility for the hurt we may cause. This is both obviously unfortunate and very human. We don’t want this to be true, but sometimes it is where people (and ourselves) are stuck.

I’m not telling you to excuse people and stay in the line of fire. Do not. I’m not telling you to make believe that you’re not in danger if you feel you are. If you are in danger, get out of danger the best you can. It is also not your job to fix someone who has the belief that they are hurt or to talk them out of it. That can be frustrating or dangerous. We all have the tendency to deny or defend our hurt.

I am saying that we could all make use of more compassion, giving it to ourselves and others and receiving compassion, which can be very challenging for those of us who believe we are hurt. Finding our own way out of our belief of hurt is invaluable and challenges us to be both brave and vulnerable. Understanding others’ belief that they are hurt can save us all more hurt. We can see what’s coming and know where it’s coming from and act accordingly.

I choose to work on this in my own life, because I love my family, my clients and myself and honestly, I love everyone (embarrassing, but true). I wanted to live outside of my distortions of feeling hurt that were coming from my past and all of the things I did and said while I was living inside those distortions. Choosing to live outside of “I am hurt” has been a daily challenge which has spurred on a lot of personal growth, success of all sorts and uncovered more and more ways to see how it has affected me, so I can be responsible for it. You don’t need a dramatic story of terrible things that happened in your life to wind up with the belief “I am hurt”.

Like I said, hurt is a complicated topic. There’s very little to take from here and put into use straightway, other than to look at yourself first.  Are you living in the belief “I am hurt”? If you think you are, get supported so you can live outside of it and give it your best effort.

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