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Sunday, November 18, 2012

When Hurt People Hurt People



There’s hardly a more relevant truth in the relational life: hurt people hurt people. The stinging barbs that are deployed with ferociousness, land without warning in the flesh of the unknowing.
Because we all have the potential to be hurt, we all have the potential to hurt people.
There may be no more powerful a truth than this, considering that the biggest roles we play in life are via our interactions with other people.
We only need to think of a time when we have been hurt, to reconcile the potential we have within us to hurt others, because we were hurting. It really does work in a cause-and-effect fashion, notwithstanding the potential we all have to grow through maturity beyond it.
So what are we to do? How can we get to a state where we are beyond hurting others?
It may be overly simplistic to think in these terms, but surely we must have an effective way of dealing with the hurts that come our way—those that land in the midst of our flesh, potentially scarring us if we don’t respond well.
Getting Beyond Being Hurt
Firstly, there is no perfect answer in developing our characters that we would be beyond being hurt, but we can work on our understanding and, in such, venture toward maturity.
We can come to understand that when we hurt people, or when people hurt us, there is a vacuum of love, because of the deluge of fear that is being dealt with. Fear propagates hurt. So, if we can get beyond our fear, or when others can, there is less hurt to deal with, and we may be strong enough in love to reject temptations to become hurt.
It really is important that we commit to this: to getting beyond being hurt.
Not that we should deny being hurt, because truth is fundamentally more important. (The first role in healing is acknowledgement of the truth.) But we can begin to understand how hurt is created and nurtured—in a seminary of fear. None of us wants to be fearful, so we should empathise with anyone (including ourselves) who is obviously in fear because of their (or our) propensity and willingness to hurt.
Getting beyond being hurt is about understanding the role of fear in the hurtful. How could our hearts not go out to the fearful?
***
Hurt people hurt people and they do so because of fear; a vacuum of love exists. Fear is horrible. When we understand the role of fear in the hurtful, compassion becomes us for them. Love drives out fear, so let us love the hurtful the best we can. It begins, continues on, and ends with forgiveness.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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