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When Someone Hurts You


In sharing thoughts on being more physically active to help transcend chronic anger, bitterness, or anxiety over things we can't control, I received a few notes asking for specific guidance on what to do when deeply hurt by a family member or friend.

When moving more isn't possible or enough to change momentum for the better, here is what I suggest:

First, consider that we can only feel hurt when we are genuinely invested in some way. It's typically when we have some respect or fondness for another person when we can get hurt by them. If a stranger purposefully tries to hurt us, while we might be unpleasantly surprised and unsure of how to respond, we aren't likely to carry hurt from that incident.

So the first step to healing is to recognize that our heart for the person who hurt us was sincere - this is a beautiful thing, as over time, our faith in humanity can be depleted, and we can lose our natural capacity to be kind and generous with others. Just being aware that we are sincere in our intentions can be enough to overcome our hurt, as our desire to be good to others can be applied elsewhere, giving us unlimited opportunities to have loving and nurturing experiences that are powerfully healing.

Second, consider what kind of hardships the other person may be going through, or some of the hurtful experiences they've accumulated over many years. Could they have lost their capacity to be loving and kind because of their own collection of wounds?

Third, consider things that we wish to be forgiven for. As we reflect on anything we could have done better had we known more, it can become easier for us to be forgiving with others.

Fourth, consider how you would advise your own child to handle things if they were in your exact same circumstances. Often, what we would want our loved ones to do is what we should do ourselves, establishing healthy boundaries while still maintaining our humaneness.

If you have any suggestions for those who haven't been able to overcome being deeply hurt by a family member or friend, please consider sharing in the comments section at one of the following pages:


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