Shining the Light on Hurt

Often when we feel hurt in life, we tend to seek comfort by blaming someone for our pain.

However, if we were to look back at the times when we have been ‘let down’ in life, we would also realize that whenever we were upset with someone else, we were also upset with the self.

There are many manifestations of this. One that I have to watch, and lots of my clients experience, is the spiritual ego, or superiority.

When we are hurt, we try to feel better by telling ourselves, “I used to do that but now I know better” or “Really? Really they are doing that?”

Sometimes we become judgmental of others, merely because they are doing what we secretly want to, but don’t because “we know better.” This is another form of superiority.

Ultimately, we hate in others what we hate in ourselves.

This is far more prevalent than we know. Let’s face it; we don’t want to admit that we are guilty of the same drives, quirks, or, bad behaviors that we are judging.

Seeing and admitting our own flaws makes us uncomfortable, so, we tend to shift the blame to someone else and prefer to feel the hurt, instead of digging deeper into our emotions.

Often hurtful incidents stay with us for a long time and keep rearing their bothersome heads, reminding us of the pain we felt. Just recently, I came to a startling realization about this.

I had been looking inside and wondering why an old hurt still bothered me. Instead of letting it sit on the surface, I went into the discomfort and boy, was it uncomfortable! I was mentally squirming all over the place.

What my gripe was that I had been let down by someone. I knew that there had to be an old hurt at play somewhere, or the incident wouldn’t bother me so much.

There was!

I hated being let down and by digging deeper into the hurt; I saw where I HAD BEEN LETTING OTHERS DOWN! Here I thought that I was such a good friend. All of a sudden I saw where I had been flaky and out of integrity. I was floored. I did not make my hurt better or worse than it was, simply shone the light and took a look.

By allowing myself to reside there for a moment—that seemed like an eternity—I got to see why I let others down. If I let them down first, then I would be protected from them letting me down.

Ultimately, what we need to understand is that when we attribute anything that makes us uncomfortable to external circumstances or ‘someone else’, we attempt to circumvent the discomfort of our feelings.

Absolving ourselves of all responsibility and feeling sorry for ourselves allows us to continue living in the comfortable space where we are in the right and therefore better than others. Shining light on our own actions, even when we believe we have been wronged, on the other hand, helps us understand ourselves better.

Your Assignment:
Reflect on the times when you felt really hurt. This time instead of focusing on what someone else did, focus on your own behavior and actions.

Take time out to introspect about the habits and traits you do not like in yourself. Pick out any recent incident when you felt really irritated or hurt, by someone’s attitude. Do you see any similarities between your own biggest flaws and this person’s attitude?

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