“You hurt my feelings” is an allegation that is constantly bandied about.
You may have said it yourself and I have little doubt that the accusation has been directed at you as well.
Love those who hurt you the most because they are probably the ones closest to you.
They, too, are on a path and, just like you, they are learning to walk before they can fly.
Imagine if everyone you hurt in life turned their backs on you. You would be playing a hell of a lot of solitaire.
Love them no matter what.
If you are upset by something someone else has said about you, first up consider this.
If their conduct was rude or unwarranted, no matter how vocal or obscene it was, it cannot possibly reflect on you; it is merely a demonstration of their own bad or vulgar behaviour.
Defending personal pride against perceived hurt or insults results in brothers and sisters or parents and children never speaking to each other again.
Here in the United Kingdom I know of two sportsmen who represented their country in the same national team and played proudly alongside each other for a number of years.
I shall not name them because the purpose of this tale is not to sensationalise but to illustrate.
In their time they were national heroes and known to come from a close knit family.
Then one day the wife of one was upset by her husband’s brother.
The brothers no longer speak or have anything to do with one another. What a price to pay over a family falling out!
We each choose our own partners in life. In the western world at least, the rest of the family don’t choose them for us.
Sometimes it comes as a shock when a brother or sister who has had up until then a very close relationship with a sibling finds that suddenly there is an intruder.
It is all the more difficult if the new partner is not liked by the sibling or wouldn’t have been the sibling’s first choice.
If you can see yourself anywhere in this scenario, think carefully on these words.
Do you truly love your brother and sister as you thought? Do you wish to maintain that loving relationship?
You see, the moment your brother or sister cemented the relationship with their partner it became a permanent union.
Anything you do to undermine or destabilise that union can only result in disaster for you because when your brother or sister decides to walk away, it will be with their partner and not with you.
Study family situations where you know this to be the case. They are all around you and not difficult to spot.
So when you next feel hurt stop thinking for a moment about your own feelings and consider the one you profess to love.
Ponder also the advice of John Wooden: Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.
As Dr John DeMartini says, there is no such thing as a one-sided magnet.
Those wonderful tools provided to us through social media and which can assist our happiness by sending pictures and messages around the world virtually instantaneously, can also transmit insults and harmful messages at the same speed.
A thoughtless tweet or an angry comment on Facebook may lead to ridiculous and distressing outcomes.
Recently, again in the United Kingdom, tweeters took to their instant messaging devices to defame a perfectly innocent prominent political figure who a particular newspaper suggested might be a paedophile.
The newspaper was sued and agreed substantial damages.
But the defamed person was so incensed he also sought damages from all those who had repeated the libel in their tweets.
So before you open your mouth, put pen to paper or hit the keyboard, think about the consequences.
A moment’s stupidity or anger may lead to a lifetime of repentance.
The next time you consider you have been hurt by someone’s words, ask yourself some questions.
It is necessary to connect your language with the experience.
Ask these sorts of questions: Who hurt me specifically? About what are you hurt specifically? How did what X said hurt you specifically?
The truth is that no-one can hurt you in this way unless you permit them to do so.
The answer is not out there; it is within you.
Some people don’t like to believe that they possess the power and the answers to the problems they perceive. Why? Because they feel comfortable being a victim.
It is easy, isn’t it, not having to take personal responsibility for what happens to your life.
Far better, they think, to be able to blame other people for every misfortune that befalls them.
Now is the time to stop biting back when you perceive someone else has hurt you; think instead of those around you and who you might be hurting by an angry or inappropriate response.
If you are feeling a little vulnerable or in need of some sort of protection try this exercise.
Imagine sitting in a large perspex dome that completely covers you, acts as a shield and guards you from the world around.
You can see out of the dome and you can observe anyone who might cause you harm by their words or actions, but they cannot reach you.
In fact, anything they do will merely bounce off the outside of the dome and go straight back to them.
It is so completely peaceful inside of the dome and you feel completely secure.
Now think of a favourite colour and shade that makes you feel really good.
Imagine sitting in your perspex dome as your favourite colour, in the form of a mist, rises through the ground completely covering you and filling the dome.
As it does so, bathe yourself in those beautiful relaxed feelings and feel safer and more pleasant than you have ever done before.
When you are feeling really good you can lift your shield, leave the dome and go about your business.
But if at any time you feel vulnerable or insecure you know you can pull down your dome, call on your favourite colour and feel completely protected.
Chances are that if you have hurt feelings and attribute them to the conduct of someone else, you are thinking about yourself too much.
In other words, your attention is in the wrong place.
Occupy your mind. Go for a walk or a run. Go to the gym. Go for a swim. Exercise is far and away the best cure if you are able to do it.
If not, then you will just have to do something else. Play some beautiful music – whatever grabs you.
For some that might be Beethoven’s 9th with its stirring Ode to Joy but for others it may be peaceful meditation music or a raucous pop hit.
It doesn’t matter as long as it works for you. There are plenty of things you can do to distract yourself from unwanted feelings.
Don’t blame others. Don’t seek an apology (which may just make matters worse anyway).
Instead, search within, take your mind elsewhere and practise finding your own happiness no matter what the circumstances.
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