Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hurt People Hurt People. But Hurt People Also Heal People.

hug, compassion, love, health, hope, God, kindness, life, heal
Hurt people hurt people. Yes, it's true that people in pain or people that have been hurt have a tendency to lash out at others and direct their pain toward others. Subconsciously a scarred heart treats others in a harsh manner in an attempt to self-heal. The hurt person may be sharing their burden with another with the expectation that the person will help them by carrying the burden with them. They may be lashing out in a knee-jerk reaction in order to hurt a person just like they have been. The hurt person may also attempt to bring others down so that they can save themselves (like someone drowning). I have many emotional scars from years of living with an unloving father, from the death of my mother and from the various consequences of my own actions that have hurt myself and others. Since I have fallen in love with and married my wife I have noticed that she often has to deal with pain and hurt in my heart that she did not create. And vice versa - some of the issues haunting her stem from her past, yet I have to endure them. We love each other to the moon and back, but we are two hurt people that sometimes hurt each other.
     But is that all? Hurt people also help people. They care for and nurture people. They heal people. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. What's the most common way to understand another person's feelings? Experience the same thing, or at least a similar level of pain during a similar circumstance. My mother died when I was eight years old and I bet that if your mother died when you were young you can empathize with the part of my heart that remains scarred from that loss and the subsequent relational void in my life. When we share a similar experience, we have a bond. We have an understanding of each others hurts along with the fears and insecurities that develop because of that hurt. Many people have started charities or ministries that reach out to a specific group of people because they themselves have experienced similar circumstances. Nancy Goodman Brinker started the Susan G. Komen Foundation because her sister died from breast cancer. The Ronald McDonald House was started, in part, by Fred Hill, whose daughter had leukemia. I know several bloggers and authors who use their platform to reach out to people suffering with the very disease or condition that they have experienced. I began reaching out to others that suffer with depression because I can relate and I want to encourage them and help educate their friends and loved ones about depression.
     People who have experienced hurt can use their super power of empathy to help others. That may be occur in the form of listening without offering platitudes. You may sense when a person needs additional help before they realize it. You might be able to help someone survive when they no longer have strength left to fight. The hurt within will grant you the uncanny ability to see past scar-filled reactions and offer compassion and forgiveness. That's the one that I need most of the time. I am thankful for my wife for innumerable reasons, but one of the reasons is that she is hurt, like me, and she uses the experiences from her past to help others. She cares for and nurtures people in dire circumstances. My wife heals people. People - meaning me. What can you do with your hurt? Hurt others or help them - the choice is yours.
God bless!

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