Hurt People Hurt People
"Everybody's got a reason for losing faith
I guess everybody's got a scar they just can't erase
If you live a little while, you're gonna have one too
If you live a little longer, I bet you leave a few
Cause hurt people hurt people,
Hurt people hurt people"
(Rick Brantley, Ashley Ray)
It's so simple. Makes so much sense, doesn't it? Hurt people hurt people.
When we see people hurting other people it's easier to get there. We can find the compassion. Empathy. We can observe more objectively. But when you're the one being hurt by someone, it's harder to see this truth in that moment because we're consumed with our own pain, our own protection and the need to feel safe. So, we circle the wagons. We lash out. We blame. We tell ourselves whatever we need to feel better. To make us okay.
Pain is powerful. It makes us acutely aware of ourselves. Of "me" and "other". It fragments...shatters...drives us a part from one another. And pain that doesn't get transformed gets transmitted. It spreads. Passes on. Echoes.
Until it is transformed.
The last two years have been the most painful of my entire life. My world completely unravelled taking me with it. I was broken, lost, grieving and could not see my way forward. Many, many days and nights laying on the floor behind locked doors, sobbing from a depth I did not know existed. Unable to catch my breath between cries of anguish and anger, I believed the pain would pull me under. But time is a blessed illusion and she delivered on her promise. Day by day, I slowly found my footing. And I realized that I had a choice. I could leave my heart in pieces on the floor tip toeing around the broken edges for the rest of my life or I could transform this pain.
What did it have to teach me about myself? What could it teach me about others? Hurt people hurt people. And from that place, I could start to heal. Realizing that hurt people hurt people is not about letting them get away with anything or passing on blame - so and so is a hurtful person but their parents were awful so it's okay. Not that. It's about taking in the person as a whole being - with all their broken parts and promise. It's choosing to see with a wider lens. Instead of saying "How could you do this? What's wrong with you?" it becomes "How could you do this? What happened to you? What happened to you that you would do this?"
And that small difference lets a little light in. It's the dawning. The beginning of trying to understand how someone who loves you could hurt you so profoundly. The measure of my pain is the measure of theirs. And so my pain becomes a communicator. This must be how they feel inside all the time. This would be an awful way to live. I see you. I feel you. I understand. And then I choose.
I forgive you.
In that choice...in that moment, the hurt becomes the healer.
The pain is transformed so that it cannot echo. It cannot spread.
And then there's a little more light in the world...more compassion and more understanding.
Because healed people help heal people.
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