What If Nobody Could Hurt You?

What if nobody could ever hurt you, ever again?

If you’ve ever been in a knock down drag out fight you know what it feels like to be hit by someone. Adrenaline and other hormones cascade overwhelming your state of being as you as immediately find yourself in fight or flight. Being part of a brutal smackdown is no fun and the trauma, pain, and suffering that comes from the physical abuse can endure and cause even more suffering as you try to heal from the event over time.

How curious is it when we are similarly affected by the spoken words of someone?

When you feel as though someone has disrespected, insulted, ignored, judged, or rejected you, BAM! Just as though you’d been kicked in the guts, all the pain, emotional and physical with all the feelings and hormone overload.

When this happens to you, those words, which cut like a knife, were likely spoken by someone you love, trust, or highly regard. They could be your partner, a family member, a child, a neighbor, someone you work with or for. Because you are more connected to these people than others in your life, their words cut the deepest, can crush you, and leave your heart bleeding in pain and sorrow.

Those you care about the most hurt you the most

The concept, “those you care about the most hurt you the most” rings true.

Interestingly enough, this concept was programmed into your psyche since the day you were born. Based on your life experience, you learned to love and depend on others. Early on, you realized that if you disappointed the people you loved and trusted to take care of you, they would turn on you, leaving you in a state of fear and suffering.

That’s where it starts, and it grows as you trust and are betrayed by those who you love and care for along the way, when all you really wanted was to be accepted, respected, and loved for no other reason than you love others. Family, friends, lovers, fellow students, teachers, and others in your circle of influence. Why can’t they just love you back?

We have been programmed to value the opinion of others so highly that the slightest threat of potentially not being highly regarded by someone we care about can threaten our very sense of existence. Our feelings are hurt. We can either strike back and start an all-out war of words (or worse), and if we’re unable to strike back (for fear of being hurt even worse), we find someone else who we are stronger than to strike out at to release the angst inside. Or we can find ourselves sinking to the depths of depression, even contemplating suicide as a way out of the pain.

You were socially programmed to want what others want, to desire to do the things that others do with them as a part of the crowd. Giving you a sense of belonging, in the belief there is safety and security by being accepted by others, for to be alone would be potentially dangerous, or too much to bear.

This social programming has been a disservice to your highest and best because you were meant for so much more than just being just another sheep in the herd.

Blessed are those who were raised in an empowered sense of individuality and personal awareness. They possess the power of seeing themselves as separate, and in the best-case scenarios, also see themselves as part of the greater whole of community and humanity, though these days this represents a very small percentage of us.

To expect someone to know and appreciate you for all that you are sets you up for disappointment and failure, and your feelings will always be hurt because no one can ever know and appreciate you as much as you do.

Likewise, no matter how hard you try, you can’t fully “get” anyone else. So much goes on inside the heart and mind of everyone that you will never know. Just like when you are silent, your mind keeps working and think thoughts you might never convert to spoken word.

What’s the answer?

There is great personal power in realizing that what anyone thinks or says about you has nothing to do with you at all. It’s about them.

You know that you are always intentionally authentic, open, honest, and want the best for everyone in your life. You know you are always worthy of the best things in this life, and you would never do anything intentionally to hurt anyone you cared about. You don’t need anyone else’s validation of these things because you know them to be true. Your knowledge of and confidence in you is unshakeable.

From this vantage point, if someone barks something that might have hurt your feelings in the past, you can feel compassion for the person who felt like he or she had to react in such a say. And instead of being threatened or hurt by what they said or did, you can just look at them lost in their own life-struggle and think (or say, if appropriate), “That’s interesting.”

You know you can respond with love and compassion because you know that you were like that too.

You are emotionally resilient and bulletproof.

You are no longer a victim of anyone else’s disrespect or abuse.

You don’t have to defend yourself or strike back because they didn’t actually do or say anything that could hurt you. You can bless them because you know they are just doing the best they can with what they have.

 

Unconditional Love Makes You Angry

You’re not alone if the idea of unconditional love makes you angry.

You’ve been trained to desire unconditional love. You want to be loved for who you are, everything, the good, the bad, your adorable traits and the mistakes you have made and may make from this day forward. To feel as though you could be accepted and loved no matter what is what you long for.

You can look back on decisions and actions you’ve initiated in your past didn’t turn out the way you planned and may have turned out badly, possibly making you look and feel stupid. You know you could have done better if given a second chance. After all, your intentions were pure when you did it or allowed it to happen.

To be loved, regardless of the stupid things you’ve done in the past, not judged for those things you could have done better and understood as if anyone in the same situation might have done the same thing seems reasonable. And this is what you long for.

While this kind of unconditional love is what you desire, to imagine the offering of such a love to another feels like a preposterous proposition. This is when the idea of unconditional love makes you angry.

What? Love someone no matter what? Do you think I’ve learned nothing from all the pain I’ve endured throughout the course of my life? Have you lost your mind?

If I’ve learned anything, I know you can’t trust anyone, particularly someone you care about, and the more you care about them, the more they will hurt you, and the less you can trust them.

You have surrounded yourself with a protective forcefield in an effort to keep yourself safe from disappointment or risk of being hurt.

Congratulations. You’ve built for yourself and voluntarily checked-in to your hospital fortress where you can find the love you seek from within and heal, because life has been hard, and you need this time to focus on you, isolated from potential harm.

No one would blame you for feeling bad, sad, or mad while suffering from your wounds in your love hospital for recovery. While recovering from these wounds, of course, the idea of unconditional love makes you angry, anyone else in the same situation would feel the same way.

You are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), not unlike any other form of PTSD.

If it weren’t for the support of others in their own various stages of love wound recovery, you would be totally alone and isolated in your fortress hospital, and with others who have are also suffering from love’s wounds you develop a supportive camaraderie. This kind of support can prolong your healing as you feel more comfortable in treatment than taking the risk of re-engaging in life outside the walls.

Isn’t the idea of checking one’s self into an isolated healing environment to become well enough to leave the facility and start to live your life again? To not do so transforms your hospital into a prison of your own making to serve out our own self-imposed life sentence. You needn’t suffer the extreme self-abuse of exercising your own love death penalty.

You’re better than that.

You can heal. In fact, you may be far more healed than you believe yourself to be. How many completely healthy people are in hospitals or recovery programs far past their healing because it’s safer to be in the hospital than to face your fears outside in the real world?

It’s time to get up and ambulate. Get outside and exercise your ability to love.

You can still exercise love when the idea of unconditional love makes you angry. No need to push through to unconditional love, but to start loving a little at a time would be highly beneficial.

You might find it helpful to see others as just like you.

You understand yourself so well and you would never intentionally do anything to hurt anyone else, unless in that moment, you felt like you had no other choice, as you were in fully engulfed in the fight-or-flight response. You felt like you had no other option(s).

You don’t have to love what someone else does, but you can still love the person.

Isn’t that what you want?

That is not to say that you allow anyone to abuse you. You have the right and obligation to separate yourself from dangerous situations, but let those situations be an authentic potential risk to you, your body, your mind, or your spirit. Don’t let your fear-inspired imagination to override your ability to find potential danger everywhere you look.

Instead, look to understand and realize that the person with whom you are feeling conflict is looking back at you in the mirror. If you were that person, having lived the same life, you would have done the same thing.

You can feel compassion for that person (not feeling “sorry” for them because that insinuates your superiority), trying to understand what it might like to be like to have to feel as though you might feel like you have to live life, like that. It could make you sad, and even react in a less defensive manner.

Even if the idea of unconditional love makes you angry, don’t let it stop you. Find ways to exercise your love. Start with letting friends in a little deeper. Find a child to love. Make occasions for you to engage in activities that you love, and allow your activities to grow to include more people to participate in those things that you love in public.

Get up. Get out of your love hospital, even if only briefly at first, and one day you will find you no longer rely on your self-restraint and self-imposed love prison sentence.

You have complete control of your release date. You get to leave early based on your healing and good behavior if you want to.

Maybe today is the day.

Write down today’s date, mark it on the calendar, and walk out on your own accord.

Set yourself free.

The greatest love is waiting for you.

Betrayal Wounds and Scars

It is not uncommon for people to struggle with issues and the aftermath of betrayal. The emotional wounds from these breaches of trust can inflict sufferers in physiological ways. The emotional pain from betrayal can be as devastating as being stabbed in the back with a knife (thereby justifying the origin of the saying).

Betrayal leaves wounds and scars that made me stronger

Have you been emotionally, “stabbed in the back,” by someone whom you have trusted?

Betrayers come in a wide variety of flavors. Some can be relatives and/or loved ones, sometimes the most intimate love-relationship that one can have with another human being. You may experience betrayal by a friend, co-worker or mentor.

Because we all have different life experiences and personalities, we all respond to betrayal in different ways. A specific betrayal may be of little effect to one person, while another may suffer exponentially; this suffering can be primarily internal, or may express itself externally, or physiologically.

When betrayal has been recognized, the emotional open wound is fresh and the pain may be great. After a while, the pain fades and the emotional scar tissue begins to form. One’s mind begins to filter all information as being potentially harmful, and you may begin to take on the attitude that, “I’m not putting myself out there again,” in a fearful effort to isolate yourself from the possibility of experiencing a similar type of pain in the future.

It is one’s natural fight-or-flight response to protect one’s self from pain and it makes perfect sense… but the cost can be enormous.

The worst thing that can happen to someone suffering from betrayal of trust, is to run the self-preservation-routine resulting in embitterment and over-protecting one’s self in an attempt to prevent anyone from being able to hurt you in such a way again.

The problem with this is; you know, in your heart, that you have so much to give. The sensitive people have special gifts and abilities that help to make the world a better place; they increase the quality of life for others (some who may be extremely less fortunate). Building protective walls around you will also result in cutting off exposure to others who need your light and influence.

The bitterness and fading pain of betrayal breeds a more cynical outlook on life and also comes at a physiological price that may lead to autoimmune deficiencies, illness and a laundry list of diseases.

If left unhealed, little by little, the light of those who illuminate our local community begins to fade and as it fades dramatically, so does the overall general outlook for us (or the world) as a whole.

Since there is no law against betraying another person (although some laws may be broken in the process of the betrayal), those who are emotionally less-equipped to care about the feelings of others run rampant throughout our society victimizing the empathetic shining stars with little regard to the negative impact their actions might have.

I was betrayed and I was hurt Im better now stronger than ive ever beenIf you are suffering from betrayal, scheduling a one-on-one session with a counselor or coach can have an immediate calming effect on your peace of mind and quality of life.

You do not have to be a victim. Instead, you can learn from this event and turn it around. In fact you may find that this event can hurl you into an empowered and optimistic future that can change the future of others and the planet in such a way to bring clarity and focus to your life.

Utilizing specialized skills, a good coach or counselor can work with you hand-in-hand to put you back in control of your emotional wellbeing. You might be surprised to discover that this episode has prepared you as a mentor to help others struggling with similar circumstances.

You can do this; without giving up on being a blessing to others, and continue to achieve your highest and best.

You can find more ways to deal with betrayal in my book: Trust Betrayal.