Hurt and Forgiveness

As I reviewed the article below, I realized how very important it is. It holds true, not only in our relationship with other individuals, but also with organizations and nations. You would likely do well in an ongoing manner to review your hurts in this context. It offers freedom from the seemingly unending cycle of being hurt and hurting back. I see that dynamic even within the school in people’s relationships with one another as well as with the organization.

As I watch people’s lives unfold, I am often struck by how sensitive we all are. I see it in others and certainly feel it in myself as well. It is more than likely you have already experienced your profound sensitivity more than once this very day. The deepest motivation within us all is good… in fact, divine. We all feel that deep within us. Any conflict or criticism feels like an assault on that innocent divinity. It hurts. Children seem to more readily display that hurt openly. They cry. Adults seem to more readily shroud it with defenses such as anger and retaliation.

Whether we are hurt or we hurt others, our vulnerability is pinched. We feel bad. We do well to come back into balance sooner rather than later, coming to a place of understanding… a place of self honesty regarding our hurt and sadness. After the initial reactions, there ideally comes a time of forgiveness. Yet that can be a most difficult task. Some may not be willing to go there. Hurt and resentment are often self perpetuating and held indefinitely. Even after you may come to a place of willingness to let go and move forward, fear that the others involved will not move forward can linger and cause pain, long after the initial hurtful incident.

I am often asked about forgiveness. How can we bring it about? If we are to forgive or to be forgiven, this question remains. Yet in either case, the answer is the same. You need to find the strength within yourself. There’s a delicate balance here. You need to have self-honesty regarding what you’re feeling… not to suppress it, yet not to lose yourself to it. Suppressing or denying your hurt feelings reduces forgiveness to little more than an overlay. However, losing yourself to those feelings makes forgiveness impossible. If you were hurt, you need to find it within yourself to let it pass… let it heal. By balancing inner feelings with inner strength, you attain understanding which is the gateway to true forgiveness.

If you hurt another and long for their forgiveness, it also starts with holding the sadness in your heart with strength and dignity. If you do that, it invites the others involved to also move forward to forgiveness. There may be some snide remarks or even outright verbal assaults before they come to that place. You may hear of their criticism or negativity through the grapevine. You may be directly criticized, challenged and hurt again. Your stance is best always held with inner strength. That strength brings understanding. It offers a willingness to give things time to settle. If you bring forward the requisite strength to hold a healthy understanding in your heart, in time that will be felt by those around you. It will stand as an offering of the symbolic olive branch of peace. You may desire an immediate resolution and verbal acknowledgement of your offering. However, the strength required more often must be held in your heart over time. Slowly, the others will feel it and it will assist them in coming back into balance and peace.

You are tremendously sensitive and vulnerable. This is what it means to be human. Some hide it, or try to. Others do not. But know without question that the sensitivity is universal. It may at times feel like a flaw. It is not. It comes along with the love that dwells within us all. Hold it gently, while finding the strength within to hold it with dignified understanding and honor. This is the gateway to forgiving others, as well as the healing balm often needed to receive loving forgiveness from others.

© Michael Mamas, 4/09