Hurt Feelings? Are your own thoughts hurting your feelings?
We’ve all felt hurt at one time or another. Do you remember when we were kids, the old adage, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me”? We believed this back then, but is this how we live our life today?
Know this for sure…when we feel hurt, we’re giving permission for others to hurt us. Yes, it’s a choice to invite hurt inside. And this pain will continue until we know what’s really going on and we’re willing to change it. When we don’t know how to deal with our hurt feelings, we become defensive, self-protective, and we may even lash out at others.
Hurt people often think of themselves as victims who have been treated unfairly. They interpret other people’s words as truth and take their behavior personally. Yet, the truth is, hurt people are victims of their own abuse. Hurt feelings come from hurt thoughts.
Words can trigger past experiences or wounds that still carry a negative charge. Thus, the hurt is about us and our unresolved emotional conflicts within. As children, we were naturally taught to be dependent on others and the outside world to survive, so as adults it’s easy to not recognize the source of the problem. Again, it’s all made-up in the mind.
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission”. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi said these words when he was practicing civil disobedience and was beaten for it. Even though he went through terrible physical pain he said that no one could hurt him, because his inner state of being within was under his own authority. He knew the only way he could be hurt inside was if he gave permission. So, could you be giving people permission to hurt you?
Let’s explore a little more about what it means to be hurt and how it feels inside…
Hurt feelings come from fear inside that we’re not good enough. We have thoughts of fear and doubt that we’re not enough…and we believe them too. Otherwise, we wouldn’t give it another thought.
Yet, we can grow beyond thoughts and beliefs…to know and live in a place of truth instead. This is how we protect ourselves with the love that endures forever. When we know better and have the ability to apply it, we do better. It’s true.
Hurt people are acting from a place of pain and desire for love. This is what causes our suffering. We often don’t love ourselves enough, so we look for love and approval from others or things outside ourselves. When we don’t get the love or acceptance we’re seeking (the love we should and could be giving ourselves), we feel even more pain and hopelessness. This is how we continue to fall for the ego’s tricks.
Too often, we don’t believe we have the power or control to make changes to end the suffering. We’re dependent on the outside to be ok on the inside. That’s a very vulnerable place to be. Yet, we’re the only one who can let go of this false belief and…love ourselves unconditionally, no matter what.
“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
As we’ve learned in previous blogs, all problems start with pain and end with pain…and it’s all created in the ego mind. Hurt people are just trying to get out of pain. This is very normal and natural behavior. But remember, pain is not our natural state…rather, it’s an inner state of peace and joy.
Unfortunately, we’ve never been taught how to reverse this dependency as adults even though we’re quite capable of caring for ourselves. Instead of taking our rightful authority, we give our authority to others and ultimately become the victim of our own hurt and anger. Thus, we suffer at the hands of our ego and other’s egos too…without knowing it.
Once we discover the truth, we can then reverse our behavior to end the suffering. Learning to distinguish between our false beliefs and what’s true, gives us back our rightful authority. When we’re clear about what’s really going on, we’re free. This is how we expose the ego, confront it, and stand-up for ourselves by saying “no more”!
So, are you still buying what the ego is selling? I hope not.
Know this for certain; you are the only one who decides if you are hurt or not. Yes, it’s a choice. Suffering is optional…when you take back your power, it’s over for good.
Is the world in charge of you and your inner state of being, or are you? Do you feel jerked around? Could you be the cause of your hurt?
Take a moment to think for yourself, from your heart…beyond what the world has taught you (parent’s, peers, teachers, etc. e.g., beyond our conditioning & habits).
Does it make sense to observe what’s going on deep inside and reverse this mindset? If so, try the following growth opportunity exercise to apply what you’ve learned.
EXERCISE: 3 Words to Recognize and Avoid (example: “They made me”…feel hurt.)
This exercise will help you realize and catch yourself when you’re feeling vulnerable and allowing hurt feelings inside. To restore your power and authority, watch for when you say these 3 words “they made me”. Correct yourself by changing them to “I made me”.
- Example: “They made me” think, feel, do, or be versus “I made me” think, feel, do or be.
Consider the following statements of judgment, blame, and beliefs that aren’t true:
- “They (or it) made me: think, feel, do, or be a certain way.”
- “I (or it) made them: think, feel, do or be a certain way.”
- “She made me feel angry.”
- “It’s their fault, not mine. I’m fearful, scared, and stressed.”
- “It’s part of me, and I can’t change it.”
- “Because of them, I have less: inner peace, joy, happiness, spiritual connection, growth, confidence, etc.”
Understanding our true identity and authority is essential to living in inner peace. This is how we can take responsibility for our emotions and reclaim our power. (O+R=A / Ownership + Responsibility = Authority). It’s the same with our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.
Remember to be good to yourself and patient with your progress. You are definitely worth it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Please share it with someone else. It may be exactly what they need to hear to be free too. Come back for next month’s blog and…
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About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from transforming into awakened beings with a higher sense of spiritual consciousness.
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