Sometimes we have hurts in our lives, hurts that have grown into the size of the Grand Canyon. They get that big because the same spot has been struck with the hot iron of unintended disappointment time and time again, by many different people in our lives.
Sometimes we have hurts that are so big; no band aid can cover them over.
Unfortunately, what happens with those hurts is that we learn to wince any and every time an unassuming perpetrator comes anywhere near their tender thin skin. And when that person touches the skin so deeply bruised that the purple no longer shows anymore, we strike out like a tiger backed into a corner.
You see there are places in us, places of stored up hurt, places of stored up disappointments, places that catalogue, no matter how much we think we’ve forgotten/forgiven/let go, the hurts that never really leave us. I do not mean the little day to day arguments or disappointments, I mean that one “hot button” that goes through us all the way back to when we were little people whose clean slate was marked by a hurt, that we in turn believed meant that we were not loved, we were not safe, we were not worthy.
We all have them. And we all usually locate them as adults in our most intimate relationships because those are the people whom we let in past the armor. And when those we have secretly labeled as “Saint” punch through the thinned skin, the pain we feel is magnified times all of the years in which evidence was gathered as to the story beneath the hurt–you don’t love me, you don’t find me worthy, you don’t treat me like I’m deserving (i.e., I’m not lovable, I’m not worthy, I’m not deserving).
Quite simply, OUCH!
Because we are human, in those moments we may react with anger, we may react with tears; we may react by running away. And the beauty of relationships is that the person, who, usually unintentionally, punched the bruise, finds their own bruise punched by our response.
And the cycle swirls on and on.
So how do we stop this cycle? How do we heal a hurt so big that no sufficient band aid exists to cover it?
We love ourselves through the pain. We remind ourselves that we are lovable, we are worthy, we are deserving. And we let others off the hook.
We move past our emotions, those same ones that have been there since childhood, and use our words. Because the true healing comes when we can tell another person “this spot, this one right here, it hurts me, it hurts me a lot. And though I don’t believe that you meant to hurt me in that same place, you did. And when you did, I told myself that you don’t love me (i.e., I am not lovable), that you don’t think I am deserving (i.e., I am not deserving), and that you don’t think I am worthy (i.e., I am not worthy).
True healing comes not from a band aid, but from exposing the wound to the open air. Only then can a scab finally begin to form.