Have you believed that you experienced hurt because of the actions and words of another? Have you experienced fear that you will be hurt again? Have you erected inner walls to protect yourself from further betrayal and emotional pain? If you are like me, you can answer a resounding yes to each of these questions. I am beginning to realize that because I believed that others had the power to hurt me, I created circumstances in which I experienced recurring emotional pain.
A powerful quotation came to my attention recently: “No one has the power to hurt you. It is only your own thinking about someone’s actions that can hurt you” (Byron Katie). The truth of these words spoke deeply to me, and as I contemplated them, I realized that my perception — the meaning that I gave the actions and words of others — created the hurt I experienced in my life. I created the emotional pain that has shadowed me throughout my life. Of course, that has never been intentional. I didn’t set out to experience hurt repeatedly in my life, nor was emotional pain ever one of my life goals. Rather, I created hurt unconsciously because of the lenses of perception through which I viewed the world… and me.
I perceived the actions and words of others through the lenses of my beliefs about myself, others, and the world. Because I struggled with self-worth and I saw myself as separate and small, everything that others said and did became a reflection of my insecurities and self-perceived inadequacies. In retrospect, I realize that what I believed were attacks on me or evidence of another’s lack of love for me were actually expressions of another’s own emotional pain that had nothing to do with me. Instead of understanding this and providing a space of unconditional love, I accepted my perception as reality, experienced hurt and betrayal, and judged another as the cause of my emotional pain. I didn’t realize that my perception was completely biased — coloured by my beliefs about myself and the motivations of the other person. We perceive whatever our minds desire or believe they will see… always.
As I look back, I realize that although I professed to love another, in the moment that I cast judgment on that person, what I professed to feel became a sad imitation. In the moment that I passed judgment and told myself that another had hurt me, I saw myself as separate and capable of being attacked and hurt… and I saw the other as separate from me and capable of attacking. I saw myself as someone who could be hurt, and I saw the other as someone who was intent on hurting me. This is not who we truly are; when I open into the remembrance of who we all are as beloved Children of God, I know that in truth, we are all seemingly separate expressions of One Love, One Divine Energy, and as eternal beings, we have the power to witness events in our lives without attaching negative energies of hurt and blame to them.
As I begin to realize the pivotal role that I have played in the emotional pain that I have experienced, I open into the remembrance of the consciousness that I am. I feel the presence and awareness of my higher self, my soul, and I realize that when I feel hurt, I need to get out of my head because I am identifying with the “little me,” my egoic self. When I do this, I always interpret everything that happens as a reflection of what I believe about me — that I am separate from everyone else and that I have to protect myself because I believe that I can be attacked. When I identify with the “little me,” I am reactive and take everything personally. However, when I identify with my true identify as the wise, knowing spiritual presence of my soul, I see and understand from an entirely different perspective and ever-deepening awareness. All the hurt and fear that I have experienced when I have identified with the “little me” is an illusion that I created because I believed that I was separate and small and unworthy.
Dear spiritual sisters and brothers, we are all physical expressions of Divine Love. As such, we are called to embrace our true identities and be the love that we are. I hope that you will join me in praying that we recognize the outward manifestations of emotional pain in others and, rather than identifying with our “little selves” and perceiving these actions and words as attacks on us, that we can come from an inner space of unconditional love, acceptance, and understanding as we witness these events and refrain from emotionally tangling ourselves in what has nothing to do with us at all. I pray that we can remember the truth that we are all ONE in each moment and that another’s pain, no matter how it is expressed, asks for love and forgiveness, not judgment and self-involvement. Here’s to our ever-deepening growth and inner awareness! Namaste, my dears 🙂