This Is How You Love Those That Hurt You

A couple holding two small shells next to each other to form a heart shape
Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Whatever your history may or may not be, you’re here now to heal. We live in a world that values iPhones and designer purses, but not vulnerability and compassion. Know this: whomever is the source of hurt for you, I will not tell you time heals it or everything happens for a reason. What I will say is that you must be in a great deal of pain.

Our ability to give and receive love is tethered to the kind of love that comes into our life. Sometimes we can control this sometimes we can’t. This love has sorrow in ways that ache, and hope in ways that walk; it changes everything that happens next.

People walk out too early. Fathers never learned what they were angry at, because their fathers couldn’t. Mothers control daughters with invalidation, because their mothers did. Relationships are created only to crumble. Partners slice hearts so theirs won’t be sliced first. Friends become enemies. This lie, then that lie, become all the reasons we can’t trust again. In this depressingly beautiful mess though, we meet ourselves for the very first time. The truth is, there are no answers; there is only what you do next.

Honor what your past means. Don’t fill the silence of their absence with empty language others may call courage. For who enters into your life after this, courage is not using words as reasons to control or predict the outcome of that connection. Courage is the willingness to show up again and again when there are no guarantees.

Pain has this amazing ability to transform us when we stop fighting it.

Can you love those that hurt you? Do you know how to? It is ok. This is a process.

To not forgive means we can finally go numb. Everything inside us ripped down the middle, it’s easier to shame the world for that. The problem though, while this kind of moving on feels powerful in the short-term it only steals from us long-term.

It is inaccurate that just because some love has a messy history, or smells damaged, and tastes of resentment, that it’s not worth holding belief for. When you can forgive those that hurt you the deepest, that is the most powerful form of retaliation, because it releases you from that version of them. Forgiveness helps us see past the act of what they did or didn’t do, but straight into their inner wounded soul. Hurt people hurt people. When you can see past the emotional bruises they left you with, but instead see into the injuries left on them, that person must be in a great deal of pain, too.

Look past what has happened—the ghosts of their past still haunt their present. Forgive them, because we all need it to heal. Love is not earned, it’s given. Give it spiritually and tangibly. Let them take, they may run with it. Let them run. It will come back to you. Because love is not what left, love is you. TC mark

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