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When Hurting...Well, Just Hurts

There is nothing worse than hurting...and in turn hurting someone else. There is also nothing worse than hearing someone tell you, "you know, hurting people hurt people," when they see you have lashed out at them or another person.

Hurting People...

If we know that a person is hurting, and we know that that is whey they have acted in a way that was hurtful to us or someone else, why can't we cut the saying short and simply say "hurting people hurt"?

That's the truth, right? We know that, as the saying goes, hurting people hurt people, but often we focus on the hurt the other person has caused rather than on why the person is/was hurting so bad in the first place to hurt another person. A broken pipe flooding a basement needs to be fixed and the basement repaired, but if we don't turn off the water source we can't fix either.

Everything is Caused

What if I told you that every thought, action, behavior, and emotion is caused--would you believe me? Would it give you some peace to accept what has happened? If you don't believe me, I encourage you to try and identify one single thing you have done in the last day (or even the last hour) that didn’t have a cause. I am willing to bet you can't.

So, what does it matter? Before we go further I want to clarify that just because something is caused we are still responsible for what we do. If we are hurt and we hurt others, we may have a reason to be hurt, but we still have a responsibility as to what we do with that hurt—and harming others is not ok.

With that out of the way, knowing that a person who hurt you or others is themselves hurting can do several things for us...

First, it can cause us to empathize with them. Hurting is universal, and whether we have hurt another person or not, empathy is being able to understand and share the feelings of another person. While we normally won’t be able to feel to the same degree the feelings the person directly suffering is experiencing, understanding hurt is something we can do because it is common to us all. When we are able to empathize with the struggle of another person, the bridges to healing can be crossed. Jesus wept when he knew he would raise His friend Lazarus from the grave not because of the loss of his friend (He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead), but because Jesus knew that this pain and hurt this side of heaven was not how this world was meant to be (John 11:1-44).

Second, knowing that everything is caused can help us accept the situation. Accepting a situation does not mean that you agree with or approve of what has happened, but that you accept the things that are out of your control. Often, this is the first step toward healing for those who have been hurt. It is when we accept the situation for what it is that we can begin to change the present by acting on the things we can change. Non-judgmental acceptance lowers the suffering that is caused by situations that are out of our control--and this is where we begin to heal.

Hurting doesn't stop because we identify that things are caused or that hurting people hurt people. Hurting doesn't stop because we feel empathy or accept things. But, this is where healing can begin for the person who has been hurt as well as the person who has hurt others.

If you or a loved one has been hurt, is hurting, or are hurting others and you need help as you walk through life, please reach out to The King's Forge Counseling by filling out our Contact form on our website We will help you begin to find the healing you need and discover the purpose in the fires of life (Psalm 66:10-12).

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