I think every single person on this planet can say that they have been hurt.
Yes, some much more than others, but still, no one is immune to it. No one escapes the experience of having someone else say something, do something, or act in a way that has hurt us.
We all know the feeling, and this is not about blame, it is not about pointing fingers, but just knowing it as a fact, how it feels, how deeply it can affect us, and knowing how much negative impact it can have on our life path.
Yet for some reason, even though we know how terrible the repercussions of being hurt are, many people think that they can fling their suffering at others, as if being hurt entitles them to send that hurt back to whoever might fall into their sights, whoever might give them the slightest hint that they deserve to receive their pain.
I find this difficult to understand, knowing full well how painful being hurt can feel, especially from people we thought we could trust, people we thought had love and compassion for us, and also knowing just how much it can affect us, how far it can pull us away from our best selves, from a life of purpose and meaning.
Then why in the world would anyone want to inflict that on others, knowing very well how damaging it can be? Is it selfishness, ignorance, or a lack of compassion, or maybe they just can’t help themselves? Either way, we need to stop doing that, and stop accepting it—humanity needs these patterns to end in order to thrive.
“Suffering by nature or chance never seems so painful as suffering inflicted on us by the arbitrary will of another.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Nobody is perfect. We all have our issues to deal with, and that’s okay. But thinking that because others have made you suffer makes it okay to return the favor is the same as the expression “an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.” It just leads to endless cycles of suffering, one throwing it to another, the same pain causing a ripple effect throughout time.
When we do this, we allow one painful event in one person’s life to then be passed to person after person, affecting dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of people—especially when we consider pain that started generations ago is passed from one generation to the next, from people who keep projecting their broken selves onto others.
I for one have drawn a line in the sand; I refuse to allow my suffering to hurt others. I am not saying I never have and never will. I am surely not a perfect being myself, but I have gone to great lengths to understand my suffering and overcome it—not just for me, but for the sake of everyone I interact with.
It is the responsibility of every single one of us to stop the spreading of our suffering, to end the cycles, to free ourselves from the pain that is responsible for so many of the ills in our world today. And when we so often need to fight against the stuff other people project onto us, it leaves us with little time and energy to deal with our own issues that need our attention.
Many people can be affected by one single incident. Let’s consider, for example, sexual abuse by a parent to a child, as it is particularly hurtful, and also consider that once a child has been abused by a parent they are more likely to become abusers themselves.
By taking this one example and considering our history, then it is possible that one abuse incident that happened 2,000 years ago, passed down from generation to generation, could be responsible for thousands upon thousands of children experiencing such abuse. By one single incident. That is the extremely devastating impact of one person not being able to overcome their own suffering, or at the very least prevent themselves from inflicting the effects of it on others.
And now consider again this one type of abuse, and of a child growing up into the world with the weight of this pain on their shoulders affecting everything they do, and how very often people who have been deeply hurt do not manage to go beyond their pain to their own great lives of purpose. These hurt people often choose a much lesser path than they should have had chosen. They have missed opportunities, difficulties maintaining good relationships, and are not able to find the love they deserve or share their gifts with the world because they are locked up behind walls of pain.
Just one adult carrying this pain can deprive the world of their inner beauty. Multiply this by thousands upon thousands of people depriving the world of their best gifts. It is sad to think of such beauty that is lost to every one of us.
All of this from one incident, from one type of suffering that those affected were not able to prevent themselves from passing on to others. And time is not a factor; it will not by itself make things better. We must each take concrete steps to heal ourselves, as our wounds can go dormant for long periods of time, giving us the false impression that they are gone—that is, until they are triggered again.
Think of yourself and what your own pain has cost you in your life; the obstacles created by it in regard to you pursuing your dreams, love, relationships; how it negatively affects so many aspects of your life; the fears it creates within you; the pain to your loved ones; and the ripple effect it can have in the lives of others who would also spread the same pain, throughout generations, centuries.
If we do not take every precaution to prevent ourselves from reacting out of our pain, we become responsible in making the world a little bit darker and allowing our suffering to diminish who we are and those around us.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Khalil Gibran
Being a victim of someone else’s suffering does not entitle us to cause pain to others or remain mad and angry at being “unlucky” for our bad experiences. This blame serves no one—especially not us. The world owes nothing to no one.
Yes, I know very well that it sucks to be on the receiving end of another person’s incapacity to properly deal with their own emotions, either through mean words, violence, anger, or any kind of abuse.
But the responsibility lies in every one of us to stop the cycles, to prevent the further spread of these emotional diseases that act like an unseen plague affecting humanity throughout the ages. Hopefully by considering just how far-reaching it is, and how many people can be affected by even one incident, it’ll give us a few extra incentives to truly think about how we might be spreading our own suffering to others, and to also incite us to pursue a healing path, to prevent spreading our wounds any further.
Unconditional love and forgiveness are crucial to not only overcome our own suffering, but in consideration of how we might pass on that suffering to others, to heal, and to give us the courage we need to stop the broken cycles.
And, to give us a bit more encouragement, consider that love can just as easily be spread instead of pain and fear, it acts as a kryptonite to our suffering and the suffering of others.
Something to keep in mind, or, I should say, to keep at heart!