Just because your pain is understandable, doesn’t mean your behavior is acceptable

This quote really struck a chord with me. I’m not proud of it, but I am someone who will justify and make excuses for behavior (my own and that of others). I easily empathize and understand where the behavior stems from, so I generally accept it.  

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”

More often than not we react to emotional pain in negative, damaging ways. Thus, the cycle of hurt and pain continues. 

It takes VERY little self-awareness or thought to project our feelings onto others and play the victim.

In a sense it’s almost a natural reaction. We unconsciously, or even consciously, take our hardships out on those around us. (“we” is a bit of a generalization. I admire those who effortlessly respond to pain effectively.)

This is something I am trying to master. I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, because it takes TIME to change a paradigm so deeply imbedded in the mind. Life would be a lot less complicated if it wasn’t so easy to get stuck in these “response patterns”. 

Instead of expressing our feelings and addressing our issues, we get angry or defensive or insecure or flee and shut down.  The hurt is real, but that does not mean we have to try to protect ourselves from it by acting out and sometimes hurting those around us. 

“Hurt people hurt people”. I have kept that quote in mind quite often when dealing with people throughout my life. 

I have learned that it’s okay to sympathize and feel for them, but it’s not an obligation to accept their negative behavior just because you understand where it’s coming from. 

I am also learning that I cannot expect people to cater to MY feelings 24/7.    

We all have hardships – that’s life. We’re not responsible for who has hurt us, but we are responsible for how we choose to behave. How we respond to pain decides whether we continue to hurt or heal.   

Essentially, we’re trying to protect ourselves from hurt by shutting down, becoming angry, critical, mean, abusive, etc. 

In actuality, we are just protecting the hurt. 

Behaving in such ways merely deflects the pain that we do not want to feel, that we do not want to address. 

I think the only way to become free from pain is to honor it. Honor it and take the steps to learn how to react to it productively.  

I believe this is one of the most difficult things one can do in their life. It may even take an entire lifetime to muster up the strength, tenacity, willpower, and bravery to face our inner demons & hurt. Paradoxically, we may spend our entire lifetimes RUNNING from them.  

 Life is crazy isn’t it? 

Over the past few years I’ve learned a lot, but the hard part is actually implementing these things into my life. 

Everyone is fighting their own battles and NO ONE is obligated to put up with your shit. It’s hard to realize this if you’re constantly surrounded by people who enable your negative behavior.   

We’re human, we all slip up, but I refuse to let my hardships define my life and the person that I am.

Leave a Reply