What is it about a remark made from a loved one that enables us to be so easily hurt? Common knowledge tells us that it is because we care about the person so much that anything remotely resembling a less than loving comment can and should hurt our feelings; however, this logic is not making much sense to me any longer.
If this person is someone that I KNOW loves me and that I experience day in and day out as a caring person that would never bring harm to me, why am I so easily wounded? Even if the person is being a flat-out jerk, why does it feel so difficult in those moments of anger and hurt to give the benefit of the doubt to this person that we absolutely adore? I think it goes back to the ways in which we have been hurt in the past. And yes, we continue to carry that past with us until we see the light and can let it go. I've found that one of the most incredible experiences is having my eyes opened to the fact that this person sitting in front of me is completely removed and separate from the ways in which I've been hurt in the past. Additionally, even if someone is being a jerk to us, we can make the choice to view their behavior as an indication of how they have been hurt in their own past - this is where looking with forgiving eyes not only benefits others, but ourselves as well. I think ego plays a role in this as well and it goes something like this: "This person is being a jerk to me and I'll show him who's boss!" Yeah, total ego. A truly strong person doesn't need to show anyone who's boss, it's already well-known without saying or doing anything.
This weekend I fell down this old pathway a bit: I had a fight with a loved one...it wasn't too bad, but in reflection afterward I asked myself, "Why would I think this person would say or do anything to hurt me when I know they love me more than anything? It's completely incongruent with the way I experience them 99% of the time, so something here isn't valid."
At the time, the fight hurt and felt really bad. In the aftermath, I'm glad it happened because it is showing me how to love even deeper. How to trust more fully. And it's showing me how I want to continue to keep seeing the world with fresh, loving eyes even more. I know that the people that love me would never hurt me intentionally, so anything said or done that may appear to be that way IS TRULY A MISUNDERSTANDING on my part. That is the choice I make about how I want to view the world and my relationships. This is the choice that I will continue to make even if I stumble again and momentarily forget this ideal. It can and and will only get better. To be love-hearted is the focus I will follow in my life and everything else will ALWAYS fall into place. I chose to believe that love is all there really is and the rest is just there to be sorted through, used as a means to get to a better place and then discarded.
Post Script: In no way am I saying that conversations shouldn't take place between people when hurtful things have been said: in fact, I'm saying the opposite. Talk it through, but work it out with the intention underneath that you both love each other and know that the other would never do anything intentionally to hurt the other. We are human and we will have moments of misunderstanding, hurt and anger and THAT IS OKAY...but use these situations as opportunities to GROW YOUR LOVE AND TRUST even more instead of as reason to create a chasm. Love is eroded bit by bit when these "misunderstandings" aren't seen for what they truly are.