I can’t stop thinking about this phrase:
“Hurt People Hurt People.”
I first saw it on Tina’s Carrots ‘n’ Cake blog and it resonated so strongly that I’ve found myself reflecting on it several times a day.
People who are happy and fulfilled just want to bring others up to their level. They want to encourage and shepherd and be sources of support. They default to love and light.
People who are hurt — and we’ve all been there, emotionally, physically, spiritually — want to bring others down to their level. They want to project their drama and stir up trouble. They default to hate and darkness.
I don’t have the thickest skin, even though I’d like to tell you that criticism — constructive or not — rolls right off me. Even well-meaning comments tend to go straight to my heart, and send me reeling. This phrase has done wonders for me as a mantra because it reminds me that I CHOOSE how to react to what others say and do…and that their behavior says more about them than about me.
Social media and blogging seem to give people some undeserved and unwarranted entitlement to comment on every part of our lives…and it bleeds into real life as well. We all say things that we probably don’t mean, and make judgements that we probably don’t actually feel. We do it by email, on Facebook, on Instagram and in person. When we hurt, we hurt others. It’s a nasty cycle.
I’m not innocent. The other day, I was making a snarky comment to Jackie Jovi about a mutual acquaintance — and bitching about how this person’s behavior was impacting me. It was a “woe is me” moment that makes me cringe when I look back, because it was petty and stupid.
Jackie, in her infinite wisdom and patience, gently clued me in to some personal challenges that are happening in the acquaintance’s life and reminded me that there is always more to the story than we know. Patience and kindness are not always easy to offer, but they’re much better than the alternative.
There’s no excuse for bullying, and this isn’t meant to be a hippie-dippie “get out of jail free” card. Absolutely, we all make choices and even nice people do mean things. But I guess that since I found peace in this message, I thought some of you might, as well.