How many times have you heard the saying “Hurt people, hurt people? Well, I have, several times, but I never fully understood what it meant until I went on my own journey of self-reflection.
I learned that the kinder you are to yourself, the easier it is to show that kindness to others. How we treat people is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. When you realize how deserving you are of love, kindness, understanding, respect and forgiveness, becomes easier to give it to the next person.
Harmful actions stem from negative feelings. Notice how whenever we feel a negative emotion, we want to do something stupid or harmful because we want to redirect or transfer that hurt or pain.
Think of times when you were jealous, or embarrassed, heartbroken or angry. Think of how you probably wanted to hurt back whoever made you feel that way. Revenge mos… That’s when we function from a
place of hurt, and it’s never a good idea to operate from that place. It just makes things worse for ourselves because we let these hurt feelings control us, and our actions.
When I feel a negative emotion, which is absolutely normal, I try not to react immediately. In fact, I try to talk myself out of ruminating over what happened. But I also know not to leave these feelings unaddressed for too long because they can cause harm to not only myself but to whoever I interact with.
I have no control over how other people act or treat me, but I have the choice to accept it or not. I have the choice to ignore or react to it, and I have the choice to keep them in my life or not. But things don’t always go how we’d like and sometimes our emotions get the best of us. You react in the heat of the moment and inflict a permanent scar.
When that happens, forget about what who said or did, forget about payback. Focus on healing before you turn into the one who hurt you. Being kind has nothing to do with how others treat us, and everything to do with who we choose to be every day.
Yes, hurt people can hurt others, and healed people can also heal others. But you can only heal others, by first healing yourself. It always begins and ends with ourselves.
You can lift others up; you can be that positive light in their lives, but it has to be real for you too. And sometimes, all it takes for you to love, heal, inspire, enlighten, forgive, uplift, understand and make others happy, is to give it to yourself.
You will invariably heal others, by simply healing yourself. So, start with yourself.
Paula Christoph’s column concentrates on positive and inspirational write-ups every second Friday in New Era newspaper.