Pretty much everywhere you go, there are people. Pretty much anything you need in life … requires people. The hardest thing in the world? …. is probably getting along with people. Having had my own business for many years now, I often say that business would be super easy and everyone could do it … if it weren’t for people. Why in the world is it so hard to get along with people and build meaningful, fulfilling relationships?
Many reasons. One of them I want to zoom in on today, and that is that most people are hurt and therefore they hurt other people, whether that is intentional or not. It’s like having a splinter in your finger. Instead of dealing with it and removing the splinter, most people believe that time will heal their wound and so they leave that splinter in. If you’ve ever had one, you know what happens next. Your finger swells up and becomes infected. Now, someone needs to just brush against your finger and it will cause tremendous pain.
Now, this blog post isn’t supposed to be a crash course on relationships or on how to deal with the pain of past experiences. As always, I want to simply draw your attention and lift your perspective on the issue. When we choose not to deal with our past hurts, we take that hurt into the present and it becomes heavier and more difficult everyday. Take a simple glass of water for example. How heavy is it? The answer is: it depends. While it may only be about 10 ounces, stretch out your arm and try holding it for a while. Obviously, the longer you hold it the heavier it gets, isn’t that right?
While some relationships you can just simply get away from in order to stop the pain, most of us have people in our lives, whom I call “My holy sandpaper”. Holy … because they’re usually related to you in one way or another and you can’t just get away from them. Sandpaper … well, because their opinions about things often differ from yours, which can obviously cause friction.
Just “Be Yourself” is about the worst advice you can give to some people. Added to that, hurt people don’t usually take advice easily.
So there are two things: If you are the person with the infected finger, where people’s simple and well-meaning remarks cause you to haul in pain, you can either choose to find a quick fix (lash out, alcohol, food or other addictions), or you can choose to deal with the emotional pain, forgive others, work on intentionally living and improving yourself, and guarding yourself and your responses (which you can control) to other people’s hurtful words or actions (which you cannot control). Set the glass down and get rid of that stinger. Only then can your wound heal and your finger get well again. Then, when someone brushes against it, it won’t bother you anymore.
If you are dealing with a hurt person, forgive, have a heart to heart conversation, and try to look beyond the person to find out what the issue really is. You may also need to set some healthy boundaries. Holding the other cheek doesn’t mean that you must endure physical or emotional abuse.
Everyone of us is on a journey. One of the greatest pains people have, when they are at the end of their lives, is the pain of regret. Don’t let it come to that. Live intentionally and make everyday count.
I believe you can!