In the previous post I wrote about searching for expressions of hurt as a way to prevent conflict. Let’s take the issue one step closer – when conflict is about to become exacerbated. By that I mean when negative emotions arise in you.
Search for an expression of hurt in everything that provokes a negative emotion in you, whether that emotion be anger, fear, disgust, the ever-present defensiveness, or any other thing you don’t like to feel. These emotions might result from a direct attack, but attacks within relationships (especially verbal) are very often motivated by hurt. Take your negative emotions as an emergency flag – you’re probably feeling hurt in some way yourself by this point, and it’s likely the other person is too.
Take a step back. Examine how you’re feeling, without judging yourself. Everyone is entitled to whatever emotions they feel in any given moment. No emotion is “wrong.” It’s how we respond to emotions that gets us into trouble. First, try your best to have a little compassion on yourself. I don’t mean wallow in woe-is-me self-pity. I mean acknowledge I’m hurt. I want to heal. Focusing on the desire to heal promotes compassion not only for yourself but, if you let it, compassion for whatever action caused the hurt, too.
In some cases, the words I want to heal can be very hard to say, or even think. I don’t know why this is – fear of the hurt itself, maybe.
There’s nothing to fear. The desire to heal can eventually grow into that healing, both of yourself and others.