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You Do Not Own Their Pain

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

When people hurt us our first instinctual response is fuck you to the moon and back type of rage. We’ve all been there, and not reacting and taking personal offense to the pain inflicted is undeniably fucking hard.

Especially when you really did do your best to be there for them — but your best will never be good enough for some.

We take the projections of others as if they are a direct attack and a reflection of the truth. It takes strength and courage to take a step back and remind ourselves; other people’s reactions are not about us, they are about them.

Our automatic reactions to others behaviors stem from our past experiences. Our acquired data leads us to accurately or inaccurately form assumptions that we firmly believe as truth.

These assumptions may not be reflective of reality though.

They may just be preconceived notions projected onto other humans in order to protect our ego. But we don’t see this shit. It is the absolute truth in our mind. How could it not be? We wouldn't lie to ourselves too, now would we? Easy there. Lets break this down;

This is where reality becomes distorted.

Personal biases 101: People will believe whatever version of reality serves their unique belief system.

The most hurt and traumatized among us, will do anything to protect what little self-respect that is left.

Example: A woman who has been in an abusive relationship leaves her spouse. The spouse then in an act to preserve their ego tells everyone that the woman was in the wrong and cheated. No validity whatsoever. Yes — everyone plays their part but the story is untrue in this case.

The spouse will repeat their version of reality to themselves as many times as is needed to fully buy in and believe it themselves.

Why do they do this? They must know they are lying!

Not necessarily.

The main coping mechanism damaged individuals utilize to suppress heinous acts they have committed — is by rationalizing and creating stories that fit the narrative of them being the “good” guy. Remember to preserve their sense of self.

When you’re on the receiving end of this type of rhetoric, your sanity depends on not taking offense. Taking offense is pointless and a waste of your precious mental energy. People unconsciously cast projections of their own low self worth on to others as a survival mechanism. It has nothing to do with you as a human.

That beautiful brain of theirs is protecting them. Now can you see why getting offended is silly, right?Look at it this way; If we’re at peace with our decisions we don’t feel the need to lash out.

If we’re experiencing constant inner turmoil and low self confidence, then it makes sense that we want to feel less alone in our suffering. Some empathy for your saboteur’s attempt are warranted. We cause others to suffer when we are suffering. It is highly likely that these behaviors are not in their conscious awareness.

Noteworthy: We will not find forgiveness and peace in this life immersing ourselves in past transgressions.

Peace only comes when we remember that the pains inflicted upon us wasn’t usually a result of our behaviors. It was a reaction from another hurt human with the tools they had available. Some of us have had life long entitlement and for others walking the path of life has always been a little close to the edge. Reactions are usually reflective of these facts.

Walking on eggshells out of fear of how another individual will react is no way to live life.

Allowing our own ego to get tripped out when someone projects their pain onto us is a waste of life. I have had to work hard to fix that tape playing in my mind and it still occasionally gets turned back on.

It’s an ongoing practice that I will be perfecting for the remainder of my days — to release other people’s shit and not take it personally.

Like Don Miguel Ruiz describes in his book the Four Agreements, we all have these invisible wounds and we’ll do anything to avoid them being touched.

We’ll run as fast as we can from the negative emotions we encounter in ourselves. Dare someone else accidentally touch our wounds — we act as if they caused them. But, they didn’t cause them, and they cannot heal them.

We’ll project as much of it onto others as we possibly can before realizing that they are our wounds and we have the power to heal them. Others can only help us to bring up what we haven’t healed in ourselves.

When we look at it from this perspective, how can there still be anger at those that bring up our shadows? Instead, we could replace our resentment with compassion for ourselves and those who hurt us.

Because they are hurt, and unconsciously trying to get others to strengthen their paradigm of pain. This is the exact opposite direction of turning towards the path of healing and growth.

“Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you.” ~Ruiz

In the end hurt people, hurt people. Taking offense only causes you pain. The cycle can stop when you decide not to own their projections.

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