Why Does It Hurt?
Sometimes, that seems like a pretty foolish question. Duh! Did you see what he did? Did you hear what she said?
Why does it hurt? It is not as obvious as it seems. I was working with one of my program leaders who was struggling at a high level. Our leaders often deal with all kinds of unhealthy behavior. The negativity of the addicts often gets directed at them. So when one particular response is highly painful for a leader, it is a good question.
Out of all the disrespectful behaviors that have come at you this week, why is this one so painful for you? We can only be hurt by what we care about. It really isn’t about the other person and his response. It is about what we care about.
Sometimes the answer is that this wound is triggering past wounds. In fact, it may be triggering a whole series of past wounds. The spirit realm works that way. Rejection triggers old rejections. Ridicule triggers past bullying. Etc.
Sometimes, a wound feels like a rejection of a person’s very purpose. We all seem to know who God created us to be. Some people want to be heard. Others are a servant and want to be appreciated. Others are coaches and want to see tangible growth in the people they are working with. When that “one thing” seemingly gets trampled by another person’s response, it is painful. It tells us that we “don’t measure up” in the area of our gifting.
There is always a “why” to the pain. There is an area that needs to be surrendered to God. If it is past pain, that needs to be cleaned up. For many, the holidays are a dreaded time because of past disappointments. They go into this season tense and with negative expectations. That tension sets them up to have further bad reactions, and more blow ups during the season that they “hate.” Until past wounding is healed, it will continue to create future wounding. Once there is healing, there can be a better future.
The deepest pain is in the area of rejection of self. If a person is created to be a “father,” and his attempts at being fatherly are rejected, it is very painful. The normal human response to the rejection is to press harder, which typically results in a more violent rejection.
When we learn to rest in being who God created us to be, that negative cycle can be broken. None of us has the ability to produce a response in another person. We believe we do. We believe that others should respond to who we are.
The truth is that every person responds out of his core. Out of his inner values. All we can do is bring the best influence we can bring. Period. When someone else rejects that influence, it is far more about what is going on inside of that person than it is the influence that any of us is bringing. We aren’t nearly as important in the other person’s response as we believe we are. People are much more egoistic, responding out of self than we believe them to be.
Why does it hurt? The answer often is that we believe we should have a greater impact on others than we realistically can have. When we accept that our role is much more limited, it actually lowers our pain level. We no longer judge ourselves as “failing” because someone else is responding badly.
I try to look at the influence I have brought. If I have brought the best influence I know how to bring, how can I be down on myself? Working with addicts, this has been a very important part of me staying healthy. Addicts respond negatively on a regular basis. If I take their responses in a personal way, I will not be able to help them.
Why does it hurt? Most of the time, the answer has little to do with what the other person did. Sure. There is rape, murder, or theft. Sometimes the behavior of the other person creates lasting results that are grotesque and painful. In these cases, why it hurts is because of the devastation to life going forward. But most of the time, the greatest pain only minimally is about what the other person did. It is far more about what is going on inside of us.
Your pain is your pain. Own it. Deal with it. Hand it off to God in a way that you get better. Why does it hurt? Find the source. Get it surrendered to God. Live a better life today.