It is said that we are hardest on the ones closest to us. All too often I have seen friends and loved ones hurt by the very same people who are supposed to love them the most. I have, in fact, even been the victim, and, ashamedly, the cause of hurt on my own loved ones as well. So why does this happen?
Careless words, thoughtless actions, and misplaced, well-meaning intentions seem to prevail in society today. There are several reasons as to why we may hurt the ones who mean the most to us.
There are times when hurt is done deliberately. Perhaps we are lashing out or back at someone who has hurt us first. Perhaps it is because we carry resentment, jealousy, or hurt from a past time, maybe even from someone different than the person we are currently hurting. Sadly, but truly, sometimes hurt is intentional and deliberately done.
Some circumstances find us hurting those we love unconsciously and unknowingly. It can often be a surprise to us when we have hurt the ones we love and we later find out about it. Our intention may not have been to hurt at all. We may have been striding towards our own goals and accomplishments, possibly forgetting about others or, even, stepping on them in the process.
Through neglectful consideration of others’ feelings we can hurt and damage our relationships with those around us. Perhaps we forget, ignore, or fail to do something important or meaningful to those who rely on us. We may “drop the ball” so-to-speak and cause pain to others. Once again, it may have nothing to do with intention, but everything to do with human error.
Sometimes we outgrow our need for people in our lives and so, perhaps intentionally or unintentionally, we pull away from them. They may also remind us of a time when we were weak and when we needed them the most. If we have grown and strengthened ourselves since that time of need, we may find ourselves moving away from our connection with those who have seen us at our worst. It may not make sense to the ones we are hurting, especially if we cannot find the words to explain it to them. Sometimes people can represent bad memories to us and so we want to forget even the positive aspects that the person brought into our lives.
When we hurt the ones we love it can do two things. It can destroy the relationship with the loved ones we have hurt. Trust can deteriorate and the pain of the hurt can be too much to be forgiven. Secondly, it can serve to strengthen the relationship, but only if those involved are willing to work through the hurt and reinforce the positive aspects on which the relationship was built on in the first place. How we react and deal with hurt from our friends and loved ones often challenges our character. It can, however, strengthen us and teach us to persevere, turning the other cheek and continuing to love those who are the hardest on us. When we hurt the ones we love, it does truly hurt, but, in time, we can forgive and be forgiven.