Every person in your life has the power to inflict damage and change you.
When you put your trust in someone, you take the risk of being hurt. Every relationship you have – both romantic and platonic – can change your life. If you are lucky, everybody in your life will love, respect, and treat you the way you deserve. However, it is extremely rare for people to live an entire lifetime without meeting somebody who will eventually hurt or betray them. Most people have at least one person who has inflicted damage and changed them forever.
We believe we deserve the treatment we receive from the ones we love and trust.
The reason we get hurt so deeply is that when the people we trust and love most treat us poorly, we blame ourselves. We believe that we deserve the way they treat us because we trust that they do love and respect us. This explains why children of unloving parents grow up to struggle with self-compassion and self-confidence. Similarly, when our romantic partners criticize us and tell us that we are hard to love in our adult lives, we believe them too. In this way, every person and every relationship has the power to change us; more specifically, it can change how we view ourselves as well as our current and future relationships.
Every relationship teaches us a valuable lesson – even when it hurts.
It might take you months or years to understand that you did not deserve the treatment you received. That is, you will eventually understand that it is not you but rather the relationship that was damaged. Subsequently, you are bound to feel overwhelmed by feelings of anger, bitterness and aggression. You will ask yourself how someone who claimed to love and care about you could possibly hurt you so badly. In other words, you will first feel negativity towards yourself and once you understand that you are not to blame, you will turn the negativity towards the one who hurt you.
How do you learn from the pain?
When we have been hurt deeply, we can easily drown in negative feelings and thoughts. Unfortunately, this only causes more pain and it resolves nothing. Instead of becoming engulfed by darkness, we can learn from it. First, ensure that you treat yourself with kindness and that you constantly remind yourself of your worth. Then, recognize that the only people who abuse and harm others are those who are in pain themselves. In other words, their behavior towards you has so much more to do with them than it ever did with you. Finally, try to understand that nobody can hurt you unless you let them. Although this is so much easier to say than it is to do, difficult experiences can teach us how to protect ourselves. At the end of the day, we decide who and what can break our hearts.