Hurt people hurt people. People hurt others because they themselves are hurt. The people who they hurt, hurt others. It is an endless cycle… unless it is not. What can stop the cycle?
People like you and I point fingers at one another saying, “You hurt me!” The truth is, I did hurt you, whether I meant to or not. You hurt me, whether you meant to or not. I am hurt. You are hurt. I cannot see your hurt because of my own hurt. You can’t see mine because of yours. We are each stuck in our own pain, pointing fingers of blame. Again, the endless cycle. What can stop the cycle.
The only choice other than feeling the pain and looking for blame seems to be to just sweep it all under the rug. Just pretend as if nothing happened. But it did. The hurt is real. The pain is intense. To ignore it is to direct the rage inward. Inward where it will eat us alive. What else can we do? Am I supposed to just “forgive and forget”? I can’t forget. It hurts too bad. The two choices to a) live in the pain and feel the hurt or b) bury the pain and pretend it is not there both feed the cycle. But it is all most of us have ever seen… ever! There must be another way.
Enter Grace stage left…
No, I’m not getting religious. As much as I have heard grace talked about at church, rarely if ever have I seen it practiced. I’m not talking about some cosmic thing that you can’t quite put your brain around. I mean the kind of demonstrated grace we can experience in this life. It understands we are both in pain and that much of that pain is born from misunderstanding. The grace I am talking about allows me to listen to you without defense when you are accusing me. (Ever experienced that?) In this kind of grace I recognize that I am a pain giver as well as a pain receiver. (Ouch!) This grace creates a space where you and I can listen to one another for understanding, not to fix the problem and not even to agree! The kind of grace space I mean is one where you and I can feel both listened to and understood. Where we are not so concerned with who got the most points or who won.
The world is full of hurt people. Some of them were hurt by me. Some by you. I know some of the wounds I have inflicted, but not all of them. I want to live in a place of grace where I can confess my faults and feel understood. If there is to be any hope of having a space like that, someone has to start. Someone must break the cycle. In that spirit, I want to be one who helps create those kinds of spaces for others. It has to start somewhere. Why not here? Why not now? It is not an easier way to live, but it is a better way to live.