If “hurting people hurt people,” and the people they hurt react in ways that cause further injury in return, is that some kind of karmic cycle of deserved pain?
Is it possible for one person to disappoint and wound another so completely that they “earn” unlimited destructive retribution at the hand of the one whose pain they caused?
What if two people hurt each other in this pattern for years – then one finally puts the cycle to an end despite the other’s continued attempts to manipulate and inflict pain?
Keeping score in relationships, putting oneself on a pure pedestal and pointing down at one’s partner is not only destructive to the relationship, but when the relationship eventually fails, both parties may remain bitter and unable to own, learn from, grow from, and heal from their own failings.
Intimate relationships are the ultimate mirror, reflecting our fears, insecurities, immaturity, and lack of wholeness from hurts carried from childhood through adulthood. They are also, ideally, the path to fulfillment.
I have come to believe that absent loving relationships, we cannot fully grow in self-knowledge and healing, because we will not be tenderly challenged to truly see ourselves and recognize the areas that need mindful, gentle attention.
Absent a willingness to stop pointing the finger and laying sole blame with a partner who has caused hurt, one remains stuck in anger and bitterness. Untended pain metastasizes into hate. Though this initially seems easier than taking responsibility for individual failures to the relationship and blaming the other partner, in the end, this crutch is poisonous to personal growth, healthy relationships, and success moving forward.
Laying the blame for irresponsible behaviors with another person to justify personal irresponsible behaviors is self-defeating. We all, always, have some measure of agency.
Some of the ways to stop feeling consumed by hurt? Stop choosing to hurt others. Break your own cycle by replacing it with something healthier, bit by bit. If you want to see love and hope in the world, infuse the world around you with small acts of love in the hope that you can make things better for others (Be the change...).
Love yourself enough to grieve without blame – not blaming yourself, and humanizing the one you would prefer to blame. Envision a future free of hatred, full of thriving and care that honors the pain and love of the past. Be gentle with yourself for your own failures, and embrace forgiveness as a vehicle to health, maturity, and strength. A gift to yourself, the next generation, and the lives you touch.
Believe the whispers of hope that tell you the peace you crave deep within your soul is possible. Enmity will not serve peace, but walking through grief, expelling anger through means that do not perpetuate harm, and walking in love will.
You are strong enough to walk through the burdens of your past.
It will be okay.