Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Do Hurt People, Hurt People?

There is an old saying, "Hurt people, hurt people."

The idea is that people who have been hurt will lash out and hurt others in their pain. Sounds reasonable... sort of...

Except for the fact that some of the kindest, gentlest people I know are those who have been hurt deeply.

And they'd rather chew off their right arm than wound another the way they have been.

Which leads me to a question: Is this just another form of victim-blaming? "It's your fault that I have to ignore your pain because you haven't dealt with it like 'good christians' should."

Is it a way to dismiss someone's very real grievances? "Oh, that person is just operating out of their hurt. We don't need to listen to them."

I would like to offer an alternative thought here - one that is certainly much closer to the reality that I've experienced.

It's actually people who pretend to themselves and others that they are not hurt, who hurt others.

It's the people who fool themselves into believing that they've got it all together who are the danger.

All of us have been broken or damaged by life in one way or another. But not all of us are willing to acknowledge that damage. Not all choose the painful road of owning our brokenness.

Worse still, many christians have been taught to believe in the "magic words" - say the right words in a prayer, and Jesus makes everything shiny! But it's not true. Some of the most godly men and women throughout history have been plagued by illness, depression, and doubts all their lives. But it was those who accepted that they were fractured who were able to transcend their reality.

Sadly, those who refuse to embrace the darkness of their own souls just compound their brokenness. They put on their masks and smother their pain.

Pain? What pain? I'm living in victory!

In the christian circles I've moved in, it is not the wounded who do the harm - it is the people who pretend they're not broken.

6 comments:

  1. That's a really good question. It's one of those phrases that sounds clever enough that it sneaks past your defenses. I was talking to my wife this weekend about Matthew 5, and it occurred to me that the person that the hurt person is most likely to hurt is probably the one that hurt them. I am sure that there are occasions where, being hurt, everything looks like a predator, so there is lashing out, but I have definitely felt more convicted to be careful of hurting others by being hurt myself.

    Good post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dallas. I've felt the same way x

      Delete
  2. this is what i'm thinking, LivLim.. not all people who have been hurt are bent on hurting others.. however, i do believe it can be said that: all those who intentionally hurt others are, indeed, hurting people, in every sense of the expression.. in other words: not all hurt people, hurt people, but all people who mean to hurt others are acting out of a personal hurt.. i believe this to be our reality..

    considering another level of this, i've got two best friends in my life with Dal being one of them.. recently i shared with his wife that the reason her husband has a trusted place in my life is because he's a safe and characteristically kind and gentle soul.. my other best friend is just as kind and gentle as Dal but when she's hurting i invariably get hurt too.. largely by her withdrawing from me when she's depressed.. like the last couple of days.. the lack of communication.. her being miserable.. hurts me too.. especially when i'm sharing "ground zero" with her.. when we're sharing the same space together and she's so cold and distant i'm inevitably affected.. so there's that, fwiw.. i love her, she loves me and doesn't mean to wound me.. but when she gets like this i get invariably wounded.. this is a little different.. but in this sense of the saying i consider it a maxim..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "not all hurt people, hurt people, but all people who mean to hurt others are acting out of a personal hurt.."

      Agreed. That's certainly been my observation. And it's personal hurt which is unacknowledged, or 'magicked away' by dodgy religious beliefs, which really causes harm :(

      "she loves me and doesn't mean to wound me.. but when she gets like this i get invariably wounded.. this is a little different.. but in this sense of the saying i consider it a maxim.."

      Thanks Monax, that definitely adds to the equation :)

      Delete