Day 310: Don’t be hurt alone

So I sit here tonight, not wanting to go to sleep, because I know that means Monday morning is just a few dreams away. Back to the cycle of another work week. Back to another round of projects. Back to the traffic that tests my patience daily; if the patience tests were pass/fail, I’d likely fail most days.

Despite the dread of closing out the weekend, I feel satisfied that I’ve done all in my power to connect with others this weekend. Among some of the connections, I include a day trip to Kentucky, with a couple of co-workers, to support a friend whose father passed away. I also include two women’s groups that I walked into today, out of character for me, at least for the past 5 or so years. It’s been a weekend full of connecting with other women, and listening to others as they learn to cope with their situations.

We all have junk in our lives. That’s the amazing part. With the number of books on the market about perfectionism, it shows that we tend to live trying to pretend that we don’t have junk. When after only a few minutes with others, each sharing from the heart, it’s easy to see that, despite the variety of the issues, the junk is the same.

Looking back, it makes me sad that I spent so many years building up walls and pushing people away. Instead of being vulnerable and getting hurt, I built walls and got hurt; I was simply hurt alone, instead of getting hurt in community. It sounds pessimistic, and you’re probably thinking why does hurt have to be involved? In reality, it is pessimistic but that’s life, because people hurt one another. It’s what humans do. It’s not usually intentional, but as long as we have breath, we are going to hurt one another. But being hurt alone is far more tragic than any other type of hurt.

And if we’re hurt, the thing to watch is what we do with the hurt. When you are hurt alone, you tend to process it and re-process it in your head. That can create bitterness, and bitterness mostly hurts yourself; it certainly doesn’t hurt the one who hurt you. You might get to a place where you forgive and are at peace, but no one will necessarily know that, because you’re behind your walls. When you hurt in community, you can process it with others, and healing comes more quickly. People can help you over any bitterness, and call you out on it when you just want to hang on to it. Simply put, life is better with others.

DAY 310 HOMEWORK: Set yourself free from the walls that have walled you in. It may be a internet wall. An emotional wall. A bitterness wall. A shy wall. An anger wall. A wall of hurt or distrust. As a starting place, find a place to connect on a deeper-than-surface level. You don’t have to stay there forever, but at least put yourself out there so that you can see that we all face similar battles. If you don’t click with the first group, try a different one, again and again until you find the right fit.

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