Have you ever been so angry and so hurt that something (or someone!) else seems to take over your entire body, almost as though you’re possessed? You can’t think straight or make rational decisions, let alone see any logic. You jump straight into attack mode and want the other person (or even an innocent bystander) to feel your pain.
You can relate to this experience at one point or another right!
I received news this week that knocked me for six and shook me to the core. Beyond the sting of the shock, it was deeply hurtful and painful news for many different and complex reasons that I won’t go into here. But I do want to share my experience post-news with you.
My immediate response was to send a slew of angry text messages, belittling and tearing this person to shreds. This continued on into the night and also throughout the morning into the next day. I could feel the pains in my stomach start to grow and the anxiety build up. I couldn’t breathe and I was consumed with nausea and riddled with guilt underneath my anger and pain.
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison & expecting the other person to die” Buddha
Spoiler Alert: Expressing my hurt and anger through verbal word vomit (aka nasty text messages) did NOT make me feel any better. But at the time I was so caught up in the story, in making my hurt known and proving I was right and they were wrong.
I was sitting there after sending a truly nasty message when it occurred to me: I was not this person. I was hurting so deeply and I was projecting that pain right back onto the person that had hurt me. I wanted them to feel the same amount of pain that they made me feel. I wanted to punish them for hurting me so deeply. And all of a sudden that creature who took over my body was gone and the anxiety left my body. I immediately apologised to my friend for my reaction and instantly felt SO much better.
A metaphysical text A Course In Miracles teaches us that “In my defenselessness my safety lies.” So when we feel hurt or threatened, we have been programmed to attack as a defence mechanism.
I’ve grown up with people in my life that immediately jump to attack at any sign of feeling threatened or hurt. It is horrible to be on the receiving end of that – even if you were the one that made a mistake and hurt that person in the first place.
It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be hurt. You need to feel your way through the emotions not try to see a way around it. It’s not ok to act that way and it certainly won’t make you feel any better. Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see a blog on how to feel your way through emotions and move through then in a healthy and constructive way.
In each and every moment you have a choice. I choose not to be a person who hurts someone because they are hurt. I am not always perfect but I have made a commitment to make this choice in each and every moment. And when my ego gets the better of me and I do attack, I will forgive myself and choose again knowing that the more I practice this the easier it will become and the quicker I will come back to my true self when I do trip up.