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Transformational Talk

Compassion for Those Who Hurt You

Do you have compassion for those who hurt you? This is particularly hard when they won’t/can’t apologize, or won’t/can’t change their hurting ways. In these situations, it’s easy to get stuck in bitterness and judgment. The problem is acrimony often takes a toll on your health. Long stewing resentment can affect blood pressure, digestion and immune systems. Judgments hurled at others usually land in your psyche as conclusions about your own unconscious negative tendencies.

Here’s the tip: First, offer yourself tender solace for wounds you still carry. It’s natural to be angry and sad about what happened. Check if you need to protect yourself by severing or drastically reducing contact with any hurtful persons. Remember, compassion doesn’t necessarily mean connection. Next, ferret out resentful thoughts and notice constricted feelings in your heart when you’re stuck in indignation. Observe the rigidity righteousness inflicts on your spirit. See if you’re ready to let go of this self imposed pain. If not, be gentle. No blame. Take the time you need.

Finally, and only when ready, put yourself in your perpetrator’s place. Try to understand their pain. Gather information to appreciate the circumstances which led them to hurt you – which likely had nothing to do with you! Once you’ve walked that proverbial mile in their shoes, feel what happens inside. Allow the warmth and openness of compassion to spread through your heart and soul. Now, you are whole. ©

Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW Call: 858-481-5752 fax: 858-484-8374 email: