How can I hurt less?

I am often asked, “How can I hurt less?”

This article want to help you protect yourself, prevent yourself from being hurt, and show you how you can get past the pain of being hurt.

Notice the meaning you’re making from the situation

Hurt is a combination of pain and suffering. Pain can be unavoidable, rejection, loss, these things happen as part of life. But suffering is slightly different. Suffering is avoidable. Suffering has more to do with the meaning you make of that pain. The first step towards hurting less is noticing the separation between pain and suffering. You don’t have to add suffering on top of pain.

When you notice the separation between the two, notice the negative self-talk. Stop saying “I’m unlovable”. Stop saying “I have nothing to contribute”. Negative self-talk only adds more hurt. Notice the meaning you are making of the situation and stop saying those things to yourself.

Negative self-talk is powerful and has a huge impact. When you can stop it in its tracks you’ll have a positive impact on your level of happiness and the happiness of your heart.

Don’t underestimate your magnificence

There’s no other way to put this! Magnificence.

Hurt is the idea of being destroyed. We naturally want to protect ourselves from hurt. But we are so strong. Incredibly so. I’ve witnessed firsthand people who have suffered the most terrible things you can imagine… and survived. We have so much capacity. We have so much power. We try to fight against hurt. But that demeans your power.

Other people cannot destroy your essence. Remember that. You are stronger than anything they can do to you. People do horrendous things. But their actions do not define who you are.

Let your heart be soft. Be like water, not ice.

In the video above, I speak about how I recently confronted a difficult personal situation. My friends and family supported me and encouraged me to be strong, be an iceberg, don’t show emotion. And this inspired a metaphor.

What is easier to break, ice or water? Ice right? Ice cracks, but water flows.

When we try to protect ourselves we harden our hearts. We brace for impact. But that’s how we get injured. When you’re hard, rigid, and resistant you’re more likely to crack.

Don’t get me wrong, the situation was still painful but this metaphor opened me up to things I hadn’t felt before.

Choosing to be soft seems counterintuitive. But as I repeated this to myself “Be like water”, I didn’t put up walls which meant I was less inclined to crack. This made such a difference in this difficult situation.

Feel the pain

When you’ve been hurt, the best way to process this pain is to breathe it in.

Breathe it in and breathe it out. Breathe it into your heart and breathe it out through your heart. The pain will not last forever. It may take a few breaths, maybe longer.

Pain comes in waves. You don’t need to revolve your life around it. Breathing into it helps reduce the control that pain has over us. Fear of pain is worse than the pain itself.

So remember the difference between pain and suffering.

Remember to be soft like water, not hard like ice.

Remember your magnificence?

And remember to breathe the pain through your heart.

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My book

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to take this journey further, check out my book The Good Thing About Mortar Shells: Choosing love over fear”.