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Four Letter Words: Hurt & Pain

People will treat you badly. Not everyone, but certainly people. This is a guarantee. If it has not happened already it is just a matter of time. If is has happened over the course of your life, it will most likely happen again…and again. People will disappoint you. They will let you down. Some will cause you pain. Some will do so knowingly, some will do so unknowingly. The depth of the hurt caused by some people will sometimes be enough to rearrange your insides, alter your blood pressure, drastically affect your appetite and even possibly your outlook on life.


The first step is to try not to be one of these people. Those people that purposefully hurt people. Show up for your people, choose important relationships over material gain and invest in those who are for all intents and purposes ‘yours.’ Whether friends, colleagues, families, significant others, support staff, favourite uber driver, etc. Be generous with your resources, with your time, with your love. There is nothing more important than the love and kindness that makes the world go round. In the face of adversity, loss and in the varying length of life which we all live, and in more recent times in the face of a global pandemic, this will become even more self evident. So rather than becoming (or remaining) one of those people that hurts people – love, and do not do so sparingly or with measure. Love recklessly, with abundance, with intention – while you can.


I have been deeply hurt and I do not stand alone. Over the course of time we all fall victim to this in varying forms. I know those who have faced more hurt and more pain, those with less and those whose pain levels I cannot gauge – sometimes it flashes in their eyes, other times it melts in their smiles. I do not ask, they do not tell – but pain is certainly part of life’s unfolding – it happens, it comes, it asserts itself. Being a victim of pain is not a competition and no one has a monopoly on it. Pain is pain. And pain caused by humans can take on varying form and have varying results. I am not here to address the input particularly, I am here to address the aftermath, the reaction, the events that follow.


The depth of the pain is likely to be commensurate with the level of regard, expectation, affection, articulation of what the relationship was and perhaps the context within which the pain was meted out. I have but one suggestion for anyone going through past, present or future pain – ENERGY! The answer is energy.


“An eye for an eye, God no go vex.” “I give what I receive.” “This person brings out the ‘devil’ in me,” – Quite simply: NO. Protect your energy. Tame your energy. Transform your energy. This might seem counterintuitive after deep disappointment, betrayal, brutal disregard, etc. but it is not. Do not let anyone convert your energy or your person into who or what you are not. Do not allow what they have done affect who you are or how you engage with everyone else you encounter. If your finger gets caught in the car door, you pull out your finger, you don’t cut off your hand. Similarly when pain enshrouds you, assaults you and causes you continuous harm – pull out your heart, pull out your time and energy, don’t cut out your light or leave behind the loving parts of you. I am NO advocate of doormats, pushovers, martyrs or “ride till you dies,” but reciprocity in the face of awful energy never leads to growth, victory, peace, proper processing or progressing past the point of the pain.


So let it go. Do not carry the lesson in such a way as to teach the next person to never try it. Do not carry the hurt in brick-shaped-baggage that will be used to build walls and break bridges. Do not give what you are given. Do not respond in like fashion. Do not become to others that which negatively affected you. When you do so you clench tightly to the hurt, you adapt your approach to unfortunate circumstances and you wither rather than flourish.


Rather than letting yourself go and flowing with the negative energy presented to you – let the person go. Release them from your mind, disentangle them from your emotions and take back your devotion. Let the pain go. Make room for better and make space for your positive energy to ebb and flow as the pain heals and the soreness goes. Protect your energy by being mindful of those you spend your time with, of being mindful of what news and information you consume.

Build a fence, not a wall, to ensure that you are protected and at peace – but do not retaliate, reciprocate or spew hate. It will not serve you, in fact it will be a disservice to who you are, how you are and all your other relationships. So yes, people have and will treat you badly, pain will come but do not let it stay. Protect your peace and distance yourself from the bad energy – may it always be far away – through intention. Wishing you love and holding you where the light is!

Zeni St. John

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