When someone does something to you to intentionally hurt you, it can make it much worse than if they were to do the same thing accidentally. When speaking of mental wounds, part of the reason for this is that you feel like there must have been something about you that made them want to hurt you.
That is almost never, quite possibly actually never, the real cause. The real cause is nearly certain to be the internal pain that they feel from something in their own life… it could be something from early childhood, or it could be something from earlier today, but the desire to inflict pain on someone almost always originates from your own pain.
Think back to the last time you did something to intentionally hurt someone, even if it was very small. What were you feeling at the time? It wasn’t sweet, sugary feelings of happiness and love, was it?
You may not have thought directly of pain… you may have been angry, or jealous, or some similar emotion. Those feelings only come from pain, however… you don’t get angry, for instance, without feeling that someone has done something wrong to you.
The same is true of others… no one truly does things just because they enjoy inflicting pain. Even if it seems that way to them, THAT feeling in turn is caused by some pain from their past.
That doesn’t mean that their actions are justified, by any means… it’s still wrong to hurt someone intentionally, regardless of how badly you’ve been hurt in the past. Your own pain isn’t a valid excuse for inflicting pain on others.
On the other hand, once you realize that the harm comes from the pain of another, it does make it far easier to forgive them, and somewhat easier to not take hurt from the actions in the first place, even when they are intended to cause pain. It takes away their power, because you realize that they are attacking from a place of weakness, not a place of strength.
And it’s amazing the amount of relief that you feel when you truly forgive someone… it takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge.
Try this, when you have a chance: Think back to one of your hurts that you carry with you… it doesn’t have to be a big one, but it could be if you choose. Now think about the person who caused that hurt, and picture them as having done it because they were lashing out from their own pain (a feeling the vast majority of us are familiar with). Let yourself feel that feeling, the conscious knowledge that you are saying or doing something you don’t really mean because of your own hurt, and then understand that whatever they did came from a similar place, that they had just as hard a time controlling it.
It changes the way you feel about it a lot when you look at it that way, doesn’t it?