Do Hurt People, Hurt People?

Do Hurt People, Hurt People? October 29, 2016

livingliminalby Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living Liminal

There is an old saying, “Hurt people, hurt people.”

The idea is that people who have been hurt will lash out and hurt others in their pain. Sounds reasonable… sort of…

Except for the fact that some of the kindest, gentlest people I know are those who have been hurt deeply.

And they’d rather chew off their right arm than wound another the way they have been.

Which leads me to a question: Is this just another form of victim-blaming? “It’s your fault that I have to ignore your pain because you haven’t dealt with it like ‘good christians’ should.”

Is it a way to dismiss someone’s very real grievances? “Oh, that person is just operating out of their hurt. We don’t need to listen to them.”

I would like to offer an alternative thought here – one that is certainly much closer to the reality that I’ve experienced.

It’s actually people who pretend to themselves and others that they are not hurt, who hurt others.

It’s the people who fool themselves into believing that they’ve got it all together who are the danger.

All of us have been broken or damaged by life in one way or another. But not all of us are willing to acknowledge that damage. Not all choose the painful road of owning our brokenness.

Worse still, many christians have been taught to believe in the “magic words” – say the right words in a prayer, and Jesus makes everything shiny! But it’s not true. Some of the most godly men and women throughout history have been plagued by illness, depression, and doubts all their lives. But it was those who accepted that they were fractured who were able to transcend their reality.

Sadly, those who refuse to embrace the darkness of their own souls just compound their brokenness. They put on their masks and smother their pain.

Pain? What pain? I’m living in victory!

In the christian circles I’ve moved in, it is not the wounded who do the harm – it is the people who pretend they’re not broken.

moreRead more by Living Liminal:

When Controlling Behavior Backfires


Living Liminal lives in Australia with her husband and three sons, and she is learning to thrive in the liminal space her life has become. She writes at Living Liminal. 

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