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Have you been hurt? People have hurt me. When I came to truly understand that those who hurt me were hurting, I no longer needed to find a reason in me why I was the victim. I also, in recognizing those who hurt me as probably once being victims, was able to give myself permission to love the person who hurt me. I was able to see the person who hurt me as a complete person with different sides and aspects to them. I could be angry at some parts and allow myself to want other parts. I acknowledged that no matter how evil their actions, people are not evil, just imperfect.

I started to feel multiple emotions at one time. My feelings intermingled and got to know each other. Angry Me got to know Scared Me and Confident Me and all the others Me’s that were NOT really Me, the FULL Me. As my emotions learned to coexist, I was able to integrate the different parts of me. I became whole, and thus fulfilled. I finally understood why you can’t truly love others until you love yourself. I hope someday that each and every person who feels at war with themselves finds the person(s) who can guide him/her through the same journey of growth to wholeness.

One of my friends was sexually abused by her mother. Her Mother’s actions were UNloving when she hurt her; she was not being a mother. My friend, as a child, could NOT have done anything to deserve what happened to her or to stop it. My friend’s mother was NOT hurting my friend because she thought my friend deserved it. Deep inside her mother loved her. Her mother did not know how to show it. An explanation is not an excuse. Her mom didn’t make the choice to grow up. When we aren’t “raised,” that choice is much harder, but it is still ours. We are made to love. A mother loves her child. It is biological. Showing love, though, is something we learn through nurturing. As adults, what we haven’t been taught it is still our responsibility to learn.

I’m not surprised that victims of abuse “hate” their abusers, but I feel sad. I want them to know…

When you feel hate, the loving part of you is scared of that hate. The loving part of you is angry that hate is stealing away your attention. The loving you feels guilty because hating feels wrong. Love and hate can’t relate. Love and hate can’t coexist.  So, the loving you hides away and isn’t there…to love you. Hate isn’t an emotion. It is the absence of love. You aren’t wrong or bad to hate, it just isn’t helpful.

I pray love, bit by bit and more and more each day, consumes every heart that hates. We are made to love. We all have been have been hurt by someone along the way. If we accept the responsibility, we keep learning and loving ourselves into fullness. That, in essence, is the journey of life. Otherwise, we are just existing and we’ll forever be discontent. When we are discontent, we cannot experience joy. Choose joy.