You’ve been hurt. Maybe you built a wall around yourself and withdrew, so that you wouldn’t be hurt again. Maybe you hid the vulnerable parts of yourself and acted tough, so that people would think you couldn’t be hurt. Maybe you pushed other people away, so they couldn’t have the chance to hurt you.
Protecting ourselves from being hurt again causes us more pain than the pain we’re afraid of. Our facade keeps us from connecting more deeply with the people in our lives, and we experience the painful lack of deep, unconditional love. Hiding makes us believe that there’s something wrong with who we really are, and we experience the pain of shame and self-hatred. Withholding our gifts fills us with painful regret about what might have been.
Being hurt is just part of life, and we can handle it. We’re going to look stupid, make mistakes, and get taken advantage of. We won’t enjoy it when it happens, and we certainly won’t seek it out. But we can handle it. It’s not going to kill us. It’ll hurt for a little while.. but then we’ll get over it.
At some point in time, we have to stop worrying about being hurt and give ourselves permission to be who we are: funny, silly, caring, smart, passionate, vulnerable, and above all, IMPERFECT. When we are who we are, we give the gift of ourselves to everyone around us.
Give, because you’re over experiencing pain because of pain you’ve experienced. The more permission and self-acceptance you give yourself and the more of your gifts you give to others, the quicker you’ll get over it.