Permission to Hurt
Love takes risk; it’s impossible to love without taking into account the possibility that one way or another, one party will fail the other – deliberately or accidentally.
I’m not saying that when we love, we should always hurt each other; definitely not. But what I am saying is, our natural tendency to fail ourselves and even the people that we love most. It’s a fact not an opinion. I have never met a couple nor a family who ‘perfectly’ loves each other and who has pain in its absence. Every growing relationship learns that pain is part of gaining more and loving deeper. Someone who misses that point misses half of his life from learning the essence of pain in relationships. Consider the following facts:
One, pain warns us that something isn’t right. When we neglect this, we are prone to danger and much worse than that, we are already in danger. I had this experience when I accidentally cut a small tip of my pointing finger using a paper cutter. The pain was totally inexplicable. I realized, if there’s no pain, I would totally ignore my wound and would just let blood flow from my finger which could harm me even more. Same thing in every relationship. If we ignore a small portion of our hurt because of our being ‘too much understanding’, time will come that small wound can be infected in ways which we do not imagine; and the last thing we know, we are nearing the end of a breaking relationship.
Two, pain leads to healing. Pain brings not just negative effects in our lives but it can also bring positive things. When I cut my finger, I asked the nurse why was it still aching when medicine was already applied? She told me, “It’s because your cells are doing their job to conceal and repair the broken tissue.” I know it might sound a little bit weird, but I think that’s the best explanation I heard in that state. When we are in pain, all we have to do is to feel its sting. We cry. Others talk about it; and many drown themselves in their own ways of coping. It is in our deepest and darkest state that we learn to let go and move on. Thus, personal healing follows, and we emerge as wiser and better individuals. However, if we choose the opposite, we choose to kill ourselves. We lose hope.
There could be a lot more facts that we can learn from pain. What I have written are just examples to prove that in every relationship, it’s impossible not to get hurt. So, we must always be reminded that each time we allow people to come in our lives or even when we love, we are giving them permission to hurt us and make us better individuals. You might ask, “Why am I so certain about this?” It’s because, more than two thousand years ago, my Ultimate Lover took all the shame and pain to reconcile with me even though I do not deserve it. Thus, such act of love has made me a better person of today than yesterday.
“…looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2