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Dealing With Love Hurts: First Aid Tips

Love Hurts: First AideOne of the biggest first aid helps for a love relationship hurt can be a great big dose of sincere, powerful, well expressed love from someone who has love to freely give.  (See blog entry “Listening with Love”)  However, that may not always be the best first thing, or only thing to experience when you are feeling pain in a difficult love relationship situation.  As we have previously said, hurt is there for a distinct guidance-giving purpose.   Learning  what that message is, in your particular situation, can be extremely important.  Generally speaking, the purpose of hurt is to guide us away from harm.  Also all love related hurts have guidance messages which we can learn from so as to be safer and do love better. (See blog entry “Dealing with Love Hurts: Pain’s Crucial Guidance”)  Like all life systems our natural hurting system can over do it, under do it, and mis-do it.  However, when we learn to work with our pain lots of improvements may be achieved.  Here are some further first aid ways to work with your love related hurtful feelings.

Sometimes hurt is trying to get us to grow our awareness of how we have helped ourselves get into a hurting and possibly harmful situation.  Once we have that awareness we may be able to avoid those hurtful and harmful situations in the future.  Notice that we have used the word ‘helped’ as opposed to the word ‘caused’.  Whatever hurtful situation we find ourselves in usually has multiple causation factors to look at.  One of them is ourselves.  Especially if we repeatedly get into the same kind of hurtful or harmful love related situation we are likely to be doing something we need to learn to do differently.  For instance, if we repeatedly hook up with abusing lovers we are probably, but unknowingly, repeatedly doing something that helps that happen.  To our conscious mind it may seem to occur accidentally.  With some work we probably can raise into conscious awareness our contribution to getting ourselves into that hurtful situation.  Of course, we also best look at whomever and whatever else has helped us plunge into a situation filled with hurt.

When you hurt do you ask yourself “How did I help myself get into this hurtful situation and how can I avoid doing that from now on”?  These questions are not about self blame but rather are about successfully dealing with our own contributions.

Some people are very good at blaming themselves and forget to think how others have contributed to whatever bad situation they are in.  Others are very good at blaming others and leave themselves out of the formula.  For real understanding include both you and them along with situational factors.  It’s not about blame, it’s about understanding so that repetitions of the hurtful and harmful can cease and improvements can be made.  Blame usually involves feeling bad and wanting to punish a particular someone, ourselves included, and perhaps wanting to punish others.  Identifying causes and contributors without blaming tends to feel at least somewhat good when useful discoveries are made and new understandings about how to proceed are arrived at.  Blame is very ‘past tense’ oriented while simply identifying the origins of a problem is more ‘future tense’ oriented because it is usually more focused on the prevention of repetition of mistakes.  Blame sometimes helps us hurt more with anger and needless reliving of what hurt us.  Identifying causation and understanding what to do to prevent its repetition can help us feel better because we know more about how to deal with it more successfully in the future.  Blame gets in the way of forgiveness and often has a blinding effect to more complete understanding.  Blame can be helpful in cathartic release but all-in-all I don’t find it that healthfully useful.

Some questions I like to ask people when they’re hurting due to a love situation going badly are “Who do you go to when you’re hurting?”, “Who listens to you best when you’re hurting?”, “Who do you let hold you when you’re hurting?” and “How good are you at lovingly dealing with yourself when you hurt?”.  Being able to go to someone who cares about you when you’re in some form of emotional agony and really getting well listened to (not talked at), and getting lovingly touched, and then being able to lovingly deal with yourself usually soothes the heart and clears the mind. (see entry “Dealing with Love Hurts: Shared and Unshared Pain“).  Then you can better figure out what your hurt is trying to tell you and its guidance message for your future.  All that can be done with a truly caring, empathetic therapist or counselor or other love-oriented helping professionals, with a good caring, empathetic therapy group or support group, also with loving friends and loving family.

Generally the process for dealing with hurt in a love relationship is a simple one to understand: 1. Facilitate the pain going out and 2. healing love coming in, 3. then learn from it so you don’t have to do it again.  If you can do this with the person or people most involved in the relationship where the hurt occurred all the better.  That way the relationship itself often can be healed or improved.  However, if you can’t do this ‘three step process’ with the spouse, lover, family, friend, or whoever is involved then do it with someone who was not involved if possible.  We tend to get a lot better, a lot faster with the loving help of others.  However, with enough good, healthy self-love we can do it for ourselves.  We can cathartically vent our pain, lovingly listen to our inner self, and let our self say anything we want to say without judgment, lovingly hug and hold ourselves, and then when we’re ready we can start working on how we are going to learn from our hurt.  It’s just usually slower when done alone.  Also a great number of people get enormous help from working this process through prayer or otherwise dealing with their higher power, deity, etc.

It is important to know that the pains people experience in love relationships are very important and it is best not to ignore them or take them lightly, whether the pain is in ourselves or in someone we care about.  If we frequently ignore or downplay emotional hurt of any type in a love relationship we may be acting in ways that erode the relationship itself.  This especially can be true in our love relationships with our children.  It’s just as true with relationships with a spouse or anyone really close to us.  Again remember, all hurt is trying to save us from harm.  That is its purpose, and so it is best worked with lovingly in both ourselves and with those we care about.

As always, Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

♥ Love Success Question
W
hen  someone you love comes to you with their love related hurt do you lovingly listen more than talk, lovingly avoid giving un-asked for advice or instruction, look at them with loving care, and lovingly touch them while they talk?  Do you clearly and directly ask for these behaviors or similar desired actions when you have love related hurt?

Image credits: Heart artwork by J. Richard Cookerly.

Dealing With Love Hurts Series
Dealing with Love Hurts: A Dozen Love Hurts to Know and Grow From
Dealing With Love Hurts: First Aid Tips
Dealing With Love Hurts: Pain's Crucial Guidance
Dealing With Love Hurts: Shared And Unshared Pain
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