“If you judge how lovable you are based on reflections from someone who cannot love without hurt, you will have a distorted and inaccurate view of yourself as a loving and lovable person.”
The title of this blog, Why is it So Easy to Hurt the Ones We Love, peaked my curiosity due to my past behaviors. I have learned that the things that bother us about others, what we complain about most, are deep unhealed wounds within ourselves. We are looking at our own reflections.
I hadn’t thought about taking this theory one step further. As Steven Stosny, Ph.D. states, “I’m convinced that we use resentment and anger to punish loved ones, not so much for their behavior, as for our own painful reflections in the mirror of love. We want to attack the mirror because we don’t like the reflection.”
It was easier to attack the mirror, blaming and hurting my former spouse, than it was to see that I needed to work on my own issues and my own pain. “The mirror of love generates energy when it reflects value, just as it depletes energy when it doesn’t.” I depleted a lot of energy in my marriage, not only in my addiction, but through my recovery too.
I’m grateful for separation and divorce to force me to look inward. That’s what I needed to start this process, but I’m grateful I’m learning not only not to attack the mirror, but not to continue to attack myself.
“To improve this cycle, stop viewing emotional pain as a punishment inflicted by someone else. Instead, learn to act on it as an internal motivation to heal, correct, and improve. This leads to deeper self-compassion and puts you more in touch with your deepest values, which will inspire more compassion for one another. You can love without hurt, but only if you use pain as a signal to heal and improve, rather than punish.”
Please take this time to look inward and learn to love yourself. Only then can we truly love another.