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When someone hurts you, the natural response is to fight back, lash out at your attacker and hurt them like they hurt you. Some choose to retreat inward, holding onto pain and secretly self-shame behind a closed mouth. Then there’s also the outward backlash in an effort to somehow redeem yourself through some form of self-harm or sadly, humiliation. From any other onlooker, these are strong and relentless actions of choice to shield the self from pain, rejections, disappointments and so on. Maybe, even reading this right now might make you feel repulsed at such drastic measures to safeguard some semblance of sanity but in one way or another, we all do it.

When someone hurts you intentionally or otherwise, it hurts you to the core. The pain can be so overwhelming you have no idea what to do with it except, lock it away to never be seen or heard of again or wildly fight it with every fiber of your being, in every circumstance and with everyone. Even the slightest thought of facing it head-on can be so daunting–sometimes the choice to numb ourselves out seems more likely the better option. Pain can be so disruptive that we often forget there may be other growth potentials and deeper healing opportunities at the ready. Usually in hindsight, you get to see these other directions amplified. Seemingly, they go against the grain of such insolence and all the emotional baggage it brings along with it. There are other avenues one can take, however, like: letting go, acceptance, understanding, commitment, growth, peace and most of all, love. Forgiveness is a fickle and multi-layered spiritual concept, it can easily be tossed around like a hot potato, “You have to forgive. Forgiveness is key. Forgive not for others sake but for your own.” The idea of forgiveness gets thrown around like it’s a simple thing to do and it’s not. It takes guts and drive to forgive and when you’re on track, it becomes a vehicle to view beyond what occurred and allows you to observe the potential for greatness.

My dad left when I was at the ripe, young, impressionable age of 5. I adored my dad. He never saw me in the same way I saw him but it didn’t stop me from loving him all the same. Then he left without word, care or concern for me or my family’s well-being. I was devastated when I realized he was never coming back. I naturally assumed I did something wrong or he didn’t like me, perhaps, he was just tired of being my dad. I couldn’t understand how a parent could just leave their child behind, as if they never existed in the first place. My deepest wounds and greate