“Hurt people, hurt people. You never know why people treat people the way they do,” expresses today’s new friend, Talk show host Denise.
Over the phone she expands, becoming our first long distance interview. “A lot of times it is because they are hurt on the inside and they are not dealing with the issues that have caused them to be hurt. They lash out at someone else.”
Hurt? An emotion that subtly and illusively crawls into our hearts on what seems like a daily basis: that road rage look that just pierced me, the family argument yesterday that has left me numb, the rude gesture from that stranger who does not even know who I am. Only scratching the surface, I know, and to even intimate that I have an expertise on controlling the painful grasp of hurt would be a grandstand that there is no way I can fully support with my own means. For we are all wonderfully imperfect in our own ways, and that is what makes this human experience full and spectacular.
The seeds of hurt are endless, vast and complex. A thesis that I’m sure could boggle the largest of psychological studies. Newton hypothesized in his Third Law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” a law that explains many a physical principle. But could it be plausible that the same premise is relational to our purpose as humans?
Perhaps using the great Sir Isaac to bridge the very questions of who we are, or more introspectively, why are we, is a bit of a stretch. A comparison that did not even enter my mind until I reflected on the other half of Denise’s council, “Love God and love yourself.” Lifted up by, “Continue to treat others the way we want to be treated.”
The Golden Rule strikes again. Words that we have now heard from 1000s (I’m not exaggerating… 1000s) of strangers over the last 3 years. It has passed over the lips of those who might frighten us to the most peaceful and approachable.
Treat others the way we want to be treated, nine words with the power to heal nations, or at least soften hearts.
We’ve listened to its interpretation in the most creative ways. From Zen to structured it has been defined. God, Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Atheism, and on and on: This treat well and be treated well synonym is legendary. Easily rolling out to ground debates on peace and resolve, its use is quite familiar. Yet, in it poses the most radical of challenges—a call to look ourselves in the mirror of honest reflection. Not only to view our lovable selves, but painful as it may be, to gaze upon our weaknesses and shortcomings. From there, perhaps, is a precipice to that peaceful world that we all dream of. A world that, again and perhaps, might even be in our own backyard.
Denise simplifies, “If we learn to love ourselves, if we learn to love God, the more we learn to love ourselves. The more we will learn how to treat other people. We treat other people in love.
“I feel like we don’t need deceit, or envy, or jealousy. If we truly loved ourselves as we are. Regardless of our skin color, our height, our weight. You know, any abnormality about our self. I think if we truly learn to love who we are, we would have no problem accepting or loving one another. I think the world would be a better place if we all just learned how to love.”
Catching her off-guard I ask Denise about her definition of love.
“God is love. You have to have a connection to a higher power to understand that definition.” The phone line goes silent. I just listen for words.
She resumes, “This is one of the hardest words to define. If you’re not thinking of it spiritually I think that word is very hard to define. One, it’s so hard for people to express love or show love, even though they do love. Sometimes people can’t say ‘I love you’ because no one has ever said it to them. So when it’s hard to express love, it is especially hard to define it.’”
We pause again as Denise looks deeper for a general answer.
I chime in. “Denise, there is no need to try to force an answer. What you have shared is from you heart and is very universal to us all….”
Off the hot-seat we spend a few minute in mutual discussion. I reveal some of the many perspectives I’ve been graced to hear from so many an Operation-365 friend. From deeply faith-based to the opposite of the extreme has the topic of love and spirituality been exposed, all leading to one tremendous revelation. A charge that so aligns with the two halves of the humble perspective that Denise proposes.
We are all hurt beings, some not so much, other deeply. Feelings that are core to who we are and inescapably part of the motivation for the ways we behave and how we see the world around us.
Pained. Yes, we are. Not one of us is exempt from being sad, ignored or disrespected in endless ways. Yet, plagued we are not. For in the midst of the very storms we bear and walk through lies that “Golden Rule” At its golden center, LOVE.
The mirrored reverse of ourselves again emerges, asking us to look beyond our broken esteem or puffed up ego as we are gently prompted.
In the words of our new friend Denise, “It’s all bigger than ourselves, everything that we do.”
Talk soon my good friends. Love ya all!