The Wounds We Cause
There will always be pain in life in one form or another. Many times, it is intentional, but most often it is unintentional. We hurt our loved ones by a careless word or a thoughtless deed. Sometimes the wounds are caused because a person is hurting so badly, they just lash out at the people around them. You've heard the phrase, "hurting people hurt others."
Successfully dealing with the pain in our lives involves being emotionally aware and intentional about what we do. It is too easy to have a knee jerk kind of response when someone hurts us. It takes discipline to be intentional about our response.
Example: Sally had a very bad day at work. She was blamed for a report not being complete which caused a customer to become angry and take his business elsewhere. Sally was not responsible for the report but got blamed anyway. Sally is hurt and angry and scared for her job. She goes home, slams the door, shoves the dog out of the way, yells at her children to pick up their toys, then gives her husband a tongue lashing because he forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. As a result of her behavior, the children are crying, the dog is hiding under the table, and her husband stormed out of the house and left.
Sally is not being emotionally aware or intentional about her behavior. Had she taken a moment at work to breathe and calm down, she could have gone to her manager and had a calm discussion about the situation and perhaps resolved it then and there.
As it is, Sally now has to apologize to each child and admit her behavior was not good. She has to apologize to her husband not only for being critical and judgmental, but also for taking out her emotional distress upon him. Finally, she has to show a lot of love to her dog who will very readily forgive her.
Learning to become emotionally aware and intentional takes work. You can read books on emotional intelligence. You can work with a therapist to broaden your emotional awareness. You can ask your loved ones to hold you accountable for your behavior and lack of awareness. Whatever path you choose, do the work. You will be blessed by the effort.