What To Do When You Hurt In Relationships?

So often when we feel hurt, rejected, humiliated,upset or broken within, we look for ways to fast forward those feelings and instantly get to a place of calm. In our search for that ephemeral destination we rush to rescue ourselves by analyzing, brooding, questioning, blaming, judging and trying to fix the problem. But the weight of the troubles doesn’t seem to ease; rather it appears to become more solid with each passing moment.

Each time your mind revisits the painful memory,you feel stuck yet again, like a stubborn and sticky chewing gum on your shirt. You feel the clutching of the heart, your stomach knots up, the legs go weak and lifeless and you feel lost in the jungle of negativity. The emotional tsunami lashes its merciless waves against your mind destroying all attempts at recovery.

This happens to us almost every day.A harsh or unkind word from the boss, an oversight of care or compassion by a loved one, even a derogatory remark from a stranger can wound our gentle soul. Though some of us brave these attacks by putting up a hard exterior, inside we are all made of the same tender soil. Let us inquire if there is a way by which we can nurse our hurts and discomforts in a more effective way?

The Buddhists prescribe a method in the Bodhichitta training called resting in Prajnaparamita. They urge you to stay with the discomfort rather than escaping it by busying yourself in search of a solution. This is not an easy practice but it definitely is very powerful. When we escape the pain, the trauma stays in our body and over a period of time, it crystallizes and becomes frozen within our cellular memory.

Staying with the pain allows us to become present to it. When we watch it indulgently as a mother who watches over her child, we dissolve the energy of the trauma. Breathing into the pain is another way of dissolving it. This prevents hardening and cellular encoding of the trauma and we are set free from that experience. We prevent the brain from creating a pain memory neural pathway.

Observing the uncomfortable feelings without doing anything about it, transports you to the point where you are left with nothing to clutch onto anymore. The mind is then suspended in free space with no anchor and nothing to examine or analyse. This is the state of nothingness (shunyata) from which the tree of calm begins to grow. Once the clinging and clutching dissipates, the pain is replaced by peace, and tranquility overtakes chaos.

When we encounter pain, we usually get stuck in the experience itself because we try to run away from it rather than staying with it long enough to dissolve the energy that accompanies it. We lash out in anger, look for ways to resolve the issue or shut down and withdraw, hoping to protect ourselves from the harshness of the world.

The unresolved trauma then hardens and it takes lesser and lesser provocation to trigger us in the future. Instead of allowing life’s powerful lessons to teach and soften us, we do just the opposite; we become harder, more brittle and more rigid. We become our own enemy in the journey of our soul’s evolution.

The next time you encounter an uncomfortable situation or emotion, don’t be tempted to clutter your mind by wanting to fix it, escape it, bury it under the carpet, pretend you are unaffected by it or drown yourself in the vortex of internal dialogues. Instead;


1. Observe what you are feeling and describe it as accurately as you can to yourself in the third person.

(E.g. X is feeling vulnerable and unsafe and wants to run away as fast as possible.)


2. Give up the need to attach any meaning or interpretation to the event.

(If he doesn’t come along to that family get together tomorrow means he doesn’t care for me.)


3. Let go of the need to ascribe any should or should not’s to the situation.

(She should have understood how important this meeting was for my career progression.)


4. Make peace with expectations and desires. Give up the temptation to engage in wishful thinking.

(If only he had come along this one time I would have known he cared.)


5. Stop blaming others, yourself or your circumstances. It’s just an event and this too will pass if YOU don’t cling to it.

(She never supports my interests, I am an emotional fool or our marriage is doomed.)


6. Give yourself permission to stay with this discomfort and experience it fully.

I must admit this isn’t easy and it will take some practice,

but once you start learning the art of staying instead of escaping, you will conquer the feeling of being stuck more skilfully. You will navigate through discomforts like an unencumbered sailor. You will learn to travel light and accumulate less unnecessary souvenirs along the journey of your experiential travels, on the oceans of your life.


Leave a Reply

Ask your question


Your question has been sent!

Please fill out the form below.

Name *
Email *
URL (include http://)
Subject *
Question *
* Required Field