Nothing and no one can ever hurt us


You’ve probably heard the old adage, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’ We often find that words do hurt us, though, don’t we? Not being hurt by them sounds too good to be true…but it really is and I’m going to concentrate on the ‘words will never hurt me’ part of this children’s rhyme.

We can not be hurt by anyone or anything unless we allow ourselves to be. Equally, no one can make us happy, unless we let them. See Enjoy the relationships you’ve always dreamed of; the perfect ones and Your relationship with you; love yourself, for more on this. I agree that it can look incredibly real that you feel hurt because someone complains about you, you fail a test or you put on weight…but it doesn’t work like that. If it did, everybody would always feel jealous when they saw their partner talking to an attractive person and always feel excited when they learned they were getting a puppy. However, many people trust their partners completely, and wouldn’t feel in the least bit insecure if they spent time with someone else and some people are allergic to or frightened of dogs. If things on the outside of us, could make us feel a certain way, celebrities who seem to have everything we think would ‘make us happy’, wouldn’t suffer from depression or commit suicide yet sadly they do. Even though I’m sure you can accept my examples, I expect you still think your mood can be affected by outside events. You believe you’ll be happy at the weekend, when the sun shines or when you get promoted…yet I’d bet you can remember days when the sun shone and you still felt sad.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to wait for something out of our control to make us happy; that we can always be happy….however many sticks, stones or words are thrown at us?

Well, I can tell you that we can; we always, always have the capacity to be okay and choose to feel love over fear in any situation; it is completely and utterly under our control…however much we feel that it isn’t.

Where do our feelings come from?

We think they come from people and situations, outside of us, things that we have no power over. For instance:

I feel worried because I never have enough money to last till the end of the month.

I am thrilled because my friend is having a baby.

It is not the money, or the lack of it, that is causing our distress, it is our thoughts surrounding money that are making us feel so concerned. Money is inanimate and can’t cause us to feel anything at all; our thoughts could be saying ‘I might need to stop spending money on going out, cigarettes, shoes or something else you may not really be able to afford’ and it is those thoughts that are causing your distress. Your thoughts could easily also say ‘I am so lucky that I have a roof over my head and enough food to sustain me’ leading to a blessed feeling.

It is not your friend’s pregnancy that is making you feel so excited, it is your feelings around her pregnancy. Your thoughts are saying ‘it will be fabulous to be able to cuddle her baby….and hand it back’ or ‘I can’t wait to help her choose pretty baby clothes’. Equally, your thoughts could tell you ‘how awful that she’s pregnant at such an inconvenient time in her career or when her husband’s just left her’ and it would be that thought that leads to whatever you’re feeling.

Some of our feelings seem much more important than others:

I don’t think I can go on because my partner has left me.

However sad you feel, it is still your thoughts surrounding your aloneness that are making you unhappy, not being alone itself. At other times, you might feel resigned or even relieved if your partner finishes your relationship.

It looks, to us, like our feelings come from things on the outside of us but, in actual fact, we live in the feeling of our thinking; this means that our feelings only and always come from our thinking. We innocently but incorrectly believe that our feelings tell us about the world around us.

Worse still, not only do we attribute our feelings to outside circumstances but we also believe we have to act upon those feelings.

For instance:

I feel sad when I row with my partner; we’re not compatible, I have to end it.

I feel very anxious at work; I must be in the wrong job and must quit.

My new partner makes me so happy, I’m going to move in with him now.

It is not the relationship or even the rows that are making you feel you have to leave, it is your thinking around your relationship and arguments. Some people think that the passion of rows keeps a relationship alive and that it would be boring if you always agreed. If your thoughts are telling you that your relationship is ‘wrong’ in some way for being so volatile, it will look like you must end it. There are very likely to be times, though, when you can only see the good in your partner and finishing your relationship might be a great pity.

This doesn’t mean you should always stay in a relationship, it just means that its very unwise to make decisions either way, based on what you think your feelings are telling you. Once you realise the true nature of thought, you are free to calmly decide what is best for you in any and every situation.

We often feel anxious in and around our job, and, again, those feelings aren’t telling us anything except that our thinking is a bit off at that time. If we wait, our thinking and therefore our feelings will change because that’s what they do. There is never a reason to attach to any feeling. If we simply let it go, we would find we enjoyed work and every other part of our life, a lot more.

We’ve all felt the mad excitement of a new love affair, remember how all consuming it was….and how, a short time afterward, we found that we had nothing in common and wonder why we were so naïve. Yet those wonderful, butterflies in tummy feelings, were very real at the time; our feelings about it being the love of our life and that there was no time to lose couldn’t have felt more true; but they weren’t, and had we acted on them and moved in together, breaking up would have been a lot messier.

All our feelings ever do is let us know the quality of our thinking in that moment…and our thinking changes all the time, so if we do nothing, we’ll naturally feel okay in due course. Unfortunately because we think we need to act upon our feelings, we cause ourselves a lot of needless suffering.

Once we realise that our feelings are not caused by external events we are freed from the fear of our lives not going perfectly. Read New day, new life; isn’t it time you had a good day, every day? for more about this.

It is an amazing feeling when we know that we don’t have to give away the power of our happiness and don’t ever need to wait to be happy. We also realise that we don’t need to attach to unhappy feelings…we can simply ignore them.

Next week I’m going to look at human connections. Until then, have a lovely week and feel free to message me,

Catherine x

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