Depending on how sensitive one is, every slight and innuendo can be hurtful. I have been sensitive throughout my life. I can remember my mother saying to me when I was hurt “sticks & stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you!” My father’s advice was “carry a lot of stones!”
There is another cliché that says “time heals all wounds.” The problem can be that our wounds have a cumulative effect and are not easily healable. When one wound builds upon another, the passing of time doesn’t do us any favours.
I have learned that there are different degrees of hurt. Some are intended, some intentional. What makes the difference though is how I respond to them. I have learned to ask questions when I get my ‘nose out of joint.”
- Am I reading this situation correctly?
- Was there actually an attempt to hurt me?
- What was their intent?
- Could I actually be in the wrong in this situation?
- How do I choose to respond to this hurt?
- Will this matter in a year, two years … five years?
I’m aware that lesser degrees of hurt will fade in time. Sure, if I think of the situations, I’m likely to relive them and the feelings that I had at the time. That isn’t very helpful. It can be very much like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I would rather avoid reliving them.
Now as for actual forgiveness, I have expanded upon the subject in How do I forgive my mother for hurting me repeatedly, when she doesn't think it was wrong?
The main idea behind the act of forgiveness is that it is all about you. It doesn’t mean that you forget the hurt the other person has caused you. It doesn’t mean that you justify what they have done or condone it. It means that you are taking the sting out of the control that their behavour towards you is causing you.
Forgiveness can be like putting all of your hurt into a helium-filled balloon, and letting it rise rapidly and float off into the distance. I have forgiven several individuals in my life. They no longer have control over me. That doesn’t mean that I have forgotten the incidents.
I like to learn from every situation, especially the ones that I have found to be hurtful. One reason being that I don’t want to experience it again and equally important is so that I can prevent somebody else experiencing what I have.
Thanks for your question!