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Sting

How do we best handle the sting when someone hurts our feelings? It can feel so surprising and emotional, but it’s also a prime opportunity for growth.

Spiritual teacher Maureen St. Germain explains that when we are children, we start to build layers around the heart every time that we get hurt. As an adult, when we experience an emotional sting from someone, whether a family member, friend, or stranger, we have a chance to face this pain again. We have a chance to work through our issues instead of blaming the person who stings us. We are being given the opportunity to open ourselves up and heal at last.

Of course it’s important not to tolerate repeat hurt from others. We must consciously stay away from those who try to dominate, mistreat, or look down upon us. It is vital to surround yourself with loving people who want you to thrive.

But I find that when my feelings are hurt, a deep life-long issue of my own lurks beneath. I work on letting the other person go from the problem, and by doing so, I immediately feel better.

If I am angry, I have found that it’s crucial not to lash out, but rather to communicate thoughtfully after I’ve processed the situation. To help process things, I’ve found that exercise is a great way to work through and release anger. ¬†Another great way to process is to write my emotions down until I come to a compassionate place. Acting with compassion towards anyone who stings us is always the most liberating choice. We free ourselves from enemy images, and we realize that what’s happened is simply an opportunity to learn.

Then we can go within and ask – what is it that’s bothering me so much about this issue? How can I give myself more love in this area and embrace this opportunity for growth. How can I reach higher than in the past?

We can look for negative patterns and see what our soul is trying to learn. Remember, we are each trying to evolve through personal issues that span many lifetimes, and when we reach higher and overcome these issues, we grow at the soul level.

When I personally set high spiritual standards for dealing with a challenge that I face, I experience this growth, and it feels expansive and peaceful. And, when I get to a place of resolution, after a little time has passed, I feel it’s absolutely essential to internally (and formally if appropriate) thank the person who delivered the sting for bringing up this very important problem. This frees me like nothing else.

The stings that people deliver are not accidental. We attract them for our development. Our relationships teach us by reflecting our issues and pushing us to learn. They mirror our uniquely sensitive selves.

We have signed up for specific lessons. We have agreed to play roles for each other that teach. The more I gain awareness of this, the richer life gets. I own my part in the play, and I see that I’ve inadvertently stung people too. How many times do I only later realize that I’ve hit upon a delicate issue for someone without intending to. But, they needed this trigger.

Ultimately, we are so much greater than our wounds. And these wounds are extraordinary chances for growth.

Every kind gesture we give in life will be what we remember most in heaven. When I consider this perspective, I am inspired to help resolve my stings with more grace. These days, it still takes a little time for me to get over my hurt feelings, but reacting negatively doesn’t feel right at all. I am finding it easier to thank others for bringing up my issues, and I’m actually grateful for the role they have played to help me grow beyond my old patterns. And, the glimpse of unconditional love that I am given is well worth the sting.

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