Whether we are talking about a family or a planet, we must build a culture of nonviolence, a culture of Love Consciousness, where we see the Goodness within even those who have hurt us and learn to treat them with dignity and care and teach our children to do the same..
For many years I worked as a therapist to rehabilitate convicted violent felons – and as they told their stories and shared their journals, I knew that their crimes did not fully define them – there was goodness in every one of them.
When someone hurts us, it is important that we try to step into their shoes to discover what misunderstanding, fear, unmet need, old wound etc. led them to lash out at us…but even if we don’t succeed at that, if we are peacemakers, we must stop ourselves from hurting them back.
One small step that makes that easier is a willingness to forgive. When you forgive you are not condoning hurtful behavior, you are merely detaching from it not letting resentment stress you out.
I am not saying to stay in a situation that is hurtful to you nor not to take steps to make sure that you and others remain safe. Of course you must take care of yourself. You can usually do that while still looking at them with Love, though it is a discipline, I will admit, and not always easy Hey, if it was easy, everyone would already be doing it! In many cases you can sit down with the person after you have both calmed down and build a bridge of understanding if not agreement that brings you one step closer; if you work together or share family and friends, this may be important. Of course it isn’t necessary to ever talk with them again in order to just not “hurt back.”
Whether we understand them better or not, stopping ourselves from “hurting back” is the first step towards the peace that we all long for.