Part of the frustrations of dating include the hurts one inevitably experiences. Both men and women get their fair share, and the hurts must be lived with and overcome.
I don’t think it is good to be too quick to dismiss the pain someone experiences. Their hurt is real and should be given its due time. It is a disservice to people to say anything that might make them feel foolish for feeling hurt. For the moment, we must be empathetic.
The concern is when these hurts are permitted to go into a deeper place, crippling the person emotionally and psychologically. This happens when the hurt is allowed to fester. We believe that we should not have been hurt, and that to be hurt is such a grave injustice that it warrants an interior rebellion.
This happens because we are over-sensitive. Easily disturbed. Easily taking this personally. To be too sensitive is to take ourselves too seriously. We believe we have some kind of right to never have an injustice done to us.
This kind of attitude tells God that we believe He should not allow anything bad to happen to us. And this is not a Christian position to take. In fact, it is the opposite. To be a Christian is to suffer injustices, persecutions, and pain of all kinds. Jesus told us that if we are to be His disciple, we are to follow Him. That path we follow is right to Calvary. He also told us that no servant is greater than his master, and that if they would persecute Him, we could expect the same.
Therefore, being hurt is a part of life, and accepting that is a healthy reality to living the Christian life. So we must expect that people will hurt us. We must not allow these hurts to affect us so deeply that it alters who we are and who we are meant to become, namely saints. Patient acceptance of suffering refines us into this saintly call.
Suffering is a gift from God and an invitation to draw closer to the crucified Lord and His mission to save the world. There are souls to be saved, and suffering offered for souls helps people who are still alive come to Christ, as well as helping those in Purgatory. We have all heard it said that we should “offer it up.” Well, this is precisely what that means.
It is not an easy thing to do in the moment, but we all must learn to practice recognizing hurtful things done to us as gifts from God. I’m not saying that we should not feel the injustice of what has happened and do something about it if it is possible and makes sense for bettering the situation. But we must be careful about how these hurts affect us.
The answer to making sure we are not too affected by hurts is forgiveness. This is actually the main purpose of the Lord’s mandate to forgive. Forgiving ensures three critical things: 1) that the other person knows that you do not hold what they did against them, or if this person is not asking forgiveness or maybe has no clue they did anything wrong, you still have released them; 2) that YOU have have relieved yourself from the bondage of any negative affects that result from what was done to you by honestly and sincerely forgiving and forgetting; and 3) that no person has any power over you to affect you in such a way that it can alter your peace and holiness.
It’s very key that forgiving is accompanied by forgetting. This is how God treats our sins, so we are required to treat others the same way. We have to forget about it, especially not to relive something done to us in the past.
It is also key that we realize that whenever we notice how easily we are hurt and take something so personally that it affects our peace, this is a sign that we are not as close to God as we should be. This is a daily test of all of us. And the more we love and trust someone, the easier it is for us to be hurt. I know for myself, it is no easy task to maintain the peace of Christ whenever I am experiencing an uncomfortable or hurtful comment from someone.
Peace is too precious of a gift to allow it to be squandered and lost so readily at the hands of another person. Lose your peace and you are opening the door to so many unthinkable things that will damage you, perhaps permanently.
The peace of Christ is a tremendous help towards finding love and getting married. Learning from the hurts that come via the dating process is much better than being damaged by the hurts. The more peace you maintain, the more personal happiness you have. A happy, content person is so attractive! Even more important, you will get much closer to God. Closeness to God can only work positively toward your bottom line. And in turn, others will enjoy being around you.
On the contrary, a hurt person who has allowed hurt after hurt to pile up, and resentment to set it, is an unattractive person. Sadly, most people who suffer from this state of being don’t realize just how unattractive they are, and (God forbid it) how potentially abusive they are.
Go to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and pray to Him to be converted from any tendency to be over-sensitive, and to teach you how to forgive and forget. Ask Him to restore His peace in you and for the strength and courage to never allow any human being to have the power to take away your peace.