Who of us has not been hurt or hurt others? When we have been hurt we can react in one of two ways; through our ego “punish and suffer” response or through our spiritual Self “forgive and love” response.

When we hurt it is because we dwell on our fears and anger. Our ego jumps into action… encouraging us to experience self doubt, blame, guilt and fear. Our spiritual self, fueled by Love, would offer the “love response” of forgiveness; however this response is kept well hidden from our hearts because of our ego’s determination to torture us. The ego thrives when our peace is lost.

The hurt and anger seemingly caused by others is the fuel that fires up our egos. Our ego loves to have us suffer.  When we feel anger and hurt we are really feeling scared.  We fear that someone does not love us. Our pain can drive us to respond in a non loving manner. We respond with attack thoughts such as: “you screwed up…I hate you and/ or you are not good enough”.

We all make mistakes, we will be hurt and we will hurt others during our lives. When someone else hurts us the “attack back” is a much easier and comfortable response then love would be.

Mistakes should be seen and corrected if possible when someone hurts us. However our perception of the other person should also be corrected to see not only the “mistake” but all the goodness and beauty within the other person that made us love them in first place. This is true forgiveness… to see the whole person not just the part that may have hurt us. This would be a healing response versus the ego response of judgment and punishment. The ego loves to hate. The spiritual Self loves to forgive.

Written by Jean Larch. Jean is a crisis intervention specialist and the author of the acclaimed book “Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a Suicide” published by Hazelden in 2006. Read more about Jean at

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