Several years ago, almost five, really, something happened between me and a friend of mine that hurt me deeply. I've nurtured that hurt since then. Nurture is such a good word for it because I've cared for that hurt. I've fed it and sheltered it and protected it. Carrying that hurt around has become important to me.
It's been easy for me to justify my care for that hurt. I mean, I didn't hurt myself, after all. I wasn't in the wrong. In some ways, taking care of that hurt became self-protective. Like I needed to remember that first hurt so that I wouldn't be hurt again. My friend has never acknowledged the hurt. Maybe that would have helped, maybe if my friend had noticed the hurt I wouldn't have had to nurture it so much. But probably not. I probably would have cared for my hurt anyway.
Yesterday I realized that nurturing my hurt has meant missing out on some things. I guess it's hard to know if I would have been a part of the things I've missed out on if I hadn't been taking care of my hurt. But I definitely haven't had time for those other things. If I made room for the other things I wouldn't have enough time to take care of my hurt. Hurts need a lot of attention if you are going to keep them growing for five years.
Today I did some things to start letting go of my hurt. I'm not going to lie, letting go of a five year old hurt isn't something that just happens in a morning. But today I did acknowledge that my nurturing of the one hurt actually created some new hurts. Hurts are ugly and hurtful things. And today my hurt seems just a little smaller.