April 27, 2001
volume 12, no. 117

How do you handle hurts?

    Hurts come into everyone’s life. Many people who have endured physical pain and emotional pain have told me that emotional pain is worse. Physical wounds, as hurtful as they may be, do not pain as deeply as that which wounds the heart. Rejections and misunderstandings go to the core of our being.

    It is said that Our Lord’s greatest pain in His Passion was that of His Love being rejected. But we are now in the Easter Season, a time for rejoicing that He is truly risen and Heaven is open for us.

    Yet even in this Easter Season, there are many of you reading this who carry a cross of some kind. You’ve been hurt in some way. Maybe you have a spouse that nags and makes you feel like you never measure up. Maybe your boss has heard an untrue story about you and won’t believe otherwise. Maybe someone has ruined your good name. Whatever the hurt in your heart, you and you, first of all, must handle that hurt so that you do not become too depressed and unable to cope with life and duties.

    None of us is perfect. We all have many flaws. Sometimes coping with our own selves is more difficult for us than coping with others.

    As a young Sister I learned how to deal with criticism. When criticized, I would say: “Does the shoe fit? Be honest! If it does, wear it! If it doesn’t, forget about it and get on with your life!”

    Sometimes that is easier said than done, but one must really try! In life, we will never please everyone. There will always be one or more persons who will find fault and misunderstand us. What we do with hurts can make or break us!

    So honesty with ourselves is the first thing!

    Accepting ourselves and others in reality is the second step. Never should we brood too long about our hurts. That only paralizes us and keeps us from accomplishing our work.

    The third step is that we must truly forgive those who hurt us, even if we don’t FEEL like forgiving. We may need to ask Jesus to forgive FOR us until we are able to do so generously.

    The fourth step is that we must learn from our hurts, that is, we must never do to others what was done to hurt us.

    The fifth step is to pray for those who hurt us. Jesus said that Himself.

    The sixth step is to try to have a sense of humor. Years ago, a holy Jesuit priest taught me that there are two ways to handle a problem: we can cry about it or laugh about it. If we can get to the point of laughing something off, we can more easily survive. We have all heard of the “saving sense of humor.”

    The seventh step is to unite your sufferings with those of Our Lord to help you save your soul and those of others. Your sufferings may well shorten your Purgatory.

    The eighth step is to leave it all in the Mercy of God and get on with your life. Let God untangle the web of pain, lies, anger, confusion, and unforgiveness. Only He can anyhow. Remember that He knows what it is like to endure what you are enduring, that He loves you and is concerned with all that concerns you.

    So be of good cheer and God bless you! A continued Happy Easter Season to you!

Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

For past columns by Sister Lucy, see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER Archives

April 27, 2001
volume 12, no. 117
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