Sunday, July 23, 2017

Do Something Nice for Someone Who Has Hurt You

Type of Challenge
180 Challenge

This one is going to be a doozie but it is well worth it! Today's challenge is to show kindness to someone that has hurt you. This will probably be one of the hardest challenges yet. It is easy to show kindness to someone we love and care about. It is also easy to show kindness to someone that we see in need. However, it is hard to show kindness to someone who has hurt us, especially if they aren't sorry for it. Why? I personally think it is because of walls we have built up to protect ourselves. Especially if this person hurts us over and over again. But the question is, who is going to be the one to stop the hurt?

I am not going to share what I did for this challenge. This one was very personal and I am still continuing to work to build a stronger relationship with this person. Instead I am going to share some thoughts about why this challenge is so important.

We have all been there at some point in our lives. Someone has hurt you and continues to hurt you over and over again. You do not retaliate and you are completely innocent in the situation, but for some reason this person will not let up. There are a couple of options here. First, you can go ahead and retaliate and give them a taste of their own medicine. While this is tempting, I wouldn't recommend this, or secondly, as we say in the south, "kill 'em with kindness, "which simply means showing them kindness until they stop.

Real life example: I had someone who relentlessly spread rumors about me.  Sadly, a few people believed these rumors. I even confronted this person about it, but the rumors wouldn't stop. Here's what I finally figured out. First; the people that really mattered didn't believe the rumors. Second; that person was obviously hurting for one reason or another. What do people do when they are hurt? They hurt others. So instead of continuing to be offended and upset about how this person was treating me, I simply began asking her how she was doing, asked about the kids, what her plans were for the weekend, etc. It wasn't long before the rumors stopped. There was no real reason why she targeted me. I was just the one she picked. Believe it or not we eventually did become friends. She was hurting and she just needed someone to show her kindness.

I would like to say that I never hurt anyone, but that would be a lie. As I said before when you are hurting, you often cause others to hurt. About 17 months ago my husband's baby brother died. He was only 20 years old and it was from a severe motorcycle accident. I still have memories from seeing him that will never go away. For SIX MONTHS I would wake up EVERY night at 10:45, the same time that we found out he had died. I would stay up pretty much all night thinking about him and the pain was often unbearable. Not only was I hurt, but I was also exhausted and had to function as a school admin, wife, and mother during the day.

However, no one knew how much I was struggling. During the day I would act like I was fine. I had to appear strong or I wouldn't be able to make it through the day. No one knew that I might have slept for 2 hours the night before. No one saw me bawling in the car before I came into the building. No one saw me leave lunch to go to the cemetery and just cry.  I appeared to be "just fine", but the reality was I was hurting more than I had ever hurt before.

Because of this hurt I treated some people unfairly and I wasn't always kind. Relationships were damaged. Thank goodness I had people that continued to show me kindness during that time, even though they didn't really know what was going on. They were able to see past the hurt, and see someone who just needed to be shown kindness.

Why do I share something so personal? I think it is important to be candid about our experiences and our struggles. I want you to understand that I did not create this challenge because I have it all together and this challenge is just for "other people". This challenge is to not only challenge others, but to challenge myself as well. I have been the one that has been hurt, and I have been guilty of the one causing the hurt. Showing kindness to someone, even when they hurt you, is so important. We never know what someone is going through. I still remember those who showed me kindness during that painful time and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Their kindness kept me going as I struggled through the grief of losing someone that meant so much to me.

Kindess180 is not only about doing acts of kindness, but it is  also about changing our mindset of when we show kindness and how we show that kindness. Showing acts of kindness isn't only for those who deserve it.  You never know what a person is going through, and how your act of kindness can help them heal whatever hurt they are personally going through.

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