There are very few feelings in this world that are worse than being hurt by someone you love and trust.
I’ve kind of got a habit of lending my trust out too quickly and too exuberantly.
“Oh, I don’t know you at all, but you look kind. Here’s a key to my apartment.”
You know – that kind of lending.
Unless you’re in a relationship or friendship that you know may be having a negative impact on you, any time someone you love hurts you, will likely always feel like you’ve been blindsided. You never saw it coming because you never thought this person would ever harm you.
But we’re human. And humans are broken. And broken people hurt one another. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.
So what do you do when you’ve been blindsided?
I think first you have to take a step back and allow yourself to process what has happened. Take time to sort through the feelings and emotions you are going through. Identify each one. What are they? Probably a lot of sadness. Maybe a bit of confusion. Potentially some shock in there as well. A hint of anger may creep in. Take the time you need to filter through your thoughts and feelings associated with this pain.
So this one probably seems a little “duh,” but oftentimes it can be the hardest step to follow.
I am not sure about you, but sometimes the last thing that I want to do, when I am extremely sad or hurt, is pray. Because even when someone here on Earth is the one that hurts me, I still take some of my anger out on God. “Why did you allow this to happen? Why is this happening to me?”
I’ve been known to give God the silent treatment a time or two. However, that never really lasts long. Even as I’m ignoring the Word or prayer, there is always a pull in my heart to return back to Jesus. Because one of the great things about God’s character is that we can take everything to Him. All of it. The hurt, the sadness, the anger—and He’ll still loves us and welcome us back. Every single time.
It may take some time to come back to God (or maybe it’s the first thing you do), but after you spend some time sorting through the pain, begin talking things out with Him. Ask Him to reveal truths to you from this situation. Ask Him to help you heal. Eventually you may even begin praying for the person that hurt you.
This step may take a long time to get to, depending on the situation. It’s sometimes a step we can’t get to on our own, either. Getting to this point can take a lot of patience and prayer. For some people and situations, forgiveness can come rather quickly—a few days or weeks. For others, it could take years.
I think that no matter how long it takes, forgiveness is something we should always be working toward. And maybe you’re not ready now, and that’s okay. I think at the end of the day, though, as we continue to follow Jesus…even if we’re completely ignoring this idea…we know that we should be working to forgiveness. God continually prompts our spirit to make our way down that road. And forgiveness can look differently in every situation. Sometimes it means you patch things up with the person and your relationship is tighter than ever. Other times not. Sometimes it means losing a friendship altogether or never even having the opportunity to tell someone you forgive them. It’s still critical to work toward this step, if not for anyone but for yourself. Not only so you can move forward, but also because Jesus committed the ultimate action to forgive us of all of our sins.
Being blindsided by hurt from a loved one may always feel like Michael Oher is tackling you himself (from the movie The Blind Side…anyone?), and whether the situation is the kind where you can walk through all of these steps in 3 days, or the kind where it takes 3 years, it is an important journey to take. And while you cannot always package the aftermath of a blindside in a neat 3-step process, it’s nice to have a plan to attempt to work through.
What are the steps you take when you’ve been blindsided?