Don’t Be Careful, You Could Hurt Yourself

If you're too careful about what you say, you could hurt yourself
If you’re too careful about what you say, you could hurt yourself

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I need to go easy on him.

Have you ever had that thought when you know you need to bring up something to somebody that you’re pretty sure they won’t like to hear?


Feeling mixed about speaking up is very common for a lot of people.

Dangerous results come to mind. Like people getting really mad and running away, or lashing out.

When I was in my twenties I probably got the prize for being the most indirect, angst-ridden, nervous, unclear communicator when it came to dating and men that you’ve ever met.

Well, OK.

It maybe could have been worse.

And here’s the funny part. (Sort of funny, let’s put it that way).

If I didn’t speak, and let it build, and tried to make myself tolerate and NOT talk or say anything hurtful, guess what also tended to happen during those years when it came to communication?


The complete opposite.

Slicing someone to shreds verbally on the inside. Being super bossy and controlling. Laying down the law.

I kind of hate to admit it.

The critical part was pretty mean. It mostly happened on the inside. I sometimes gossiped about people I felt scared of. I didn’t want to tell them to their face because I was super worried about hurting their feelings and pleasing them and remaining safe.

It took a lot for me to snap.

My most common way to snap?


Since I didn’t let myself speak up to anyone, especially men, so I could avoid hurting their feelings……

…..I would go on these eating binges that felt like tornadoes.

It was like something clicked and I’d say “f*&K IT!” and stop controlling, suppressing, diminishing and squelching my own inner anger. In a mixture of panic, rebellion and fury, I’d eat everything in sight, or drive to find whatever food I damn well wanted.

I also smoked cigarettes, or drank beer or wine.

I was like a Rebel Beoch.

By myself in my own car driving around listening to loud music.

Finally telling the whole world off by expressing the inner energy like a fire storm.

When no one was looking.

(How was that workin’ for me? Um, not so hot actually).

The trouble with letting out energy sideways like that, it never gets directly resolved.

The truth was I felt the crushing experience of believing that Other People I Love could both hurt me, and be hurt by me.

I wanted everyone to be pleased with me so that I myself never got hurt, and never caused hurt.

In many ways, this is the sweetest, dearest, kindest most loving impulse…..way down deep inside the heart.

Do you see how innocent the impulse is to have no one, including me, ever feel frightened, abandoned, ashamed, or unworthy?

You have this inner impulse of gentle loving kindness, too.

But somewhere along the way, thank God, I discovered that being super careful not to hurt anyone had an obvious assumption for me under the surface:

That it was possible to be hurt (oh terrible), and that hurting must and can be prevented.

But here’s the bummer twist to the plot.

If it’s possible to be hurt and to cause hurt, AND you believe you can prevent it, then you’re in deep doodoo.

You have to be insanely careful.

In my situation with men and dating, I’d just not answer the phone if a guy was trying to reach me for a second date. Or I’d act super this-is-friends-only and pretend I didn’t hear if a guy made flirtatious remarks who I wasn’t really attracted to.

If you believe in getting hurt, you may have to “work” on yourself to make sure you quit acting so hurt. Or you may do everything you can to relieve the hurt, end the hurt, get rid of the hurt. You need to constantly learn techniques to fix the hurt, repair the hurt, and quit suffering about the hurt.

But you just can’t accept the hurt.

No way.

You gotta FIGHT it, SMASH it, DESTROY it, BURY it.

(Munch munch chomp swallow chomp munch smash chew crunch grind chomp).

But who would you be without your story about HURT?

This includes not only hurting when it comes to dating….

….but every kind of emotional fear of getting hurt, like with friends, family, kids, siblings, co-workers, bosses, neighbors.

Who would you be without the belief that you are capable of hurting just like you were hurt?

Without the belief that it means you are worthy of being hurt, if you were hurt?

Or that someone else is worthy of being hurt, if they hurt you (or hurt others)?

What if you didn’t have the thought that hurting is forever?

“There is only one problem, ever: your uninvestigated story in the moment.” ~ Byron Katie

For me, to question my beliefs about this world hurting me has been the most basic, deep mystery brought forth by The Work.

It seemed like the universe was unfriendly.

You know, those unfriendly situations? You know the ones I’m talkin’ about?

Bad stuff happens.

Who am I though, in this present moment, without that thought that hurting happens, that getting damaged is irreparable, or that it means the universe is not so nice?

Not denial, not sugar-coated, not making it look fine when it isn’t…..

…..this is really looking to see what is actually, genuinely true.

I keep finding, with the help of others and the support of life, that every time I believe I’ve been hurt, I’m carried or pushed or guided or pointed, however softly and subtly (sometimes intensely), to something different.

Something healing.

My disordered crazed eating brought me to seek help, which brought me to the wisdom of others who had healed before me, which brought me to looking deep within at my definitions of pain, history, family, love, parents, work, God, life and death.

Your suffering may have brought you here today, to read these words, because you are a lover of understanding life and reality.

You want to know the truth.

Me too.

I turn the thought around about that thing that hurt so horribly:

  • that experience healed me
  • I was not hurt
  • it did not mean I was deserving of the pain
  • there is no need to be careful here
  • I have not unforgivably hurt other people
  • I did not hurt myself permanently
Could these be just as true, or truer?
Remember, this isn’t denial.
It’s not condoning or believing yay, I got hurt or someone else got hurt.
It’s holding it all in one wide open expansive place, mysterious and unknown.
“If you can learn to remain centered with the smaller things, you will see that you can also remain centered with bigger things. Over time, you will find that you can even remain centered with the really big things. The types of events that would have destroyed you in the past can come and go, leaving you perfectly centered and peaceful. You can be fine, deep inside, even in the face of a deep sense of loss…..Ultimately, even if ‘terrible’ things happen, you should be able to live without emotional scars and impressions.” ~ Michael Singer in The Untethered Soul

Keep inquiring.

We’re getting it.

Can you feel what’s centered and peaceful, even with all the suffering you’ve gone through in your life?

If you can’t….don’t worry.


Nothing more required.

Much Love,Grace

P.S. Do you hurt yourself with food and eating? Eating Peace may be a wonderful experience for you. October 9-11, 2015.For more information, click here.


2 Replies to “Don’t Be Careful, You Could Hurt Yourself”

  1. I so love the word “adaptations”. Thank you so much! You may have offered an adaptation to my wording around eating. Thanks for writing today. Much love, Grace

  2. Grace, such thoughtfulness…I appreciate you!

    My share is about another type of SILENCE to *save* the parent, and/or authority figure, someone bigger than you, and/or the SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS superimposed upon those; i.e. shaming the victim of early abuse because they can’t prove the atrocities (because only 25% of the brain is formed that early)….therefore they don’t exist! Ta-dah!

    So my former eating disorder is (really) a rejection of society’s NORM to punish the victim…Why aren’t you happy? Why don’t you plaster that ridiculous smile on your face too, you horrible creature?! Blah, blah, blah! Raspberries!

    It’s not always seeing that is believing. Experience happens somatically and therefore will be discovered somatically. Thinking can be simply a social construct agreed upon until and unless the group paradigm shifts.

    I had forgotten that my eating *disorders* or as Diane Poole Heller correctly renames *disorders*–ADAPTATIONS to abusive experiences–I’d forgotten they had anything to do with my traumas! It’s because the eating disorders no longer give me the delusion of control or acting out or punishing (anyone but myself)! These are a female’s way to IMPLODE, so as not to EXPLODE. Men (generally) lash out. Women (generally) lash in.

    Emotional and physical pain are at the bottom of all denial. Dare to go there. As you and Byron Katie would say, be curious about your thinking…it came out of your feeling body from day one.

    As always, I enjoy your personal revelations. Thank you for sharing them.


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