I’ve just been having a conversation, via comments, with a reader about “inside hurts” and “outside hurts”. To me, an inside hurt is something I’ve said, done or thought which has or is causing me pain – in other words, it has an internal trigger. Perhaps “internal hurt” would be a better term. Therefore, an “external hurt” is in response to an external trigger – someone else’s words, for example, or something I’ve seen.
This is how these different “hurts” appear to someone with a strong sense of self:
If, however, our sense of self has been eroded or damaged, then external hurts affect us far more deeply; we experience them as internal hurts, thus:
In this view, external hurts affect us more deeply because they impinge directly on our selves (and yes, that space was deliberate).
For me, a valuable tool has been to reflect on distancing myself from the triggers of external hurts. The first step for me was to understand the difference between the type of triggers. . Naturally, the next step is to see external triggers as just that – external to my self (and, again, that space was deliberate). I came up with this visualization exercise last weekend which has really helped me in doing this.
Do the above pictures make sense to you, or would you have sketched something different? Do you experience or respond to internal and external hurts differently?