If someone were to come along and say something potentially hurtful, you, in your complete certainty and confidence, would be clear enough on where you stand with yourself to know that it is not true of you. You would in fact be unmoved, unchanged, unaffected, and you would maintain a sense of inner peace. In fact you would probably laugh at how ridiculous the claim was.
If this is truth, then what is it that really is happening when someone seems to 'hurt' our feelings? How can we actually become hurt, if we are in a place of invulnerability? To become hurt, some part of us has to take seriously what the person said, has to believe that in some way there is some truth to it. We then recoil in horror and shock as if hurt 'by' the person.
But what we are really hurt by is our own wavering on what the truth is about ourselves. If we did not have any uncertainty about our own self, we would not experience their words as hurtful. Instead we'd discern that that person actually has something going on with themselves, they don't believe in themselves or they think poorly of themselves, and they're trying to project it onto you.
So this is what it boils down to, and this is going to be a major stretch for many people to accept.... You cannot be hurt unless you are in agreement with the other person. You also cannot be hurt unless you believe there is some truth to what they say, even if you do not like what they say. You also cannot be hurt unless you believe that their hurtful words actually have some grounds, or footing, or 'power', and the only way they can do that is if you are upset by the prospect that they're actually telling the truth.
What we do not want to admit, and what is very difficult to overcome (but not impossible), is that we ourselves are our own attacker, and we ourselves fail to be true enough to ourselves, and we ourselves abandoned ourselves to lies about ourselves, beliefs in unworthiness, beliefs in lack and so on, which are an attack on our own selves by our own selves. And we like to bury these beliefs underneath a facade. And then when someone comes along and seems to provoke us with their words, what happens?
Well what really happens, if we're honest, is that something rises up inside of ourselves that feels like hurt and pain, and it just so happens that it seem like this arising of pain happened right after the person said something. And so we come to conclude, that this means, they are the one who put the hurt into us. But this is not true. If we're really honest, this is not what happens. Instead, what happens is, our own pain, our own self-attack, our own lack of certainty about what is true about ourselves, comes up within, triggered off by the person's actions. It's our own hurt that we feel. And, hard as this is to admit, it is our own self-attack which underlies our feeling of being hurt.
What this means is, that we can only actually be upset by someone's 'attack' IF we agree, on some level, deep down, that there is some amount of truth in what the person said. And that means, that in some way, we must have come to believe something negative about our own self, entirely on our own, completely separate from that person. And as horrifying as this seems to be, it's actually true that we're upset and 'hurt by' someone because, deep down, we agree with what they said about us. That's extremely hard to admit to. It takes tremendous honesty to look at this and to admit to it.
But the truth is, if we were not so readily quick to abandon ourselves, if we were not so down on ourselves already, if we were not so upset about who we think we are, if we did not believe things about ourselves which are false which are hurtful, we would actually live in a state of *invulnerability*, happiness, peace and certainty. We would live in a state of not being deceived when someone says something upsetting. We would live in a state of discernment about what the real truth is about ourselves, so certain of it that we wouldn't be even slightly moved to upset when someone says something negative about us. We would instead clearly discern that this is simply not true - without any upset about that fact - and that instead it is the other person who is hurting and who needs love and healing. They are acting out of their own hurt and are actually asking us to heal and love them.
Now, this is quite an advanced position to hold, and I'm not saying it's easy. It's not common at all. Very few people reach such a state of psychological strength, certainty, and knowing as to what the real truth is about their, their ultimate worth, their livability etc. Most of us are riddled with dark, negative beliefs about ourselves, which thoroughly undermine our own feeling about ourselves. When people come along and provoke or attack us, what's really happening is we're being RE-minded of what we already think of ourselves. And that's why we're upset. We're upset because we think it's true. We're upset that the person pointed it out, as if they are rubbing it in.
If we are honest, and if we are responsible, and if we are mature, then we will have to admit that it does not help to blame the other person or to believe that they have the power to hurt us. Nobody has the power to hurt you. You actually can become completely invulnerable, and this is how you should be in your natural state. When you are not in a state of invulnerability, something has gone wrong with your own attitude about yourself. You've become your own worst enemy. And if someone comes along and points that out, you're much more likely now to claim that your hurt is their fault. It's not. Your hurt is YOUR fault. It's what you've done to yourself.
Now I do recognize this is going to maybe push some buttons in people, which actually completely demonstrates my point, but it's not at all my intention to upset or hurt anyone with this information. If you are ready to listen and if this is helpful to you, I'm glad, but if you feel upset by the mere suggestion that your pain has been caused by yourself and not other people - you might for example be the victim of serious abuse or trauma - then please disregard and move on. It's not my intention to upset anyone but I know in this sensitive group this is probably going to happen. So I apologize in advance.
But for anyone else, if you will let yourself feel into this and be open minded and willing to be very honest, I think this will ring true and you'll realize that this ultimately means, you cannot be victimized unless you condone and agree to and choose it yourself, and that then you actually are the one who does it to yourself. This is an advanced spiritual teaching and I hope some will be willing to listen to the possibility of this. It is all of our natural birthright to be completely invulnerable to all forms of suffering, to be incapable of being upset, and to experience complete and permanent peace at all times as a result.
I am not yet honestly able to practice this myself 100% of the time, or even most of the time, but I am working on it and it's my goal, to become completely invulnerable. If I am completely honest, this is what is assured for me, and for anyone willing to take full and total responsibility for what they are experiencing.
All it does when we blame other people for hurting us is it gives our power away. We need to take that power back and be more empowered by the truth about us, rather than disempowered by lies. But we can't do that while we think other people are the cause of our upset. We have the power to hurt ourselves, and nobody else does. And that also means we have the power to decide not to hurt ourselves, and to live in perfect invulnerability at all times.