Healing Through Change

Explanations do not heal hurt feelings.

We all make mistakes.

We will all hurt someone else, at some point in our lives, in some way.

It may be unintentional.

We may be entirely unaware that we even did so.

Sometimes, even with the best possible intentions, our words or actions cause harm, hurt feelings, or misunderstandings with those around us.

This is especially true with those who are closest to us.

The more closely intertwined we are with a person, the easier it is to hurt them and for them to hurt us.

Even though this is a relational inevitability, that does not excuse us from trying to making it right.

Hurt feelings are not merely a consequence of interaction.

They are something that should be addressed and amended to the best of our ability.

A mere explanation is insufficient, however.

No one really wants to know why we hurt them, at least not in the sense that this knowledge, alone, will facilitate any kind of real and transformative healing.

What people want, need, or expect is change.

They want to know that their feelings, an extension of their deepest hopes, dreams, insecurities, and fears, are acknowledged and respected, and that this acknowledgement has changed us, our words, and our behavior toward them in a positive way.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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