Accepting and denying comfort

Everybody hurts. Sometimes.

And when we are emotionally hurt, we need to reposition ourselves such that the world makes sense again and we know that everything is going to be okay. This usually involves some level of external validation to help us humans reassess ourselves in terms of others. Mainly because we can no longer trust our inner senses.

Comfort given by another can help us know when our hurt is legitimate, versus our being over sensitive. When someone else comforts us, we feel justified in our experience. If another denies giving us comfort, we can feel either unworthy, or that we are making too much of nothing.

Feeling unworthy means that our inner sense is fairly firm and is now contradictory to our outer validation mechanism. Repairing this schism can be quite complex as our inner sense of things is generally shored up on many complex thoughts and values, which all need to be adjusted to accept the external structure.

Realising that we have been over sensitive, based on out external checking, allows us to adjust our non-firm inner senses. However there is danger in that too as if we have not much internal structure, we constantly need external validation, and external validation can be quite arbitrary and variable. It is hard for us to know when the external source is right and wrong and also leads us to over use our friends comfort, burning them out and pushing them away.

There is another path we can go down. When we feel that we are wrong and that our hurt is in response to our actions or being, then we can deny comfort and deny the opportunity to reorient ourselves. Depression, suicidal ideation and ontological insecurity are generally the downward spiral we find ourselves on taking this path.

It is also quite frustrating for those who wish to comfort us, to reassure us that we are mistaken and that if we could only reorient to their way of thinking, we would be all right. The denial of this can push friends away, or numb them to the times when we do need help.

Punishing ourselves does not prompt solutions. Instead it keeps us in problems, implying that our very existence is a mistake. It is important to our own survival to avoid doing this. Punishment is not a good teacher. Instead we must look for solutions and implement them.

We must find people who are trustworthy for our external validation. We need to use these people sparingly so that on one hand we do not burn them out, and on the other hand we don’t rely on them too much. We should accept comfort when we feel we need it, and avoid punishing ourselves when we feel we don’t.