When Someone Stomps On Your Heart

There’s an old country song that says, “You done stomped on my heart, and you mashed that sucker flat.”

2 women holding a grudge

Got anybody in your life like that?

It’s usually somebody you trusted. You’ve had a long relationship with them, and considered them to be a friend. You’ve enjoyed their company, and you’ve shared life together. It might even be a family member.

But they turned on you. They talked about you behind your back. Or they confronted you about an issue they’ve had with you for some time, but never told you. You weren’t expecting it, and it caught you completely off-guard. They said or did something that broke your trust.

They stomped on your heart.

Yesterday, you had a break. It was Thanksgiving, so your routine was broken up with family, friends, feasting and football. You were probably conscious about being thankful because you were “supposed to,” so that’s where your focus was. You intentionally thought about the things you were grateful for, and maybe even shared them around the dinner table. You were distracted.

2 women holding a grudgeThat was yesterday. Now you’re back to the routine, and you’re feeling your heart again.

So, should we still be thankful today?

Yes.

Thanksgiving Day is a chance to practice something that we should do every day of the year. But it’s not because it’s an obligation so we’ll “think positive” and “have a good attitude.”

It’s because it’s the only way to keep from becoming a victim of the people and circumstances in our lives.

We all know people like that. They’ve been hurt over the years, and they’ve allowed that hurt to poison their lives. They’re bitter. They would say, “What do I have to be thankful for, anyway? Look what they’ve done to me. They’ve ruined my life.”

Thankfulness is the only antidote to that poison. Here’s how it works:

  • It gives us perspective. When the hurt is huge, it’s easy to ignore the reality of the positive things in life. Choosing to be grateful helps us to see both elements realistically.
  • It doesn’t minimize the pain. The hurt is real, and we can’t ignore it. It doesn’t help for someone to say, “You just need to get over it.” I had a lot of pain after surgery recently, and told my doctor about it. “Of course it hurts,” he said. “Somebody cut you with a knife. It’s going to hurt while it’s healing. But it’ll get better over time.” Gratefulness helps with the healing.
  • It keeps us from being a victim. Someone once said, “No one can mess up your life unless you give them permission.” If we focus indefinitely on the injury, we give away the control of our emotions to that person. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” helps us stay in control in the long run.
  • It keeps our emotional energy where it belongs. There are people in our lives that need our time, attention and emotional investment. They deserve it. Bitterness drains that energy away, so there’s less available for those people. Thankfulness keeps our reserves high.

There are no easy answers to tough relationship problems. People mess up our lives, and it hurts. There might never be a resolution, and the relationship may never be healed. The pain they caused might need the attention of a trained professional to sort through.

But at this point in the process, the easiest way to begin to heal is to choose to be thankful for everything we possibly can. It’s not a cure-all solution; just a way to be realistic about the life we’re living.

Try it tomorrow morning. Don’t get out of bed until you’ve thought of three things you’re grateful for. The next day, pick three different things. Do it for a week. Write them down.  If you do, you’ll find it impacting your attitude about everything else in your day.

Make every day Thanksgiving Day.

Maybe you’ll get your heart back.

Comments?

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  • Deanna Schrayer

    Mike, the timing of this article is surreal. My heart was stomped on (and, I thought at the time crushed to dust) on September 8. Since then I have run the gammut of emotions from shock to deep depression to overwhelming fear, and, eventually, through prayer and as much positive thought as I can muster, to strength. You’re right – on Thanksgiving I set all those emotions aside and, for the first time since 09/08, allowed myself to simply be in the moment and enjoy my family. However, the day after, as I was scrapbooking with my sisters, (our annual holiday tradition), I realized I had been whining about the pain I’d been feeling, I realized I sounded bitter. And that not only surprised me, it made me angry with myself. So, last night I prayed so hard I’m sure God’s ears were bleeding – I prayed for the strength and the courage to overcome this hurt so that I may return to the kind and loving person I was before that pain. Immediately I felt better about myself, the anger subsided and I was able to see and appreciate all that I still have – above all the love of my extended family – and was grateful for the peace that brought to my heart.

    Yes, spending the few minutes it takes each day to count our blessings is well worth it.

    Thank you so much for this fabulous article!

    • That’s awesome – thanks for sharing your experience! It’s pretty amazing how far a little gratefulness goes!

  • Riva

    Thank you for your words, Mike. Your advice is wise and well-timed. I agree with Mina, it steals away all of the positive energy that makes this life wonderful. Life is too short to act like a victim.

    • Yep – nobody steals our joy unless we let them. Thanks!

  • Mina

    I love this post! Thank you! Bitterness indeed poisons the well of gratitude and it drains me of all the positive energy needed for the great things of life.