Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Is there a way to heal hurt feelings?

Back in the late '60s I went through a heartbreaking divorce. After returning to my parents' home in Boston and getting a new job, I decided to take a two-week religion course and interviewed several potential teachers. To each I posed the same question. Is there a way to heal hurt feelings?

The teacher whose class I joined offered an answer that worked. He asked if I was familiar with the popular TV commercial for Colgate toothpaste? It claims Colgate has a secret ingredient called Gardol, which forms an invisible shield around teeth to prevent decay. If you'd like to see the commercial, here it is.

He said love is like a Gardol shield. When we activate our love, it forms a spiritual shield that prevents sadness or disappointment or resentment from hurting us. You have to brush your teeth to activate the Gardol shield, and you have to love ACTIVELY to protect yourself from hurt feelings. Saying,"I don't hate her (or him)" won't activate the shield. Being indifferent and bragging, "I have no feelings about her (or him) either way," won't work. Only living love brings protection -- love expressed.

From then on, when ever I sent my ex- a legal document or a check, I always enclosed a kind note which was heartfelt. Pretty soon I felt like the guy in the commercial. Hurt feelings couldn't reach me. Years later, I found this verse by poet Max Dunaway which explained why.

Sorrow is selfish, but Love will make
The burdened breast forget its woe.
Remember, dear, the heart cannot break
If it is allowed to overflow.

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