Hurt Feelings vs. Hurt Heart


Clifford, 42, married with children, told me during a phone session that he was tired of not feeling happy and joyous.

“As a small child, I remember being so happy and excited about life. But my parents didn’t receive me at all. They were indifferent to my creativity and excitement.”

“Clifford, how did you feel when they didn’t receive you?”


Yes, shattered. And the shattered feeling was too big for a sensitive little boy, so Clifford learned to put a lid on his joy to protect himself from feeling shattered.

He also learned to protect himself by taking his parents’ indifference personally, deciding that he wasn’t good enough or important enough to be received.

Hurt Feelings

Clifford learned to take his parents’ rejection personally as a way to feel in control of their unloving behavior: “It’s my fault,” he told himself as a small child, “that they are not loving me, so if I can just figure out the right way to be, I can get love and avoid pain.” When he took his parents’ behavior personally, his feelings got hurt. He learned to prefer getting his feelings hurt rather than experience feeling shattered.

If you look inside, you may discover that underneath hurt feelings is a deeper hurt – the kind of hurt that feels shattering.

When you are in your wounded ego self, it is easy to have your feelings hurt from telling yourself that you are wrong or bad or that it is your fault that you are being treated unlovingly. You feel hurt feelings whenever you take another’s unloving behavior personally.

We all had to create our wounded selves to survive childhood, because the shattered feeling of a hurt heart was way too big for our little bodies to handle. We might have died or gone crazy if we had not been able to create our ego wounded selves.

Hurt Heart

Now, as adults, we all need to revisit the heart hurt that we have been protecting against all these years. Heart hurt is the authentic core feeling that is under our hurt feelings.

Heart hurt = loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, sorrow, sadness, and grief in response to the loss of loved ones, to others’ unloving behavior toward us and others, to helplessness over others’ unloving behavior toward us and others, and to our own unloving behavior toward ourselves and others.

These are the feelings that were too hard to feel as a small child. These are the feelings we now need to feel and show up for as a kind and compassionate loving Adult. These are the feelings that all addictive and controlling behavior cover up.

The moment we try to cover these feelings, we are in our wounded self. When we decide to feel our authentic feelings, we open to our core self with deep kindness and compassion for our hurt heart.

The Power and Freedom of Living Our Truth

As long as you do not have the courage to feel the heart hurt, you will continue to give yourself up, get angry, blaming and defensive, and turn to substances and activities to avoid your authentic feelings.

Yet when you finally decide to be with your truth and feel the heart hurt of others’ unloving behavior, and of your own unloving behavior toward yourself and others, you are well on the journey toward personal power and emotional freedom.

Heart hurt HURTS – a lot. Which is why we avoid it. But when we learn to connect with our spiritual Guidance and embrace it with love, kindness, and compassion, we can learn to manage it. When we do, we move beyond fear and dependency and into our power and freedom.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Learn Inner Bonding now! Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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