When you read the word "hurt" you immediately think of a situation in your life. In my practice, I watch people hurt. In some situations, hurt is part of the process. I relate "hurt" as a physical feeling to the emotion of grief. I also relate "hurt" as an emotional feeling that can be a response to what someone else said, did, or didn't do.
Hurt from the loss of a loved can be felt through your entire body; the physical feeling of hurt. A hurtful statement or action can crush your spirit; the emotional feeling of hurt.
Three weeks ago, I lost one of my first labs to old age. I hurt from the grief. I still hurt. When a person hears you lost someone you love or something bad happened in your life, they don't want you to hurt. They say things to make you feel better like "he had a good life" or "she is no longer in pain". Or in a divorce "you are better off without him/her". These statements are meant to be kind but they don't ease the hurt. And they aren't helpful.
To help someone who is hurting, let them know you are there for them; don't try to take away their hurt. Allowing a person to experience hurt and grief is more helpful because grief is part of the process. If grief is pushed down, it will surface eventually, so it doesn't make sense to not want a person to grieve. You can help someone in grief by saying "I love you and I'm here for you" and "I have so many great memories" or just a hug and "I'm sorry".
I have been thinking about the dicotomy regarding hurt and causing other people to hurt. A person doesn't want someone to hurt when it doesn't affect them. When it does affect them, they want the other person to hurt.
It would be a much more peaceful world if we treated all hurt the same; with kindness and compassion.
As an attorney for divorce cases and estate cases, I can be on the receiving end of someone's hurt. E-mails that attack me directly are not about me, they are a response to the hurt. It isn't my place to defend my actions because it isn't about me. It is misplaced hurt.
So I respond with compassion. I am hurt by what is said. It stays with me and it hurts. But if I model what I want others to do - respond to hurt with kindness and compassion - hopefully they will do the same for someone else.
If hurt is the disease, compassion is the cure.