'If You Never Heal What Hurt You, You'll Bleed On People Who Didn't Cut You'

Photo: Viktoriia Hnatiuk /
young woman smiling peacefully on a grey background

"If you never heal what hurt you, you'll bleed on people who didn't cut you."

— Yehuda Berg, spiritual teacher

This statement is an excellent reminder to reflect on our healing journey and be mindful of any residual pain we carry with us in our daily lives. It can be easy to project negativity onto those around us without first dealing with the fallout of unresolved trauma or issues still lingering within ourselves.

To avoid this all-too-common pitfall, it is important to focus on self-care and tap into the courage necessary to actively address any hurtful situations from our past. Doing so will provide us with much-needed clarity and peace and enable us to open up space for more positive relationships in our present life.

While this quote is incredibly powerful and motivating for those dealing with trauma, there is more to it than just the surface-level meaning. Let's dive a bit deeper into this quote and how it can be applied in our lives. 

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Understanding the quote's meaning

It is easy to allow the wounds of life to shape our present and future. We can carry on with festering hurt, focusing our negative energy on innocent bystanders.

The quote suggests that if we fail to recognize our unresolved past, it will continue to reverberate in every aspect of our lives, leading us to cause unintentional emotions to bleed onto others who are neither the source nor the cause of the problem.

Rather than suffering through more pain and allowing it to affect our relationships, learning from these experiences and devoting time to resolving them can help us break free from this cycle of hurt.

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The effects of ignoring trauma

Trauma is a serious issue that often goes ignored but can profoundly affect our lives. When we do not take the time to confront and work through past traumas, it can lead to misdirected anger, manifesting itself in our relationships with others and creating further conflict between us and those close to us. It is vital that we recognize when this occurs, as we must also learn how to regulate and manage our emotions in a healthy manner.

The key is understanding how our past traumas influence our current behavior so that we can work on releasing any built-up resentments. Doing so will allow us to foster healthy relationships moving forward.

So, take time for self-care because healing is so important. We are often taught to ignore negative feelings or push them aside to move forward, but that doesn't help us process what happened or heal in a healthy way.

Instead of running away from our pain, we must recognize past traumas and address them head-on, so we don't end up bleeding out onto others. 

The importance of emotional health

Emotional health is an often-overlooked component of overall wellness, yet it's just as necessary and important as physical and mental health. Understanding, accepting, and managing emotions are essential for effective functioning across domains, such as academic and social settings.

A healthy emotional life can help individuals cope with the stresses of daily life, establish meaningful relationships, pursue personal and career aspirations, understand themselves better, and reap emotional rewards for accomplishments.

Allowing emotion to be expressed rather than repressed is essential to improving mental well-being. 

Proactively prioritizing emotional health can lead to improved mood states, psychological resilience in challenging situations, growth in interpersonal relationships, increased self-awareness and acceptance, higher self-esteem and confidence, and greater overall satisfaction with life.

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The benefits of moving on 

Once we are ready to move on after addressing the trauma from our pasts, we will notice a shift in how we interact with others. We will no longer feel burdened by the weight of unresolved emotions; instead, we will be able to approach relationships with a sense of peace and understanding that opens us up to genuine connection with those around us. 

Our newfound freedom also allows us to focus more energy on things like self-improvement and personal growth.

When we are no longer bogged down by old hurts, there is room for creativity and exploration as we work towards creating better versions of ourselves.  

Breaking the cycle

It's easy to get caught up in the cycle of pain and suffering — but taking steps toward healing can make all the difference in creating a happier life for yourself. Recognizing that old hurts can still affect your current relationships is key; only then can you take actionable steps toward healing yourself so that you do not unintentionally hurt other people along the way.

Taking time for self-care will open doors for personal growth and healthier connections with those around you — proving that if you never heal what hurt you, you will bleed on people who did not cut you!

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Clare Waismann is a counselor and addiction specialist who has been featured in many news outlets, including Vogue, Elle, USA Today, Fox News, and more. She is the founder of two world-renowned opioid treatment centers: the Waismann Method Rapid Detox Center and Domus Retreat.