People often say love hurts but is this true?

Are you afraid to open your heart to love, for fear of getting hurt? Learn how to lovingly manage the hurt.

Is it possible to fully love without getting hurt? The answer is unequivocally NO!

Is this because love hurts? Again, the answer is NO!

It is not love that hurts. It’s loss of love that hurts. Love can be lost when a loved one dies, when a loved one rejects you and leaves, or when a loved one becomes mean, angry, abusive, distant, or disconnected.

Janie asked the following question:

“I understand that in order to have a loving relationship with another person, I have to be willing to open up and let myself be seen, even when I feel vulnerable, and at the same time take care of myself. How can I open up to receive from the other if I am scared to be hurt?”

Good question Janie. The answer lies in learning how to manage hurt so that you are not so scared of it.

The reason most people are scared of being hurt is because they don’t know how to manage the pain of loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others and outcomes.

The truth is that it is not possible to love without risking experiencing these very painful feelings. If you are afraid of them because you don’t know how to lovingly manage them, then you will likely protect yourself from fully loving.

No one wants to be hurt. But living a life without love hurts more than managing the hurt that comes with loving.

The fear of being hurt is deeply rooted in our growing-up years. I’ve never met anyone who was not hurt by parents, siblings, friends, schoolmates, teachers or religious leaders. For most people, childhood was filled with many hurts. As little children, we were too small to manage these hurts, so we learned to close our heart and stay in our head to avoid the pain. It’s all we knew to do.

However, as an adult, you can learn to manage the hurt, and managing it allows you to keep your heart open to loving. Since love and the pain of heartbreak exist in the same place in the heart, we cannot shut one down without shutting down the other.

Go inside and see which is more important to you – protecting against the pain of getting hurt, orbeing loving with yourself and others. You cannot do both at the same time.

Lovingly Managing Hurt

I have discovered a very simple, yet powerful way of managing hurt – the deep hurt of loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others.

1. Name the feelings. One of them most important aspects of lovingly managing hurt is to name the hurt. There is something magical about saying to the hurting part of you – your feeling self, which is your inner child – “I know that right now you are feeling so heartbroken by what is happening with your partner (or your friend, your child, your parent), and that you are feeling very helpless over them. I understand how hard it is to feel this.”

We all want acknowledgment for our feelings, and acknowledging these deeply painful feelings is vital for being able to release them. Naming them is a powerful way to acknowledge them.

2. Be kind and compassionate toward your painful feelings. When we are feeling hurt, we need understanding, kindness and compassion. It is very healing to learn to give this to ourselves. Allow yourself to cry if you feel like crying, as tears are a healthy way of releasing these feelings out of your body.

3. Release the feelings to Spirit. When you feel ready, say, “I release these feelings to Spirit and ask for them to be replaced by peace and acceptance.” You can feel your feelings moving out and being released.

4. Learn from them. Open to learning, with your higher self, about anything these feelings are teaching you about a person or situation. What truth are they telling you about this person or situation? Is there any loving action you need to take for yourself in this situation?

5. Take the loving action. Accept whatever truth you learn about, and take whatever loving action you need to take.

6. Notice how you feel now. Notice that you likely feel clear and released, and that this didn’t take long at all. Notice that you CAN manage your painful feelings and that you no longer need to be afraid of the pain of loving.

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Find out how Inner Bonding has helped Alanis Morissette to evolve in her courage to love.

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© Copyright 2015 Margaret Paul. Ph.D, All rights Reserved.
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CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul's books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages. Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant 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 since 1967. Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world -- mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public. Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.


  1. Honoring our feelings is crucial to recover from codependency. Many of us had our feelings shamed or we weren’t comforted growing up. We don’t what we’re feeling or how to nurture ourselves. Repression or distraction seems the better choice. Another problem that contributes to painful relationships is denial of needs. Chronic caretaking, people-pleasing, or sacrificing for others necessitates not getting our needs met. Identifying them, knowing how to fill them, and asking for what we need and what are important to enjoying satisfying relationships.
    Darlene Lancer, LMFT
    Author of “Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You”