I read a saying of yours: “Hurt feelings or discomfort of any kind cannot be caused by another person. No one outside me can hurt me. That’s not a possibility.”
What’s the best way for someone who has suffered (such as a child who was beaten or a person raped) to make sense of this philosophy?
When children (or adults, for that matter) believe the thoughts they are thinking during and after a painful event, they suffer. It is not the painful event that causes their suffering once the event is over; it is their thoughts about the event.
This is hard for some people to hear, but if you take a closer look, it is obvious. The event is in the past; the thoughts are in the present–thoughts of shame, anger, humiliation, depression, unworthiness, resentment, and so on–and it is only in the present that we live.
Children have no way to question these thoughts, so they can’t help suffering over them. It’s not their fault that they suffer. They just don’t know that suffering comes from believing our painful thoughts. This is why without inquiry, it’s so difficult to overcome a trauma during and after the fact.
Should a person ignore or glide over such things?
I was never able to do that. The way I became free was by not ignoring or gliding over such things. I had to face them, to look back on those terrible and seemingly unjust situations that I suffered as a child, and as an adult, to write them down and question the thoughts I had at the time. I had to travel back and to see in my mind’s eye that situation, no matter how terrible it was, and to fill in a ‘Judge-Your-Neighbor‘ Worksheet. I had to fill out one Worksheet for each situation. I remembered as much as possible of what I was seeing, feeling, thinking, and believing in those moments. I used to suffer when those images would arise in my mind, and now I don’t. In fact, all those old memories bring a sense of compassion, freedom and gratitude, not ever suffering.
Of course you should do that. How could you not do it, since you are believing your thoughts about him?