The Biting Badger
How Hurting Can Make Us Lash Out in Fear
Once upon a time, a traveller was walking through a forest and came across a badger caught in a trap. The badger was crying out in pain, and the traveller knew that he needed to help. As he approached, he could see that the badger was trapped and couldn't escape on its own. The traveller was an animal lover and knew he had to help the badger.
As the traveller moved in to open the trap, the badger turned and bit him, leaving him hurt and angry. The traveller couldn't understand why the badger had bitten him when all he was trying to do was help.
The traveller soon realized that a hurt animal will lash out in fear, as it is a defence mechanism. At that moment, the badger was weak and unable to get away and couldn't be sure that the traveller wouldn't harm it more, leaving it little option other than to snap at him.
The traveller learned a valuable lesson that day. When someone is hurt, upset, or angry, they can also lash out like the badger, driven by their subconscious defence mechanisms. People who are hurting may not be able to express themselves clearly, and their emotions can lead them to behave in ways that don't reflect their true nature.
If you want to help someone who is hurting, it's important to put yourself in their place first, imagine how they are feeling, and act with care. If they lash out, try not to take it personally, but understand that they are not rejecting your desire to help. They may simply be unable to act differently until they calm down.
Just like the monkey taking the fish from the dangerous river up into the safety of the tree, you can't be sure you are not doing harm. Give them space to calm down and allow them the space to ask for help when they want it and in the way they want. At most, let it be known that you wish to be there for them and that you will wait for them to know what they want. Anything else is more about you needing to help yourself and your discomfort, so leave them be.
The moral of the story is that when someone is hurting, it's important to approach them with care and understanding. Like the badger, they may lash out in defence, but it doesn't mean they don't want or need help. By showing empathy and giving them space to heal, you can help them overcome their pain and become a better version of themselves.