Our wounds

“Our deepest wounds are so well defended that we cannot bash down that door, we have to seduce the wound out into the open with promises of acceptance.” ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I wrote yesterday about being in denial as really being caught in an old sorrow. For me, the problem is dealing with these old sorrows is that so often I have hidden them away deep in subconscious in an attempt to protect myself from the pain, so I don’t even know what the wound is that is causing me to behave in less than helpful ways. Oriah’s quote above speaks to this tendency to hide our deepest wounds and the challenge of trying to draw them out so we can do the necessary work to heal them.

When I approach these wounds in a critical or judgmental way, it is like trying to bash down the door of our own defenses, and I make little progress. But when I am able to sit with them in an accepting and compassionate way, they are much more likely to show themselves to me. But why would I want to seduce these old hurts out into the open again? If they bring me pain, would I not better off letting them be?

“Painful experiences are not meant to linger. They are meant to teach us what they need to teach us, and then dissolve.” ~Marianne Williamson

The reason I need to bring them out into the open is that they were meant to teach me something that I need to know. When I buried the wound instead of dealing with it, learning from it, and letting is dissolve, I miss out on the lessons that were waiting for me. By bringing it back out where I can do the work that needs to be done in order to learn the necessary lessons, I am not only able to heal the wound but am also able to move forward in life without that wound causing unwanted behavior in situations where it is triggered. Through healing, the trigger is gone.

“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” ~Buddha

The healing of wounds is often a slow process, but the important thing for me to remember is to treat that wound with compassion as it heals. When I try to make the healing happen faster than it is ready, I am not holding compassionate space for the wound and instead of speeding it toward healing, I more often halt the healing process altogether with my attempted show of force.

“You will know how to stop suffering as soon as suffering ceases to be valuable. If you are in pain, you are being led.” ~Martha Beck

In the meantime, as long as I am still suffering from the wound, there remains something for me to learn from it. I am being led toward greater wholeness as I learn the lessons that it brings me and do the work necessary to help heal it. This is not always easy to remember when I am in the midst of suffering. But when I can see the process as something valuable, I am more able to give myself the compassionate space I need in order to move from suffering to healing. This is a necessary change in perspective for me in order to continue to make this journey as fruitful as it can be.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~Rumi

Wounds are not fun to receive and even the valuable process of learning from them and bringing healing to them is often challenging and difficult. However, I know from personal experience that my wounds and broken places are the places in my life where the greatest light can shine in and bring me ever closer to the person I am meant to be, made ever stronger by the lessons I have learned in the process.

This last year or so has been filled with many wounds—both large and small—but I am learning to treat them with greater compassion. I look forward to learning to lessons they have to teach me and to the greater wholeness that their healing with bring.