There are those in life who wound us very deeply. Usually, these people are close to our hearts, people we love and respect.
We have trusted them and have shared or tried to share with them the deeper aspects of ourselves. The one who wounds might be a parent, a child, a teacher, a once-trusted friend, a husband, a wife, or a lover. Sometimes the wound is inflicted with conscious and malicious intent. But the wound is often cut from a place of weakness and blindness. Often we are not aware that we are inflicting the wound at the very moment the act is taking place.
That the wounded person can heal is part of the good news.
And the healing process goes something like this:
- Come to understand that one is wounded.
- Be open to experiencing the inner pain we must travel through to heal without resorting to addictions or mindless escapes.
- Give the wound the time it needs to heal.
- Protect oneself from further wounding by setting necessary limits.
- Become increasingly aware, day by day, of life’s beauty, and let it bathe and cleanse the spirit.
- Forgive and be kind and loving to the wounder.
For the wound to heal is probably more difficult. But the essential steps are these:
- Acknowledge to oneself that one has inflicted the wound. If possible, acknowledge this also to the person one has wounded.
- Be open to hearing the wounded one’s truth, uncensored.
- Accept this truth without argument or commentary, and thank the person for expressing it.
- Ask forgiveness from the wounded, or God, or yourself, or all sentient beings, or from any combination of the above that works.
- Release all guilt.
- Become more conscious of one’s inner demons, and (8) make progress in wounding less.
The wounder’s journey requires a willingness to look deeply at the dark, shadow side of oneself. Not everyone can walk this road, which can be both humbling and terrifying. But for those who do, there is a great opportunity to break the bonds of the cycle of wounds. And for the wounded one who heals, there is deepening compassion and a level of layered understanding that can bestow exquisite gifts of healing to a hurting world. It is part of the human dilemma, tragedy, and opportunity that we are all wounded and wounders.