When we talk about healing psychological wounds, there are two sides to it.
Most people think about healing the wound itself.
And yet, in my experience, healing my relationship with the wound is equally if not more important.
HEALING MY RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOUND
If I struggle with a wound – if I see it as a problem, just want it to go away, go into reactivity to it, identify with it and perceive and live as if I am it, and so on – then my relationship with it is not yet healed.
So how do I find healing for my relationship with a wound?
Exploring the wound itself tends to help me shift my relationship with it. I may identify the painful story (stories) behind it, examine these, and find what’s more true for me. I can dialog with the wound (from the perspective as the wound) and see what it has to say, how it experiences my relationship with it, and how it would like me to relate to it. I can find how it’s trying to protect me and see it comes from care and love. And so on.
I can also use heart-centered practices to shift my relationship with it. My favorites tend to be ho’oponopono and tonglen. I can use tonglen with the wound or myself having the wound, and also with my reactivity to the wound and myself having that reactivity.
I can examine my stressful thoughts about the wound. What stressful stories do I have about it? What do I fear may happen? What’s the worst that can happen? What do I find when I examine these stories? What’s more true and real for me?
Similarly, I can examine my self-talk around the issue. What do I tell myself about it? What’s a more kind and constructive (and real) way to talk with myself about it? How is it to explore that? How is it to make it into a new habit?
I can find the need behind the wound. What does that part of me need? How is it to give it to the wound and myself here and now? (Mostly, the need is something essential and universal like safety, support, understanding, and love.)
I can be open about it with myself and others. Yes, I have this wound. This is how it has affected me and my life in the past, and this is how I have related to it in the past. Now, I am finding a different relationship with it and I am exploring how that is. (And I may, and probably will, still go into the old patterns now and then. I wish to be patient and kind with myself and this process.)
I can notice that the wound – and my reactivity to it – is happening within my sense fields. I can find it in my sensations, as physical sensations in the body, and in my mental field as labels, interpretations, and stories about it. This helps deconstruct it and see how my mind creates its experience of it all. I also get to see that it’s all happening within my sense fields and I cannot find it any other place.
That helps me notice that I am capacity for it all, I am capacity for all of these experiences as I am capacity for any and all experience. And it’s all happening within and as what I am. Its nature is the same as my nature.
I can then shift into the perspective of my wound (become the wound for a while) and notice my nature as the wound. And I can shift into my (painful) relationship with the wound and notice my nature as that relationship. This helps the wound and my painful relationship with it to wake up to its nature and realign with oneness. And that tends to take some of the charge out of it.
THE EFFECTS OF SHIFTING MY RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOUND
When I am caught up in a struggle with a wound, it’s stressful, uncomfortable, and painful. The sanity and kindness that’s here in me, and all of us, become less available.
And when I shift my relationship with it, it may still be here but it’s also different. It’s easier to recognize it as a part of me, as an object within consciousness. I can relate to it with a little more intention and awareness. I am less caught up in it.
And, after a while, it may be like an old friend coming to visit. Hello, you are here again. Thanks for visiting. You are welcome to stay. We are here together. You and I have the same nature.
When my relationship with the wound shifts, the wound doesn’t have to shift. It can come and go and it’s OK.
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