Day 268 - Deep Wounds
We all have them. Deep emotional wounds that get activated from time to time. Most people don’t even know what is going on. They just have a whole bunch of issues and maladaptive coping strategies that come into play and usually end up screwing up any and all attempts to be close to another person.
Some people go the whole of their lives moving from one relationship to the next never figuring it out, constantly and consummately disappointed. Pointing fingers at others in this blame game that never does much to heal anything and, in fact, often, makes everything worse. The resulting aftermath is this mingy, shrink-wrapped version of a human being that deep within has this amazing unrealized potential. But because of their unwillingness to address the wounds festering deep inside...they suffer as does every one else who comes into contact with them.
Then there are those who know about the wound but choose not to address it. They know they are damaged and injured and stunted but they are too afraid or too baffled to do much about it. They believe that this self knowledge about the wound is sufficient to redirect the course. These people usually use people, sex, food, drugs, alcohol, work to numb the pain. These people usually believe that when they meet the right person, it will all work out...in reality, nothing is ever going to work out because they are the source of all that is wrong in all of their relationships. Wherever they go, there they are having the same issues with different people...a relational merry-go-round that leaves everyone out of breath, exasperated and ultimately further wounded.
Then there are those who know of the wound and are willing to work on it. They go to therapy and spend a lot of time addressing their proverbial shit. They spend years sitting in therapists offices just to come to know how this deep wound or wounds affects their lives and relationships. They see that this emotional injury is so deep that it is life lasting and no matter how much work they do on it, it is going to affect all of their relationships so they make space in their life to work on it. To address it and see it change and morph into something less oozy and pervasive. With years of therapy it can be shrunk to a hard spot in the belly where it is protected and safe from major activation a great deal of the time. It is excised and whittled down to a much smaller version of itself and the tentacles that used to reach out and warp everything surrounding it, have been curtailed and relegated to a small, but important situs in the body.
I am one of these later people. One who has spent years in therapy in order to address my shit. Determined always to not allow the past in its unexamined form to dictate my present and future. I am one who is willing to do the work no matter the cost. I have become firmly committed to living the examined life and while it isn’t always pretty, it has allowed me to address my lasting shit and see how it shows up in my life today.
My wound is in my gut. It resides there and while I can feel it every day, it isn’t making all my decisions any longer. But when it is activated it lights up like the sky on the 4th of July. It used to occupy the whole of my existence, there was not one space on my body that was not infected. It has taken years but I have been successful in my treatment of shrinking it down to a small, tender place in my belly.
Yesterday it was activated. I walked the beach with a belly that was flipping and fluttering. Any thought of it and I almost felt ill. It was hard to sit with and I was overwhelmed with a desire to shut it down. However, I know that my cancerous emotional wound feeds on silence and lack of examination. Somehow the darkness is fuel for proliferation. So I walked the beach with it and just kept asking, “What is this?’
I didn’t really arrive at any conclusions about what it is except old shit resurrected in new form. Just writing that made my stomach lurch. I walked the beach and just allowed the pain to shed all over the sand and surf. I didn’t try to stop it or change it or alter it in anyway. I just allowed it to be there and tried to find out what it was trying to tell me.
I still am not sure which makes it really hard to talk about. It is hard to speak about what you don’t understand. It is hard to break it all down when it is a mystery to you. How do you heal something that you had no part in to begin with? How do you go on trying when you have spent so much time trying for years? I guess you either continue or you stop trying. Of the two, stopping trying seems the better course because you can finally be done with it. Except you aren’t. There are things that happen in a life that forever change you and no matter how much you wish that they were different and would go away, they won’t. They can’t. They are part of who you are. They are the secret you take with you into all that you do. These deep scars are things that you either address and makes space for in your current life or they rule you and all you do in a subversive manner prevents you from ever really connecting to anyone, ever.
So today I am tired. Tired of dealing with this shit and overwhelmed with a desire to just ignore it and pretend that I am fine. I am not fine today and by owning that, I miraculously become more fine. It is in my willingness to own the brokenness that I am healed. My willingness to return to the hard center of scarred tissue that allows me to shrink it yet again. Shining daylight onto it, hammers it back into a smaller and less potent form.
Oh, I still wish that it would just go away. I still wish that I could just be completely free of it...but I know that there are things that happen in a life that are unchangeable in there origination. I can’t change that they happened and I can’t change the long, life lasting consequences that spring forward. However, I can remain willing to address them. I can allow them their place in my current life and be willing to own when they are activated and present. I can not pretend that they aren’t there and hold others accountable for my own pain. I can just allow it to be there and continually ask, “what is this?”
And if I am earnest and forthright in my request, I receive the answer and that tight, painful deep wound gets healed a little more. And just for today that is enough.