Again a beautiful article found its way to my doorstep and this one speaks to me in so many ways. It comes as an explanation of how I feel to a “T”, and confirms the great transformation that is under way of emerging a newer version of myself. A version that has embraced the pain and has seen the beauty even in those most challenging moments. In a way it feels as if it was Mom’s final gift to me. I always thought of Mom as a young soul, so inexperienced and new to everything, with so little life experiences. But she wasn’t new to pain and loss, and she knew more then anyone else about that devastating feeling. She knew about being wounded and what it meant to have the light enter into the dark cracks of despair. She taught me one final lesson, perhaps one of the most important ones of all, and this was her time to pay it forward. It makes perfect sense at this point of my life to consider myself a wounded healer. To realize that it is those horrible things that crack us wide open, that actually become the very things that save us in the end. In fact, isn’t it a requirement all healers have embraced at one time or another? How could you heal and help others, never having felt and experienced this dramatic pain? How could you emphasize and realize their journey without having been there yourself? I can clearly see the image that is meant to be painted on to my shamanic earth drum now and a new vision has revealed itself to me. A vision of renewed purpose, a gift from Mom to build on in the future. In the meantime here is something to consider for the process of it.
The Wound Is the Call ~
“The process of individuation,” of becoming whole, to quote Marie Louise von Franz, “generally begins with a wounding of the personality and the suffering that accompanies it. This initial shock amounts to a sort of ‘call,’ although it is not often recognized as such.”
As if following a deeper calling, the event of our wounding sends us on a journey in search of ourselves. It is a wounding experience when the ego (the smaller self) initially encounters something greater and more powerful than itself, which is to say that the event of our wounding is initiatory, potentially leading us to our true vocation and destiny in life…
Being wounded can catalyze a breakdown or breakthrough, depending upon our ability to creatively express and give meaning to our overwhelming inner experience. The experience of becoming wounded can seemingly break us, while simultaneously breaking us open, thereby facilitating a connection to the world of the unconscious with its inexhaustible riches. In other words, our wound is potentially the doorway through which flows the revitalizing stream of the unconscious with its infinite creativity.
…It is an archetypal, universal idea that becoming broken, though on one hand seemingly obscuring our wholeness, is actually an expression of it…The anguished realization of our wounded condition is actually the first step toward recovery of our lost wholeness. Wholeness doesn’t necessarily mean not having a wound; rather, it is to be embracing the wound that we do have. The archetype of the wounded healer symbolizes a type of consciousness that can hold the seemingly mutually exclusive and contradictory opposites of being consciously aware of both our woundedness and our wholeness at one and the same time.
As long as we feel victimized, bitter and resentful towards our wound, however, seeking to escape from suffering it, we remain inescapably bound to it. Paradoxically, we can only escape the suffering by accepting another kind of suffering that is purifying. Instead of continually trying to avoid relationship with our suffering, if we are able to turn the violence that initially created our wound into what Jung calls “genuine suffering” (as distinguished from unproductive, “neurotic” suffering), we can recognize our wounding as a numinous event, an archetypal moment that seeks to make us participants in a divine, eternal happening.
Our wound is not a static entity, but rather a continually unfolding dynamic process in which we are participating moment-by-moment…The reciprocal interplay between our conscious ego and the unconscious sculpts our wound to take the particular form it does. An integral aspect of what constitutes our wound to manifest whichever way it does is our reaction to it – how we relate to it, what meaning we place on it, how we bear it.
Etymologically, “to bear” has to do with giving birth. The symptoms of our wound can be likened to a creative womb out of which emerges a new version of ourselves. When embraced, the pain of our wound reveals itself to be the birth pangs of a new inner being.