Updated: Jan 16
It’s no secret that we all have wounds from our past that influence who we are today. Childhood trauma, relationships gone bad, business failures, accidents, diseases, and more shape who we are and how we relate to the world. The old-school way of dealing with it was to “grow up and get over it.” These days, we know that this really isn’t helpful. Past hurts do influence us in negative ways and only by going back into our past can we find those wounds and free ourselves from limitations they have imposed on us.
All past experiences (negative and positive) create fears, beliefs, quirks, triggers, and preferences that make us who we are. However, when old injuries (physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual) don’t heal, they limit our ability to move forward and grow into the people we need to be in the world. Energetically, old emotional and mental wounds fester just as a physical wound would. Unfinished business in your past draws energy away from your current life. You aren’t aware that your personal power is getting sucked into old hurts, but it is draining some of your life force you should be using to heal, create, and grow in the present time. Imagine a younger version of you that was wounded in the past and is now stuck in time, injured and unable to heal (in EFT this is called an echo). That old you and the present you are connected with a cord through which you send it energy to maintain that damaged echo. In return, you maintain a subconscious connection to that old hurt that never goes away.
Sounds like a great way to undermine your own energy, healing, and development, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, we all have these old injuries that keep us energetically tied to the past. The good news is that our culture today has popularized the need to unearth old wounds in order to heal.
You can find many counselors or psychologists today who will help you spend years plumbing the depths of your psyche to find all your old injuries and bring them to the light for examination. There are support groups out there for pretty much every trauma known to mankind. You can also explore blogs, books, and podcasts in which people air their traumas and share stories of how they have been affected.
All of this is very validating for people whose lives have been changed by things that happened in their pasts. Nothing feels better than being able to name your wound and identify how it has changed you. It’s a huge step beyond the old “grow up and deal with it attitude.”
The problem is that people often get stuck here and don’t move on to the next vital step of healing. Knowing and understanding your wounds is great, but it does not sever those energy cords keeping you tied to the past. If those cords are still intact, your echo is still stuck and still bleeding energy from you. You can’t heal until those cords are cut and your echo is able to rejoin you in the present.
Author Caroline Myss talks about this phenomenon in several of her books and calls it “Woundology.” It is this concept that we get so caught up in identifying, understanding, showcasing, and leveraging our wounds that we never move into the healing part of the journey. There are many reasons why Woundology is attractive. For some people, identifying with that wound also connects them to a community of people who all validate and support them (you especially find this in support groups). Old wounds can also be used as a type of currency that is paid to get attention, pity, or special treatment. Woundology allows you to use wounds as an excuse. “I can’t help it because of what happened…” It’s a free pass out of whatever you don’t want to take responsibility for. In a weird way, it takes your vulnerability and makes it both a shield and a weapon, depending on the situation.
I don’t think you need me to tell you that Woundology is a problem. Primarily, it is fake power that keeps you stuck in your wounded past. It isn’t the self-empowerment needed to move you forward into a better life. The illusion of power makes you feel liberated and enlightened while still keeping you firmly mired in your past and fully attached to your hurts. Myss writes in Defy Gravity, “Your wound is a tomb that you continually visit, filled with stale psychic air that consumes your life force more and more each day.” Energetically, your wounds still maintain those cords to the past while also forming new cords, thought forms, and beliefs that make it hard to move forward. So instead of healing, you are creating more layers of energy blocks that need to be addressed. Your energetic power is drained a little at time, leaving even less life force to break free and heal.
So what does one do? You need take the next step and actually HEAL those wounds. Stop showing them off and making a fuss over them. It’s time to let them take their rightful role in the past while you walk forward unhindered. The downside is that, depending on the nature of your wounds, this may not be easy. Actually, some people might get stuck in Woundology simply because they want to avoid the hard part of healing. They’d rather enjoy the false power of the wounds over the challenge of having to actually face those wounds and do the spiritual and emotional work of letting them go.
Healing is a challenge because it involves forgiving. Forgiving is not easy. Whole books have been written about how to forgive because it is a spiritual and emotional process that takes great willpower and grace to achieve! It is, however, necessary to forgive those who inflicted those wounds, whether the perpetrator is another person, yourself, fate, a system, a group of people, or anything else. You might even have to say goodbye to that apology you always wanted or the justice you hoped to see. Healing wounds may also involve releasing your need to know WHY something happened and simply accept that it did. Can you see why finding wounds is easy but healing them is not? It may be one of the hardest things humans are asked to do in this life. It’s so vital, though, because it is the only way to call back your power into your present life. It frees you from the past so you can transform and move ahead.
Think of yourself as a heroine/hero on a journey. You have old wounds that, once healed, become part of your story. You can point to the scars and talk about how you got them and what you had to do to heal them, but they do not constitute your whole identity. They are part of who you are, but not all of who you are. As a true heroine/hero you pick yourself up, integrate that wound into yourself, and move on. You are ever changing, ever growing, ever learning. You don’t get stuck in the past but move on to the next adventure unimpeded. No heroine/hero ever shies away from the pain of healing. Does anyone write sagas about those who lay in bed nursing their wounds for years? Of course not! Only those who move forward stronger who get written up in stories. They know it is part of the process toward becoming a champion in the first place.
So ask yourself, are you stuck in your wounds? Has Woundology become your natural operating mode? Are you ready to actually start healing and moving on, unhindered, to the next part of your story? If so, here are some important things to note:
If you are dealing with serious past trauma, please don’t try to do this yourself. Go find a good counselor or psychologist (one who believes in healing, not just identifying wounds) and get professional help to guide you through.
Step away from anyone holding you back or encouraging you to live endlessly in your wounds. This includes friends, family, therapists, professionals, support group members, and more. They aren’t helping you.
Start thinking about forgiveness. In order to heal a wound you will eventually need to forgive anyone who has wronged you, especially yourself. This could be easy or simple, depending on the nature of your wounds. Search for teachings on forgiveness and learn all you can. You may not get there easily or quickly, but if you are open to trying, you can eventually forgive and heal.
Of course energy work is amazing for healing old wounds. You go in and find the energy of those old wounds and it makes everything easier to heal. It’s like taking a giant mountain and turning it into a speed bump. Do you still have to do some work to get over it? Yes, but it’s so much easier than it could be. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a way to consciously work on old wounds. It’s particularly good to consciously process events that happened to you while also releasing the associated energy. (Highly traumatic events should be processed with an EFT practitioner familiar with working with your specific trauma). If you are talking about the time in the third grade when you had terrible stage fright that you never got over- then EFT is the perfect tool for healing that wound. It’s also great for accidents, fights, failures, betrayals, and other common life suffering. Integrated Energy Therapy® (IET®) and Reiki are both energy work that deals with the energy itself without having to consciously process what happened. Both go into your body to release the energy surrounding an event. This may make it easier to work with the event, but it cannot go through the forgiveness process that you need to consciously participate in. IET® and Reiki both make it easier to move through this stage, however, as the energy keeping you stuck in your wound is released. Can you do energy work on your own to start to heal your wounds? Of course! All energy work is beneficial. However, if you really want to go deep fast, an energy worker will be your best guide. I wouldn’t recommend playing around with wounds. They tend to just get worse the longer they hang around and tracing all the energy cords attached to them can be a challenge. If you are interested in working with me to learn EFT or to have an energy session with IET® and Reiki, you can Contact me for a free consultation.
Will any one of these things do the trick every time? Absolutely not! Your wounds are as unique and complicated as you are. You’ll likely need several different strategies to completely heal the past. The single most important thing you can do to start your journey toward healing your wounds is this: Ask for guidance. Pray, ask your guides, invoke your higher self, or talk to whatever form of the Divine you feel will help you find your way forward. Say that you are ready to heal and move on from your wounds. Ask to be shown the path to get there. You may find that one of the above suggestions is your first step or you may be led to something completely different. The first step is to ask. The second is to be open to whatever advice you are given. After that just take the next right step every way and you will be able to heal those wounds.
If you have realized that you have been stuck in the land of Woundology for too long, please take some steps to break free today! There’s a whole world of wholeness waiting for you if you are willing to take the heroine’s/hero’s path and heal.
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