Can we ever really heal from our emotional wounds?
My recent Facebook post, Can we ever really heal from our emotional wounds? Got a lot of interesting comments and feedback about peoples’ versions of healing, or even if it’s possible to heal from emotional wounds of the past.
So, what does it mean to heal? Well if we think about it in the physical sense, healing is a natural innate and invisible force that comes from within, without us having to consciously think about it. Our bodies naturally take over the healing process for us. If you cut your skin, the skin will heal. If you break a bone maybe, with a little alignment, it will heal and go back to perfect form. So, what about our emotional wounds? Why is it more difficult to move past the hurt and injustices that were caused in our life? Why is it that we can allow the natural healing of our bodies to take place, but we are unable to heal and move on unscathed from emotional wounds? Why is it, therefore, that we cannot allow that same invisible, natural force to heal and move on from our emotional wounds?
Emotional wounds, somehow, carry a charge. They create an impact in the body through the chemicals they release, whereby we feel a sudden rush of emotion that can take over us such as fear, shame, anxiety or sadness. These painful emotions seem to stick around in the body, like a cut left open unable to heal. Emotionally this leaves us open, vulnerable and on guard from it happening again. Because this emotional wound is left unhealed we become ‘triggered’ by people, circumstances or situations that remind us of our deepest emotional wounds of past whether this happened long ago, we will continue to be triggered as long as the wounds remain unhealed, open and vulnerable to attack. The late Candice Pert, author of, Molecules of Emotion, states that every emotion needs to have an outlet, if it doesn’t it will store in the body, and it will go to the liver, kidneys, stomach, back, anywhere it can. She hypothesised that the body is the subconscious mind.
“When emotions are expressed … all systems are united and made whole. When emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to be whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital feel-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and our behaviour.”
― Candace B. Pert, Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine
According to Sigmund Freud, we have a three-layered brain. The main two I will discuss here. The conscious brain contains all the thoughts, feelings, memories, sensations and fantasies that we are aware of day-to-day. We are said to be in control of our conscious actions by as little as 5%, the rest of our actions and reactions are said to be unconscious, meaning they have been stored, suppressed or repressed into our unconscious or subconscious mind. Freud states that our subconscious mind governs 95% of our actions. This is where all of our memories, habitual behaviours, learned beliefs, suppressed thoughts and feelings reside. Even though we have repressed a memory, we can still be triggered by anything which can remind us of that event which caused such a deep wound and may well be long forgotten. Such as Dad leaving when we were three and Mum living a life whereby men always leave. As an adult, we may live out this learned behaviour setting up our relationships to fail and not really knowing why we do this.
When we do go deep and do the inner work we can tap into those memories, we can almost relive the feeling like it’s happening all over again. We may get those feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, shame, fear, and they can feel as real today as they did 10, 15, 20 years ago. Emotions carry charge but what is it around the charge of that emotion that keeps it so alive. I love the work of the late Barbra Muhl, the author of Script, Kid & Fantasy Land. You can find more of her work at http://www.leelaa.org/Script&Kid/acknowledgement.htm. Barbra coined the term ‘Inner scripts’ and states that we unconsciously play out the unhealed part of us through our relationships and interaction with others, giving out, what she calls our ‘inner script’ to everyone we relate with; family, friends, partners, colleagues, even our children. Our scripts are the thing that people playback to us, they act as characters in our play, acting out their roles be it abandoning us, betraying us, etc. We do this very unconsciously until we do ‘the work’ and tear up our script and create a new empowering one.
This is why I love my spiritual coaching work as I believe that there’s always a story around our emotions and our memories. This is something I work deeply on with my clients and I train people in a model called S.E.T.T. We listen to that client’s story and we look at how that’s affecting them on an energetic, physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Then we help them make the transformation.
So, let’s now use this on your emotional wound. Think about something that still carries a lot of emotional charge. When you think about that, you will get a mental image and you may even relive the version of the story, and it’s still alive and active for you. Just notice as an observer what happens to your physical body when you recall this memory. Notice what happens to your emotions; what emotions are present that are attached to this story? What thoughts come up for you when you attach to this story, what beliefs? Most importantly, what taught inner dialogue is there? What is it you’re telling yourself about this story because this is what really holds the emotional charge for you? Are you telling your story around victimhood, injustice, unfairness, sorrow, abandonment, guilt? Hold within it an archetype, which is an energetic projection of what you feel. For instance, the abandoned child. Quite often, as children, we didn’t have the capacity to speak our truth, to fully stand up for ourselves and to have justice be balanced, so it was fair on all sides. Quite often, we’re left with a deep feeling of injustice and victimhood and that might rightly be so based on the situation you were in at the time. If you’re able to voice your feelings you felt empowered, that your voice was heard, so that you can balance the scales of justice. How would that make you feel about your deepest emotional wound? How much charge do you feel it would carry then, when justice had been done, and the scales of justice were balanced fairly? What had your voice been, had you been able to speak your truth? You may even be able to pick one or two positives that came from that situation.
One of the responses on the post was, we just have to learn to live with our wounds. Yes, in a way that’s absolutely what we do, because we carry on, and we survive. But how is that really affecting the overall potential of your life living with your emotional wounds? It can affect you negatively, whereby you’re stuck in the story, the negative story. You’re repeating similar patterns of behaviour from that experience. Oh, you can take a deeper look at your behaviours and the choices you’ve made as a consequence of that event, and ask yourself is this in my highest alignment. To really understand yourself, you need to know what it is you want for your life, not just in the material sense but on the deepest, emotional, spiritual sense. What do you want to create for your life, so you can lead a joyous, fulfilled, happy life? Is the way that you’re currently thinking, feeling and behaving in alignment to this ideal life? You may come to the realisation that you’re actually stuck in a script that was born from this negative experience. You have the power to choose who you want to be. You have the power to recreate yourself at any second, minute, day of your life. You are creating your destiny because you are a co-creator with the universe, through your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. If you feel trapped, stuck or unable to move forward, that is simply another story you’re telling yourself. If you continue to tell yourself this story, you will continue to condition and create that version of a reality for you. It is up to you how you live your life, you are in control. Nobody else can change your life for you or become an observer of your thoughts, behaviours, actions and choices. If you feel they are stuck and still attached to your deepest emotional wound this is where the healing needs to take place. But you must allow it to happen. You must become conscious of where it needs to take place and play your part in helping this healing.
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