Wounds Can Teach Us About Self-Love
Many of us lack self-love, because we don’t attend to our wounds. We all have them. Some wounds are so intense they become traumatic, sometimes relegated to becoming a dark secret that we don’t want to look at, not to mention even talk about in our society. What if they are crying out for our acceptance, and to be loved so we can heal?
Culturally we are afraid of wounds. Afraid that they will define us, afraid they make us “less than”, afraid of the judgements of others. We’re afraid of drudging up sad memories, afraid that if we deal with them, we’ll become overwhelmed, stuck in depression, afraid that we’ll never heal. Such conditioning lends itself to the problem that we don’t love ourselves.
And it’s true, if we don’t look at them, we will never heal. If we don’t include the wound as a part of the whole that we are, we’ll never know our true potential. Largely we also don’t love ourselves in our culture. As Jelualudin Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” How could this be?
This quote hounded my thoughts like an intriguing mystery or befuddling koan. Many years into my healing journey, I purchased a bracelet with Rumi’s quote engraved upon it. I pondered it when old torments visited my mind, and where I felt these wounds – in my heart.
Thus I began to stalk my heart as if she were a white-tailed doe I wanted to befriend. When she was shy, I just sat with her, observing. Sometimes I waited and she didn’t show up, unsure that I would really be there. Eventually, I noticed how my heart felt interacting with different people. I could see when she was open, and when she was closed. I took extra care when my heart felt tender. Like leaving corn out for deer, I began feeding my heart more experiences that made her sing. Soon, she felt that acceptance and showed up with a family of old wounds that needed tending to, shyly asking for more.
The wounding in my heart taught me how to be kind to myself, how to love myself. Because I allowed myself to follow the threads of inspiration, things that I loved, my heart burst wide open. I spent untold amounts of time in nature, and continue to do so. Instead of dwelling on loneliness, I learned to accept it, and now love the time I spend alone. Meanwhile, I took myself as a lover. I studied ancient and new spiritual practices.
Throughout my journey, I learned that the more I shared what I had perceived to be “dark secrets” with others, the more I found our common humanity. By accepting my own wounding with unconditional love, I can learn to be present for that in others. Because I learned to lovingly be with my darkness, my heart has become lighter, fuller. By embracing my wounds with love, I learned to “let the light enter” after all.
Colleen Kendrick, Trinity Energy Practitioner