Are We Healing or Playing the Victim?

We all have wounds.  We carry them from our personal histories, and collectively through the traumas of the ages.  These wounds affect us on every level be it mental, emotional, physical, social, or spiritual and their effect within our lives is to cause symptoms—or pain—until our attention is captured and “healing energy” is applied—often in the form of forgiveness, be it towards our self, others, or the world at large.

Living in Ubud, we are surrounded by healers and subsequently, a lot of conversation about healing.  People come here, sometimes unbeknownst to them, to engage in these processes of personal emotional or spiritual healing.  Heck, even the word Ubud means healing.  Add to that the fact that our work with Pure Immersions enables deep personal reflections and meaningful group work and, well…I guess you could say we’re right in the thick of a whole lot of wound attention.   

These wounds (which we all carry) play out in our lives again and again, in a myriad of ways and so it is so vital to take the time to assess and dress our wounds (be it personal or collective), yet we must be careful as the act of “wound healing” can often become a form of personal malaise. 

If you’ve ever cared for a skin abrasion you’ll understand that too much attention—too much care—can actually allow a wound to persist.  Changing a dressing too often, over moisturizing, looking and picking at—all these interventions can keep the wound open—not allowing the proper process to actually heal the wound. 

Similarly, when we are working within the realm of personal emotional injury or trauma, we too can “overdress” our wound resulting in the same effect—a wound that remains open and doesn’t heal. 

Often this over-attentiveness to our wounds arises without our explicit intent, but purely as a result of identification with the wound. 

This is the victim archetype (as Carl Jung denoted).  In this scenario being a wounded person becomes part of our identity, and identity attachment is not an easy entity to shed. 

 The trick when assessing wounds and their healing is to know how much attention to pay. 

 What is the indicator? 

The indicator as to whether we’re still carrying a wound is the symptom—and knowing whether we’re experiencing a wound symptom is best revealed through the razor sharp edge of poignant personal inquiry. 

Arm yourself with these questions and travel to the depths of your soul.  The answers will come and once the wound is truly healed it will fall away as if it was never really there.

 Where is the pain?

Am I ready to let the pain go?

Is there a pattern of behavior or a belief preventing me from the growth I seek?

Just one more thing before I go.

On the flip side, not paying a wound any attention—being negligent-- results in scarring and manifests an entirely different archetype to be aware of…but we’ll save that one for another post. :)

In gratitude,

Brad