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Wounding

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Wounding

Experiencing Emotional Hurt as a Wound

At this point the person might go on to experience himself as an empty space, devoid of any fullness or quality. If he deals with the associations he has to this emptiness—such as those of dependency and need—and the fears produced by them—probably the fears of disintegration, disappearing, and so on—then he will remember the old hurt that cut off the essence. This is another big dark spot. The person will unearth the painful situation or situations that ultimately led to the loss of this particular aspect of essence. Besides the memories and affects, the individual will experience the emotional hurt as a wound. It will feel physically like a wound in the chest, but it is a wound in the energy system that corresponds to the emotional hurt and the loss of the essence. When one allows oneself quietly to experience the hurtful wound and the memories connected with it, the golden elixir will flow out of it, healing it, and filling the emptiness with the beautiful sweet fullness that will melt the heart, erase the mind, and bring about the contentment that the individual has been thirsting for.

Experiencing the Hurt for Not Being Seen

The shell is beginning to disintegrate as a result of the loss of the mirroring. The wound is the sign of the threat to the cohesion of this structure. In fact, any narcissistic disturbance involves some level of breakdown in the structure of identity. Experiencing the hurt for not being seen as a wound is not merely a metaphor. The student actually feels wounded, not only in the emotional sense, but literally, almost physically. The wound feels like a cut in the chest, as a gash, as if one's heart were physically wounded. There is the physical sensation of a painful cut, and this sensation of pain is inseparable from the emotional feeling of hurt. The emotion and the sensation comprise one's state, an emotional wound that feels like a rip, which hurts emotionally. This gash is not actually in the physical body; it is a cut in the shell, a rip in the structure of the self-identity.

Misunderstanding that Wounds a Child

When a child’s manifestations, actions, motives or expressions are interpreted incorrectly, this misunderstanding has a deep wounding effect on the child because he is not related to as who and what he is. The child will not only feel hurt and betrayed, but is likely to become confused and uncertain about his sense of himself. The child’s self not only needs to be seen and related to, but seen accurately and responded to accordingly, for his sense of self to develop accurately. Otherwise, some qualities will be incorporated into his sense of self in a distorted way because they will be integrated into his sense of self compounded with the misunderstanding. Clearly, this particular disturbance affects most children’s relation to essential presence, because even if the parent is open enough to see her child’s essence in a vague way (for instance, because of intense love), she is likely to misunderstand it. She may understand his expressions or motivations, but misunderstand who he is. This is a fundamental failure of the environment; it is not possible to estimate the extent of devastation to the growing self of the child as he becomes alienated from who and what he is, his inner preciousness and truth. We cannot blame the parent in this instance; she might be a normal and healthy mother who loves her child and does her best to provide him with what he needs. Her limitation is part of a societal norm, and she will not know otherwise unless she is fortunate enough to see what Essence and self-realization are.

The Central Wound of Not Being Loved

In other words, the more we rend the veils, especially around love, the more our souls can be quickened and the freer our hearts can be from these limitations and distortions. To be free means that the heart starts turning the way that is natural to it. When the heart becomes free and turns in its natural way, then it starts flying because that is its nature—to fly heavenward. The first veil we need to experience and deal with is the actual experience of not being loved. This is the central wound. Each time we felt not loved, a wound was inflicted, which created a separation from love and from the quickening of our souls. So we need to see that veil of the various ways we have felt unloved. And we need to rend this veil, which means first feeling the pain of not being loved, because suppressing the wound only makes the veil thicker. Veils are frequently parted by going through and into the wound, which is why Rumi says, How sweet is the pain that you cause me to feel as you draw me nearer. So if you really feel the wound, this is parting the veil.

Love Unveiled, pg. 44

The Deepest Wound, the Wound of the Separation from Oneness

As you consider this perception of oneness, you will see that in a very deep place in you, in the deepest part of your heart, there is a very deep grief, the deepest wound, the wound of the separation from oneness. And there is longing in our hearts, the deepest yearning. The most powerful desire we have, in the deepest part of our hearts, is the longing to cease as a separate individual; to be united, to see that there is really only one because it is our ultimate nature.

The Specific Narcissistic Wound

1. The disconnection of the self from its essential presence manifests as a profound and deep wound to the self. It is as if the very core of the self is yanked out from within it. This is the specific narcissistic wound, the hurt that expresses the pain of this fundamental loss, and reflects the actual state of loss. All of the factors which contribute to narcissism, compounded by the self turning away from its connection with essential presence, lead to this narcissistic wound. Centrally, the narcissistic wound is caused by the decathexis of the Essential Identity.
2. Alienation from the Essential Identity leads to the loss of the profound sense of value and preciousness intrinsic to the sense of one’s identity with Being. Value is a quality of Being which, when lost, leads to a loss of self-esteem. When we are in touch with Being, self-esteem is experienced as an intrinsic feature of the self, as part of one’s inalienable human inheritance. The wound of the loss of value is intimately associated with the narcissistic wound.

The Wounding of Rejected Love

When a quality of Essence is blocked from a person’s experience, what is left in place of that quality is a sense of emptiness, a deficiency, a hole, as we saw in our discussion of the Theory of Holes. You have seen in your work here how you actually experience that emptiness as a hole in your body where a quality of Essence is cut off. This creates the sense that something is lacking and, therefore, something is wrong. When we feel a deficiency, we try to fill the hole. Since Essence has been cut off in that place, we cannot fill the hole with Essence, so we try to fill it with similar, false qualities, or we try to fill it from the outside. Suppose, for instance, that our love for our mother is rejected, not valued. That love in us is hurt, wounded. To avoid experiencing the hurt, we deaden a certain part of our body, and in that way we are cut off from the sweet quality of love in ourselves. Where that love should be, we have an emptiness, a hole. Forgetting that it was our love that was lost, we think that we lost something from outside and try to get it back from outside. We want someone to love us, so the hole will be filled with love. Connected with the hole are the memories of the situations that brought the hurt and also the memory of what was lost. It is all there, but repressed. Since we do not consciously remember what happened or what we lost, we are left with the sense of emptiness and the false qualities or ideas we are trying to fill the hole with. In time, these holes accumulate. They are filled by various emotions and beliefs, and this material becomes the content of our identity, our personality. We think we are those things. Some people are left with a bit of Essence here and there, but in those whose childhood problems were most severe, everything is repressed, resulting in a subjective sense and look of dullness, almost deadness.

Work on Integrating the Element of Love

Along the way, what many people discover is that the ability of the heart to come forth, penetrate, see, and mature has been arrested by all the hurt and wounding they have experienced in their life. As we work on integrating the element of love, we will have to confront many kinds of wounds and different “deaths.” It is true that there is pain, there is suffering, and there is hurt. But as we will see, they form only some of the veils we need to penetrate. It is said, “There are a thousand veils of darkness, a thousand veils of light.” So, some veils feel bad, some veils feel good. However, one who really loves is not concerned with the pain. The attitude of the lover is that pain is welcomed as part of the love affair. You can't have a love affair and expect there to be no pain or hurt. Experienced lovers welcome the pain as part of the situation. In fact, every time lovers come across some pain, some hurt, some suffering related to love, they welcome it. When you are doing the work, penetrating the veils, getting nearer to your true nature, all kinds of difficulties will arise. Someone who is not a lover will complain all the time, “Oh, it is painful. It is so hard. It hurts. Is it really worth it?” But the lover has a different attitude about it. 

Love Unveiled, pg. 20

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