Woundology: Why Let the Bad Things That Happen Define Your Life?
"We are not meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to move through our tragedies and challenges and to help each other move through the many painful episodes of our lives. By remaining stuck in the power of our wounds, we block our own transformation. We overlook the greater gifts inherent in our wounds — the strength to overcome them and the lessons that we are meant to receive through them.” Caroline Myss, Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can
Have you ever met someone for the first time and in a short space of time, they start telling you about personal trauma they’ve suffered, and all the people and situations that have done them wrong?
They lay out their troubles and the blame that others bear for their pain. They wear their wounds like a medal of honor.
Caroline Myss first described woundology in her book “Why People Don’t Heal And How They Can”.
To be clear - we aren’t talking about people who are in current situations of deep trauma or abuse, who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, or who have conditions for which medical or psychological treatment is necessary.
While we all go through painful times, healing and perspective eventually set in, helping us make sense of and make peace with what happened. We grieve, process, and release it. We pick ourselves back up and carry on. This is resilience.
In woundology, a person chooses not to move on. They come to see their suffering as their identity.They may not be sure who they are without that pain. They use the role of victim to get the attention and treatment they want.
We aren’t meant to stay wounded.
It takes a decision to walk on and not let the past define us. Sure, it’s part of the story of our lives, but it’s just the story up until now.
Striving for positive, healthy work and personal relationships doesn’t mean we have to have perfect lives. It also doesn’t mean we forget the past. We learn from the past, place it in perspective, and choose abundance in our future interactions with others.
We learn to notice, understand and manage our thoughts, fears and emotions. We set boundaries for how others treat us and how we treat ourselves.
We change the inner dialogue in our heads that tell us the past will just keep repeating itself. The process may take a while, and it may take professional help or a listening ear of a friend , coach or confidante.
We realize the world is full of people who have been wounded just like us, but who didn’t stay wounded. And we choose to join their ranks.
“One key to moving forward is knowing what to leave behind”. Seth Godin