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Is Your Wounding Your Greatest Gift?

I've been thinking about something lately.


What if our greatest wounding was actually a gift that was specifically given to us to lead us to our highest selves and callings?


“There is a crack in every thing that God has made; but through that crevice enters the light of heaven." - Rumi


"We are all broken. That's how the light gets in." - Ernest Hemingway


"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen, Anthem


I keep hearing this message over and over. Our breaks, our wounds, guide us.


For most of the people I know, and definitely for me in the past, my wounds were a source of pain, frustration, and shame. In fact, younger me would have cooked up some exotic swear words in response to the question in the title of this post. My wounds, I would have argued, are what hold me BACK from my gifts. From being normal. From actually enjoying my life/career/body/etc.


I used to be very identified with them, and saw my physical and emotional pain as the source of my unhappiness. They were stopping me from my path in life.


What I've come to realize is that the process of opening my heart, rebuilding my body and making friends with my mind is the path that lead me to my calling and helped me in my journey to awaken.


The pain and hardship I went through built my empathy and understanding. They built my work ethic. My integrity. My awareness of my capability. They were the catalysts of my deaths and rebirths. If I had not faced these things, I would have been perfectly happy to coast through life, comfortable and numbed to so many parts of my self and my world.


When we go through deep pain, it's important to feel it, and it's more than ok to need to retreat and seek safety. But then what?


We can choose to let our wounds break us open, to shake up our old stories and beliefs. To seek to become and offer more.


One of my big wounds was from a series of toxic relationships, especially one that was physically abusive. For a good while, I resented and feared men, I felt powerless, and I became deeply anxious and codependent.


Another was struggling with chronic illness and extreme physical pain.


And another was PTSD from some violent, traumatic experiences that I survived.


I tried to function by numbing myself out with substances, playing small, and living in the same tiny cycle of experiences. But I was never truly comfortable -- I just maintained a steady level of pain, fear, illness, and anxiety that colored all my experiences.


After a while, it became familiar, like background noise that you stop consciously noticing, even though it's constantly going. Even though I hit a certain level of functionality, nothing ever got really good in a sustainable way. I had moments of excitement or improvement, but they just about always faded out.


But everything changed when I used those wounds as my starting place for inner work.

 

Exploring myself and healing that led to so much more than the absence of pain.

 

As I healed, I gained deeper insights into the things I had broken around. I learned to become honest with myself and others in a way I hadn't imagined. I began to learn and develop new tools for relationships, healing, and spiritual connection.


The things that brought me pain became places of wisdom and insight. They became places where I developed depth and strength.


Chronic illness turned into special awareness of the human body and energy in healing arts. PTSD turned into deep empathy and courage. Physical pain turned into patience, and the ability to consciously move through discomfort for strength-building and weight loss. My painful experiences in relationships turned into stepping stones to new heights of self-love, and developing an entirely new system for dating from a place of self-love and authenticity, which led to meeting my incredible husband...and then, coaching other people on how to use my system to date and love in new, empowering ways.


Choosing to heal the pain I went through broke me open to my purpose and gifts.


I'm not saying to bypass the feelings that come with pain you experience and just trying to "positive vibes only" your way through it. That just stuffs it deeper into your body, beliefs, and inner programming. The hard parts suck. They're terrifying and painful and sometimes you don't know if you'll even make it out to the other side.


Working through them -- and even finding yourself letting go and forgiving yourself and others -- doesn't minimize what you went through, or mean that what happened was ok, or not a big deal.


It means that you love yourself enough to choose not to stay frozen there. You already went through hell. You don't need to keep being punished and breathing in that poison. You deserve to take the next step, come out into the sunlight, and see what treasures you've pulled out from the dark.


Your road to healing may reveal deeper values, gifts, and strength in a way that nothing else could. Your pain can become a powerful doorway to a better, more meaningful life.


A life where you can use your hard-earned depth to be a source of healing and wisdom to others. Your very presence, your reclaimed joy and freedom, become a source of inspiration to others who are going through their own hardships. Just by being who you are, after your rebirth. You never know when a moment of understanding you share with a loved one -- or a complete stranger -- can change the course of their lives.


What are some hard times you survived? What are some ways you became deeper from getting through them?


Go shine your light, dear one. The world needs you.






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