When I was a child, I was in the vicinity of someone who was burning out a wasp’s nest in the ground. Thats how we did it back then, pour gasoline in there and light a match. Unfortunately, I was a little to close and several of the angry insects chased me down. To this day I have a very real fear of stinging bugs, and an aggression towards them. It’s a “I’m gonna kill them before they can sting me” mentality. Something inside just switches on and I am flushed with adrenaline and on high alert.
This may seem to be a hardly traumatic, life-changing experience to you, but will serve as a simple example of what I want to get at..our invisible wounds.
A couple things to think about: Some of the highest achievers in this life have been deeply wounded, that is what drives them to an unrelenting pursuit of success in this world. They find little joy or peace in their lives, just an obsession to be the best. Conversly, there are also people who cannot gather enough strength to get through a day without assistance from an addiction, who have suffered the same, exact experiences. They are crippled and unable to go beyond obstacles seen as elementary by most observers. In truth, there is no difference between these two people’s experiences, only the way they have chosen to deal with their pain.
When we have been wounded, we see people through our own trauma filter. Painful things that happen to each of us also redefine how we see ourselves, our worth and potential.
How can we break out of a constricted and narrow self-evaluation that says we have to be the best at everything? How can we begin to overcome our consistent failures and gain some positive momentum? I don’t have all the answers but I know where to start.
Let’s be real with each other. Stop hiding behind the edifices of our accomplishments or under the damp and slimy rocks of self-pity.
Stop killing every innocent little stinging creature because of a long ago inflicted wound. Discard the pride that says, “I’m perfect, there’s nothing wrong with me”, though our hearts are filled with pain. Build something good, lasting and strong from what was once cruelly destroyed.
We cannot continue on as we have and hope to discover the peace that eludes us. Authenticity will break down the walls that foster animosity between people, and it will be the seed of life giving understanding and empathy. Compassion for others will begin to overtake self-preservation and genuine joy will replace the dark cloak of pervasive despair.
Try it, I dare you…go beyond the invisible wound’s we all share, and find community, truth, wholeness and peace.
If one falls, the other pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he’s in trouble.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 Living Bible (TLB)