Its part of being human, being part of the natural cycle of things, that all things change and end. There can be times when we hold onto old ways of being, old habits, old patterns of thought and even old defences that are not really helping us any more. At one time they may have kept us safe or helped us to cope but as we change and grow we begin to see how old patterns can repeat over and over leading us in circles which do now allow any forward growth.
This is not to imply that the trajectory of growth occurs only in a straight line. Often we have to cycle and recycle through and around old experiences, re-experiencing the original imprint or wound in a common way, we may have to do this many times, until we spiral up to a new level of consciousness and see the reality of what we have been living from a more detached perspective and that detachment is only the outcome of a process in which we have found that the cost of retribution or holding on leads us to even further suffering.
There are also times when something we really love and enjoy is taken from us, or we have the choice to voluntarily sacrifice that thing or habit in order to grow. On some level we are being asked to die to old ways of being and it may be a tough call. The losing of that habit or thing will have a cost but it will also have a benefit which we can often not see when we are captured by the pain of loss and it may far outweigh the cost of loosing it in the long run.
We also cannot gain experience of truth until we have worked through the stages that lead to surrender and letting go. We cannot find acceptance of difficult experiences and wounds, until we have suffered the pain of the full impact and worked through all of the emotions. Being told to “just get over it” negates this deep process of suffering that accompanies the working through of betrayal, grief, humiliation or loss. The way out is through and often it may feel like our heart is broken over and over in this journey of processing and letting go of the defences which protect us from the healing pain, that can release us and must be felt in order that we can transform. Identifying where and how we were hurt also gives us skills to ensure we care for and protect ourselves in ways that don’t block us from love.
There are some wounds that will continue to hurt and can never be fully healed. Through suffering these wounds fully we will grow in compassion and conscious awareness of ourselves and others. It may be our soul journey to be a “wounded healer”, a person who, through suffering pain and trauma knows how to be there with others in the midst of their own difficulties.
In mythology and astrology the archetype which corresponds to this kind of soul journey is Chiron. In mythology, Chiron was a centaur who was accidently wounded in the Achilles heel by an arrow containing poison that had been left lying around the den of Hercules. The poison was the legacy of Hercules battle with the nine headed Hydra. If we study the myth of that battle it has very much to do with the demons that face us and can possess us following trauma, loss, betrayal or some other kind of abuse.
In mythology Chiron’s wound never heals but learning to live with it makes Chiron into a wounded healer who is able to administer to the suffering of others. He knows the pain they suffer as he has felt it too and so he can be with them in then midst of suffering without trying to change it, but giving skills to those who suffer which prevent them from suffering more.
In many ways the healing wisdom of Chiron offers the healing antidote to many of the wounds that we suffer which are the outcome of circumstances often far beyond our control to change in the past. The suffering may be acute and we may spend many years in pain but over time on the healing path of Chiron this suffering is transformed in nature. Out of it wisdom is birthed and a sense of depth and compassion, most especially for ourselves but also for those who due to their own unconscious wounds, wound us in ways we wish they never had.