I love the ancient myth of the Centaur, Chiron. Chiron gets wounded one day by a poison arrow left lying around while visiting in the cave of Hercules which contains the blood shed by the Nine Headed Hydra in the midst of the fight to cut off his heads. From this piercing Chiron carries an unhealable wound in his achilles heel which I guess is a kind of metaphor for where we all get wounded by what Shakespeare called ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” As a result Chiron becomes well versed in the nature of wounds as well as the pain and poisons they leave inside as well as the practices needed to lovingly tend the wound. All kinds of beings come to him for advice and so he becomes known as the Wounded Healer. We all have Chiron in our astrology charts and psyche some where but some of us suffer deeper challenges of this kind.
The myth of Chiron is a profound metaphor for any of us who suffer from deep psychic injuries, these may actually be wounds we carried for our parents, due to natural sensitivity or we may be carrying ancestral wounds too that never got dealt with, were buried or got passed down. There are also collective wounds we suffer from especially those to the inner child like part of us that Christ spoke about in some of his teachings where he said the words, “unless you become like a little child you will not enter the kingdom of heaven”. To me, when I got into recovery and started to read the work of John Bradshaw on the wounded child and the wonder or soul child, this all made sense to me. It also resonated when I learned of Carl Jung’s story and his discovery of the buried creative, solar, child like part of himself after his break with Freud, prior to the outbreak of the First World War. Jung has his Sun in Leo which is said to rule the inner child in some astrological systems or the solar like self deep inside of us which has a deep spiritual connection.
Sadly our super serious heroic egoic society often has us shutting down this part of us and we forget how much young children suffered in days of old when they were not treated in a way to nurture their inner sense of self or natural joie de vivre, (not in all cases) but I am thinking here particularly of the war torn generation born 1900 to 1930 who lived through the impact of two world wars as well as the depression. It also calls to mind the fact of the strict Protestant Work Ethic and our binding to the wheel of industrialisation from the late 19th century onwards, an age of Iron and technology that is currently leading to such burning up on our planet. Leo is a fire sign and Pluto passed through it as Hitler undertook his dark campaign of mass genocide. Add to this the over running of more ‘primitive’ childlike spiritually attuned cultures and you get a picture into the level of wounding so many of us are carrying or witnessing play out right now all around the globe, cut off from nurturing roots in the deep dark feminine.
Wounds we carry to our sense of self can run deep for many of us. We may have struggled to learn healthy narcissism (something also ruled by the Sun and Leo). I am always amazed to see those who prove their own narcissism calling out others as narcissists, as my therapist often says to me all of us are on the spectrum of narcissism somewhere. At the healthy end we have a good sense of ourselves as worthy though not ‘special’ rather just human beings with inherent strengths and weaknesses like everyone one else. On the negative end we hide that humanity and our flaws out of a fear of vulnerability.
Some of us may have been overpowered by abuse from a parent or parents on either physical or psychic levels and that leaves what is known as a ‘narcissistic injury’ that may flare up when its touched or set off. The anger expressed will often veer over into rage and what lies hidden is the buried grief or sense of vulnerability and powerlessness underlying the wound. The person claims strength and strong defences but is not as willing to admit to vulnerabilities that may have left them in danger when young.
It was something I began to think about a lot today after a chat with my nephew who is being demonised for expressing anger and upset with a very painful situation while being shown next to no empathy. That said the caring for our own wound lies in knowing well our triggers or narcissistic hot spots, those places where we didn’t get valued, validated or affirmed for being who we are, or where we carry deep abandonment or attachment scars.
The last thing we need to do is get stuck in our ‘woundology’ or what Eckhardt Tolle calls ‘the pain body’ the best we can hope for is to know when its being triggered and why, asking for a time out or choosing to skip involvement with those who would shame dump or make us scapegoats. I relate to being scapegoated as does my nephew..its bound to happen to the softest amongst us at times when we flare up in ways more toned down souls see as ‘over the top’, addicts are particularly vulnerable in this way as long as our deeper pain is being hidden with numbing agents. Things burst out of the unconscious when substances lower our defences and then all hell can break loose, then its not too long before we are wearing the mantle of ‘wounded’ or defective one.
Getting a handle on our triggers takes time. Learning not to shame ourselves for developmental arrests or deficits, realising its all grist for the mill of maturing and deepening requires of us we hold and contain and get to know our pain intimately and find coping skills as well as survival and thriving strategies. It also involves learning much about self love, self soothing and healthy psychic boundaries.
If you have wounds or psychic injuries and sensitivities then its better just to own up. Its also good to know that as the Buddha said despite our wounds and the personas we adopt to cover them over there always remains a part of us that is healthy deep down inside, an authentic part known as our True Self. I believe we also have an eternal or wise mind self or an inner loving parent that can develop when we get more attachment support from outer figures such as therapists or recovery buddies who are undergoing their own healing.
And in time as Chiron showed our wounds become a source of so much more than just pain, when we have the courage to stay with them and be in the dark pit the majority of our society would rather we avoid we actually grow and nurture seeds of wisdom, love, compassion and understanding. The fire of our justified anger bursts open their casings as our tears water them to eventually bring about new seeds of life and we find the healing gift then. We may even act as a wounded healer for others, a source of support for those still fighting their way to break free of the dark personal and collective power of the pain body or woundology. What an amazing gift? What better use of the wound? ; love, tolerance, wisdom and deep empathy as well as a slowing down and deepening that might just fill so much of the inner emptiness which drives us in a materalistic culture cut off from feeling roots in the positive feminine.
Bind up your sorrow
Sometimes wounds seep
From a hidden place
And then a storm errupts
Filling your cup with suffering
Overflowing the place
And people see only the demon
In that space
Not the broken heart
Bind up these wounds as you go
Remember to be loving
And take it slow
With all that hurts in you
And let go of the things they say
Or the pain you receive
When they look at you with contempt
Or walk away
Leaving you crying
Just remember they will probably
Never have a clue
Of what you lived through
Who are they to judge?
Be tender to that hurt
And learn the lesson
Offering the hope of redemption
Sometimes you think you need a miracle,
when all you need is to walk through your fear.
I thought after reading this of how vocalising my fears often ends in tears.. for someone and yes it could make the opening lines of a poem. Sayings resonate through my head as I type this. “Perfect love casts out fear,” and “who amongst us is perfect?” MOST CERTAINLY NOT ME. 🙂
Maybe we all secretly hope for love while holding onto fears, fear comes when we are threatened there is something we want that we may not be able to have or find difficult to attain and yet if we try and then fail, can’t we just move on? Do we really have to hold out the big stick over our own or someone else’s head when things don’t manifest as we wish or when our own fears are triggered.
I making my way through a book written by Paul Ferrini I read many times called Miracle of Love : Reflections of the Christ Mind Volume III. In it he addresses the issue of abusive love and victimisation which we often open ourselves up for when we do not fully love ourselves yet. The truth is if we love ourselves enough we walk away from constant shaming, criticism, abuse or ill treatment. We recognise when a fearful person is shifting the blame or projecting that fear, we drop the need to ‘attack’ and give love to them and ourselves, which does not mean staying around to cop dysfunctional treatment.
We also learn what it is to be loving when we seek for love outside of ourselves and fail. This throws us back upon the wounds or emptiness within our own hearts that we need to address so we can find the way to the true Self in us which thrives upon an inner foundation of love. We learn to drop the roles we had to take on to seek or win love and we learn what brings us pain and what brings us joy. We no longer betray ourselves for empty outer values when we find the way home to the Self and drop all the wrong ideas we acquired that led to the development of the false persona.
Here are some paragraphs from the chapter titled Staying Connnected to Love in Paul Ferrini’s book.
The true Self knows that you are inherently good, acceptable, capable of giving and receiving love. It knows that anything is possible if you believe deeply enough in yourself… it is not bound by limitations, judgements and the interpretations that the persona lives with. The world of the Self is bright and self fulfilling. The world of the persona is dark and light is sought from others.
Self lives and loves unconditionally. Persona lives and expresses conditionally. Self is motivated by love and says “I can.” Persona lives in fear and says “I can’t.” Persona complains, apologises and makes excuses, Self accepts, integrates and gives its gift.
You are a Self, but believe yourself to be a persona. As long as you operate in the persona you will have experiences that confirm your beliefs about yourself and others. When you realise that all personae are just masks you and others have agreed to wear you will learn to see behind the masks. When that happens you will glimpse the radiance of the Self within and without. You will see a bright being, eminently worthy and capable of love, dynamically creative, generous and self fulfilling. That is your inmost nature. When you accept who you really are, your arguments with others cease. For you no longer do battle with their personae. You see the light behind the mask. Your light and their light are all that matter.
When you contact the truth about you, you recognise that a great deal you have come to accept about yourself is false. You are not better or worse than others. You are not stupid, or brilliant, or handsome, or ugly. Those are just judgements someone made that you accepted. None of them is true.
The purpose of your journey here is to know the Self and leave the persona behind. You are here to learn that the source of love lies within your own consciousness. You do not have to seek for love outside yourself. Indeed, the very act of seeking it in the world will stop you from recognising it within yourself. And if you cannot find it within, you will never find it in others.
You cannot see the light in others until you see it in yourself, Once you see it in yourself, there is no one in whom you do not see the light. It does not matter if they see it or not. You know it’s there. And it is the light you address when you speak to them.
A wild river flows here
Underneath my skin
At times it is so close to the surface
The pain of everything
I feel the noise resounding in my ears
As the force of love draws near
With the sense of you
Awakening my heart
To desire, longing, hope and fear
And then the raging of it all
Becomes so much
And I am left coughing up blood
Chocking on my life
Drowning in the dust
Of broken dreams
As the river of our love disappears
Tell me my love
You are stronger than this
For now just draw as close as you can
To the wild ocean
That is the river’s source
For as I return to the state of fear
I know it makes you heart ache
But if you can just wait
In time the river will die down
As a frown or tear stained face
Becomes a smile again
If you will just hold on
And with your faith
Help me ride the tide
Of the wild river
Some of us are more conditioned to see the damaged parts ourselves, rather than the whole, beautiful, intact parts and I have read that this is a key symptoms of growing up in low nurturance homes that where high in shame and criticism and of a co-dependent person. For myself Mum was always trying to ‘correct’ something about me, be it the way I spoke, the way I sat, the way my teeth were. I look at my teeth now and see they weren’t that bad but never the less I lost the front one in the accident a few months after the braces came off. I now wear a denture and have ongoing problems with head alignment and digestion due to the trauma of the two accidents.
I realise that often I don’t see my own beauty. I only see the flaws, I only see the impossibilities, I can look for why love cannot live in my life even if the promise of love is close, a thousand doubts and fears cloud my vision of love and then make things harder for me. I remember having a powerful dream about this not long after my ex partner and I got together, in the dream toxic dream women told me he was only using me and when he found out about the dream a few years later my ex hit the roof in his usual fashion and walked out on me.
I feed my own doubts and fears often. I see the things standing the way and forget to empower myself over the obstacles giving myself the encouragement to face the hard parts and front up to the challenges and inspire myself with love and confidence. I am thankful to see this today as fear manifested yesterday and it hurt someone’s heart and only I can own the power my own fears and self doubt and criticism play in making my life harder.
If all is reflection then fear and doubt just act in a corrosive way towards love but I have heard that adult children and grandchildren of alcoholics or trauma with a high level of anxious attachment actually need stable secure partners who mirror back love and not more doubt or react in anger to the person’s wounded self. That said until we truly deeply love ourselves and feel worthy of love it will not be possible to express that love and draw that love towards us, instead we just end up attracting more of the same issues in relationships and seeing our worst fears manifest over and over again.
When darkness calls
Reminding me of how
What I longed for was absent
It seems as though this night
Will last forever
And I forget how the sun feels
As it kisses my sun
On those early summer mornings
And as the merry go round
Taking me on a trip
That leads me nowhere new
Only to the dead end places
Then the memory
Of how sweetness tastes
And I forget that nothing bitter
For out there somewhere
Is a bright day
Just waiting for me
To open the door
And embrace the sun
Post traumatic stress disorder is a killer some days. I know how much more alive I am now than I was even a year ago, I know the new bonds I have formed which have made me feel and face the deepest attachment wounds inside my heart. I know my inner terrain most intimately now. And I am learning not to shame and blame myself but I do see that lately I project my own rejection fears onto others and that is my wound, not their stuff at times and it demands of them a level of emotional insight into the way things can be turned around as they were turned around on me in the course of growing up.
My nephew tried to express some deep distress over something involving his ex partner a few days ago and he accused her of being a ‘coward’, immediately I heard my mother’s voice come out of my mouth “aww don’t be so hard on her”, but as I shared in therapy yesterday he was just expressing his hurt feelings and needed validation, I guess.
I know how I struggle with my own vulnerable feelings at times. I am learning to try to give to myself the love I lacked but some days still get lonely when misunderstandings come about between me and a loved one. It happened today and it hurt so much as I was expressing fears I may never get out of this house to go overseas to meet my new loved one and he got upset and accused me of wanting to end the relationship or not being serious about it. I cried so much as his comment went round and round in my head as Jasper and I headed out for a walk on an unrelentingly hot day here. Its already 30 degrees but we made it to the oval and then home and I am doing all the reading I can from Paul Ferrini and the Course in Miracles to make my way through this.
I am scared I am going to be abandoned again, due to this misunderstanding. I see ways in the past I did not always validate my past partner’s feelings giving rationalisations instead. It was done to me and so I do it to myself internally and to others at times. Over time I am learning what it is to validate emotions while not dumping or acting them out on others. Fear of rejection can lead us to say and do some painful things and may actually end up destroying relationships if the other person doesn’t have good emotional intelligence or if the said thing triggers one of their own wounds.
I feel calm right now. I got very scared and felt sick while the whole exchange was going on earlier before breakfast. But I did my inner work on it. The fear is I will always be ‘stuck’ here alone and see relationships decimated due to the past ancestral curse and the synchronicity of it being close to the date my ancestors embarked for New Zealand from Cornwall in 1894 is not lost on me. I am thinking of going away but its a lot to do leaving my house and Jasper. I wish my friend had offered to come here and today he said I never asked him, but the truth is I just offered to go and meet him out of the genuine desire to do so but when I thought of all the logistics I started to hit a brick wall which is not in surmountable. I sometimes have ideas in my head of which the transaction will take a lot of organising. Its not impossible to do but sometimes I hit all of my fears and then when I voice them others get angry instead of just saying..” oh I see that’s a fear for you, how can I help you with it” and so I end up feeling attacked and hurt. As I see it all fear is a cry for love not a further reason for us to attack or be attacked but it takes an elevated consciousness to see this which is why I love the work of Paul Ferrini I am going to post about later.
I am noticing lately the level of fear I have lived with on all levels. I see where the blockages I put up due to negative thoughts kill things, I was told this is what I was doing today and maybe Chahir is right. I am a lot older than he is and that too is a fear for me, it may not make as much difference now as it does in 20 or so years but he is offended that I think its an issue. I end up feeling bad and wrong again for this, but is that fair on me? God knows I am not perfect and have a lot of fears but at least I doing my very best to understand and own and work through them. Sometimes I curse my Mars Saturn Moon. I pray I break through all of the fears and defences in time.
You accuse me of being untrue
I wish you knew
The heavy burdens on my heart
And how I fight every day
To be free of the weight
Of my past
At times I feel the uprush of new life
The promise of spring
So long ago taken from me
Coursing through my soul
Making new life seem possible
With the coming and promise of you
And then it seems
A heavy weight
As voices of fear
Tell me why
A love like this is impossible
And when I open my doubt
And struggle to you
You say I have ruined you
And I fall again
Into that abyss
Where nothing makes sense
As I feel the ghosts around me
It was too much to hope again
And so if I take my leave
If I cannot breathe
Will you take the steps to understand
Or will your fear and protections
Leaving me holding once again
All of the fear, blame and shame?
Soothe my soul
Carry me away
On your waves of melody
Reeling your vibration
Into the depths of me
Wafting all my worries away
With thoughts of nothing
Quietly drifting on the breeze
As I see the smoke of distant fires burning
Don’t let the fear I feel deep inside my heart
Take my peace away
For if life is a river
And we have blocked its flow
Where will the cleansing come from
That is why I need most
The sweet relief
These waves of celestial peace
Gently washing over me
Reminding me of the truth
That despite all of this human madness
The deepest part of our soul
Is eternally free