What to Do If You Have Unhealed Wounds.
Wounds are created anytime we have an experience that is high enough in physical/emotional sensation that we instinctively determine is unsafe to experience.
The sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive, and the amygdala lets us know that we have entered into the danger zone.
We go into fight-flight-or-freeze mode, and sometimes, disassociate.
There are actual physical associations with each of these trauma responses in the body, and because the human body isn’t the same as an animal’s body which can expel these experiences once safety is found again, for us, these wounds get stored there, waiting to eventually be addressed or re-activated by us instinctively on our path toward healing.
This is the case in all kinds of explicit trauma, whether it’s tangible like sexual assault or physical abuse, or intangible like emotional abuse or neglect.
But did you know there is also implicit trauma, aka conditioned wounding?
For instance, growing up in a really easy home where parents never fought and everyone just got along and there were never any issues.
Or being a part of a community that is societally repressed where certain dysfunctional ways of being are completely normalized and certain expressions of self prevented entirely.
In cases like these, one of the most common wounds that comes to the surface is a very low capacity to feel anything.
While there may not have been explicit trauma, the core issue is the same when we get near the edge of our capacity to feel: an instinctive response to certain physical/emotional sensations that we have determined unsafe.
These responses exist for everybody. But healing is actually really simple and rarely easy.
The way to heal is to learn to feel.
It’s not to understand what did or didn’t happen to you in your childhood.
It’s not to consciously decide to forgive your parents for their bad parenting, though you could also do that.
It’s not to avoid all environments that activate your wounds and convince yourself that you’re healed.
It’s to learn to feel in your body in the places where you once determined it was unsafe to. Full integration of this healing occurs when you gain emotional and physical literacy in these places. Period.
There is something magical that happens when this occurs.
Compassion follows. For yourself first, and then for others.
Understanding follows. Note: understanding does not come before healing, ever.
Embodied permission follows, which means others who need to heal the same thing will find your presence healing (of their unhealed wounds) for them.
There is a necessary time and place for separation and explicit boundaries on this journey, so that you can create the safe inner space necessary to feel the things related to explicit or implicit trauma.
But the proof is in the pudding: when you have actually increased your capacity to feel, the activation of these wounds disappears no matter where or with whom you are.
And you become grace.
PS: there will never not be something to heal for anyone ever in the history of humanity so long as we’re all alive, so you might as well get started and also spare yourself those pesky expectations and acknowledge in advance that this journey is never-ending.
Antesa Jensen is an emotional intelligence and human-centric innovation expert who has dedicated herself to coaching her clients on how to evoke the genius in themselves and in others through 1:1 coaching, workshops, and transformational expeditions through her company, Adventure Awake. Read more about her and her services on her website or follow her on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.