Gratitude Challenge #7

I did mention that hiccups arise when you initially start the gratitude challenge, right? These hiccups are actually healings. The muck rises to the surface and gets in your way until you discover the lesson (and the gift) and of course, eventually, take action to get your life back on track. It sounds easy but let’s face it, if it was easy we wouldn’t struggle with it quite as much as we do. Emotional wounds are hard to deal with because for the most part they are unseen. Pinpointing the root of our emotional wound is also troublesome. Why? Because, once we suffer the wound we are hardwired to protect our self and by doing so we inadvertently cause sub-wounds which can leave us spinning our wheels trying to protect our self from the new wound. It is much easier to just deal with the initial wound immediately but somehow that never happens.

This results in years of peeling back the layers to get to the core (initial) hurt that caused the problem in the first place.  As we peel back those layers life does get better and then out of nowhere, life gets complicated again and it is time to peel back another layer. Time is a funny thing, man has tried to make it linear, however, anyone that deals with healing trauma can and will tell you that time is cyclical. I digress. For those of you that have been following along, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in 2005 and it has been a long and arduously rewarding journey. There have been ups and downs and I had honestly started to feel as though Life was a wonderful thing and then little things started to go amiss and I should have dealt with them immediately but when life is good it is easy to shrug off those little annoyances. 

Those little annoyances are the Universe letting you know that you are about to embark on another healing journey. Pay attention so they don’t blindside you. Now, before we go any further, I would like to state that I love my parents, after years of therapy I do understand that they were repeating a cycle of abuse and I am choosing to believe that it wasn’t intentional. This does not mean I am in denial but simply that I understand that I too have lashed out in the same manner when at a point in life where I felt helpless and hopeless. I therefore, do not harbor any anger or hard feelings towards them (they do however still frustrate the crap out of me on occasion). I have also moved to the phase of personal rectification. My job is not to correct my parents but to correct myself. 

I share instances about my childhood, not to make my parents look bad or for pity but as a tool. This tool is more for my benefit, than yours, because it is my emotional trauma that I am trying to seek out and heal. If I can attain awareness of just what that hurt is then I can rectify the course of my misguided life. If my journey also helps someone else than that is icing on the cake my friends. 

Earlier in the post I had mentioned gifts, gifts come with lessons, they work in tandem. Those childhood instances I share are actually the gift of reminiscence. It is a recalling of the emotion that I attached to a particular event and by revisiting it I can take a new look at a painful point in my life with new coping skills allowing me to investigate the hurt and hopefully heal it or at least uncover another layer of denial and misguided beliefs that need work. 

In 2005 when I ended up in a mental hospital I had reached a breaking point. It was the climax to my ‘dark night of the soul” adventure. The wound I was dealing with had become legion and I was being crushed by the weight. It is known as the Seventh Emotional Wound, it is that point where after burying and denying the initial wound (in order to protect Self) you actually accrue more wounds, so many in fact that you become overwhelmed and fracture. Now, in 2018, I can see my core wound (which happens to be humiliation) but just because I am aware of it doesn’t mean I can fix it just yet. There is one other wound standing in it’s way (actually two) Those wounds are Betrayal and the Sixth Wound. The betrayal wound is that first attempt to protect myself from the pain of the humiliation wound.

I systematically started to betray myself in a myriad of ways and I am still doing it to this day. All those ways I betrayed myself in order to not repeat or relive the pain of humiliation resulted in a big old tangled mess of self-sabotage, suppression, doubt, perfectionism, detachment, stifled and stagnate creativity, disharmony, etc., that became the larger Sixth Wound. Guess what the gift of the Sixth Wound is? It is the gift of Gratitude. 

Today, I am truly grateful for the chance to become aware of my wounds, the chance to heal them and the chance to receive the gifts that lie hidden waiting to be discovered, cherished and shared.

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