Table of Contents
Psyche wounds aren't referring to the actual event or incident itself, it implies the emotional residue of traumatic situations (either real or perceived) that was and/or still is experienced by the person and which have a toxic impact on his/her prevailing believe system. Psyche wounds as a result of traumatic experiences might range from serious dramatic events (e.g. abuse, betrayal, neglect, …etc.) to the less obvious, but stubborn and persisting everyday frustrations and irritations (e.g. the Little Jackal Trap).
Psyche wounds can surface in our lives inexplicably and in many different ways. Feelings of sorrow is a variant of psyche wounds, not having peace is another variation. Feelings of loss, disappointment, anger, misery, frustrations, unhappiness, resentment …etc., all - to a greater or lesser extent - are manifestations of Psyche Wounds. Did you get angry this week because things didn’t turn out as you expected? Did you get frustrated because of a traffic jam, when you were returning home? Are you still in pain because someone left you? All these toxic emotions and feelings are doing nothing much… other than overwhelming us and repetitively manifest as in our lives.
Can you imagine how your life would be if you get rid of all of them? But even though these thoughts and sensations overwhelm and make life miserable for us on a daily basis, we never stop to which are the psyche wounds that darkens our soul, mind and beingness to shed light on them and work to make them vanish. Why is it that we never give ourselves a chance to do that? Why do we rather opt for the escape route of depression? Why are we unable to lit the lamp-of-understanding that will banish all darkness from our souls?
Maybe this happens because of our insecurities, uncertainties and fears. But mainly psyche wounds, in synchronicity with our stress barometer, prevail in our lives because we don't take the required time-out to truly understand the origin, impact and influence of our own specific personal psyche wounds.
1. The Peculiarity of Psyche Wounds
The peculiarity of psyche wounds is that in most cases, psyche wounds isn't the result of, or can be linked to something really “bad happening”. Most of the time - statistically speaking - psyche wounds are caused by everyday frustrations, stresses, worries, feelings of helplessness, fears and all kinds of ongoing toxic feedback from the day-to-day environments in which we operate and function, ranging from personal encounters up to constant “positive” media bombardments.
The question at this point in time is… Why is this the case?
Because - logically speaking - the higher the incident is listed on the stress barometer, the more difficult it is to efficiently deal with the incident, and it stands to reason, that the incident would leave more severe emotional traces and scars behind than is more than likely to result in a derailing psyche wound. But in reality, the opposite tends to be true, the lower the incident is listed on the stress barometer, and by implication, the “easier” it is to deal with the incident, the more severe the emotional traces, scars and subsequent psyche wound in the end.
Human behaviour is never easily explained, nor is there “clear-cut” or simple answers to any of these kinds of behavioural questions. Although there isn't a clear and “scientific-verified” answer to the 'psyche wound peculiarity question', the following hypothesis - to a greater or lesser extent - can shed some light on the phenomenon.
To maintain our sanity and to survive daily, we develop so-called stress priorities, with a “cut-out” level, which we use as a reference to guide us whether to take action or not. For example… when the stress value is greater than e.g. 30, and depending on our interpretation and context, we could decide that it warrants our immediate intention and we may choose to take action to resolve the issue… NOW! And also, by implication, the accompanied emotional impact of the incident - and when doing so - confine the development of a possible derailing psychic wound.
However, when an incident “measure” 30 or less on our stress barometer, we might classify it as “not important enough” to deal with now, and continue to ignore/suppress it in the vague hope that it will miraculously dissolve and “go-away” as time passes. The case with the majority of little jackals that we are confronted with daily.
Therefore, the higher the perceived stress value on our stress barometer, the more likely we are to take deliberate actions to “sort things out” as soon as possible. On the other hand though, the lower the perceived stress value, the less likely we are to address the incident. There is a ki-zillion different reasons and possible explanations for this kind of human behaviour, but- it seems - mostly is at the root of many reasons used to justify this kind of behaviour. The major challenge - when assisting people to heal psyche wounds - is not so much to identify the wound, but to determine the priority that the individual attached to the wound. The higher the priority, the more difficult it might be for the individual to “let go of” the psyche wound.
It is relatively safe to assume that all humans prioritize stressful experiences and decide on appropriate actions depending on the real or perceived stress values (i.e. all people are the same). How do we prioritize…? That is a whole different story, because prioritizing differs considerably from person to person, and even from one situation to the next (i.e. no two people are alike).
2. Understanding Psyche Wounds
To successfully deal with and heal our psyche wounds, we must first of all hack our own life's by…
2.1 Understanding the dynamics of our wounds
We tend to think of a psyche wound as the original emotional negative experience, like the “THING” that happened to us. Not true. The psyche wound is the dis-empowering belief that we have developed and maintained as a result of the original emotional experience.
In our quest for emotional equilibrium, our natural reaction to any negative emotionally charged event (i.e. anything that we experience as traumatic) is to make sense of it. We “make sense” of things by creating beliefs. Beliefs that we develop in reaction to emotional negative experiences (i.e. often out of context) are 'Toxic Beliefs' and toxic beliefs are tremendously dis-empowering and painful, and it is these beliefs that evolves into our psyche wounds, that eventually control and dominate our life.
The reason many people fail to heal is because they try to heal the original emotional negative experience and not the 'Toxic Belief'. When we realize and understand that psyche wounds are the 'Toxic Beliefs' that we hold about ourselves and/or the world around us, then we could gain and have the power to heal ourselves and free ourselves to manage, rather than being managed, by our psyche wounds.
When a child experiences him-/herself as rejected and abandoned - for example - that child forms certain beliefs around abandonment to “explain” why s/he was rejected and abandoned. The child may answer the question… “Why?” by creating a belief that s/he was not good enough. Therefore, the abandonment is not the wound. The wound is the belief in his/her unworthiness, as a result of the abandonment. In this particular case, healing implies the release and “let-go” of the 'Toxic Belief' of unworthiness.
2.2 Realizing that 'Toxic Beliefs' promote emotional wants
Toxic beliefs always establish corresponding emotional needs, which must be met for the psyche wound to heal. However, the catch is, that a toxic belief also creates an invisible barrier that keeps the emotional need from being met. For example… when the toxic belief is “I am not worthy”, it often translates as an emotional want “of feeling worthy”. When we could experience/feel/accept unconditional worthiness, the psyche wound would heal. However, the problem is, when we believe (i.e. being convinced) that we are not worthy, we will unconsciously block all feelings of worthiness, because it does not align with our present beliefs about self-worth. This is why healing psyche wounds are extremely challenging. We tend to seek our need fulfilment outside ourselves and therefore try to measure up to some externals driven concept that would indicate 'being worthy', external indicators such…
- as beautiful as…,
- as thin as…,
- as rich as…,
- as popular as..,
- as famous as…,
Most of the time, something that is totally unrealistic, out of context and light years removed from our authentic and true self.
2.3 'Toxic Beliefs' are both self-fulfilling and self-sabotaging
When we have been wounded, we feel justified in holding onto the wound's toxic beliefs. A part of us is convinced that these beliefs will prevent us from getting hurt again, and the thought of releasing them, makes us feel extremely vulnerable… because, without these beliefs, what/who will protect us? But, toxic beliefs do not protect us. In fact, these beliefs are self-sabotaging by being self-fulfilling, because these beliefs cause, attract and help us to manifest more of what we do not want.
All beliefs affect the quantum energy field that creates our reality, but toxic beliefs have an even stronger influence on reality because they are fueled by intense emotional energy. Therefore, when we believe that we are powerless, we attract situations to us that support that belief and manifest a reality in which we are powerless.
2.4 Taking full responsibility for what we can control
An essential condition for real psychological healing is to take complete responsibility for our own life's and our psyche wounds. As long as we continue to blame the outside world for causing our pain, we effectively surrender our power to heal ourselves to outside “forces”. “Forces” that we cannot control… and because we cannot control it, it's highly unlikely that we will be able to heal… suppress symptoms by medicating, maybe… but truly heal ourselves… NO!
Taking responsibility is not about letting others off the hook who have harmed us. This is about empowering ourselves to be whole (i.e. body, mind and soul/spirit unity) once again. If we cannot find a way to take responsibility for our life experiences, then begin - at least - by taking responsibility for our personal beliefs. Regardless of what transpired in the outside world, we are the only one's who thinks our thoughts and therefore we are responsible for creating and believing any toxic belief. This means that we also have the power to release or let go of these beliefs, and - therefore - we have the power, the control and we can heal ourselves.
2.5 Why are toxic beliefs so painful?
Toxic beliefs effectively disconnect us from who we are, because our authentic self could never truly believe that we are powerless or unworthy. When we accept these disempowering beliefs, we experience separation from our authentic selves, and this disconnection is the primary cause of our frustrations, pain and suffering. This personal pain - frequently diagnosed as some type/kind/form of depression - is our inner guidance system alerting us to the disconnection so that we can be aware of psyche wounds, and heal the wound by releasing incongruent beliefs.
2.6 The higher purpose of "Traumatic" experiences
The higher purpose of negative emotional experiences (i.e. traumatic experiences) is to direct our attention to the hidden or underlying beliefs that already exist in our psyche. The “traumatic” experience activates the hidden belief so that we become aware of it, to address and heal the psyche wound.
The Key… We cannot heal something that we aren't aware of. The pain directs our attention to the belief that needs to be changed for us to heal our emotional wounds. Thus, depression is the psyche pain that points us toward a toxic belief regarding ourselves and/or circumstances. Unfortunately, a common mistake that we frequently make is that we have an inclination and tendency to suppress psyche pain with some kind and form of medication, varying from alcohol to drugs …especially legal drugs, because it is collectively acceptable to deal with depression as a “physical” illness. Because - generally - we don't regard “traumatic” experiences as an opportunity for self-actualization and growth.
3. Toxic Beliefs of Psyche Wounds
Any psyche wound - to a lesser or greater extent - has at its very core, any one or a combination of the following toxic beliefs…
When we are confronted with emotional negative experiences (i.e. a trauma), it often results in a toxic belief that we are a victim of our circumstances, which causes us to become anxious about life and live in fear. Healing only occurs when we realize and truly believe - at our deepest awareness level - that we are responsible for our own life's, and that our lives are a reflection of all the beliefs that we are presently holding.
The key to healing the psyche wound of victimhood is waking up to who we are and remembering (i.e. start believing) that we are the scriptwriter and creator of our own life's. Maybe we don’t - yet - understand how we created something, and we would certainly not - consciously that is - create a traumatic event that would make us feel victimized. Nonetheless, we unconsciously create from hidden subconscious beliefs… and events in our lives provide us with numerous clues to these underlying beliefs.
Once we become aware of these disempowering beliefs, we have the opportunity to consciously heal them, by over-turning them, declaring their falsehood and turning our attention towards a higher truth. In this case, the higher truth is, 'I am the creator of my own life'. Authentic power comes from learning to be a conscious creator, but this can only happen when we flush out unconscious beliefs and we align ourselves with the truth of who we are.
Even before we experience any traumatic events (i.e. an emotionally negative experience), most of us are already educated and indoctrinated to believe that the outside world has power over us. So, when a traumatic experience does unfold, the idea of being powerless is already present and securely entrenched in our belief system, therefore, powerlessness seems an appropriate way to make sense of any negative experience.
Healing ourselves from the toxic belief of powerlessness is embracing our intrinsic influencing power. Not the power that comes from brutality, control or force, but rather the power that originates in the core of our being and compassionately connects us to the whole of all Creation. Healing the toxic belief of powerlessness is a self-determination & self-empowerment quest from… a 'I feel powerless' to a 'I am powerful'-attitude.
Of all the core toxic beliefs, worthlessness runs the deepest and is the most destructive to our psyche. We are indoctrinated and programmed to believe that we are unworthy from the time we were born. So when we experience trauma, and we search internally for a belief that will make sense of the experience, unworthiness quickly answers the question, “Why did this happen to me?” with anything ranging from “I am a sinner” to “I am not worthy of being loved”.
Of course, unworthiness is a false belief and therefore it must be exposed as such, to be released. When it is dormant, there is no need to pay attention, but once it causes pain, we must do something about it. The 'emotional-pain' will not go away until the false belief of unworthiness is released and we stop seeking proof and recognition of our worth in the outside world. The world cannot give or take away our self-worth, because our worth is intrinsic and guaranteed. Authentic healing is attained when we re-discover and claim our unconditional worth.
Often, when we have a psyche wound, we are inclined to believe that someone has taken something from us. No matter how hard we try, it appears impossible to retrieve what has been “stolen”. This search keeps the wound acute - the belief that we have lost something and it must be retrieved - and effectively locks us into a vicious cycle of recurring hurt.
Loss does not necessarily create a psyche wound. We all experience loss… loss of an ageing parent or loss of a relationship, for example. Loss is part of the natural cycle of life. Grieving is a natural response to loss and grieving is the process of 'letting go'. However, when we do not let go, the loss can turn into a psyche wound. This occurs when a toxic belief is formed about the loss - for example - beliefs such as… “no one will ever love me again” or “everyone I care about leaves me”. Again, it is the toxic belief that creates the psyche wound and not the loss itself.
When loss creates a psyche wound, we often close down and cut ourselves off from the very thing that could heal us. If we develop a toxic belief around losing love, we do not only block potential new relationships, we cut ourselves off from self-love and - ultimately - even Divine Love. In other words, we do to ourselves first, what we fear others might do to us.
Healing is consistent remembering and affirming the true Source of who we are and providing all that we need, is by trusting something much greater than the physical and mortal self. Thus, by aligning ourselves with the rhythm of all Creation, where the idea of victimhood, powerlessness, worthlessness and loss does not exist.
4. Can be Life Threatening
Apart from making our life's miserable - a living hell so to speak - unattended or ignored psyche wounds, will eventually kill us… it is just a matter of time!
Loneliness frequently creates a deep psyche wound, one that distorts our perceptions and scrambles our thinking. It makes us believe that those around us care much less than they do. It makes us afraid to reach out to others, because… why set ourselves up for rejection and heartache when our heart is already aching more than we can presently deal with?
There is already plenty of research done on loneliness, and all of it is horrifying. Chronic loneliness increases one's likelihood of early death by almost 14%. Loneliness causes high blood pressure, high cholesterol suppresses the functioning of our immune system, making us vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses and diseases. As a matter of fact, chronic loneliness poses a significant risk for our long term health and longevity, as what cigarette smoking does.
That's why we must prioritize our psychological health, and that we practice psyche “hygiene” as dedicatedly as we practice, for example, dental hygiene. However, we cannot treat a psyche wound, if we don't even know we're injured. Therefore, as part of our daily psyche “hygiene” routine, we should spend some time and make an effort to truly understand the emotions & feelings that we experience. Emotions and feeling (both the positive & negative) is the best warning system that we have to alert us to the possible presence of a psyche wound, especially when such emotions and feelings are experienced in a recurring pattern.
Please remember that loneliness isn't the only feeling that might result in a psyche wound that distorts our perceptions and misleads us. So does… failure, rejection, helplessness, betrayal, frightened, defeated, ruined, judgment, abandonment, …etc., to name but a few.
Sadly thou, once we become convinced of something (i.e. believe it), it's very difficult to change our belief. Our mind is a difficult thing to change, once we become convinced of something. It's quite natural to feel demoralized and defeated after we fail. But we shouldn't allow ourselves to become convinced that we cannot succeed… ever again. We have to fight feelings of defeat and helplessness. We have to gain emotional control over the situation. And we have to deliberately break this kind of a negative reasoning cycle before it settles and convinces us that we “are a failure”. One of the many reasons why we should practice daily psyche “hygiene”.
Despite ample evidence to the contrary, body favouritism is an integral part of our culture - way of thinking and living - which has the unfortunate tendency to upset a healthy balance and equilibrium in our life’s. We favour the acquiring of life skills (&processes) above coping mechanisms (&climate) and this superficially created imbalance, often results in psychological entropy and all kinds of psyche miseries such as stress, depressions, burnouts, fears, anxieties, addictions, future shock, fixations, governor trap, destructive mind defences, a twisted ego, panic attacks, PTSD, …and the likes. This eventually are “deposited” in our life's as cognitive dissonance, a toxic disposition, a distorted environmental noise filter, irrational locus of control, ignorance and sustaining a choice cycle sourcing from an active self-created Newton's Cradle trap, and which gradually emerge as “convinced” dogmas, assumptions, the heretic syndrome and plenty of interaction hurdles.
By taking SMART actions, when we experience e.g. feelings of loneliness, by changing our reactions to - for example - failure, by protecting our self-esteem, by battling negative reasoning… we won't only heal your psyche wound, we will also build emotional resilience and we will then thrive and regain happiness in life once again. Another reason for practising daily psyche “hygiene”.
5. Difficulty to Heal Psyche Wounds
We often find it difficult to identify, address, deal with and heal our psyche wounds…
- Maybe… it is because we are not aware of our psyche wounds.
- Or maybe… we mistakenly perceive our psyche wound as a character triad.
- Or maybe… we do not understand what our psyche wounds are really about.
- Or maybe… we confuse psyche wounds and emotional trauma with one another.
There are plenty of maybe's, if's and but's surrounding our psyche wounds and accompanied perceptions, and we often attempt to heal our psyche wounds in ways that can never be successful.
However - fundamentally - we have the unfortunate tendency to value our bodies (i.e. the lower self) as much more important than we do our minds, or rather our spirituality (i.e. the higher self).
As an example of this kind of favouritism, let's “consider” a five-year-old boy that is getting ready for bed. He is standing on a chair by the sink brushing his teeth. When he slipped and scratched his leg on the chair when he fell. He cried for a while, but then gets back on the chair, and reached for a box of plasters to put one on his cut.
Now, this child could barely read and write, but he already knew that you have to cover a cut, so it doesn't become infected, and you have to take care of your teeth by brushing at least twice a day.
We all know - from an early age - how to maintain our physical health and how to practice dental hygiene. But what do we know about maintaining our psychological health?… Well, nothing really. What are we taught and what do we teach our children about emotional hygiene?… Nothing, apart from the occasional 'cowboys don't cry'. How is it that we spend much more time taking care of our teeth than we do our minds and souls? Why is it that our physical health is much more important to us than our psychological health?
Actually, this is quite an irrational way of reasoning, because - generally speaking - we sustain psychological injuries and subsequent psyche wounds more often than we do physical ones. Psychological injuries such as failure or rejection or loneliness or loss or guilt or low self-esteem. And these psyche wounds - same as physical wounds - can get infected and worse, when we ignore them, they ultimately impact our lives in many dramatic and destructive ways. Psyche wounds - when left untreated - will eventually manifest in our physical bodies as different illnesses, various aches, pains and ailments (i.e. the body-mind symbiosis).
And yet… even though there are many “trail-and-tested” techniques that we could make use of to treat these kinds of psyche wounds, we don't. It often doesn't even occur to us that we should do so. “Oh, you're feeling depressed? Just shake it off; it's all in your head”. Can you imagine the kind of reactions that you will receive, when saying that to somebody with a broken leg… “Oh, just run it off; it's all in your leg”.
It is time that we deliberately closed the gap that exists between taking care of our physical and our psychological health. The time is now to treat our physical and psyche wounds with equal dedication as two sides to the same 'health' coin.
6. Techniques to Heal Psyche Wounds
Enlisting the help of a healing practitioner to guide us, might exponentially quicken the healing process, but in the end - when the chips are down - we must do it for ourselves! In healing ourselves, we discover the strength, courage and power to live our life the way it was intended to be lived. The ultimate healing of a psyche wound is the awakening to our power and worth. We cannot be unconditionally worthy and intrinsically powerful and still maintain our psyche wounds. There is nothing - literally nothing - that cannot be healed through the power of knowing and understanding our AUTHENTIC SELF. Also, remember… HEALING doesn't imply that psyche wounds no longer or never existed before. It only means that we are now able to manage our psyche wounds, that it no longer controls, nor dominate our life's.