I get it - I really do. The generations preceding us were taught to hide their pain to protect their family, their culture and themselves. It WASN'T safe to show weakness and for those years of historical and cultural wounding (+ subsequent hiding or shame), I'm sorry. You deserved better. I wish you didn't have to hide. I wish you didn't have to create adaptive behaviors that only made the cultural issues worse.
Cue social EVOLUTION. A NEW generation.
Collectively, we're starting to acknowledge that pain (emotional + physical) affects every one of us. We've finally figured out that hiding our pain only makes the problem exponentially worse. So, here we are - building up the courage to to tell the truth and confront the demons. And I'm proud of you - truly. It takes guts to give voice to the damage - to share the story - to turn the years of spinning memories in your head into spoken truth.
Here's the problem - while it is an extremely important phase - it is a PHASE. There is more work to do.
Sharing the story and bonding with others in your pain is NOT the end goal. The goal is heal the wound and NOT repeat the pain for the next generation. Savvy marketers, self-help authors and quasi-spiritual leaders bank on you being emotionally attached to your story - AND addicted to telling it (they probably still are too). Back end conversations about customer conversion discuss "hitting the customer's pain points" to sell their books, workshops or courses. That pain point is your addiction to your drama - your story - your victimhood - your excuse to stay broken.
I'm lovingly asking you to wake up, raise your hand and acknowledge that YOU are smarter than that. You know that just like a broken arm can heal if you put a cast on it, stay off the arm and wait the necessary amount of time, an emotional wound too can heal. Our self-help leaders keep telling you to show off your wound - that the wound doesn't have as much power if you can share it out loud. Well, sharing our wound or story of pain DOESN'T heal it and in many cases it causes our brain to create a new set of patterns that put you in an even more passive role in your life. Emotional pain is a signal to the body that something is broken - that your behavior, relationships or information processing are doing damage. This pain is exactly the motivation or message you needed to wake you up and motivate yourself to DO something about it.
Thankfully, this woundology phase is coming to a close. It's time to STOP celebrating wounds and giving the stories power.
We know we're all damaged, so let's actually do something about it so that our children and children's children NEVER experience the wounds that we did. Let's start the process of healing. RIGHT NOW.
5 Phases of Healing Emotional Wounds
1. The HIDING Phase ( society's answer - therapy [+ even earlier psychiatric institutions where you were hidden from society] - behind closed doors, anonymous)
Frequently thinking - what's wrong with me? Believes they are the anomaly, that what's happened to them should be shame-inducing. Many choose to hide their problems from the world during this phase for fear of embarrassment, judgment or fear.
2. The BONDING Phase ( society's answer - NA/ AA, retreats, women's circles, crystals, ceremonies + more - group sharing)
Frequently relieved to now know that we're ALL f*cked up. Here, the bonding phase takes place. Emotionally charged stories are shared and people realize they are not alone in their experience AND that they no longer have to hide.
3. The MOTIVATING Phase (The TRANSITION - ahem... industry disruptors like yours truly that want the world to change and know how to give you the power to do it for yourself)
Hey, now that we've exposed all of our wounds, let's actually DO something to heal from them. During this phase, people frequently get fed up with the victimhood, sadness, and the cycle of visual stories that chase us through our own thoughts. The tears that you once wore like a badge of honor, now simply shine a light on another step in the journey you've become stuck. Owning your painful wounds is an important initial step but it is a STEP.
4. The ACCOUNTABILITY Phase (Being part of a that holds you to new standards that enhance / augment your healing - Family, Community, Culture)
If we hold each other accountable to NOT plunge into woundology, self-indulgence or victim behaviors, we will break through to a new life. We can adopt new communication styles and behaviors that align with our desire to cut the chemical responses to the "story" or wound. Holding someone accountable including oneself, is a critical phase to movin' on and must be executed with as close to 100% accuracy as possible.
5. The SELF-AWARENESS Phase (Self-Reliance / Ability to Step Back + Objectively Assess Life, Actions + Decision-Making)
The wound or story no longer has power and any attempt the brain makes to build in new stimuli, relationships or behavioral patterns to create the story again with be CAUGHT and SHUT DOWN with logic. The person has become aware of their body's default emotional addiction patterns created by "the story" and have done the necessary work to see roadblocks in their path before they fall victim to them.
The Future of Emotional Wound Healing (+ How to Move On)
Can we all take a big sigh of relief that a world in which people are genuinely self-aware, authentically themselves + free from emotional addiction patterns / cultural programming is somewhere just over the horizon line? I am committed to doing my part to shake people awake and teach them how to take the next step. I'll pass you the tissue box AND take it away from you when the time is right. Emotional-enabling is NOT my bag baby and soon it won't be yours either.
When we free ourselves from the chains of our story (+ all the chemical programming that comes from it), we are able to experience true, deep, vulnerable emotion that connects us as human beings and motivates us to heal the world.
If you're ready to BREAK free of the pain, shame and guilt that's likely passed down through generations of your family tree and culture, click HERE.