For a woman who just kissed her 20th year hello, I have experienced a great deal—especially in the romance department.
In the past year alone, I danced with the disappointing lover who I so desperately wanted to save, settled for the dull lover who I knew would never break my heart, and most significantly, experienced the heartbreaking death of a lover I was beginning to open my heart to.
When these relationships failed to result in bliss, I assumed it was due to an emotional wound that I had been ignoring. This led me to believe that the purpose of broken relationships was to guide people to their wounds and help them heal. While cycling through life, it is normal to grow introspective and develop the desire to better ourselves in order to resolve potential issues and maximize the amount of joy we wish to experience.
However, there is a reflective point in which we go too deep and reach the trench that is ego and illusion. Emotional wounds are normal parts of the human experience and become more apparent when challenged by circumstances that remind us, consciously or subconsciously, of unfavorable past experiences.
Every hardship I’ve endured provided insight to the vulnerability that lurks within me, but it was my lover’s death that reached inside me and pulled out my emotional wounds one by one for me to see. From there, I was determined to heal them so I could finally experience a healthy romantic relationship, but no matter how often I addressed my wounds and tried to fix them, they wouldn’t go away.
When the relationship that followed proved disappointing, I began the usual mourning process of looking inward. However, this time around, I did not care to fix my wounds. There was no wondering what I needed to learn or take from the situation, for I felt so much clarity from being given the opportunity to have such a unique physical experience. Although the mourning process brought up old emotional thought patterns, I didn’t feel the need to alter them, for fixing myself didn’t seem necessary when thinking about the privilege I was given. The experience alone was so magical and draining, I simply didn’t have the energy to sew up any wounds. Instead, I did the most radical thing I could think of; I accepted them.
We all know that our egos love to convince us that we are not worthy—but when did it become apparent that ego was actually using our spirituality as a means of manipulation to convince us there is an endless amount of spiritual self-work to do before we are ready or deserving of something we desire? The illusion that we can rid ourselves of emotional wounds is sparked by the ego’s need to be perfect. The ego loves to watch us struggle to complete an impossible goal, further validating the wounds that convince us we are unworthy and incapable.
Notice the vicious cycle?
As long as we strive to rid ourselves of emotional wounds, the more we continue to keep them alive and give them control over our lives. But what happens when we face these wounds and call them out as the fear-based illusions that they are? The wounds do not necessarily go away, but we stop letting them rule our lives and dictate our future. In short, acknowledgement and acceptance of emotional wounds ceases to give them importance, freeing us from fear that our wounds are preventing us from experiencing joy. The reason acceptance works is because it goes hand in hand with forgiveness—when we accept a part of ourselves, we simultaneously forgive a part of ourselves.
This forgiveness transmutes the heavy energy surrounding our wounds into lightness, allowing us to freely move through life without feeling bogged down by insecurities and illusions.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to better ourselves, but the issue lies in thinking we must complete a certain amount of spiritual work in order to be ready, worthy, or deserving. The reason this is such a big issue is because spiritual work is a subjective, ongoing process. There is never a point in time where we say to ourselves, “I have finally finished my healing.” However, there are moments, brought on by acceptance, when we are living in such peace with who we are, that we don’t feel the need to fix ourselves.
Although this liberation feels like it will last forever, we eventually go back to being intolerant of ourselves.
This is not a setback or a failure; this is life. Even in times of intolerance, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to accept the intolerance and forgive ourselves for being human. Because spiritual work is subjective, there is no specific amount of healing that is required for us to receive our desires.
A common lie we tell ourselves is that we have to do something in order to receive something.
The lie I kept telling myself was that I had to heal my emotional wounds in order to experience a healthy romantic relationship.
I realize now that what I meant to tell myself was that I should try to accept the presence of my wounds in order to feel at peace, because the truth is, there is no real way to rid ourselves of wounds, for that would mean rising above the human experience. It is through these wounds and because of these wounds that we are able to relate to others, have compassion and empathy, and share all that we are. The next time we get caught up in trying to fix ourselves, we must remember we are already healed and worthy of our desires.
So let’s rejoice in our wounds, for they prove to be evidence for pain felt, memories made, mountains climbed, and a life so rich in experience that an emotional sore spot is nothing but a small price to pay for a universe so wonderfully expansive.
Author: Sydney Sabol
Editors: Renée Picard; Emily Bartran