Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Deepest Wounds

We all have wounds, from our childhood or our most significant relationships, and we'll do almost anything to protect them.

Sometimes, someone looks at me in a particular way or uses a particular tone and I get very angry, very suddenly. I don't understand what's happening, but I feel my anger, even rage.

This is a classic trigger, and it happens when you're trying to protect yourself. You've been wounded before, and you want like anything to avoid experiencing that pain again.

These wounds can be buried deep. We may not even know what they are, much less acknowledge them. But we can see our triggers as clues. We can notice what kinds of things cause us to react. Sometimes, working with a therapist or a teacher is called for.

As we get less reactive, we can begin to explore the causes. What is it that we're afraid of? What is it that we're trying to avoid? When we begin to see our wounds in the full light of our own compassion, we can begin to let them go. To see that they're just thoughts, and that in all likelihood the circumstances that produced these patterns are long gone.

It may take many reactions, and many sincere explorations, before we get to this point. Even then, we might still get triggered from time to time. In fact, we most certainly will. But what's changed is that we now see what is happening. We see the pattern as something that occasionally happens to us, like a bad mood or a cold, instead of something that defines us.


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