A wound is a tear in the fabric of happiness.
It could bloom at the most unexpected of times, arriving like an abrupt rain which falls from a cloudless sky. But unlike a rain, there’s rarely anything enjoyable about a wound- especially if it’s inflicted on the soul, where the mark would remain far longer than on the skin.
The fine details of how you become wounded differ from person to person. The unifying fact is that such experiences are inevitable in human life.
But what about the suffering the wounded undergo? How far is it necessary, and when does it become a malignant force that draws down a shutter from the roof of the sky, preventing light from entering your soul?
Here, we investigate.
A wounded heart could bloom anew with healing
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”
One of the most beautiful insights about pain is expressed in the Buddhist saying, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”
With regard to wounds we carry in our soul, the pain gets compounded by the sense of shame which often accompanies such wounds.
Shame rears its ugly head even if we aren’t responsible for getting wounded in the first place. This shame derives from the idea that since we are wounded, we couldn’t take care of ourselves very well.
At least, not as much as we would like to. For no matter what you do, there always remains this hole at the centre of your being, like a gaping wound all its own which no amount of salve could heal.
Despite your best efforts, it remains like the ugly grin of a monster making fun of you, of your incapacity to become whole again.
One thing to remember at this point is that no matter how intense this sense of shame is, and whatever variations of this pain you may feel over time, you are never feeling anything which some other person in the history of our human family hasn’t felt. In other words, the pain you feel is a natural part of being human.
This realization helps put the pain in a larger context, helping negate the suffering born from the the idea that your pain is unique and not something others could understand or sympathise with.
This brings us to another facet of being wounded- the sense of isolation it brings in its wake.
The soul freezes over in isolation
Putting yourself at a remove from others happens all by itself when you are suffering from the pain of being wounded.
It’s an automatic psychological response to the situation, you could say. One that is linked to the sense of shame we discussed earlier. “I am incapable of handling this, I am a failure, unworthy of human companionship”- this thought lies at the root of this isolation.
But the problem is, the soul freezes over in isolation.
Self-compassion is a valuable tool in these situations. Just like any other human being, compassion is something that you also deserve from yourself.
Coming back to the point of conceiving your pain as an experienced shared by humanity in different times in different places, learning about the tribulations others went through and also how they overcame them could help you in that front.
This idea is very much at the core of Influence Maps- a unique tool developed by Temenos+Agility.
As part of Influence Maps, individuals are encouraged to articulate narratives that encompass their past actions and future aspirations. They then share these narratives with others in the team- internalizing the narrative and giving others an insight into their own selves, which bolsters the ideology of being a team.
More importantly, it allows you to learn about the different ways in which your fellow team members found remedy for the wounds they were inflicted with in the course of their life. If nothing else, this reveals the universality of being wounded, and from that the courage could be derived to detach the suffering from the pain.
The blindness of the soul without vision
One of the ill-effects of being wounded in your soul is feeling like time has come to a standstill. No progress, no motion, just a stasis in which you don’t feel like doing anything. A lethargy the weight of a blue whale settles in your heart.
One of the most effective ways to shake this lethargy off and move on is to find your vision for the future that would inspire you to move out of the cold, dark space you have sought comfort in.
Without vision for the future, the soul is blind
The vision we are talking about here is the True Personal Vision, the one that could be found only within yourself, extremely linked to your individuality, your true essence.
While goals based on current social norms could be easily set, they needn’t inspire you. Which is what makes True Personal Vision such a transformative find, especially if you are wounded and feels like you are trailing in life.
Temenos Vision Lab(TVL) is a session developed by Temenos+Agility which helps change agents discover their True Personal Vision. Developed based on 25 years of business consultancy experience and psychological insights, the best leadership coaches guide you towards your vision in TVL.