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Injuries heal through a set of layers and this occurs most fully and rapidly through these five steps. The most important step being cleaning out the deterrents to healing.
Here using a focus on physical wounds:
- Evaluation of severity, depth, breadth, need for sutures, casting and bandaging.
- Cleaning the wound of fragments, foreign objects, dirt, and deterrents to healing – debridement.
- Careful observation and compassionate tending to the healing progress of the wound.
- Re-evaluation of the development in healing, re-cleaning, debridement, re-dressing the wound.
- A loving compassionate reintroduction of the use of the wounded area to avoid re-injury or trauma
The course for wound healing seems to take one of two branches. One branch leads to further, deeper injury through infection and invasion into deeper systems. The other offers a fuller evaluation at the fore to prevent a deeper infestation.
It is seductive to follow the first branch described – it is less work at the beginning and looks as if healing happens more quickly. However this route results in a quick fix. The rapid scabbing process covers a deeper problem that can result in an underlying infection and a resulting scar that stares-out at each person who passes, almost calling the passers-by to comment, and in some cases re-injuring the person.
The second route is more intensive at the front-end, however, once through the difficult evaluation and debridement process, and with proper attention to the complete healing process, this route results in an almost imperceptible scar.
Wound healing takes this same branched course for physical and psychological scars.
For psychological wounds forgiveness is an intricate component of the healing process. The forgiveness has to be sincere, real, felt deeply, and thoroughly experienced. From that whole-space, forgiveness can create an inner healing that results in an imperceptible scar.
- and 2. are interrelated for psychological injuries. This is to say the process of evaluation of the injury, and the debridement work together – debridement is the process of removing foreign material and dead tissue from a physical wound to prevent infection and promote healing – debridement, then, with respect to a psychological wound requires mindfully releasing anger, vengefulness, and hate – and utilizes compassion, lovingkindness, and forgiveness.
A short-cut through the forgiveness stage results in an incomplete healing, a superficial covering. This is when an individual chooses to transect the process without looking mindfully at the wounding experience. This is a false covering-over, which allows for infection – underneath a festering will develop at an unconscious or conscious level which will interfere with a full healing of the wound. This may result in deeper injury to spirit, mind and body or ultimately burst open in rage, shame and vengefulness, creating a crater of a scar that is seen in all your relationships.
If you use the tangible concept of a physical wound to guide you,
- you can see the first thing required is to clean the wound…get out the dirt, the left over shards so that the wound is ready to create a healing scab. This washing process can sting, be painful, sharp, or uncomfortable.
From a psychological wound perspective the first step is the same,
- clean out the wound, remove shards, that are going to impede healing or increase a chance for infection – this requires compassionate understanding and forgiveness, mindfulness, and paradigm shifting. Wounds are often a result of a lack of understanding, a lack of restraint, or a placement of trust toward an untrustworthy person. Going within to do the inner work required for this can be hurtful, sharp, or uncomfortable just like washing out a cut stings.
Forgiveness is tricky when you perceive that forgiveness makes the action that was harmful “okay”. The trick to forgiveness is shifting paradigmatic perceptions and righting your own power in a given situation. Forgiveness is letting go of the power the wounding has over you while simultaneously identifying what was harmful and what to avoid in the future – including the relationship or event in which the wounding occurred.
A common style of dealing with hurts is to remove yourself from the profound feelings that are attached to the pain you endured. This keeps you stuck in the past. This disallows forgiveness or creates unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness leads to a diminishing of your personal power, a rigid world-view, and a truncated personality in relationship. It leads to the opposite of mindfulness and the opposite of empowerment.
- In order to forgive, that pain must be felt
- and then a resolution, an understanding, a paradigm shift needs to take place to allow the unlinking of the pain of the event; the event and the actor; and the outcome of the event
- so that it can be put into proper perspective and into your past,
- freeing you to move on into the present moment of your life – a new stance in the world, strengthened via the complete healing of the wound.
To forgive another a deeply painful act, betrayal, or action is difficult. To see, and accept responsibility for, how you have hurt another is also difficult.
Choosing to face this difficult task will allow for a real shift to take place, a full and complete healing that leaves an imperceptible scar, the mindful/spirit-filled inner search (evaluation and debridement) is paramount. This action can result in transforming events, healing your wound and transforming your relationships.
How do you forgive someone for that act which in your mind changed you forever, that betrayed your trust or your sense of innocence?
Finding forgiveness requires grace. It requires a willingness to let go of the thing that may define your stance in the world. It is fraught with deep feeling and an inner journey to your center. Certainly paradigm shifting, figure/ground perspective, and the attitude of gratitude are helpful activities. This set of actions is required to fully heal a psychological wound.
Mindfulness allows you to see a way to unlink the act and the person; the act and the circumstances surrounding the act; and the intention and the action. And from this space forgiveness is possible and profoundly healing.
Severe wounds are difficult betrayals and experiences to transcend, difficult to get to forgiveness even with these unlinkings, increased awareness and increased perspective. The process of debridement is most useful in this situation.
Healing your psychological wounds requires loving attention and compassion first toward yourself and then toward the cause of the wound. Not unlike the treatment of a physical wound what matters is the healing of the injury and then release of anger, and vengefulness toward the cause of the wound.
Healing is me-first. Not narcissistic or selfish but inner directed, looking inward to promote inner healing and release of the power of the wound over your future life choices. This is true for physical and psychological wounds. Allowing an injury to define you sets power where it does not belong. Set your empowerment within, release the material that interferes with your full and complete healing so that the injury itself becomes imperceptible.in love and light, beth