Have you ever had a bruise on your leg and even though it hurts to touch, you can’t resist pressing it? Or perhaps a pimple on your face that you pick at despite wanting it to heal and not leave a scar? This behavior can apply to our emotional wounds as well as the physical ones. We might continue to ruminate over who and what has hurt us in the past, finding familiar comfort in revisiting the pain over and over again.
But why on earth would we do this?!
“Woundology” is a term originally coined by bestselling author Caroline Myss to describe how we can become overly identified with our emotional wounds and therefore unable to heal and move on. It can be hard to admit that we are attached to our pain and any “benefits” this may offer us. However, when we dare to acknowledge this difficult truth, we can start to truly heal and find the freedom that we long for.
Possible clues you are a “woundologist”:
You feel a desire to blame others for how your life has turned out, keeping you negatively attached to the people and pain of your past.
A need to be seen as the victim of the situation (for example in a divorce or separation) and gaining power and attention through identifying with this role.
Not wanting to heal from your hurt (for example, when a loved one has passed away), because it feels like you will forget or betray them by moving forward with your life.
You have become defined by what happened to you and feel the need to continue to tell people about your story. Not for therapeutic purposes but because you don’t know who you are without it.
You have the therapeutic language about your past, but none of this has landed below the neck, and awareness is not healing. As the saying goes, “We have to feel it to heal it,” and true healing involves the body, not just the mind.
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