Article by Yu/stan/kema., Laurel K. Hamilton-quote., Our response to fear and how it affects our lives.., Pinterest photo quotes., The benefits of courage., Ways we respond when wounded., WomenWorking.com., Wounds from the past affect the present.
Wounds From The Past
I often find it hard to admit that the past can still influence our lives in such a powerful way. It has the ability to come back into our present lives and affect the way we perceive and think about our world and the people in it. This happens when we feel fearful and threatened in some particular way. Learned behaviors from the past rise up to form an invisible wall around us shutting out the perceived threat. In our panic we retreat, little realizing that the threat can live in us and not outside of us. Our emotional wounds and spiritual wounds can make us act in ways that are not helpful to us. It is hard, when we are wounded, not to react for some wounds cannot be forgotten or erased. Their impact leaves us weak and trembling with the knowledge that it can happen again and this time we may not survive the shame, pain, and grief of another gaping wound. The fear becomes a living thing that breathes inside us that causes us to lose our ability to reason, to decipher reality as it is.
The fear is so overwhelming, it can paralyze us, cause us to strike out, to want to withdraw to a place of safety. It is not that we do not want to trust others, it is because the memory of the first trauma is so overwhelming, it erases all else. We cannot for a while do anything except seek safety. The need to survive becomes paramount in our lives.
For a while after we have healed from an emotional wound, we tell ourselves it will never happen again. We are stronger and wiser. We are better prepared to take action or detect that which we perceive is dangerous to our hearts and souls. We will be more resourceful, more insightful and we will retreat when necessary.
So we become very careful of who we trust and when to trust. If we are fearful, we retreat. If we still want acceptance and caring, we reach out tentatively, with fear in our hearts and take a courageous step in asking questions, wanting answers, wanting to understand, and we want to be heard because the need to connect, to touch joy is greater than the fear inside us.
For those of us who have experienced all kinds of abandonment and rejection, who have been shamed for being weak or vulnerable, or who have been controlled until we can no longer tell where we exist from others, this is such a courageous and difficult thing to do. The dilemma for some of us is: do we trust or do we stay safe? Do we want to feel pain or do we want to feel joy? Do we want to live fully or stay encased in a cocoon of safety never feeling love again or comfort from another human being? Hopefully, we become strong enough to overcome our fear and choose love, and the possibility of joy.