From Childhood Wounds to Spiritual Awakening
Many of us wonder why inner peace is so elusive. Why does life seem so disappointing despite all efforts to make things better? We yearn and strive for inner peace but never seem to get there, except perhaps, for fleeting states of happiness. Why the flux? Why the underlying dis-ease?
Can we ever find inner peace and happiness on earth?
The place to start is by looking at our wounds. Our wounds – both conscious and unconscious — are calling for our attention.
Wounds are of two types: The most common are known as Psychological/emotional wounds. These get nearly 100% of the attention. So I’ll start with these.
From birth to age seven our brain is being developed. During these formative years we are innocent and highly impressionable. Our brain is predominantly functioning in the Theta state. Theta is a hypnotic state where we were essentially living in a trance and highly suggestable. In the virtual classroom of our earliest years we absorbed vast amounts of information without choice and without discernment. We also absorbed emotions and behaviors of others, not only through language, but through our energy field. By the time we were about seven years of age a subconscious survival template was well formed.
Behavioral scientists tell us that 95% of the decisions that we make from early childhood onward are made from our subconscious template. As adults, although we see ourselves in the driver’s seat convinced we are making all the moves, it’s the ghost of our subconscious who is chauffeuring us through life.
Here are examples of wounding childhood events that get stored in our subconscious and give birth to the ghost in the driver’s seat.
Powerlessness Fear and Shame
As children, we were very vulnerable to anything that made us feel unsafe. An unexpected incident could have happened as simple as a parent yelling at a family member. Or, being yelled at ourselves for something that we innocently did. These seemingly minor events can leave lasting imprints in the body and mind.
Perhaps you were slapped or beaten for not been able to do something the way an adult thought it should be done. Or, you were shamed by repeatedly being called dumb or stupid.
So many of my clients share frightening memories of violent and continuing arguments between their parents. Alcohol abuse, physical, sexual and psychological abuse may have been witnessed. Lack of money might have been talked about repeatedly causing conflict and insecurity.
As a result of fearful experiences the child develops coping mechanisms and belief systems to survive. Beliefs and behaviors that are based on our wounding become programed into our body and psyche. This causes fragmentation of the Soul. Powerlessness, fear and shame assault a child’s innocence and begin to veil her True Nature. The effects are long lasting and shapes who we become as a person.
The Unaware Adult
Childhood wounds disrupt one’s sense of security and safety and this is carried into our adult lives. As adults, we unconsciously allow childhood wounds to direct our lives in unhealthy and unhappy ways. Our thinking becomes distorted. We commonly make poor decisions that sabotage our desire to live from inner peace. Our blind spots have made us victims of past circumstances. We become protective and afraid to fully open our hearts to love.
A state of inner peace now seems far away when we feel that our life is in danger or we never felt safe in the first place. To become whole again … to return to our innocence, we must return to the First Wound, the root cause of all suffering.
The First Wound
There is a deep wound that lives beyond our childhood wounds and underneath all psychological wounds. It’s the First Wound. The Primordial Wound. It’s the mother of all wounds.
This mother of all wounds is the loss of our innocence: the time when psychological and even ancestral conditioning began to veil the innocence that we are. That innocence is our True Nature, the Divine Spark that we are. The veiling of the Divine Spark is the First Wound. It is the wound that gives birth to the separate self. And it is this separate, conditioned self that takes up residence in our body and mind.
The First Wound registers in our mind and body as a deep, nagging feeling whispering to us that something is missing; something is wrong with our life. The hallmarks of the First Wound are persistent feelings of lack and fear. And even for those who might experience their lives as “happy,” there is always an undercurrent that the things, people and circumstances that bring happiness can be taken away. And they will be. No state of mind, experience or condition lasts. Time devours everything. We know this innately.
The First Wound results in endless activities to preserve, protect and upgrade one’s separate self in pursuit of lasting happiness. Our attempts to eradicate fear and lack range from interpersonal conflict between two people, to battles between nations. Although we are oblivious to it, the First Wound is the deepest cause of suffering. It leaves us unsatisfied, looking for fulfillment from outside sources: things, other people and states of mind.
In search of peace and happiness, many go on spiritual journeys, seek therapy, focus on personal development, strive to improve their standard of living, participate in worthy causes and more. All these are certainly laudable endeavors, yet, are always found to not be enough. We are still unable to live in a state of peace, because all states come and go. That’s their nature.
The First Wound and its suffering is the Fall from Grace. The Fall from Grace occurred the moment that we began to identify ourselves as a person, rather than to know ourselves as the Divine. This was the beginning of separation. When we are in separation, we hide ourselves in the fortress of our physical body and mind. We became identified with the body-mind, believing we are only that, adopting its limitations and taking on our own survival identity. As the veil became denser, we believed everything and everyone to be separate from us.
Our Divine Nature is Oneness, not separateness. It is not possible for Oneness to separate from Itself. There is only the illusory veil of separation. Our primordial, existential yearning is to be fully conscious as the Divine Spark and to remove the veil of separation.
The Wounded Child is the Divine Self believing Itself to be a separate self. Psychotherapy and other healing modalities focus on healing the separate self of its traumas and conditioning. These modalities seek to provide us with a better experience inside the human condition.
In contrast, Spiritual Awakening is a shift in consciousness … the shift from experiencing Oneself as a separate, human conditioned self, to being in the world as our True or Divine Self.
Spiritual Awakening occurs when the veil of wounds is lifted and the Divine Spark — our Unconditioned Self, to which nothing ever happened — is revealed. Spiritual Awakening is a return to our Innocence. We still find ourselves in the world but no longer a victim of the world. We no longer seek peace. We return to the peace that we are.