By Ven Baxter
Painful experience NOW exposes hidden inner wounds, and when the inner pain is released, a “lost” part of the self is regained and rejoined to the personality, which becomes more whole–more “myself”.
In my case, there was an unusual (I think) wound to my psyche, related to my mother being a teenager in a wheelchair when I was little. The wound was necessary at the time, for my own safety, but when I got older it became poison to my Male-Female relationships.
This is because the wound had to do with my first experience with the Female. I did not, and could not, see this until after many years of repeated painful experiences uncovered it and I was able to deal with it. Until then, I was repeatedly re-living the old drama from diaper days, trying with the Female (in her various expressions as women) to “do it right”–THIS time.
Or THIS time. Or THIS time…
The psyche-wounds instilled in us when we’re that young (less than one-year-old, in this case) don’t just go away. As we live on, experiences get layered over them, and these wounds just get buried–forgotten, but not GONE. We all have wounds in our psyches that have been lying, buried, for years or decades under subsequent layers of experience (or, if you prefer, memory).
Experience is very much like precipitation that gathers in the inner world–the psyche–with the earlier sediment on the bottom and the later sediment on top, where NOW occurs. This is why inner work is like digging or mining for…whatever one finds.
It’s important to understand that earlier experiences lie beneath later ones in the memory-aspect of the psyche. What this means is that we must deal with later wounds before we can uncover the earlier ones, just as we must dig downward–or inward–from the surface. Later memory-experiences “sit on top of” earlier ones (of similar type!) and hide them from conscious view.
My own experience has proven this to me–in vivid, living detail!
These wounds negatively affect our later experiences–from BENEATH our awareness. Some wounds are worse than others, but ALL of them affect us somehow. The worse ones affect us (and people close to us!) more. What we call “spirituality” or “personal growth” is, largely, the uncovering of these wounds and the releasing of the emotional pain, like pus, contained in them.
I’ve observed over the years that I can use my “NOW” experience to remove these “layers” and uncover the wounds hidden beneath them. I only figured this out in my late 20s, and it’s taken more than 10 years of conscious experience to uncover this very deep and early wound–which was like a broken bone that had healed crooked–and fix it.
It was very much like a femur, as far as the inner structure of the self is concerned. That’s how much it affected my daily life–as much as if I had a broken and crookedly-healed femur in my physical body.
Most of the wounds I’ve uncovered have NOT been like broken bones. Most have been like abscesses that just needed to be lanced and drained. This one was much more fundamental to the structure of my psyche because it was so early in my life and central to my psyche.
I do not have the ability to consciously MANIPULATE my life experiences in order to aid self-discovery. In other words, I DIDN’T DO IT MYSELF! “Life” did it, through my living it with my eyes open. Even if I had tried, I wouldn’t have known what to uncover, or what experiences would be required to do so!
“Hidden” ain’t just a word. It means INVISIBLE to the conscious awareness–part of the inner “darkness” that conscious living reveals.
In my experience, PAIN uncovers these inner wounds. When I experience a painful event NOW, it relates to a painful wound in my psyche, as if the experience NOW were necessary to bring that inner wound to the surface where I can finally SEE it and deal with it.
It has taken 25 years of painful experience in Male-Female relationships to uncover the wound that was infecting them, and I literally have never been in touch with, or able to use–or conscious of!–this very central part of myself that has just recently returned to me since I lost it in a very unintentional and maybe even necessary way nearly 40 years ago.
I have NO conscious memory of the experience that caused this original inner “break”–but I know how it FELT, because I felt it again on January 12, 2014. More correctly, I felt what I had NOT felt back then, for whatever reason. It was the remainder or residue of the emotion–the part that had not been felt and expressed completely at that time.
It seems that, if I had felt and expressed it in its totality when it happened, the residue would not have been left to infect my future relationships. Another way to put it is that my inner “femur” would not have been broken…and stayed that way until Narcissistic abuse uncovered it and brought it to the surface.
Ven Baxter lives in Florida, where he works as a canoe outfitter, teaches, writes, and enjoys being father to his three children. You can find this article on his blog, Ven Baxter – Go deep into the nooks and crannies of life and the human experience…
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