Do you feel like your past is haunting you? Here are 7 points to understanding core wounding. In our pursuit of understanding ourselves, many of us are tangled in a web of self-doubt, emotional turmoil, and recurring patterns that seem inexplicably hard to break. Many of us don’t realize or understand that there is core wounding at work, which leads us to grapple with questions that probe deep into our psyche, each echoing our innermost fears and insecurities.
1. Navigating the Labyrinth of Self-Questioning
Why do I constantly make decisions that later seem imprudent?
Why am I magnetically drawn to relationships that sap my energy?
Why does an indefinable sorrow shadow my every move?
Why do I relinquish my power to others?
Why do the walls I’ve built around myself seem impenetrable?
Why is there a mismatch between my emotions and my circumstances? Why does genuine happiness elude me?
Reflective questions are common but can also be overwhelming and lead to confusion and despair. Because I never dealt with my unanswered questions, it has personally added to my turmoil, as evidenced by me moving over 47 times in my life and trading in my car every 1 to 2 years. I did this because I always felt I was missing something or had a never-ending search to be more settled.
These questions from above often lead us to seek answers from external sources like friends, family, or therapists. Although they mean well, their advice can sometimes add to our confusion, as they have yet to walk in our shoes or truly understand the depth of our pain. This is because the roots of our struggles often lie in our past, in moments that have left lasting scars. Parts of our lives that only we can feel or understand the pain.
To truly heal, we must find the courage to face our pain and trauma. This is not easy, but it is possible. We can overcome our past and build a better future with time, patience, and support.
2. The Concept of Core Wounding
Internal conflict is a concept therapists term as core wounding. Core wounds are impactful emotional traumas that have occurred once or over several instances, shaping our self-image, decision-making abilities, and overall life trajectory.
These traumas typically stem from childhood experiences that have left lasting marks on our psyche. They gave me insight and opened my eyes to my ‘wounded inner child,’ a fragment of our emotional self that remains trapped in that traumatic moment. You can read more about ways to cope with trauma on my blog Trauma: 3 Ways to Cope.
These wounds cast long shadows into our adulthood when left unrecognized or unresolved. They manifest as impulsive behaviors, emotional volatility, and feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy.
3. The Pervasive Impact of Core Wounding
Core wounds can have a far-reaching impact on our lives, affecting our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships.
- Relationship Choices: Our wounds might make us gravitate towards partners who mirror the sources of our trauma, perpetuating a cycle of pain and heartbreak.
- Decision-making: Unhealed wounds can skew our judgment, leading to choices that may not align with our true desires or best interests.
- Self-worth and Image: Wounds can erode our self-esteem, making us feel undeserving of love, success, or happiness.
- Emotional Regulation: They can distort our emotional responses, making us react disproportionately to situations.
4. The Journey to Unearth the Age of Wounding
Identifying the ‘age of wounding’ is a pivotal step in the therapeutic process. It refers to pinpointing the exact age or phase when the trauma transpired, causing an aspect of our emotional self to stagnate. The period in your young life representing a part of you that became emotionally stunted or did not mature emotionally with the rest of you.
By discerning this age, we gain invaluable insights into the origin of our wounds. It serves as a beacon, guiding us back to moments that might have been obscured by time but remain fresh in their impact.
5. Methods to Identify the Age of Wounding
- Reflective Journaling: Delving deep into our past through writing can often illuminate forgotten memories. Chronicling our life, year by year can help us recognize patterns and pivotal moments.
- Meditative Regression: Guided meditations can transport us back to our childhood, allowing us to revisit and re-experience moments of emotional significance.
- Art Therapy: For some, artistic expression is a gateway to their inner world. Drawing, painting, or even sculpting can unearth memories and emotions.
6. Healing the Wounded Inner Child
Recognizing our core wounds is merely the first step in a longer healing journey. The process involves:
- Acknowledgment: Accepting and validating the wounded inner child’s pain.
- Reparenting: Offering the love, guidance, and protection the child might have lacked at that moment.
- Therapeutic Assistance: Engaging in therapy can provide tools and strategies to navigate the healing process.
- Self-care: Prioritizing mental, emotional, and physical well-being to support healing.
7. The Road Ahead
True healing is a journey, not a destination. As we peel back the layers of our emotional self, we often encounter more questions than answers. However, every step taken in acknowledgment and understanding is a step away from the darkness of unhealed trauma and towards the light of self-awareness and growth.
Emotional wounds, when left unattended, can dictate the course of our lives. But healing is within reach with self-awareness, acknowledgment, and concerted effort. The journey might be an uphill climb that’s winding and fraught with challenges, but at its end lies the promise of a life of authenticity, joy, and fulfillment. Remember, the key to unlocking a brighter future often lies hidden in the recesses of our past. We can reclaim our narrative by addressing and nurturing our wounded inner child, crafting a tale of resilience, growth, and hope.