“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” – Rumi
The other day I went to my doctor for a routine check up and went through the usual drill including the doctor asking me to open my mouth while she looked at my throat- while having me say “ahhh.” The inspection of my mouth by my doctor is probably one of the least obtrusive aspects of a physical. Soon I will be 50, so there will be many others types of inspections I can look forward to.
Health care providers are trained to look for disease by often looking inside us. While hearing our stories the doctor uses their eyes, ears and touch to assess us. If warranted the doctor may suggest literally opening us via exploratory surgery or other scans to check under our hoods.
The doctor patient relationship requires trust and ultimately the patient needs to open up to their doctor in order that the doctor can apply their knowledge to whatever symptoms or lack there of the patient may be exhibiting.
Being open to healing is key for us to thrive, both medically and spiritually.
Wounded Knee, Wounded Me
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is not.” – Buddha
We all carry wounds from our lives. Perhaps we have scars, misshapen bones from breaks that did not heal properly, or other physical reminders of our imperfect lives.
Beyond the outward signs we also carry internal psychic scars as well. Life by its nature is a contact sport and we are often hurt in the process. We are wounded by life, our parents, our circumstances, and even by our own actions. As part of our human experience, we are part of a cycle of giving and receiving of psychic and physical wounds. We inflict and receive a tremendous amount of pain from those around us, especially our loved ones. We internalize these wounds, form defensive mechanisms and as a result we shield ourselves from the light of love and peace that is there to sustain us.
When we get wounded we typically have two general reactions. The first reaction is to deny the pain and the other is to retaliate.
By denying the pain, instead of experiencing the pain fully, we often try to burry it deep inside us. Yet the pain is there- waiting to be acknowledged. We disconnect from reality when we pretend that we are not hurt. We separate from the truth of our experience. Our bodies and souls are sending us a signal when we are hurt, and we need to practice acceptance – acknowledging and allowing whatever has transpired.
When Jesus spoke of turning the other cheek, he did not mean that we should deny the pain of the slap you have received. Rather by offering the other cheek, we absorb the blow, letting its impact flow through us, dissipating its energy. We open up our other side connecting with life. We roll with the punches.
In addition to denying the pain, we may seek revenge for those that have “trespassed” against us. Our hurt is transformed into anger and we lash out in an attempt to get even with the offender. This eye for an eye cycle may continue to the point where we may even start launching preemptive strikes. That is we get them before we ever let someone get us.
Transcend to Mend
Given that we are imperfect people living a life in which pain is a part of this experience, what do we do?
We accept life for what it is and we express gratitude for the chance to experience it all.
Some of life’s most important lessons and insights only are realized through pain and loss. By constantly turning our other cheek, by being open to the flow of the now, we live and love to our fullest.