In this human life, we all hurt; we all are hurt.
None of us escapes unscathed.
If this is part of our shared, common humanity, I wonder – why is that we feel so ashamed of our wounds, of our pain? Of the early experiences that have shaped us – and sometimes hurt us?
Why do we feel guilty about them, as if they are our fault – as if we caused them?
I think it’s because we feel responsible. Deep down, I think we feel like it is our fault. We don’t understand. We wonder, “Why?” We think, “I must’ve done something wrong to deserve this….” At some unconscious level, we think that we must be so bad, terrible, unlovable, wrong, bad – because why else would we be the target of people’s irritability, frustration, outbursts, anger, fear, anxiety – or their own lack of love for themselves, their own feelings of unworthiness?
This viewpoint – these beliefs that it’s my fault, and that I’m bad, and that’s the reason that bad things happen to me – are the beliefs of a small child – a sweet, tender precious child who just wants to love and be loved. When this child isn’t loved, when bad things happen, the child thinks, “I must’ve caused this somehow.” And sadly, sometimes that message is conveyed to us by our culture, by our families, or by loved ones.
As we grow, we carry these beliefs with us. We internalize them. They run underground and become a part of the air we breathe. They’re unconscious – we may not even see their workings. But we feel their effects. We look at our lives through these wounded young child eyes. In that child’s world, pain = I’m being punished. Pain = I’m bad. Pain = I’m unlovable.
Dear one, this feeling of guilt, shame, of “it’s all my fault” is an illusion. It is a veil and it is not true.
I know at a feeling level, it feels true. The story can feel very, very true. It lives in our emotions, in our thoughts, in our beliefs, and carries over into our experiences.
But what if it’s not true? And if it’s not true, how can we break free from its grip?
I know I’m asking for something a bit radical – do we dare to rip the veil in two?
Dear one, your pain is not your fault. The fact that you were hurt is not your fault. A Sufi teaching put it this way:
Overcome any bitterness that may have come
because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain
that was entrusted to you.
Like the Mother of the World,
Who carries the pain of the world in her heart,
Each one of us is part of her heart,
And therefore endowed
With a certain measure of cosmic pain.
My heart weeps when I tell myself, “precious child, it’s okay – you didn’t do anything wrong. You were simply ‘not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you.’” I weep as I realize – the fact that I crumbled under the pain, the fact that I was wounded by painful things in my life – is not my fault. The should that says – “You shouldn’t be so wounded. You shouldn’t have let yourself get hurt. You should’ve coped without allowing yourself to get hurt” – is just a should, and is not true.
Sometimes I cried “uncle.” Sometimes I just survived.
Sometimes I simply got through it. And sometimes the way I got through it brought with it some scar tissue….
Beloved, do not make war against your own heart. Do not judge yourself for bearing scars.
Release the guilt and shame that says it’s all your fault.
Release the belief that you’re the only one who’s been hurt. The pain isn’t personal to you, or to me. It’s not like God nailed us – “gotcha!” – while everyone else got off scot free. Instead, we can look at the fact that our hearts have been broken as something that binds us to our fellow man. Our vulnerablity, our imperfection, our sweet tender hearts is our common ground. We’re all in this gig together…
So what can we do?
We can share our broken hearts with each other.
We can forgive our wounds.
We can love ourselves fully – even with our wounds, even with our broken hearts, even with the patterns and habits and conditioning that arose from those wounds.
Our wounds, at the deepest level, are a cry – our thirst – for love. Only love will quench it.
Drink from the well of love. Love yourself. Let yourself be loved. Love others. Drink, be sated, and come home.
I leave you with these words from Danna Faulds:
Despite illness of body or mind,
In spite of blinding despair or habitual belief, who you are is whole.
Let nothing keep you separate from the truth.
The soul, illuminated from within, longs to be known for what it is.
Undying, untouched by fire or storms of life, there is a place inside where stillness and abiding peace reside.
You can ride the breath to go there.
Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind, you are not broken.
Spirit surrounds, embraces, fills you from the inside out.
Release everything that isn’t your true nature.
What’s left, the fullness, light, shadow, claim all that as your birthright.
Wanting more hands on help?
If you liked this post, you may also like these articles:
- Loving myself unconditionally
- Uprooting our deepest suffering
- Healing the shame that keeps you stuck
Which program is right for me?
If you’d like help in loving yourself unconditionally – finding forgiveness, releasing shame, and healing beliefs that say, “It’s all my fault,” you may like Heal Overeating: Untangled. This 12 session audio program can help you heal the roots of binge eating, overeating and emotional eating. Our most popular program, women say it’s a “sacred healing space” that they listen to over and over……