Many years ago I read the book “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. It’s a book that opened my eyes in a way they had never been opened before. John Eldredge talks about the transition from boyhood to manhood and how most of us are wounded in childhood (in particular by our fathers for boys). The book was intended to help men understand and open up their hearts. And it’s an amazing book. At the time, I was in counseling and the combination of this book helped me to understand how I came to be the man I am and to understand this wound (these wounds) so I could begin working on healing it.
One of my most favorite songs is That’s The Way of the World by Earth, Wind & Fire. This line in particular stands out to me:
That’s the way of the world
Plant your flower and you grow a pearl
Child is born with a heart of gold
Way of the world makes his heart so cold
They’re talking about that wounding. It’s not just a wound, as in John Eldredge’s book. it’s many wounds, from many sources. Our hearts become scarred and, if we’re not careful, we can shut them down to protect from more damage. In a small group I was in the other night, people were talking about their wounds from childhood, mostly from parents. We all get them. I don’t think any of us in that group would describe our parents as bad or malicious. As parents, I’m sure we all give them. I know I’ve wounded Kayla. No one does this intentionally. It is literally the way of the world, as EW&F says.
What I didn’t know when I read John Eldredge’s book those many years ago is this wounding isn’t because of “original sin”. It isn’t Plan B. It’s why we come to Earth. We come to be wounded, to feel that pain, to learn from it, to grow, and ultimately to overcome increasing our capacity for love, compassion, and empathy. If we didn’t want to be wounded, we would have stayed Home. One of the Four Agreements which comes up all the time in the New Thought church I’m involved with, is “Don’t take anything personally”. And, this is extremely important. When I was in counseling working through these issues, my counselor worked with me on getting through some of these issues from my youth and gave me “permission” to be angry about them. Wounds from the church, wounds from classmates, wounds from parents. After all, if someone hurts you, it’s natural to be angry. Right? But, I was never angry. She seemed to think I was bypassing a necessary step. It just wasn’t necessary for me. I think I intuitively knew not to take the wounds personally. I knew people were doing the best they could with what they had at the time. It didn’t make the wounds any less. I still had to work through them. I still work through them. I’ll carry the scars with me until I leave this body. But, that’s all a part of the plan. Without the wounds I would not be who I am today. Had I never had anything to overcome, I could not be an overcomer.