Being hurt and wounded is part of life. All of us have faced some hurt – emotional, physical, mental or spiritual. How do we deal with our woundedness? Do we retire into a corner and lick our wounds, continuously seeing ourselves as victims? Or do we allow our woundedness to be way of giving to others? Do we even dare to acknowledge that we are wounded?
Giving From Our Woundedness
There have been times in my life when I’ve felt absolutely numb – the hurt and sense of loss were so bad. At these times, I’ve felt that I had nothing to offer the world. It was hard enough getting through each day without me having to think of anyone else. I’m at a better place right now, but I still carry these hurts within me, working slowly on healing.
I think most of us are the same, still working on our past, still dealing with wounds. Yet I feel that we’re all called to continue giving from our woundedness.
I find this well known Hebrew story very relevant to share here today.
A Rabbi came across the prophet Elijah, and asked him: “Tell me—when will the Messiah come?”
Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.”
“Where is he?” asked the Rabbi.
“He’s sitting at the gates of the city,” said Elijah.
“But how will I know which one is he?”
The Prophet replied, “He is sitting among the poor, covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and bind them up again, but he unbinds only one at a time and binds them up again, saying to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be needed; if so, I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment.’”
In the story there are two things happening – people are taking care of their own wounds and there’s someone who though wounded, is also ready to reach out to others to help them with their needs.
Today, I focus on living a life driven by love and kindness. This means that I must take care of myself and continue to work on my own healing. I work on seeing my woundedness as a blessing – it helps me to be compassionate to others. To reach out to with empathy. To listen without judgement. To be a wounded healer.
In October, I started writing a series called 31 Days about Living A Principle Driven Life. Since I wasn’t able to complete it then, I’m doing so now. You can follow my posts here.