On being wounded…

Every day, speaking metaphorically, we become wounded in one way or another; that’s life. While the severity of the wound or wounds will vary, the path to begin the healing process remains the same; we must first accept that we’ve been wounded, and second, we must be willing to allow ourselves to be healed. But, again, I’m speaking metaphorically; a person diagnosed with a terminal medical condition may never, technically, be healed even though they are willing to allow it.

When I say “willing,” I mean emotionally. For example, I have Parkinson’s disease. It is not going away and will not cease to worsen. When I was diagnosed about ten years ago, I crawled under a stairwell stunned, leaving my wife and Doctor behind in the examination room while I tried to wrap my head around the diagnosis; I was wounded. I quickly learned that it was not fatal, per se, and began taking my prescribed medications, which, as I later found, were quite a few, and went about living my life.

Looking back, I remember that someone thought it would be helpful to show me the five stages of grief/death and dying (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). I also remember that seeing them listed in print made me feel depressed and pissed me off.

Today, I see my medical condition in big block letters; problem identified, these are your choices: get to work, Bam, Bam, Bam. But what about matters of the heart, ego, and life? The kind that don’t necessarily kill you, but they sure feel like they will. These wounds are just as real, but how do you begin to heal, and where does the “willing” fit in?

It begins when you decide you’ve had enough, and that’s very individual; everything else that falls between “wounded and willing” is a band-aid, limping you along until…

It’s the “until” that separates us. It’s then that it happens or not; we rise, or we don’t. Soothing words and hand-holding are comforting and can be helpful, or they can be disabling, exacerbating a lifelong habit of avoiding confrontation with real-life problems. I am not suggesting that we all possess the ability to go from wounded to willing quickly, if ever. Still, I am saying that you shouldn’t have to hit proverbial “rock bottom” before you entertain the idea of being willing to heal.

Unfortunately, a byproduct of being wounded is isolation which, if longer than a pause to reflect, refocus, or whatever, can be devastating. Hopefully, this becomes their “until” moment, and they ask for help from those who CAN and not just those who answer the phone.

Towards that end, I offer the following from a 2001 episode of a popular television show.

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.  

“A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The Doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.  

“Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole. Can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. 

“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”

Ultimately, the choice to begin genuinely healing can only be made by them. They have to be willing to heal. Sadly, many will choose to remain wounded, wallowing in self-pity and the attention of others, hoping the problem will fix itself.


About TheSunFlowerMuse

Curious About the World and It's People

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