Getting to Your Core Wound

What is a core wound? Basically, I think of it as the foundation upon which most of your traumas are built. When we are kids, our rational minds haven't developed, so we interpret situations based on faulty perceptions, usually revolving around worthiness of the self. Kids are selfish by design because we gotta be tended to in order to survive. Our individual survival is at stake if we aren't valuable to the tribe, so we inherently seek to have value. So, when something happens that shakes our feelings of belonging, worthiness or lovability, it sticks deep. I would bet that 99.999% of everybody has a core wound.

Your core wound is usually a single basic sentence: I am not enough, I am unlovable, I am different, etc. which on the surface, doesn't seem that deep or satisfying to realize. But, that's not exactly the way the healing journey works. THE SIMPLICITY OF YOUR CORE WOUND WILL NOT BE SATISFYING UNTIL YOU REALIZE IT'S PERVASIVENESS ON YOUR LIFE. The best way I can describe discovering your core wound is via the classic movie The Sixth Sense. Spoiler alert: Bruce Willis is dead the whole time. Now, if you watch the movie knowing this information, you can see it pretty clearly. All of the interactions make sense and all the clues are there. But, if you watch the movie without knowing this information, it's a pretty gnarly twist. That's what it's like coming upon your core wound. But there's this immediate relief, this calming understanding like when you finish a giant puzzle.

So how do you find your core wound? You get triggered again and again and again and again until you begin to see a pattern. That's when you "know your shit" and it's only the beginning. Then, you heal consciously, layer by layer. You keep getting triggered and healing, triggered and healing. Epiphanies and breakthroughs, spiraling and breakdowns abound. Brick by brick, the mansion of your shadow is dismantled, and you never know exactly how much is left. Until one day, you're running around the foundation looking for the next brick and the answer reveals itself in a simple, single sentence. For me, it was I don't matter.

Like most people, my romantic relationships triggered my core wound the most. Love is a funny thing, it can set you free or it can ruin your entire life. Sometimes it does both. Mine did both, which was why losing it screwed me up so much. I do not consider myself an angry person, but if a boyfriend ever offended me, whew I would come at him with the fire of a thousand suns to put him in his muthaf*ckin' place. As if that isn't bad enough, offending me wasn't too terribly hard because unbeknownst to me, I felt like I didn't matter and them saying something douchey to me would trigger that in a pretty major way. I remember being shocked at how angry my first boyfriend would make me because literally nobody had ever gotten any sort of reaction like that from me before. I assumed it just meant that he was that cruel, which lol, he was kind of. But, it's also true that I was that offended. It wasn't until I had a few boyfriends that I began to see that I had some pretty spicy anger towards the romantic figures in my life, and it was pretty much a relationship killer. I couldn't quite pin down what the problem was: Was it that I was too critical? Was it that I was afraid to love/to be loved? Did I feel unworthy of love? Was I taking out my father issues? Was I deathly afraid of becoming my mother? All of these questions seemed to circle one simple problem that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Why do I sabotage my happiness in romantic relationships?

So what did I do? I asked my current sweet, amazing boyfriend, Geoff. Geoff and I have had plenty of exciting, spicy fights so I knew he'd be able to reflect some truth my way. He has been an incredible mirror for my triggers, and for that I'm incredibly grateful because it's led me to some intense self-awareness and healing. Not to mention, his patience and forgiving nature has definitely made me feel the safest I ever have in any relationship, which has been the space I've needed to wade through it all. Anyway, I straight up asked Geoff, "What do you think my problem is in our relationship?" Knowing it wasn't a trap, he offered up that I get verrrrry hurt/enraged by things that could be shrugged off and that I talk a LOT about not being valued when we're fighting. We circled back and forth a little bit, noting that it's not that I don't feel like I'm enough, not that I feel worthless, not that I am unlovable when he said it, BANG. "I think you feel like you don't matter." That was it. Woah. Truth tears activated. I don't matter. Woof.

Bruce Willis was dead the whole time. But really, like literally, EVERYTHING in my life made sense all at once. What a beautiful twist. So simple, so clear. The second you gain awareness like that, the effect of the deep dark secret diminishes almost immediately, like the wizard behind the curtain. We don't stop there though, do we puppies? Once the awareness is gained, the belief needs to be disproved at the inner-child level, thereby destroying the faulty foundation so something positive and new can be built. I personally am taking this GOLD to my next reflective RTT session to find out how and when I created this belief. That's the fun part for me, understanding the scenarios that create our trauma. Oftentimes the situations aren't as insidious as we think they might be, ESPECIALLY when they occur before the age of seven.

I can't wait to find out what's on the other side of this new experience of myself. Who am I if I matter? How do I treat myself? If I matter, what does that mean for me to do? How do I show up in the world now that I matter? I guess we'll see 👀

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