People can heal from their emotional wounds because underneath their partial identity of being a hurt and broken person who has a certain fear issue, lies a larger truth of who they are: “A drop of God in an ocean of God,” as numerous spiritual masters have put it. Buried beneath, and prior to any feeling of hurt such as grief, fear, anger or jealousy lies a capacity to feel and express tremendous joy, peace and a love without conditions. It’s who we are prior to the events that caused our human wounds of life. Not only are we larger than the fear-thought-habit running in our heads, but we are prior to it, as an eternal soul.
For some, the above statement may cause inspiration, but for others not spiritually inclined, it may generate annoyance as it doesn’t appear obvious that we are indestructible and eternal souls behind a mask of body/mind costumes. These people, however, must agree that they somehow exist against all odds as a drop of consciousness in a human body in a moment of time that extends beyond them into infinity both before and after their life, all while standing on a planet that looks like a speck of dust in a cosmos of far more than hundreds of trillions of stars. Either way you look at it, from a spiritual or non-spiritual viewpoint, the fact that we’re here is literally beyond comprehension. In fact, it’s so beyond comprehension that we succumb to the tunnel vision of what is directly perceivable in our lives. This becomes who we are, our identity.
Unfortunately, there is something else that clouds people’s minds and creates further tunnel vision: Various forms of fear — the fear that underlies each person’s problem/issue. Fears give people tunnel vision similar to horse blinders, and soon we begin to identify with our core fear beliefs, many of which, at the deepest core, may have something to do with being an unworthy, not-good-enough person that needs fixing. But we are much more than these thoughts.
We were all once fearless and enthusiastic toddlers, filled with the excitement of learning to walk, and very much in touch with our emotions. What happens to this enthusiastic joy of a toddler who wants to greet a stranger? What happens to a small child’s capacity to openly express and receive as much love as possible? We shut down as human life unfolds, life that is filled with all kinds of different events, from wildly fun to very painful. Unfortunately, those painful events and more importantly, the messages that result from them, whether extremely subtle or obvious, seem to stick to the back of our minds the most, and form small fears that can balloon into large dark clouds that can eventually cover our capacity for deep happiness, our capacity to feel the joy of deeply connecting with others, expressing and receiving a love without conditions attached, such as the love we felt as infants.
So, why can we heal from our emotional wounds? Because, upon close examination, our emotional wounds don’t really define us. They are like a heavy layer of dirt that covers a bright light bulb. What is this “dirt”, what are these emotional wounds? Upon further investigation, they are fears that have become habit-patterns of thought. A tightly wound ball of beliefs, fears, thoughts, ideas and concepts. In other words, it’s all in our head, our imagination. Poof! We can heal from our emotional wounds because, upon close examination, those heavy, dense, unwanted feelings that seem to drive our lives at times — once we identify them and put them under a microscope — turn out to be merely thoughts or beliefs we took on as a result of painful events that ended long ago. Those past events often involve emotionally wounded people or caregivers, or else the tendency of us as children to blame ourselves for any disharmony in the home rather than our caregivers. In any case, the powerful messages, as a result of these painful events, get recorded on our subconscious mind, which becomes like a computer program in our brain that remains there until the day we fully identify, recognize and declare that we are not the computer program that contains the unwanted, harmful thoughts, but rather, we are the computer and the operator itself. We can change the program because who we are transcends and is greater than this program of crippling beliefs. How to do this? It simply begins with two things: (1) A recognition that we are separate from the unbeneficial thoughts that run through our head. They are not who we are; and (2) A will to change and let go of the self-destructive thought patterns that have merely become a bad habit. Where there is a will there are dozens of ways.
Now the words of the Buddha make more sense when he said, “At the root of all suffering lies wrong identification.” This truth transcends any fear-based belief-habit. We are all far more than the false thoughts that underlie our fears and give us tunnel vision about who we are and what we can do. Who we are is prior to, greater than, far beyond and transcendent of any fear thought. May we all remember.