The Deepest Wound
The deepest wound.
My wound, your wound,
Was the first, the most cutting,
The damage done,
Before we even knew who we were.
Just starting to look out,
To relate, to feel love,
Ready and willing to feel
The love we arrived with.
Born with so much love within,
And ready to receive
All the love in the world,
A gift from love to love and back again.
We the unprotected, the vulnerable,
The innocent, the naïve,
The trusting, the powerless,
Without a defense, without a guard.
Ready, available, naked,
Then the cut, the hurt, the wounding.
We never saw it coming,
And never knew when it was done.
Our experience is our “normal.”
That is how it is,
Without questioning, without realizing, without knowing
That it was wrong, that it hurt,
That it was permanent.
We thought we were born in love.
That was all we came with,
Open, available, unconditional loving beings.
But we were in harm’s way,
Innocent little children,
Willing to suffer without knowing what suffering is.
Willing to receive whatever came our way,
Taking the pain of rejection and indifference,
Of control and training without being seen or known,
With acceptance, without complaint.
We were struck down,
Not knowing that we were with assassins
Who took our hearts from us
And tore into them without regard.
We forgive them, the wrongdoers,
For they know not what they do.
We blame ourselves:
We should have been different,
Easier and no trouble.
Oh, how I tried to be that.
If only we were different somehow,
Then our natural loving selves would have survived
The confusion, mistrust and disappointment,
And the innocence that was taken, gone forever.
When our indestructible selves were under attack,
And starved or given conditional love or no love at all,
It was time to do something:
Defend, attack, scream;
Adapt, withdraw, comply, suppress;
As we tried to make it all alright.
It was time to recreate someone new.
We adapted and made ourselves better than we were,
More acceptable and more lovable, perhaps,
If that were even possible—
People who might get what they came for.
My false self, my fake identity,
I always thought that was me.
I tried to be the person I thought I should be,
And thought that was me.
Now, surely, the love will come.
I tried so hard to be the person
That I thought you wanted,
That I wanted to be.
But no one ever did love my false self,
Not even me.
So I failed and the love didn’t come,
Not way back when I was my natural self,
And not when I changed into somebody else.
What more could I have done?
I’ll be whatever you need me to be
To earn your love.
I’ll submit to you and kiss your feet,
If that’s what it takes
To make the not-OK feel OK.
I’ll be someone who pleases you,
So that you delight in me.
I’ll have no needs of my own,
Never a trouble to you.
Whatever you need me to be,
I’ll pretend to be that.
I promise to heal your deepest wound,
And then you can pretend to heal the wound of the pretend-me.
If what I am isn’t enough,
I’ll try and try, again and again,
Or tell you that you are wrong,
And you should change.
Can you be enough to heal my deepest wound?
I’ll dance and sing for you,
And make you laugh out loud.
I’ll cry, plead and beg,
Or be very, very good.
I’ll act as if you were my mother.
To you, I’ll be your father,
Playing the past out,
Unconsciously projecting and transferring
Over and over again.
I’ll be upset and angry.
Perhaps that will work.
I’ll control you,
And make you into what I want.
Be what I need,
And I’ll be what you need.
We can be two created false selves,
Trying to heal who we thought we were.
I am a damaged child,
And so are you.
It is where we start and end,
Or so we think.
But we were not born that way,
That is not how we began.
Innocent little beings,
Ready for love to flow,
Adorable little things, just perfect as we were.
Who are we now?
Not who we thought we were,
But my damaged child believes in itself,
And wants your love.
I’ll give you all the love you need,
But it will never work out,
As my false self tries to heal your “damaged child,”
And wishes for your false self to heal me.
We the survivors, one and all,
Have adapted and recreated ourselves.
We knew not what we did,
But did what we had to do.
It was the only way
To live among the damage-doers,
As we found our place in the generational line
Of damage done to damage-doers,
For that’s what we become.
For all of us
Are damaged children,
And the first cut
Was the deepest.
The first cut was the most profound,
For it told us who we were,
Unworthy of the love that was our birthright,
As we assumed it was all normal
And that we were not.
That early damage changed me for life,
Making me believe I was not OK,
I was too much, and not normal,
So I changed as I tried to be “normal enough”
For those who made me feel not so,
Not seeing that it was they who were not.
They never did notice what they did,
And they never changed,
For they were already not who they really were,
And carried their deepest wound, too.
The unloved, wounded child,
Carried along for life,
Never knowing what it is to be loved,
To be loved for no reason at all,
Just for the way he [or she] is.
Who I was wasn’t loved,
So I changed and then found
That what I became wasn’t loved, either.
They didn’t even notice how I changed,
And there was no bonus love for effort.
I changed as best I could,
But that was rejected too.
Love didn’t come, and it was my fault,
But there was nothing more I could do.
They didn’t have the love they came in with,
Gone long before I arrived,
And I thought it was all because of me,
That they really had something I could get,
If only I could figure it all out.
But all along the bank was empty.
What I have made myself into
Is not free to love you.
I give because I want,
And what I want, you don’t have.
I am a wounded self who has forgotten who I am,
Trying to love another wounded self
Who has forgotten who she is,
Trying to love me back.
All selves are made up in one way or another,
But that is not who we are.
We are the baby that came out of the womb:
Open, innocent, not seeking or wanting;
And not lacking, nor experiencing neglect.
It is the baby who is unconditionally loving,
Born to be itself just as it is,
Accepting whatever comes its way,
Without knowing what it wants.
An infant doesn’t tell its parents how to be,
Or what they should do.
It doesn’t make them wrong or criticize,
Or think it knows best.
They are free to do whatever they do.
So I open myself to you,
And willingly receive what you have,
Including the demands of your wounded heart,
And who you think you should be,
And I bring the same to you.
There is no need for us to hide
Our innocence and our natural, loving hearts,
Each heart ready and willing to love and be loved,
Because that is what we were born to do.
My heart was born to do the same as yours,
So how are we going to do that?
Let’s love all aspects of ourselves.
Let’s love our trying and failing.
Let’s love our false selves,
The selves that we are not.
Let’s love the part of ourselves that is quietly calling for love,
And the part that thinks it should be unconditionally loving.
Let’s connect with who we really are,
Loving hearts with no agenda,
No demands or expectations or hopes,
And no trying to be what we think the other wants.
Let’s be with what we truly are:
Nothing to do, nowhere to go,
Just here now, as we are,
Me accepting of you and of myself,
And you accepting of me and yourself.
I love you because I do,
With all my heart,
For no reason and with no agenda,
Because that is what I was born to do.
I can only love you when I feel love for myself,
And then I don’t need you to do that for me.
When I feel my love for me,
The love is felt for you,
And then back again.
I can’t love you without loving me,
Because that would be fake.
I can’t love me and then not love you.
To think that is even possible would be a mistake.
I want you to love you, and also me,
Without the effort of trying,
Of planning and thinking,
Without having a job to do.
You don’t have to be good enough for me,
Because you were never not so.
How could you be?
When all that you are is everything,
When what you are is me.
Let’s love, and be done with the trying.
Let’s allow in the love we thought we didn’t deserve.
Let’s be done with trying to be what we think the other wants,
In the hopeless hope that we will then earn a love that was always free.
Free to love with nothing to fix
And nothing to mend,
For we were never broken,
And now all that can end.
Let’s just allow ourselves to love
And to be loved for no particular reason,
Getting what we came for,
And doing what we were born to do.
Read more about emotional wounds from childhood in HEALING THE INNER CHILD: Venturing into the territory of suffering»