In life, we all have the tendency to believe that we are unworthy on some deep, undefinable level. Whether we believe that we are unworthy of happiness, pleasure, love or fulfillment, we all have a “core wound” deep inside that varies according to our circumstances and experiences. This deep, fundamental wound is the result of the foundational beliefs that we were taught since birth, contributing to the faulty self-image that we continue to carry around with us to this very day.
Our core wounds are our deepest seated pains in life. They are our oldest and most miserable friends. For most of us, these core wounds within us are ruled by the following two mistaken beliefs:
1. “I am flawed and therefore a bad person.”
2. “I must change or fix something about myself in order to be acceptable.”
The Original Sin
Christian teachings make reference to our “core wound” all the time in the form of “original sin.” However, once we put aside the dogmatic associations connected with this notion, we see that “original sin” reveals something profound about our deep-rooted core wounds; how issues such as generational guilt, self-rejection, imbalanced self-esteem, and self-hatred has passed on from generation to generation.
Often, our core wounds start in childhood. When we are little we are free. We experience unconditional love and acceptance for all of our needs, and we are granted full expression of ourselves. We don’t experience any inner fragmentation or limitations at all. However, at some point during our childhood we began to experience constraints. As we “ate from the Tree of Knowledge” we slowly came up against invalidation from our parents, elders, and peers. We began to experience disapproval and punishment for being our authentic selves. And so, our core wounds began to deepen.
As our core wounds began to deepen throughout our childhoods, pubescent years, and subsequent adult years, we began to put up barriers of protection to keep other people from hurting us. Although in many cases this protected us, in the end it served to trap us inside, limiting our ability to experience true freedom and authenticity in our day-to-day lives and in every one of our relationships.
Our core wounds are the cause of most of the fatigue we experience in daily life, preventing us from accessing the huge stores of untapped energy, and potential within us. They are also what makes solitude so refreshing as they give us a momentary respite from the lies we tell ourselves and others to protect our deep, unhealed gashes.
Getting to Know Your Core Wound
Everyone experiences their “core wound” differently. Depending on your Soul Age, level of emotional sensitivity, and the level of rejection you faced while growing up, your core wound could be an irritating scab, or a festering laceration.
How is your core wound manifesting itself in your life? Read the signs below:
- You enter relationships in the hopes of finding what you lack inside in the other person (i.e. you want to “feel complete”).
- You often feel inadequate, and you have the following thoughts: “I am not enough,” “I am incomplete,” “I am unlovable,” “I don’t count,” “I am imperfect,” “I am powerless,” and “I am bad.”
- You constantly feel a sense of abandonment, resentment and/or betrayal.
- You have a perfectionistic attitude towards life (i.e. you gain your self-esteem from the outcome of your actions instead of the intention behind your actions).
- You suffer from chronic anxiety. This comes as a result of anticipating the emotional pain of being found unworthy, which deep down you think is true.
- You repeat the same old mistakes in relationships. This is because you are trapped in a habitual mindset and don’t feel courageous enough to make a change.
- You find happiness in your misery because it’s a source of attention in the form of sympathy from other people.
- You have a strong Shadow Self.
- You behave in dishonest/inauthentic ways that are not true to the person you really are. You behave in this way to gain the acceptance of others.
- You feel numb inside. You feel a sense of meaninglessness and disconnection from the world around you. This is the ultimate defense mechanism: feeling nothing.
- You are your own worst critic (i.e. you constantly remind yourself how much of a “loser” or a “failure” you are).
- You always feel like an outcast, and you can never quite fit in with anyone. Instead of appreciating your uniqueness and seeing it as an opportunity, you see it as a curse.
The larger your core wound is, the more you experience Soul Loss. Often, this is passed onto the people around you (like a virus) — especially children, who are the most susceptible and vulnerable.
Healing Your Core Wound
The most suffering we experience from our core wounds revolves around the false self-images we present to the world. On one hand we go through life pretending to be very important, and on the other we believe that we are unworthy, ugly, dirty, unlovable, and stupid deep down.
We need to examine our wounds carefully, wash them using psychological and spiritual tools, and keep them clean until they heal. A good place to begin this process is by admitting that we are lying to ourselves. We need to stop avoiding the truth about our lives, and develop the courage to face our flaws and erroneous perceptions.
The truth is that existence has no concept of good or bad, only of creating balance. Judgement only occurs on a personal level. The first step to opening these wounds of yours is to stop lying to yourself, to stop avoiding the truth, and to become aware of all of your flaws and erroneous perceptions. To live a life feeling unworthy is to live as a victim of your circumstances — circumstances that you had no control over, and are not to blame for.
A greater Master once said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Only once you truthfully become aware of your core wound, of how you inherited your “original sin” and the idea that you’re imperfect, will you be able to find closure. Only by forgiving what keeps you from experiencing wholeness deep down can you become free.
What is your core wound? How has it shaped you? What limitations has it created in your life? And most importantly, what valuable lesson has trying to heal your core wound taught you?