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the Binary of "Wounded" and "Healing" and my Trap of Personal Development

May 29, 2024

Storytime with Kate


As I do, I'm just going to launch in today. I'm going to tell you a little bit about myself and it's going to be things about me that have been hard for me to accept and love. Parts of me that I've always fought with the most.

I'm not a go-with-the flow kind of gal. I have parts of me that resist SO fucking HARD to things that I don't want to do, to people that rub me the wrong way, to the places I don't want to be. I can't. I won't. I couldn't possibly.

Obviously you can see how this could be frustrating for a friend or parent or co-worker........ and believe you me sometimes I seriously wish I could just go with it!! Wouldn't that just be easier for everyone?!?!

*also cue here how I really HATE feeling like a burden to someone else and this wishing-I-was-different being a burden to mySELF*

The challenging part about this for me is when I don't understand why.

It's not always clear to me WHY I don't want to do something or WHY that person rubs me the wrong way or WHY I don't want to go there.

That makes it hard for me and it makes it hard for others who want to know why...

And that right there has been part of the trap of personal development for me. Wanting to know WHY I feel how I feel. For a long time I played the roll of interrogator to myself. Like, "bad cop" if you will. 

In the 2024 Self Study Program we're currently in the theme of Trust and lemme tell you who's SUPER hard to trust: the bad cop.


I'd use the exercise of Tara Brach's the RAIN of Self Compassion against myself:

RECOGNIZE: i have a sensation in my body

ACCEPTANCE: ok I'm having a feeling

and here's where I'd go wrong: INVESTIGATE. I'd ask a few questions like, "what's the nature of this feeling?" and then I'd take a sharp left from gentle investigating to distrustful and suspicious interrogation: "what's the story here" "is it true? is it kind? is it helpful?" "when did you learn to be like this?"

Those questions in a gentle way have really helped me uncover a lot about myself.

But can you imagine those questions from someone you really trust vs. someone who things you're stupid, or mean, or embarrassed by you? Or by somebody who wants something from you (like, maybe an apology) but they're trying to get you to get there without just telling you what they need. A friend calls this "hinting and hoping."

It's been a pressure cooker for me to make sure that I feel RIGHT in how I feel before I DO anything.

So, a trap that keeps me stuck in a not-yet-understood feeling.

And yes, when we understand something, we often do take better care of it. BUTANDALSO understanding is not a requirement for care AND understanding does not always mean care or compassion are on their way.




Here are two words that lives in the Yoga and Wellness world that I've never been able to authentically use to talk about myself, AND when people use them to describe the work that Ruby and I do via a Self Study Practice, they make me cringe, and they make me angry.

And until today, I haven't understood why. 

They are "wounded" and "healing"

We use "wounded" to describe getting hurt in relationship somehow. By a parent, by a partner... this word makes me feel sympathy. Sympathy feels so disempowering.

And we use "healing" to describe either putting the pieces back together, or like removing a thorn from our side. It makes me feel hesitant to move forward because "I'm still healing." Like I have to be fragile and worried and overbearing so that I won't get hurt again. It doesn't feel resilient or capable of doing life in the big bold way that I feel called to do.

But I don't think it's really like this. It's not a single wound and then a 6 week recovery period.

I've never liked being described as wounded. Because life is inherently wounding and traumatizing. Do you know anyone who's making it through unscathed?! 

The truth is that some people are willing to look and others are not. Not that some are wounded and others are not.

Some people are willing to go into the darker parts of their lives and take some time to see how that might have shaped them.

This isn't the same as being systemically oppressed vs. systemically privileged. Oppression obviously takes a toll on the people who are being oppressed, and it also takes a toll on the soul of the people who are taught to oppress and enforce and uphold. In your bravery as you look, remember that when you come across an intersection.


The willingness that you have to look at the ways your life experience has shaped you is the process of germinating.

Seeds can be dried and dormant for quite a while. And before they can begin to grow they have to go through a germination process. Usually this is when they are soaked in water and kept in the darkness. This is when they begin coming back to life.

Through the periods of immense tears and darkness, you are allowing yourself to come back to life. Truly experiencing the heartbreak, confusion, anger, loneliness, fear, terror, turmoil, hyperalertness, burn out, overwhelm, grief, helplessness, despair... and not getting stuck there, is part of what will bring you back to life. You'll begin sending out roots first - rooting into this depth that you're discovering via feeling (not via understanding).

Once you go there, the sprouting can happen. Parts of you will start to reach for the light. You'll stay anchored to yourself via the depths of the roots. The parts that sprout out of you and into the light are the parts of you that will tell your story, become part of the pollinator network, you'll flower, fruit, bend, and break. This is where you'll be able to see, and perhaps, one day, understanding will begin to come.

And your roots will connect to the network of other roots. You know, aspen groves are all truly the same tree. They're interconnected at the roots. Just like I am to yours, and you are to mine.

It's not what's in the light that's interconnected. It's the roots.

What's connected in the light is through the birds and the bees and the creatures that come into contact with you. They'll come and they'll go. Your vibrancy will ebb and flow with the seasons. You'll out grow some others, because your roots are deeper. And others will out grow you.


My roots are deep and I feel alive.


Just because the language of "healing" and "wounded" doesn't resonate with me doesn't make it inherently bad or wrong. It's just not for me. And until today, I didn't know why. But now I do :)


Shout out to my resistance for showing me this ๐Ÿฆ‹


And in sharing mine, perhaps it might pollinate yours in some kind of way. And if not, the rain will wash it off in due time.


In this theme of trust, I want to ask you this:

Where are you trying to force understanding and reasoning before you'll let yourself move forward?


You're Doing Great.

Seriously, we mean that.

Give yourself a break ๐Ÿงก


ps. our latest episode of the Self Study Podcast is out and it's all about Boundaries: the Quiet Revolution of Personal Agency and Self Discovery. ;) give it a listen and let me know what comes up for you. What have you started to notice that needs to shift? 

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