Oprah says, “Your wounds are gifts.” I’d like to add that they are your secret weapons for good.
We all have stories to tell. Some of them are exhilarating and amazing. These are the kind of stories that you adore. You tell everyone around you about them because you want them to learn about how great your life is and how you are the protagonist and savior of your story. These stories give your life passion and purpose. They empower you and make you realize that you are worthy of love and all of its splendor. But then there are the stories that you have kept secret due to shame, blame, hurt, abandonment and a sense of unworthiness. Those you keep under lock and key never to be disclosed. They are the stories you created to help you survive.
My story is not unusual, but if you live in your wound and do not harness the gift in it, then it can eat you up like it did me for many years. It was circa 1984 when my life completely changed mentally, emotionally and physically. You see I was the first grandkid and I was loved and adored by my family. Afterall, I was the first born of my father’s siblings, who is one of ten children. I loved my paternal grandparents and they loved me. They made sure to hug me and give me everything I needed. I was a confident kid. I did not speak the English language until I started school in kindergarten, but I didn’t feel I was different or that there was something wrong. I knew I was a superstar because I was completely loved and cared for.
One dreaded day in May, I heard the words, “your grandmother died”. It didn’t register. I saw her the day before when we celebrated my first holy communion. I was in shock, until I saw the open casket. I kept yelling and crying to get her out. It left such a lasting impression in me that now at age 45, I can still visualize that moment. It is as if my childhood was at a standstill. I asked myself, “now, who is going to love me? Who is going to care for me?” I held on to this tragedy as a turning point in my life. I had to grow up rather quickly when everything around me was completely changing without any input or explanation.
Left without my paternal grandmother, I felt I was left to my own defenses. I was loved by others, but I turned quiet and shut down. I was navigating life like a little adult; or so I thought. The abuse started shortly after the dreaded day in May. I was told to be quiet. Not knowing what was happening, I created a story to keep me safe. You see, the mind wants to keep you safe but as a child you can’t distinguish that staying quiet doesn’t protect you.
Fast forward to the present, I now understand that holding onto your wounds doesn’t serve you or anyone. Your wounds are meant to elevate you to your higher purpose. When we get stuck in suffering, dwelling, silence and even sulking, it is like basking in intense sun without sunblock. All you are doing is burning yourself further. I did that for many years until I started getting involved in personal development. I realized that living in victimhood kept me limited and small. I say flip the switch and use your wounds as your secret weapons for good. Be vocal because you are not alone. You are loved and there is someone that needs to hear you. Forgive your perpetrators and don’t forget to FORGIVE yourself because you were gifted a lesson in forgiveness. Your mind, body and soul will thank you.