Before having a discussion about ending violence, we need to explore and then do the courageous work of healing the emotional wounds that cause violence in the first place. Unfortunately violence has become so much a part of American culture that we hardly even think about it until a horribly violent act takes place, such as the recent school shooting in Florida. When these events take place, we should be taking a closer look at the problem of violence in our culture. Most commonly, however, we are so wrapped up in our own reactionary and often violent responses to the crisis that we cannot see the forest through the trees. We point the finger of blame, hoping to ease our newly ignited sense of fear and powerlessness, instead of tending to the matter at hand which is the wounds and unacknowledged fears that are the real cause of the violence. Including the shooting in Florida, every violent or non-loving act ever committed by a human being happens as a result of an unhealed emotional wound or the fear caused by that wound. If we hope to put an end to violence, we first have to heal these wounds.
Every single human being suffers from unhealed emotional wounds and the fears that arose in response to these wounds. Whether the emotional wounding was obvious as in the case of physical, sexual, verbal or mental abuse, or more subtle, we have all felt the sharp sting of rejection, disappointment, loss, abandonment, betrayal, failure, of not being heard, of not having our needs met, of feeling insignificant, unimportant or that we have nothing to contribute to our world. We have all suffered trauma, whether it be the simple trauma that accompanies our birth, or something more dramatic as one might experience in battle. If we haven’t already, we will all at one time have to face death. We cannot exist as a human being and not experience some sort of emotional wounding. When this emotional wounding goes unrecognized or unhealed, it acts like a tightly coiled spring waiting for something….anything….that might set it off. Not unlike trauma, when our unhealed emotional wounds or their resulting fears are triggered, we experience one of three reactions: fight, flight or freeze. When our response is fight – we are doing violence to another. When it is freeze or flight, we are doing violence to ourselves, which may then end up causing violence to another. In order to heal these violent responses triggered by our emotional wounds, we first need to do the work of naming, claiming and then healing these wounds.
The first step toward healing our emotional wounds is observation. Through observation, we identify when we are reacting in violent or non-loving ways toward ourselves of others. Once we have identified the behavior, we can look deeper into what might be the unhealed emotional wound or fear at the cause of the behavior.
As a culture we have a very low emotional intelligence. As a result, it might initially be difficult to identify the emotional wound at the root of our violent or non-loving behaviors. This is where our bodies come in handy. Our physical body will tell us where we are carrying the wound or fear that is being triggered. Knowledge of the chakra system can then help us to identify, based on the location of the physical sensations, what fear or unhealed emotional wound is being triggered. For example, in doing a body scan, you might locate a sense of constriction in your lower abdomen. Perhaps this is related to the emotional wound of shame, or the fear that there is something wrong with you. (See by book or online course Authentic Freedom for a detailed explanation of this process). Once you have identified the emotional wound/fear, then you can do the work of healing it.
There is no medication (other than classical homeopathy) for the healing of emotional wounds or their resulting fears. Talk therapy might prove helpful. I have also seen phenomenal results from PTSD treatment protocols such as EMDR and Brainspotting. For normal, everyday emotional wounds, however, there is nothing more effective that a sound mindfulness or spiritual practice. Practices like mantra, centering prayer, Tonglen, the Ho’oponopono practice, shamanic journey work, and others have all proven effective in healing and releasing emotional wounds and their resulting fears. (For more on these practices, see again, my book or online course Authentic Freedom). Vigorous physical activity can also prove helpful in healing and releasing emotional wounds as can a good solid cry. The bottom line with healing emotional wounding is movement. Anything that we can do to move the emotional pain up and out of our bodies will prove helpful in healing our wounding so that we can put an end to the violence we are doing to ourselves, or might be unwittingly doing to another.
If you are interested in becoming a master at healing emotional wounds, please take a look at our Authentic Freedom Mastery Program. Free Preview course HERE: