There is a quote that has been attributed to Buddhism that I have found to be uncompromisingly true:
“What you resist will persist.”
In my own journey of self-actualization and in the 25 years I have accompanied and guided others through theirs, I have witnessed the proof of this. To this statement, I would further add:
“What you resist, avoid, ignore, suppress, repress, deny, try to escape, etc. will persist.”
As much as we might try, we cannot run from our demons. That which we do not acknowledge and work on healing will find its way out sideways in non-loving and compulsive behaviors either toward ourselves or others. That which we do not heal as a culture/world is doomed to repeat itself. In this repetition, the oppressed becomes the oppressor; the abused becomes the abuser; and we end up marrying our unhealed wounds. We cannot escape this truth and we don’t need to look very far to see the proof of it. Most often, the proof is as close as looking in the mirror.
At the center of the process of human development is the healing of our wounds. By no effort of our own, that which is unhealed within us will make itself known for the purpose of being acknowledged and healed. When we ignore those wounds, or refuse to do the work of healing them, they don’t go away. Instead, they become magnified and compounded, making our journey even more difficult. Our compulsions become addictions. Our guilt-driven conditioning becomes a cycle of self-loathing which we feed through a wide variety of means. The places where we have felt rejected become a co-dependent drive to find someone (usually unhealthy) to love.
Ignoring, suppressing, repressing, denying our wounds only causes further harm. As long as we are bypassing our pain, we are its prisoner. We will never be free as human beings until we heal our wounds.
One of the great challenges to healing these wounds, however, are all the systems/programs/self-proclaimed teachers/conditioning that encourage distractions or denial over the gritty work of transformation. “Get over it and move on.” “Let it go.” “Offer it up.” “Just keep busy:” “Think positive thoughts.” “Just be grateful.” “It could be worse.” are all platitudes driven into us by systems that have failed to do their own healing and who are then projecting their unhealed wounds onto their followers. Anything or anyone that tells us to ignore/deny/suppress/avoid our pain is detrimental to our emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing; and is thwarting our path to true freedom.
While complete freedom can never be fully attained, our Soul compels us to continually seek it out. Confronting and transforming our wounds, and the conditioning that created them in the first place, is the only sure path to that freedom. Anything that tells us otherwise is a lie.
To learn more about transforming unhealed wounds into freedom, check out our online course Authentic Freedom – the Hero’s Journey: