Updated: Jan 9
Author Lise Bourbeau discusses five different wounds of the soul and masks adults often put on to avoid pain later in life. Some people may experience all of them and others few of them. The deeper the wound, the harder it is to show who we really are because the mask became very rigid. What is the most important here: not wasting time by blaming others, but are instead acknowledging, learning to accept them, and taking steps to move towards the healing process.
Five major wounds and masks we put on:
1 The Wound of Rejection - Mask of Escape/Withdrawn
2 The Wound of Abandonment – Mask of Dependence
3 Wound of Humiliation – Masochist mask
4 The Wound of Betrayal – Mask of Controller/ing
5 The Wound of Injustice – Mask of Rigidity
I will take a closer look at how and when they are activated, and how they manifest in the body, the more I do this work - working with others and working on myself, I realise we do lie to ourselves... only our bodies and symptoms do not lie.…the brain can rationalise, justify and explain, but sometimes our body reveals a different story. The brain does not care about our happiness or growth. It cares about familiarity and our survival…to keep us alive.
1.The Wound of Rejection - Mask of Escape/Withdrawn
This wound activates during the Purpose Project - eighteen months before we are born until the first year of our life. The child feels rejected by one of the parents of the same sex - an unwanted child. As a result, the person does not believe in his right to exist and often rejects parts of himself and life: love, projects, or success.
If the person recognises this wound within, the lesson here is self-love, acceptance, self-worth, and authenticity. Being able to feel good in your own skin. You are here, you are alive…we are for such a very short time on this planet, think about it - our life is gift that was given to us by our parents.
2.The Wound of Abandonment – Mask of Dependence.
This wound is activated between the first and third years of life, relates to the opposite-sex parent and is caused by the lack of parental emotional support, parent/s suddenly gone, or early parents separation, but also varnishing tween. Dominant feeling with this wound is fear of loneliness, people with a victim's attitude who often neglect themselves and their needs, and falling into codependent relationships.… enmeshment, and entanglement. The person is very concerned about the ability to be alone, to manage life alone.
When we are abandoned in childhood, it is like being left alone in the world, it is a traumatic event for a child and leaves the child feeling lost and scared. The learning lesson here is to step into personal strength.
3.The Wound of Humiliation – Mask of Subservience/Masochist.
This wound activates between the first and third year of life in a relationship with a parent who was responsible for physical and sensual pleasure. Parents are ashamed of the child's dirty, messy, or bad behaviour, and the humiliated child is marked by a sense of shame.
The biggest fear with this wound is the freedom of pleasure and enjoyment. The more a person suffers from humiliation, the more he/she humiliates others.
The learning lesson here is to admit that pleasure and sensuality are part of the human experience. We all need to be sensual and enjoy the experience of pleasure.
4. The Wound of Betrayal – Mask of Controller/ing.
The wound is activated between the second and fourth years of life in a relationship with a parent of the opposite sex who creates an attachment with the child by giving attention which is not appropriate to the child’s expectations - Oedipus/Electra complex. The child feels betrayed or manipulated by the parent - a loss of trust.
The biggest fear here is separation, often the person is in a state of dissociation and denial. This person seems to want to be the one in control, wants the future to be what they think it should be and it is hard to accept people who don't do anything.
With this wound learning is to admit to ourselves we're not perfect, we are vulnerable. Also allowing ourselves to feel our accomplishments without relying on the opinions of others. Accept that life is a process - we can be both resilient and weak. Also, sometimes admit to ourselves that our emotional state doesn't match the task in front of us.
5. The Wound of Injustice – Mask of Rigidity.
This wound occurs between the ages of four and six in relation to same-sex parents. The child experiences parental emotional coldness and unfair treatment, and criticism while he becomes aware that he is his separate entity with his differences.
As an adult, the person feels not respected and therefore suppresses the feelings in order not to feel that way. Often a very sensitive person who tries to hide sensitivity from themselves and other people.
The biggest fear is the emotional coldness of others, the person can't accept his own coldness or that of others, there is a huge need for confirmation of how good and kind a person he is. Although he perceives himself as being warm-hearted, it seems that others perceive him to leave an emotionally cold impression on others.
Here, an important lesson is to not be so hard on yourself. Acknowledge the wound and let it heal, allow yourself to feel negative emotions without guilt, and don't fear criticism.
Do you recognise any of these wounds in yourself?
Life presents us with situations, and people who activate different emotions inside of us - sometimes they activate these wounds. This might be very challenging and yet, it allows us to heal at the same time, if only we make an effort to do our work. Perception is an internal projection of the subjective view we have about ourselves, others, and the world around us. Therefore, when we dislike someone or something in others, we often don't want to acknowledge this characteristic in ourselves. Changing our attitude by focusing on ourselves rather than judging others is a good and only way forward since nobody is here to meet our expectations.
The first step in healing the wounds is to RECOGNISE and ACCEPT it, of course knowing is one thing, and overcoming requires some deeper work from us - to heal it, you need to feel it …to acknowledge ‘how it was for me', recognise the our deficits ‘what I did not get it” and say goodbye to the losses ...to move forward in life.
Carl Jung wrote, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Lise Bourbeau “EGO: The Greatest Obstacle to Healing the 5 Wounds”
Lise Bourbeau “Heal your wounds and find your true self”