Ep. 197: Core Wound vs Sacred Wound

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This week we’re diving into when our Core Wound becomes our Sacred Wound and the secret no one talks about: it’s not meant to be healed. .

Our core wound is psycho-spiritual wounding of sorts, and it’s one that’s so painful for us that we form our primary childhood survival strategies and what we might call aspects of our “personality” as a reaction to it. 

This is different than how we suffer in daily life or when a traumatic event occurs that’s not related to the core wound. The core wound can include trauma, but a traumatic event doesn’t have to include a core wound.

In the model we’re using here, it suggests we arrive into this body with a predisposition toward a sensitivity that makes us more vulnerable to the core wound. Then an event (or events) happen, which is amplified by our sensitivity.

For example, one child may grow up with strict parents who yelled a lot, but they don’t have a sensitivity towards that environment, so they can process and manage without a lot of personal identification with those challenges. They might feel it was challenging but that they knew their parents still loved them.

But another child could grow up in the same type of environment and they DO have a sensitivity toward that, and so they are more deeply activated by the yelling or strictness. That child may not feel safe; they might feel unloved, or unseen by their primary caregivers, living in true fear.

This sensitivity is something that exists within that person as part of their being  – it’s not changeable, just like we can’t decide to grow taller.

This wound isn’t meant to be healed. In fact we need it, because our Core Wound actually holds the secrets of our Soul Purpose. And when we explore our core wound in this way, I’ve found we’re able to link it to our super power – our sacred destiny.

But working with the core wound isn’t simple or easy because we’re diving into our darkest shadows. So to avoid retraumatizing ourselves while doing this sacred wound work, we want to make sure we go there only when we have enough stability and support to allow it to be of benefit (even if temporary).

Once we feel we’re ready, then we can start to notice that we find one particular memory that is uniquely and exquisitely painful. It usually happened to us early in life, and we experience it as a trauma so big that we form many protective survival strategies, behaviors, and identities from that.

I want to note here that no matter our family environment (healthy or dysfunctional) every one of us has a core wound. It’s not something we can wish away, nor is something that’s randomly assigned. It’s a wound that’s uniquely ours, one meant to shape us.

The Core Wound can shift to a Sacred Wound when we start to experientially explore the Core Wound. The exploration alchemizes it into a source of self-knowledge and insight.

And when we continue to explore the now Sacred Wound, we can surrender to the grief and fear of those memories at the center of the wound. We don’t distance ourselves from what we uncover there anymore – we lean into them.

Within all of this, there is a required death of our old story (the Core Wound) and a birth of our soul-based story (our Sacred Wound). The death of the caterpillar to create the butterfly in the cocoon. That mystical, mythical, EPIC story, our Soul Song, is only revealed by our Sacred Wound.

This is why doing this sacred wound work isn’t about healing or putting a bandage on it.

This is also why doing this work never ends. It’s a life-long process.

Bill Plotkin says, “The wound becomes sacred when you are ready to release your old story and become the vehicle through which your soul story can be lived into the world.” So we don’t need to heal our core wound to live our soul purpose. In fact, we need that wound, because it is inextricably linked to our unique gift. Without it, we would have no fertile soil for our gift to grow.

In this work with our Sacred Wound, we can stop overidentifying with the core wound and instead embrace and integrate it.

Then we can begin to identify less with our social roles, and orient our life based on our soul purpose. And this, my friends, is a big part of helping our communities heal, as well as our great Earth community and the more-than-human world.

You will learn:

// What a core wound is and how it affects everyone differently

// How we have a predisposition towards our core wound

// How we can safely explore our wounds without retraumatizing ourselves

// Why we don’t want to heal or “fix” our core or sacred wound… and why this work is a sustained path

// How our Sacred Wound allows us to live our Soul Purpose


// Episode 55: Letting Go to Grow

// Episode 182: When Trauma Is Taken out of Context

// The Wild Mind Series:

  • Episode 142: Your Wild Mind – The North + Protectors 
  • Episode 143: Your Wild Mind – The South + Wounded Children 
  • Episode 144: Your Wild Mind – The East + Our Need to Escape 
  • Episode 145: Your Wild Mind – The West and Our Shadows

// Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out. Plus, we have entire months devoted to wisdom and compassion. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there!

// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist private group, and tune in every Wednesday as I go live with new inspiration and topics.