I can guarantee you that right now you’re wearing the scars from some unresolved trauma in your past. For some of us those scars are physical, they parade themselves like bookmarks on the surface of our skin, real scar tissue borne of either accident or intent. For others, the trauma is worn spiritually. It’s our energy that seeps into a room 3 seconds before we do, or the hesitation in our speech that signals insecurities we try so desperately to hide.
As a species, we’ve fooled ourselves into believing that by not verbally communicating what really makes us depressed or anxious, no one will know the pain we’re in. How false this belief is.
Recently, I met a man who is one of the most intelligent and diversely creative men that I have ever known. Within ten minutes of speaking to him, of sharing space with him, it gradually became clearer and clearer that he was also one of the most tortured souls I had ever come across. And when I say tortured, I mean it in the truest sense of the word. Not disturbed or dysfunctional, but tortured, from the inside out. The energy of angst and the uncertainty of self that lay beneath his show of confidence was so strong, that I wasn’t even able to articulate it straight away. I had to retreat to my own space, to get quiet and to reflect on what I had just encountered. Not only was I questioning just what I had come into contact with, but also why, why now and why did it make me so uncomfortable.
What I found out was this. What I had come into contact with was a man so deeply scarred, emotionally and mentally, that it had become the driving force for everything good he tried to achieve. It sounds like a familiar scenario, it’s how a lot of people find themselves achieving greatness, but this case was different. It wasn’t the need to do good that motivated him, it was the pain of suffering. He didn’t live in a place of hope or of healing, he lived right at the very centre of his pain. It meant that everything he presented to me came with the flavour of desperation and an energy of negativity that had not yet been transmuted.
I saw that his need to change his small pocket of the world was a noble goal, but that every success or win would only strengthen the negativity within him, fuelling its own need to exist and be recognised.
My instinct was to help heal this man. Never before had I such an urge to help someone at such a core level, without the use of NLP or hypnotherapy, but by just by sitting and sharing space with him. His real space, beneath the show. What he needed was someone to be present enough with him in that moment, to help cut through the chords of pain that anyone with any sense of awareness could see cutting into his being.
In today’s world we’re under the illusion that scars are only the result of healing, that it’s a natural part and indeed the end of a process. We forget that sometimes, and especially on a non-physical level, they’re just the beginning of healing. Emotional scars can be just as visible as physical wounds. When we come across them in others we must treat them with as much compassion as we would someone who is openly bleeding, crying or in pain in front of us.
If you yourself have emotional scars, be aware that people will see them even when you think they’re hidden. They will sense the difference between what is healed and what is not and that is the looking glass through which your experiences with them may be shaped.
This man who came into my life was not a client, he wasn’t even a friend. I hope that one day he becomes one of those things with someone who can, and will, help him let go of the pain.