I highly recommend the book, Heal Your Wounds & Find Your True Self by Lise Bourbeau to anyone who is on a healing journey. I read this book in only three days. It’s very deep and accurate! I’ve discussed this book with loved ones and they could relate to the contents in the book as well.
This book states that we all have wounds that we’re trying to heal and with each wound, we create a mask to protect our wounds and from experiencing the pain again. The five categories of wounds and masks are:
The creation of the wounds in four stages
We’ve been taught that being ourselves is unacceptable. After birth, we try to discover who we are but then we’re taught that being natural is wrong. This is painful for the child. The outburst we experience with children and teenagers have been normalized in society. “Children who act naturally, who are balanced and who have the right to be themselves don’t have ‘fits’ like these” (pg. 17). The 1st stage is when we are ourselves. The second is the hurt from realizing that being ourselves is painful. The third stage is revolting because of the pain. And the last stage is where we create the mask to shield us from experiencing the pain again due to not being accepted as who we are. Many of us walk around with a mask, not showing our true selves because we learned that being our true selves is wrong.
The author states that we all are dealing with at least one wound. Some of us may be dealing with all five wounds to various degrees. Or we may have three wounds but we have one that is really deep. Based on each wound, we wear a mask to hide and protect our wound so that we can avoid getting hurt. For example, A person with the wound of abandonment where a person feels that a parent left them, may put on the mask of someone who’s dependent. They may have really bad posture because they feel unsupported in life and find it hard to support their body by themselves. However, as we suppress the wound by hiding it behind a mask, it has to come out somewhere and that’s through the physical body.
Unfortunately, we continue attracting the wound we’re trying to avoid because it’s trying to call our attention so we could heal from it.
What makes this book unique from other books I’ve read about healing is that it points to how these unhealed wounds can alter our body, appearance, and can even cause specific diseases. But just because we are dealing w/ a wound, it doesn’t mean we’ll devo each physical ailment described in the book for that wound. For example, a person who deals with the rejection wound, may deal with allergies because their body is rejecting something, to call attention to the fact they’re still dealing with the wound of rejection, but they won’t have dark circles underneath their eyes, which can also be a result of the rejection wound.
These masks can change throughout the day for some people or a person can wear the mask for several years.
Ex. I recently found out that someone I know decided to no longer take care of her child. I got so angry with her. How could a mother abandon her child? I quickly realized that her story triggered some of my abandonment wounds. I was happy to realize that I still have some healing to do in this regard. But I also realized that she herself had been abandoned by her father. I then started to have compassion for this woman. This isn’t to validate what she did or say it’s okay, but I saw things from a bigger perspective.
Interestingly, the author also mentions how people seek plastic surgery to repair the wounds in the body. The body is trying to call attention to a wound, but if it remains unhealed, the person’s body may return to how it was before the surgery.
The book provides suggestions on how to heal each wound. You can see someone’s physical body and get an idea of their trauma. The body doesn’t lie. We can have more empathy for not only our wounds but for other people’s wounds when we recognize that their reaction is coming from a place of pain and not take it personally. Also, we can have more compassion for them and ourselves for our reaction. It’s okay to be angry and let the emotions out. It’s important that we eventually learn about our wounds and accept them, even when we hurt others because of our pain.