We all experience it. There are deep troubling scars embedded in us that we try to overlook and move on. Childhood traumas, loss of a dear one, overbearing parents, being insulted at work and several other life events create internal scars.
To overcome these scars we try to portray our best. We demonstrate confidence and toughness. We build a protective layer around us. Our interactions are guarded and we are defensive. We carry on the armor with us at all times and fear to take it off.
Those internal scars remain covered but not healed. Within those covers, at every moment, the scars exert force to surface, but you keep them suppressed.
As contrary it may sound, allowing to be penetrated and becoming vulnerable is a sustainable cure for those deep rooted internal scars. Being vulnerable does not equate to being weak. Being vulnerable equates to being true to your own self, being authentic.
Here are some life lessons to treat those internal wounds:
– Robert De Niro in the movie “Meet the Parents” talks about the people within a circle of trust. In our own lives, we need to draw that circle and decide who belongs in there. Within that circle, be courageous and open up. Vent your feelings without attributing blame, hatred or becoming judgmental.
– Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning” says there is a space between our stimulus and response. In that space is our power to choose the response. As your circle of trust responds back to you, leverage the space between your stimulus and response to make your choice. A choice based out of humility and not ego, a choice based on positive and not negative outlook, a choice treating others with equanimity and not envy.
– David Pollay in his book “Law of Garbage Trucks” encourages us to let the garbage of our lives – anger, resentment, negativity “pass by” and not dump it on ourselves or others. I have found this approach to be quite profound and on many occasions much easier than trying to “let go.” By letting it pass by, you don’t spend resources in internalizing and then letting it go. As David says, you wave at the garbage truck, wish it well and move on.
As we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and be authentic, we peel away those superficial external layers of protection. We reinforce and allow our strong internal self to surface out. We become authentic without the need for an external “you” and and internal “you.” Nothing is stronger than the core internal self of ours. Why not let it shine?
Picture credit – Gerd Altmann