LOVING OUR WOUNDS AS GIFTS
I have always loved the story of Chrion. A Centaur (half man, half horse), he seemed like a perfect fusion of gifts to my young mind. Intelligence and freedom, strength and wisdom, power and perseverance. But these gifts came at a price.
You see Chiron was the immortal son of Cronus (Saturn) and Philyra (a nymph), yet his conception was far from loving. He was born of rape (common in Greek Mythology) and abandoned by both parents as a baby. Born wounded you could say. He was adopted by the sun god Apollo and taught philosophy, music and the arts. He became a renowned teacher and was sought out by all the great Greek hero’s including Jason, Asclepius, Achilles and Hercules.
His second wounding came at the hands of Hercules, when he accidentally shot Chiron in the knee with an arrow poisoned with venom from the Hydra. It was a wound that caused his mentor excruciating pain and would never heal whilst he lived (immortally). Chiron carried his wound and relentless pain for years, whilst continuing to teach and heal those that came to seek him. Eventually, however, the perpetual pain became too much to bear and our master healer sought to turn his healing abilities to himself.
At this time, Chiron learned that Zeus had chained the Titan god, Prometheus, in Tartarus (the underworld), for stealing his immortal fire. Each day Prometheus had his liver eaten out by an eagle, only to have it regrow the following night and have the whole process begin again the next day. If an immortal should offer to take Prometheus’s place, Zeus had vowed to set him free. Chiron saw in this situation an unconventional solution to his own healing. He offered to take Prometheus’s place, therefore entering the underworld and becoming mortal. He offered to die to his previous form and in doing so was set free from his pain. Zeus, in respect for his courage, placed him in the stars where he lives on today as the constellation of Sagittarius.
Why have I chosen to tell you this story? Why is this story still so powerful in the times we find ourselves living through?
Because we are all wounded in some way AND this is NOT…(I repeat NOT), a bad thing.
Let’s try on a new story about wounding for a moment. Let’s consider these ‘what if’s’?:
What if, it is only through experiencing our wounds that we learn about our inner strength and ability to overcome adversity?
What if, our wounds are an essential part of being fully human and only through them are we able to fully experience the vast breadth of life on earth?
What if, we choose our wounds at a soul level, in order to learn the specific lessons we came into this life to understand?
What if, our wounds make us courageous enough to risk walking our biggest story alive in the world?
It occurs to me that without wounds to catalyze growth, we live within comfort zones. I am rarely motivated to change without some form of discomfort driving me to jump off a new cliff.
We are led to believe by our current social story that we are continually imperfect and therefore need healing. What if we are already healed in our imperfection? What if it is our imperfections that make use uniquely human? Healing could be redefined as the process of living life fully, of engaging as completely as possible in the spectrum and experience of being human in these times of chaos and transformation on earth. We are always healing and we are always healed.
Our wounds generate compassion, empathy and humility that, in turn, create connection with those around us. Instead of becoming defined as the victims of our wounds, what if we choose to embrace them as gifts? To transcend the fear that being imperfect brings and allow ourselves to feel courageous as we welcome the transformation that living with our wounds brings.
Perhaps like Chiron, we need to come to the point where we are willing to die to our old ‘wounded stories’ and instead see them as opportunities to be reborn as healed, whole, fully alive humans.
Perhaps we just need to reconnect to our sense of being whole and complete.
Next week we begin a new online quest that celebrates our ability to reconnect to the joy, gratitude and grace of our dance of being fully human. If you wish to embrace your wounds as your gifts, why not join us in the celebration?