Maybe you’ve already heard of this phrase soul wound, that has been used to refer to PTSD-like injuries & mental health resulting from trauma. I don’t think anyone would argue with this definition when it refers to the Holocaust; it also occurred in Rwanda and many other places. To this day, Genocide has consistently been done over the years; for example, the Turkish government has denied any role in the Armenian Genocide in the early 1900s despite proof of their collusion & direct actions.
Abraham J. Peck wrote an article for the Maine Sunday Telegram, “Genocide Survivors Share Soul Wound,” April 23, 2017 p. D1, asking about the nature of Genocide, and writes, “Is this the dark cloud that lurks in all of us just waiting to emerge if the circumstances are right and we no longer see the victim as a human being?”
“But the murderers murdered and the dead cannot be brought back to life. What do we do with our memories and with our own soul wounds, those of us who bear the burden of our genocides? And how can humanity begin to understand the ‘other’ in its midst as our brothers and sisters?”
I won’t even go near the rash of ‘Holocaust Deniers’ that have risen out of their sleekly hidden beds to give voice to protest even resisting the fact that it happened.
Isn’t this what ISIS is doing, too? They are in Syria, cordoning off an area that they hold militarily; I’m sure there are ongoing discussions between the U.S. government and our allies, as to how best to stop the slaughtering of innocent women & children. It will be an ongoing process. Is this incipient Genocide?
People who endure any kind of mass & traumatic event such as Genocide, have received “soul wounds” from this kind of experience. Depending on what beliefs you have about the soul, this might be as real as tar on a road, or as phantasmagorical as a vision in the desert.
Maybe it would be better to choose the words, “wounds of the spirit,” or “spirit wounds.” Or perhaps we could choose the word consciousness. Our consciousnesses mine the treasures & sieves that allow unconsciousness to flow into our being; in fact, it can reflect all the holistic elements of our spirituality.
As such, I would say that wounds of the soul can be healed. There are many tributaries of healing ways & methods that can be selected by unique individuals with various learning-styles; there is no time limit to this kind of healing, because it is triggered by an individual’s collective thought processes, emotions, intellectual aspects or our intelligence, social aspects, physical aspects, brain-chemistry functions, genetics, environment, etc. A person must decide if it’s time to jump into the flow and go!
Many therapists point out that until the wounded traumas are confronted and processed and integrated, the powerful, often submerged, impacts will remain in place in one’s life. This is an important point: whether it be children’s sexual abuse, a natural disaster, combat, etc. it will continue to impact the sufferer’s life in unhealthy ways.
Henri Nouwen created the term “the wounded healer.” A “wounded healer” is a person who has spent time with her own wounds, and has found the means to integrate the wounds into one’s spirituo-psycho-social fabric of life. Due to this process, the “wounded healer” develops greater compassion & empathy for the wounds, both of themselves & others. So, in this way, a wound can act as a change agent.
It’s a perfect time to think of soul wounds, and recognize that Mother Earth (Earth Day) has been wounded greatly & extravagantly, by our own human, unethical actions. We’ve damaged the earth’s soul by living in our boundaries, but dissing respectful-love.
Mama Earth has modeled for us how to mend souls that are wounded; she was the beginner of this work, showing us how it works, and to perpetuate it beyond the bounds of our moral imperatives, wrong or right, it’s been going along all this time under the loving & caring guidance of the Universe.
Yesterday was Earth Day-a good way to sift our memories & knowings about the earth is to celebrate life this week; think of the ways we can advocate, work for, or serve the Universe in the mission of a “soul wound” capacity of re-integration and community wellness.
©Christopher Bear-Beam April 27, 2017