Have you ever noticed that you can do some really amazing, deep, transformative healing, and then six months later, the same freaking thing comes back up again? I have found that it does for me, and I used to wonder why it happened and whether I was ever actually as “healed” as I thought I was.
Here’s the thing: The human mind is fantastically brilliant! Our unconscious minds compute unfathomable amounts of data from everything around us, and they are like incredibly powerful computers that can use that information to calculate things that our conscious minds cannot. The book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell explores this in detail with case studies and scientific research.
Everything we don’t even realize we see around us is computed. Even seemingly meaningless things like how well the lawns in our neighborhood are maintained and slight changes in someone’s pitch as they speak go into the calculations. The conclusions of those calculations are generally only available to us through our feelings, such as our emotions, sensations, and intuition.
Our minds develop rules for how to function to help us avoid pain, though usually we’re not consciously aware of those rules. Everything we feel changes our brains, but pain is more impactful than anything else. Our minds are so brilliant that they don’t just use our own personal experiences to create rules for how to avoid pain. They also see the evidence of the pain of others and use that information as well.
In this way, we take on the pain of others even if we don’t see the original cause of that pain. The core wound from the neighbor’s early childhood can indirectly impact us even if we never pay any attention to the neighbor. Our minds are just THAT powerful!
This is part of why you may sometimes find that you have core wounds that don’t seem to make sense based on the life that you’ve lived. Another reason is that we also have genetic memory. Scientists believe that our memories actually change our genetic material, so we pass our traumas from before having a child onto future generations through that child. Traumas experienced many generations ago due to war, practical realities of life, and social injustice can show up as core wounds even if we don’t know that they happened!
And just like other people’s core wounds can unconsciously or consciously impact us, when they heal those core wounds, the manifestations of their freedom to live their truth also impact us. When we heal our own core wounds, we walk out into the world as healers because our very presence has a healing influence on others even if they initially react negatively on the surface. This then creates a ripple effect. The people with whom we come in direct or indirect contact go on to impact others around them, and those people impact others around them, and so on. The very best thing we can do for anyone and everyone is to take very, very good care of ourselves!
Living in the world means absorbing the pain of others, and continuing to process our feelings means healing that pain not just in us, but also in others. When we heal ourselves, we’re indirectly healing everyone!
This is one of the reasons why it is unhelpful to try to figure out why you feel the way you do. You may never know, and if you make an assumption, the pain that you are experiencing will reinforce that assumption and change or reinforce your mental model. This also causes you to hold onto that pain. However, if you just go ahead and feel it without assigning meaning, you’ll likely release it. Whether or not you have an epiphany about why you felt the way you did, you’ll be better off for having processed your feelings. 🙂