“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.” ~ Stephan Hoeller
I used to envy people who seemed to lead easy, uneventful lives. From day one, my life was not easy or uneventful. There seemed to be challenges at every step. Why was I so unlucky?
I no longer look at it that way. Now I’m grateful for every challenge that honed me into learning how to be a loving adult. Had I not had the injuries – the woundedness – I might never have embraced the learning path.
I meet people time and again who were never truly challenged until they lost a loved one, or got cancer or lost all their money. They are so unprepared to manage these huge life challenges, because they haven’t yet discovered the pearl – who they are in their essence – and they haven’t yet connected with their Guidance and developed their loving adult.
I felt the misery when I was very young, and for this I’m grateful. People who were so severely wounded that they dissociated from their wounds to survive, or people who were never in enough pain to open up, may find themselves challenged later in life, not knowing who they are or where to turn.
The good news is that it’s never too late to discover the pearl, never too late to embrace your feelings and learn from them, rather than choose to avoid them – even if the pain of the past was so great that you had to not know about it. No matter when in your life the pain finally gets bad enough to motivate you to face it, you can learn and heal – and end up so much stronger for it.
I do not minimize wounding or pain. There are many severe experiences others have gone through that I have not. However, my personal journey, my own misery, my own wounding, allows me to identify with the many feelings of severe pain that people experienced as children, or are experiencing as adults. I’m grateful for my wounding experiences, as they give me the knowing, empathy, compassion, and courage to walk the path of healing with my clients.
Maria, one of my clients, sent the above quote by Steven Hoeller to me. Maria is a therapist who was so profoundly brutalized as a child that she had to dissociate until she found a safe space in which to open and heal. While no one wants to have gone through such intense pain and trauma, Maria also recognizes that her wounds and her healing give her the ability to help others in an in-depth way. As she heals, she is discovering the power of her beautiful pearl, the shining essence that gives her the courage to heal herself. Maria also recognizes that her wounds give a depth and richness to her essence that she is coming to truly appreciate. It’s a joy for me to experience her blossoming and owning the beauty and brilliance of her essence – her pearl.
Old souls often seem to choose very hard paths – paths that will force them to do what their souls came here to do, which is to evolve in their ability to love.
I remember years ago reading in a book about life between lives, about a man who, in his early 20s, dived into a swimming pool, hit his head, and became quadriplegic. In a hypnosis session, he went back to just before this life. He remembered that he had lived a series of happy-go-lucky lives with little meaning. He had decided that he needed a BIG wake-up call in order to get on to a spiritual path, so he decided on being quadriplegic. He was currently a motivational speaker, having done much learning and growing from the horrible experience that his soul had planned for him. He discovered the pearl from his wounds.
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