The Wound is the Place Where the Light Enters You
The wound is the place where the Light enters you. — Rumi
Life — this very beautiful flower, which — as we are drunken by its intoxicating fragrance and as we dare to touch and handle it fearlessly, unassumingly, adoringly — mercilessly and harshly scratches our soul and cuts us to bleed with its knife-like thorns.
I love poetry. I especially love the work of Charles Bukowski. Just the other day, I was watching one of his interviews where he was talking about life, his own mortality, and how he is ready for his final departure and not at all afraid of making this transition. He believes that in the end of our life journey, everything which was once quite magical can get redundant and routine. He also talked about living his life as an alcoholic. He told the story of how when he was young, working in a factory at a painfully dull job, all he had to look forward to after coming back home from work was to go out to a bar and get drunk, possibly even get into a fight. To him, it was another sort of life, different from the deathly hard and boring life he was living. Thus, he believed drinking was actually his savior.
As I was listening to him, I was thinking about how all of us people, these occupants of planet earth — somehow, sometime, somewhere — are wounded by life itself. Life is this beautiful flower, which — as we are drunken by its intoxicating fragrance and as we dare to touch and handle it fearlessly, unassumingly, adoringly — mercilessly and harshly scratches our soul and cuts us to bleed with its knife-like thorns.
Some mornings, we wake up and found ourselves down and depressed and we see our bed is stained with the blood which has oozed out of our souls’ wounds. These wounds are old but are still raw and open, for we have done a good job in denying and ignoring them. They are all hidden in a dark place in us; they are secrets we try to hide from everyone, and even more so, from ourselves.
To heal and cure these wounds, there are not too many medications accessible to us. We can’t just walk into a pharmacy counter and pick up some painkillers to get red of the constant, throbbing pain we feel in our souls. Maybe that’s why so many of us self-medicate by over eating, over shopping, over drinking. It is like putting a band aid to hide the wound to make it feel okay just for today, just for now.
Sometimes our pain can even be a friend, for it makes us unconformable and breaks us. Once we put the broken pieces back together, we become whole and stronger as a person.
Sometimes we meet people who are so badly emotionally injured and scarred that they choose to wear a mask. They could have many different masks to wear so they can be different people at different times, places, or occasions.
How tender we people are built and how easily susceptible we all are to break, to fall. During this last crazy, wild Los Angeles storm, on my way driving to work, I was looking at all these broken branches fallen down on the street. I thought to myself, “Wow. All these rows of trees looked so strong to me from outside every time I drove by them.” I could not even imagine they were so breakable and tender from the inside. I guess they just couldn’t tolerate this harsh wind.
Come to think of it, maybe the whole imbalance in the world comes from our neglecting to address and nurse our emotional wounds. Maybe if we could learn how to heal our souls, there would be a way that our crooked universe could balance itself. Maybe then there would be less people in prison, less alcoholics and drug users, less everything-else-on-the-list. But then again, how can we cure and heal our wounds?
One thing we may do is practice to be weightless, like swimmers who can lay still on the top of the water. We can practice to float above incidents and things which can hurt us, as though believing that there is a larger power which is actually keeping us afloat. Meditation is another way of floating above everything, giving up control, entering into a place where there is no sound, no thought, no resistance, no intellect, no objections, no memory, no judgment, no opinion. Meditation is just being in the moment, trying to become empty, and getting rid of the overwhelming fullness of living and creating space and silence in our minds.
The irony is we live in a world which offers us a plentiful variety of everything. We have hundreds of ice cream flavors, hundreds of TV channels to watch, etcetera. However, we are so bashful, careful, and secretive as to how we can openly deal and heal our souls’ wounds or even to acknowledge that we have souls.
I don’t have all the answers. It is all so intangible. Share with me your thoughts: how can we all find means to heal our souls once wounded?