Transforming Wounds Into Wisdom


Image: The Revenant

Everybody hurts.

Not the most original of insights perhaps – especially since you will have heard it sung approximately 3.2 million times by now – but there is a huge difference between knowing and truly knowing, between knowing and understanding within the very core of your being.

Never is this disparity more apparent than… when it hurts; when it really, really hurts.  At these times what happens?  We fight, we struggle, we question, we protest; why me?  This shouldn’t be happening!

Well, it is.  And if it isn’t, then it will.  And when it does, what are you going to do about it?

I believe that life hands us our hurts to act as lessons, to teach us the things that we need to know – to understand – and to guide us along the path to discovering our best selves.  It is our job to recognise these golden opportunities and to discover or develop the tools that we need to enable us to do the work.

Maxwell-Dickson-The-Thinker-Canvas-Art-Print-L14258487Image: Maxwell Dickson

Learning doesn’t happen by accident and wisdom isn’t some kind of cosmic water that fills us up as we drink in experiences and the years carry us across the waves of our lives.  No, learning is an act of intention and wisdom is earned, our wage for doing the work that life appoints us to do.  And life has a habit of making it pretty clear to us what it is we need to work on; like a bruise on the head from beating it against the same old wall, or the heartburn from the same old recipe that didn’t agree with us the last time.  Or the time before that.

Depression, divorce, dating and disappointment: herein lie my lessons.  The power of writing – my implement for dissecting, uncovering and discovering; the tool for transforming my wounds into wisdom.

Life hurts, life wounds, and when it does what are you going to do?  How are you going to transform your wounds into wisdom?

Me?  I’m going to keep on writing, and, one day, I am going to grow wings…img_0335

One day I am going to grow wings.

One day my life will be richer for the hardships of today, my wounds transformed into wisdom, and those that have hurt me will be revealed as my teachers, guides that directed me onto the path that led to a better destination.

One day today’s struggles will be the source of smiles not sorrow, as missing pieces of the jigsaw are added to reveal a glorious expanse of sky framing a small grey cloud; I will look back on today and hold my head up high knowing that through the changes that life forced me to make, my values remained constant.

One day my children will understand that I did the best I could to make sure that their childhood was happy and secure in spite of divorce; they will know that wherever I am I carry them with me and that wherever they are they are loved. When challenged to do right by others they will be able to ask themselves, ‘what would Dad do?’

One day the loneliness I feel today will be revealed not as a time of silence and sadness but of recovery and renewal; the absence of a relationship revealed to have offered the opportunity to deepen my relationship with the one constant I will ever have in my life. 

One day I will find you; the frayed strands of my life will be embroidered together, disparate segments joined to create a beautiful whole. Our paths will converge when each of us is ready and we will continue our journeys through life together, the painful lessons of today deepening the bond we share.

One day today’s confusion will be today’s clarity, and today’s past will emerge as the platform from which I reach my highest peaks.

One day you will think of me and say, ‘my life was brighter because you were a part of it’.

One day my words, born of hurt and disappointment, shall bring you comfort.

One day I am going to grow wings, and as my heart sings my soul will fly.

Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.


6 thoughts on “Transforming Wounds Into Wisdom

  1. Great lyrics and so much wisdom. Yes, we all hurt, part of being human. It takes a lot of courage to move through pain and not numb out or distract ourselves. Because that pain will haunt us down until we finally feel it. Thank you for the raw-Ness and beauty of this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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