I often contemplate these wise words from spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen in my practice as a spiritual director/companion and SoulCollage facilitator.
How do I lean into and allow my own woundedness to be a source of compassion for those I companion and share SoulCollage? I think by recognizing our own pain and shadows we can be vulnerably present to others. It’s by standing along side our wounds and doing the work with them, we are able to be the containers and hold space for others on their journey.
I recently facilitated an in-person labyrinth and SoulCollage workshop with a small group. By creating a safe and confidential space, the participants were able to share tender areas of their souls. I was in awe and felt incredibly blessed to bear witness to the unfolding of spirits as I always am in these situations.
Being vulnerable enough to share tender areas takes courage to not only share but also courage to hear and hold without minimizing or pushing it away. Hearing my own wounded heart in another’s words is a gift of companioning and a gift of sharing SoulCollage. It is sacred and holy work.
How do our wounds heal? Wounds don’t heal the way you want them to, they heal the way they need to. Some wounds heal on the surface and can be re-opened in ways we least expect and re-heal. I’m learning again and again to trust the process.
Today I invite you to do a brief meditation calling up aspects of your woundedness. I urge you to do this gently and with a great deal of self compassion. It’s too easy for this to drift into a self blaming exercise. Be kind to yourself. Trust the process.
Briefly begin by focusing on your breathing, noticing areas in your body where you feel tension. Breathe into that tension. Send compassionate thoughts and gentleness to yourself and your body. Let yourself breathe for a few minutes by allowing the breath to come and go naturally.
Now turn your attention to a wound that comes to mind. It could be physical, emotional or spiritual. Gently breathe compassion and Light into that wound. Allow yourself to see the wound as you would see it in a dear friend. What do you notice?
Do you recognize your wounds? How do you process your woundedness? How do you see your woundedness – as a weakness to hid in shame or as an opportunity for self growth and discovery?
Perhaps you feel invited to journal, create poetry or create a SoulCollage card in response to the breathing meditation and questions. Whatever you choose to do – be gentle with yourself and trust the process of self discovery.
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning is typically done face to face in a confidential setting or can be done via Zoom or other virtual platform. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)