I didn’t feel the aimed word hit,
and go in like a soft bullet.
I didn’t feel the smashed flesh closing over it
like water over a thrown stone.
From Louise Penny’s “The Cruelest Month”
We can all relate to this image. We know the feeling of the judging look; of the bemused smile as though what we just said makes no sense, “but what can you expect.” We know the words of criticism that were meant to harm rather than encourage, to make us stop rather than grow. Some of them were misinterpretations and misunderstanding. When we were children, it was easy to think that every emotional reaction and every angry word were our fault. We believed that something we said, thought or did created these frightening reactions in people we trusted and looked to for truth.
Exterior messages are added. We are told that we are not very athletic; not good at math; not artistic or mechanical. There are spoken questions about our choice of career or hobby; our choice of a life companion or home. These “word bullets” can also come as the quizzical look when we are speaking of something dear to our heart, or the redirecting of a conversation away from something we value.
As we internalize them, “word bullets” become the messages that our conditioned minds use to limit and control us. They become the obstacles that distort incoming acceptance and praise into judgment and criticism. We tease about a compliment bouncing off our forehead to hit the far wall, but we also know the truth of that experience.
Like any foreign object, that does not belong within our being, there is a second innate response to these invading thought forms. We form a protective shield around them, encapsulating them and forming a kind of scar tissue. When deep damage is done, the scar tissue can be new rules we create about how we will live our life to avoid experiencing this pain again. These are sometime called intrusions, because they intrude on the natural flow of our life. They make our lives smaller and limit the flow of love and life through our being.
HEALING FROM WORD BULLET AND INTRUSIONS
Wanting to be free of these limitations, I asked for a journey to heal the word bullets in my own life. In a ceremony, I had written out a few of the “word bullets,” that have distracted me from living my life fully. While it is tempting to ask for all of them to be removed, it is much more kind and healing to release them a few at a time as they come to mind. This allows me to be completely open to the healing work without it becoming overwhelming or triggering a healing crisis.
I met with my healing GrandMother there at the circle of wise elder women. There were many other women in this healing ceremony and a circle of men were experiencing the same ritual, not far away.
I was able, without reciting all of them, to relay all the bullets and intrusions I had written down for this ceremony. As I spoke, a circle of women moved around me. First there was one woman who brought a sharp shard of bone and thrust it into my solar plexus. She extracted a “bullet” with the gore that had surrounded it to keep it from killing my body. Soon, there were a number of women working all over my body, removing similar pellets and allowing the ooze to drain from countless wounds.
I was told that the same was being done for many men and women who were seeking this kind of healing.
It felt like it took a while, and I was told that it was time to allow the love and light to now wash in and through these old wounds. It is a process. First, the “word bullets” are hollowed out and the wound cleansed with healing light. This felt like having great boulders removed and the flow of clear, soothing, pure water move through all the now open areas in my physical body – carrying light and sparkle and effervescence. I was told that the healing is complete, and yet the full renewal of the creative and life energy flow will be something I will discover over time. Once these deep places within have been restored to balance, it is possible for our original wholeness to be restored. Regeneration of what had been lost will take some time, but the process has begun.
FORGIVENESS AS PART OF HEALING:
Forgiveness is essential to this process as a means of shifting our perception of the self from that of victim, to that of a whole and capable individual. To release the traumatic impact of word bullets and intrusions is to let go of all that still ties our life to the experience of being wounded. Lack of forgiveness is a tether to the one whose actions caused us harm, so that instead of being free to leave them behind, they continue to be the determining factor in the quality of our life.
At times, we hold onto the wounds and all of the physical repercussions they bring to our life, as though our failure to thrive will somehow punish the one who we hold responsible. Refusing to forgive another is like drinking poison and expecting it to make another ill. At some point in our evolution, we need to stop drinking the poison and cut the cord of holding someone else responsible for the unfolding of our life. Until we do, it is very difficult to truly live from the reality of our own wholeness, health and creative energy for life.
When the source of the wound and its encapsulating gore has been removed, I am not left to “just get over it.” Instead, there in the feeling of having love and light poured over and through my whole being, like a balm. There is no emptiness left where there used to be pain. Instead, in this timeless reality, my original being can be restored as though the wound had not occurred. My ability to allow light and love to flow freely through me is restored.
It is a process and not, at least for me, an instantaneous transformation. As I repeat this ritual, with more and more challenging wounds from my life, I find that some take longer than others to heal. The process seems to unfold outside my awareness and I notice it more in hindsight. My mind will go back to that particular sore spot of memory and can not find the old reaction. It no longer is an automatic hook for fear, anger, self-doubt, or pain. The experience remains, but the wound and the scar both seem to have faded away.
I share these images because this kind of healing is available to anyone at any time, and there are many ways to open ourselves to it. If Shamanic Journey work interests you I hope you will find the following resources helpful.
Sandra Ingerman has taught courses on Shamanism for those in the western culture for over 40 years. She has several books on shamanic journey and provides a list of shamanic practitioners who she has trained
Sounds True has provided a number of video workshops and courses on shamanic practice through the years. They are one of my favorite organizations working with spiritual development. You can search their site by topic or through their on-line learning.