Primal wounding results from violations of a person's sense of self from mistreatment, large and seemingly small. Wounding may occur from intentional or unintentional neglect, physical or emotional violations, physical or emotional abandonment, or from an inability of significant others to respond empathically to the person, or to aspects of the person, or from a general unresponsiveness in the surrounding social milieu. All such wounding involves a breaking of the empathic relationships by which we know ourselves as human beings; it creates an experience in which we know ourselves not as intrinsically valuable human persons, but instead as non-persons or objects. In these moments we feel ourselves to be "Its" rather than "Thou,"s, to use Martin Buber's terms. Primal wounding thus produces various experiences associated with facing our own potential non-existence or non-being: isolation and abandonment, disintegration and loss of identity, humiliation and low self worth, toxic shame and guilt, feelings of being overwhelmed and trapped, or anxiety, depression and despair.
- John Firman, Ann Gila, A Psychotherapy of Love, adapted
Wide enough to keep you looking
Open enough to keep you moving
Dry enough to keep you honest
Prickly enough to make you tough
Green enough to go on living
Old enough to give you dreams
- Gary Snyder, American poet, essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist
Gone was everything you ever thought with nothing to recall
Yesterday of no consequence, tomorrow not at all
Forgiven and absolved, nothing left to fight.
Your time had reached the moment,
Came the lightning, came the light.
- Olivia Harrison, Came the Lightening, Twenty Poems for George