Archetypal Wounds

The Whole Person Blog: Week Two, Day Four, Part 1/2 - Archetypal Wounds

Writings inspired by Dr. Mario Martinez: The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success

Interview with Dr. Mario Martinez

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Every so often, I'll contemplate the evolution of my professional journey, from personal trainer to soft tissue therapist to MindBodySpirit® coach, and I sit in amazement that for the first ten years of my career, I was a symptom-chaser. A client would present with a goal to lose weight, improve energy, enhance posture, drink more water, get more sleep, etc. and sure enough, without much inquiry, we'd get after it. We'd hop straight into the tactics associated with achieving their goals, never even thinking to inquire about their formative years: how success was measured at home, quality of relationships and connection, modeled insecurities, levels of structure and order, ill-defining moments, etc. Of course, I shouldn't have known to ask any of these questions; in fact, these conversations are largely discouraged by the Industry. As the saying goes, you don't know what you don't know.

Twenty years into the "game," it's abundantly clear that people have no idea why they're in the situation they're in, and minus that insight, you can only be critical of yourself. And when you're your own biggest critic, healing is not possible. Said another way, you may change your container, but your contents will remain! To help my clients shift their self-relationship from critical to compassionate, I take them through a model I've developed called the Experience Wheel: Symptoms --> Behaviors --> Beliefs --> Experiences. The long and short of it is their unwanted symptoms and protective behaviors emanate from limiting beliefs and painful experiences. The symptom is the "what," and the experience is the "why." When discussing their unpleasant experiences, there are three patterns that Dr. Mario Martinez has helped me to see clearly...

"All cultures, East and West, have their own unique ways of punishing those whose ideas and behaviors run contrary to established beliefs. These forms of punishment cause emotional damage that surface in the form of three archetypal wounds: abandonment, shame, and betrayal. I call these wounds archetypal because they are so remarkably consistent across cultures–and the similarities in their mindbody manifestations are striking. It was seeing the detrimental effects that such wounds had on the health and well-being of my patients that moved me to find "antidotes" to reverse the damage. There is a healing field for each of the three wounds. Commitment heals abandonment, honor heals shame, and loyalty heals betrayal."

Once I saw this phenomenon, I couldn't unsee it. When someone talked down to themself, I saw shame; when someone placed others' needs ahead of their own, I saw betrayal, and when someone gave up when the going got tough, I saw abandonment. They were simply transmitting the pain that was trapped inside them, even though they were behaviors they weren't proud of and didn't want to participate in. While your challenges may be manifesting in the outer world, their roots are within your inner world, which substantiates inner work. When you find yourself acting in ways that dishonor your values, STOP, and pay attention to your mindbody and identify what you're thinking, what you're feeling, and which wound you may be expressing. Then, while breathing into the experience, imagine what engaging your healing filed might look like. Move back and forth a few times between wounding and healing fields until you reach emotional neutral. Last, realize the decision you make next will either reinforce or redefine the wound. This is not a guilt trip; it's a revelation of your free will.

"If we allow a meeting of horizons between the healing and wounding fields, because healing fields are vastly more powerful, hone will inevitably overwhelm shame, commitment will resolve abandonment, and loyalty will transcend betrayal." Dr. Mario Martinez



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