7. You find happiness in your misery because it’s a source of attention in the form of sympathy from other people.
8. You have a large, unexplored Shadow Self.
9. You behave in dishonest/inauthentic ways that are not true to the person you really are. You behave in this way to gain the acceptance of others.
11. You are your own worst critic (i.e., you constantly remind yourself how much of a “loser” or a “failure” you are).
12. You always feel like an outcast, and you can never quite fit in with anyone. Instead of appreciating your uniqueness and seeing it as an opportunity, you see it as a curse.
The larger your core wound is, the more you experience Soul Loss. Often, this is passed onto the people around you (like a virus) – especially children, who are the most susceptible and vulnerable of all.
List of Core Wounds
Core wounds are many and varied. Here’s a list of core wounds and the accompanying core beliefs that can grow from them:
1. Abandonment (“There’s something wrong with me,” “I’m unlovable,” “I am unimportant”)
2. Betrayal (“I am unworthy,” “I am hopeless,” “I am a failure”)
3. Physical/Sexual/Mental/Emotional abuse (“I am ugly,” “I deserve only bad things,” “I’m not in control,” “I am weak,” “I am always unsafe,” “I deserve to be punished”)
4. Rejection (“I am shameful,” “I am a bad person,” “I don’t deserve love,” “I have to be perfect,” “I will never belong”)
This is not an exhaustive list, but it highlights the most common emotional core wounds that people struggle with. How many can you relate to?
How to Find Your Core Wound?
The most suffering we experience from our core wounds revolves around the false self-images we present to the world. On one hand, we go through life pretending to be very important, and on the other, we believe that we are unworthy, ugly, unlovable, or broken deep down.
We need to examine our wounds carefully, wash them using psychological and spiritual tools (e.g., shadow work), and keep them clean until they heal. A good place to begin this process is by being honest with ourselves. We need to stop avoiding the truth about how we authentically feel and develop the courage to face our wounds and erroneous perceptions.
A greater Master once said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Only once you truly become aware of your core wound, of how you inherited your “original sin” and the idea that you’re “unworthy,” will you be able to find closure. Only by forgiving what keeps you from experiencing wholeness deep down can you become free.
With that being said, here are some powerful ways of uncovering your core wound. Most of them surround asking the question “why?”:
1. Use Your Feelings as an Anchor
One powerful way of uncovering your core wound is by using any negative emotion you feel in the moment as an anchor to draw you down inside of yourself. You can then examine what you are feeling when it began, and why you feel the way you do.
For example, if I was feeling great frustration in the present moment, I could use that feeling as a trigger to ask myself, “Why?” I might then like to mentally trace back the development of that feeling and discover that the feeling of frustration is a by-product of deep sadness I feel. Then I could examine that deep sadness. Why do I feel that way? I might discover that this deep sadness comes as a result of feeling as though I had failed to get to work on time. Then I could examine why getting to work late makes me feel so bad. I might then discover that I feel like a failure, and thus uncover a core belief/wound: