Finding the Gold in the Wound
We are all wounded, broken, and often defeated. I know I am and have been deeply wounded and broken in the past and I often still feel defeated. I grew up in a difficult home. My father was a cowboy, raised by his grandmother on a ranch. He was raised isolated from having a father and traditional family. He was abandoned by his mother at 3 years of age and didn't see here again until he was in his late thirties. He had issues and wounds that he dealt with.
He married my mother at 18 years of age and within no time had a family. He was a truck driver and often was gone a lot when I was younger. I loved him, he was my hero and a young man. I actually adored him and desperately sought his love and support. I would do anything for his affirmations. I think maybe when I was really little I felt that he loved me, but the older I got the more I realized that he didn't know how to love me. I was so different from what he knew a man or boy should be and he had no clue what to do with me. He endured, but it was painful for him. I could see how he treated my other siblings and it hurt deeply. So deeply that I just eventually cut him out of my heart. I built a huge wall to protect me from him and his hurtful ways. The wall also locked out every one around me.
It is interesting how we can look back and have a understanding of what really happened, but in the moment of the pain we do not have that luxury of understanding. We just go on enduring the wounds and often times the wounds fester and grows for years, only to deepen.
Because of my fathers abuse I hide from him and from the world. If life has taught me one thing, it is that most of time, what transpires in the home seeps out into the world and that is just what happened to me. From his abuse, mostly mental and emotional, I lost all self esteem and could not even look others in the eyes. Unfortunately the youth of the world pick up quickly on things like that and more especially the bullies. They look for the weak and make it their constant mission to abuse and afflict those that are already down. That is exactly what happened to me. I was down at home and beat to the ground at school only to return home to beat down again. There seemed to be no hope for me. From the constant verbal and physical abuse at school and the verbal abuse at home my wounds deepened and basically overwhelmed me and my ability to move forward with confidence and hope.
One of my worst memories that I remember is my dad telling me that “I was a girl in a boys body and one day I would wake up and be a girl” and he would continue saying “and that’s just what you want isn't it?” He would say this as he threw me across the room. He told my mother once, not realizing I was listening, that out of all his children I would be the drug addict and problem. No matter how hard I tried or what I did it was never good enough for him. He always found something wrong with everything I did. I would clean the entire house from top to bottom and he would find the only spot I missed and rant about that. I remember even once I tried out for the football team to get him to see me. It didn’t work. I hated every moment of it, in fact the first game I attended I hide in the bus afraid that I would have to play. I just couldn’t do it, so once again I failed to be the son he wanted.
Agreed, I was totally different from other boys. I loved playing with dolls and I loved planting flowers and gardening. I loved writing poems and dressing up, I loved lip singing to popular singers of the day. All of which my father could not understand. I loved music and wanted to play an instrument. His comment was “none of my boys will be sissies” and we were not allowed.
Those wounds were deep and as I got older there were more wounds and many were deeper. By the time I was 19, I was a mess. From being called gay, fagot, homo, pervert, sissy, and Lulu, my mothers nick name for me, I had absolutely no self esteem. I did realize though that I was not gay. Although in todays world many might disagree, I made a choice that I was not going down that road. I had been sexually molested by a man, I was feminine and soft, but it did not leave me with a desire to continue down that road. What I needed most was affirmation from men. Affirmation is different from sexual connection. (Another blog post)
So, as you can see I was wounded, like most of us are in many ways. We all have wounds, they are just different from one person to the next. And often times the wounds are not caused on purpose, but non the less they are real and effect our lives deeply.
Most of my wounds came in those early years. Although we all suffer wounds all through our own journeys and I still get wounded, as we all do. Life is all about wounds and what we do with them.
A few years ago I attended a retreat for men. I have to say that it was a life changing experience for me. I was able to see for the first time how all my wounds had actually turned into gold. Meaning, I was able to see firmly that because of my wounds I was the man I am today. That indeed my wounds had purpose and reason. My wounds had helped define me. I also realized so profoundly that Christ is the reason my wounds had turned into gold. I often think of his wounds and the gold from he gained from them. Because of his wounds we all have eternal life and the atonement and the knowledge that as we look to him that all will be ok. He set the perfect example, Christ uses his gold from his wounds to bless us. Christ is the one that can change our wounds to gold. I realized that over my life as I had consistently tried to look to him and trust in him and in the process of life that he literally had and does turn my wounds to gold.
What does that mean, turning our wounds to gold? For me it means that all that I suffer can be of value to me and others in life if I chose. If we allow the wound to turn to gold, looking to Christ, our wounds are of divine purpose and allow us to move forward. We use our gold to bless others and help them find the gold in their wound. Thus the process of turning wounds to gold continues all our lives.
My gold has allowed me to forgive those that had wounded me so deeply. My wounds and the gold from them have allowed me to see that those that caused my wounds were also deeply wounded. They were acting out of their wounds and I pray that they are able to find the gold in the wound that they have.
Since I spoke of my dad, I just want to say that he found did his gold from his wounds. In the process of his finding his gold he did wound me and I have realized that I do the same to those around me. It’s part of the process of life. Wounds to gold, wounds to gold. I love my dad and understand he did the best he could at time. He was deeply wounded also and had to find his gold.
Christ is the way, as we look to him our wounds are literally turned to gold. I choose to use my gold in blessing others to help them find their gold. As we spread our gold many are blessed with its brightness and glory. Our gold is and can be the love of the Savior.
Hoping that you find your gold from your wounds, no matter how deep, and use the gold bless others and lift them to a better place. After all I am who I am from others doing just that for me.