All of us, often without knowing it, have a particular secret negative belief about ourselves, that feels so devastating, it can take us down an unbearable dark hole of pain. And, we each have a particular and opposite set of compensating behaviors which form the architecture of the false, idealized mask that we show to the world.

Our core pain is most often invisible to us because it formed when we were babies. It is our “normal” emotional set-point. Our presenting personality hides and denies our core pain and relegates it to the unconscious part of our mind, sometimes never to be discovered during our life span.

Our “normal” is so deeply integrated, rarely do we question or investigate the possibility of feeling differently. Our hidden negative emotional set-point seems to be “our nature” and is the familiar water we swim in. And, our secret core pain drives nearly everything we do in life, from our most troublesome addictions to our greatest achievements and successes.

Our core negative belief – which is the very worst of what we feel about ourselves – is the primary negative self-concept, which organizes our entire (compensating) psychology. Finding out what our particular core pain belief system is, and dismantling its unconscious hold on nearly every aspect of our behavior, is the task of emotional, psychological and spiritual transformation. To do this we can look for ongoing themes of frustration in our everyday life, listen to the negative, self-negating words we repeat in our thinking, and take note of our re-occurring dreams of lack.
core wound 1

What you will need: 

black pen – I always use sharpies

any type of color you would like to add – you can use pastels, crayons, colored pencils, acrylic paint.

and something to create your masterpiece on – could be a canvas a journal page a piece of card board or news paper whatever you would like to use.

How it works:

What is the Primary Core Wound that Drives Your Behavior?

It is interesting to note what emotions and beliefs drive our behaviors. When we act from our core pain it is possible to feel our energy extending forward out of our center in a compensatory way that feels anxious, draining and overly effortful. When we “do” to avoid feeling our core wound, we will feel.

1. There must be something wrong with me – acting “as if” I am perfect, and everything is perfect.

2. I am unworthy – Acting “as if” I have extraordinary value.

3. Inability to do – Acting “as if” I can do anything and every action is significant.

4. Inadequate – “unappreciated” – Acting “as if” I have everything figured out.

5. I don’t exist – “unseen” – Acting “as if” I exist because I know alot.

6. I am alone – Acting “as if” I have connection to everyone.

7. I am incomplete – Acting “as if” I am happy and enjoy having a wide variety of experiences.

8. I am powerless – Acting “as if” I have incredible power.

9. I am loveless – Acting “as if” I am loveable and loving.

10. I am crazy – Acting “as if” I am clear, heathy, sane and appropriate.

11. I am unsafe – Acting “as if” I am safe and can make others safe.

12. I am out of control – Acting “as if” I am in control.

You may have your own repeating, negative inner messages that are not on this list. Write out your specific, common inner message in your journal if you do not see it here. Some other fearful core wound statements might be: “I am not ok. I am stupid. I am unwanted. I am ugly. I am incompetent. I am different. Find your own words for how you feel. 

Look at the core wounds and “as if” statements listed above and sense into the words to see which one feels most devastatingly true in your body. See which words emotionally resonate for with your familiar pain. What words continually come up in your internal and outer life? Is the word “inadequate, perfection, or unseen” in your thoughts, for example?

Now take your art utensils and break free of this feeling. You can use the words that come to mind and cross them out – you can use drawings to illustrate the emotions you are feeling – allow yourself to let the emotion deep inside to flow out. If you relate to more than one of the feelings you can do different projects for each or one project for all that you are feeling. Remember that this thoughts are that, just thoughts. Letting them go is so liberating.

core wound 3

My name is Dawn and This is Where I Stand