We often confuse an emotional wound with the event or experience that caused the wound, but the actual wound is not the situation or circumstance. An emotional wound is the disempowering belief we adopted in response to the experience.
Without needing to analyze the details, the core emotional wound is virtually always unworthiness, and, in fact, unworthiness (or conditional worthiness) is the core wound of every other emotional wound. All children have emotional needs that must be met to feel worthy of love and life; these needs include approval, acceptance, appreciation, understanding, validation, respect, etcetera. Although children require all emotional needs to be fulfilled, one emotional need almost always stands out from the rest, and because this is usually the need least met, it is the emotional need most associated with worth. As a result, it becomes the child’s Primary Emotional Need (PEN).
Children naturally adopt beliefs that explain why one or both parents fail to provide this emotional need, so when a child doesn’t receive approval, for example, the child naturally believes she is unworthy of approval, or more likely, she believes she must meet certain conditions to prove she is worthy. Hypersensitive to this need being met, she automatically interprets approval as proof of worthiness and judgment as proof of unworthiness, and this is why judgment can cause intense emotional pain even in adulthood.
Here’s the thing, like every human being, you were born unconditionally worthy, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to prove, improve, or disprove worth.Therefore, the emotional pain associated with believing you are unworthy is due to the fact it is completely untrue! Emotional pain is a warning system that alerts you to false beliefs.
Why do we need to be warned of false beliefs?
All disempowering beliefs, such as unworthiness, powerlessness, and victimhood, put us into survival mode, and over time can cause chronic and acute issues with serious repercussions, and, therefore, we need a warning system that alerts us to debilitating beliefs. This warning system is emotion, and, in fact, the purpose of emotional pain is to alert you to the fact you believe a falsehood. Just like physical pain alerts you the second you prick your finger with a knife, so you won’t cut your whole finger off, emotional pain alerts you to harmful beliefs so you can release them.
Without knowing that emotional pain is a sign of a false belief, most of us wrongly interpret this pain; so whenever we feel the emotional pain associated with unworthiness, the pain makes us believe the belief is true, thereby strengthening the belief and deepening the wound, and this perpetuates a cycle of emotional pain.
Furthermore, this internal warning system will stop at nothing to make you aware of a false belief, and, in fact, with increasing amplification, you will attract continuous opportunities that trigger emotional pain until you finally pay attention and release the false belief that is responsible for the pain. All emotional healing is releasing disempowering beliefs.