Learning to Find Your Wounds

Many people believe finding wounds is easy. You simply trace peoples' suffering, otherwise know as their symptoms, back to the source. And in theory, this approach makes sense. However, since people can have wounds with no visible symptoms, this method is unreliable. Moreover, since many of us mistake this lack of symptoms for health, the very efforts we make to heal wounds (most of which focus on getting rid of symptoms) often hide them even further.

What has been needed is a way find wounds which does not rely on symptoms. What I will offer here is just such a method. This method is based on the discovery that, although the wounds themselves are virtually invisible (and I mean this literally; none of us can see our "wounds"; what we see and call "wounds" are only the symptoms of the wounds) all wounds share the same core structure.

In a way, learning to recognize this structure is like learning to recognize a frequently used film or theater plot. The theme and costumes, the stage, and even the characters may be different. But the pivotal event on which the movie or play is built can be exactly the same.

The point is, all wounds share something akin to a frequently used and well known plot or script. Literally, they all contain the same simple sequence of events. Further, because this sequence of events can be easily recognized, once you learn to see it, it becomes a kind of a "flag" which marks the exact location of people's wounds. In fact, for those who learn to recognize these "markers," finding wounds can be as easy as recognizing your own child's laughter or your own spouse's touch.

Why associate such positive metaphors with something as negative as wounds? Because it is through healing—and only through healing—that we become more naturally loving. In other words, there is a direct connection between our wounds and our natural ability to love. Simply put, our wounds block our ability to love.

For many, this idea, that healing is the only way we can become more loving, will be hard to accept. After all, most people believe we can become more loving through personal growth, in other words by improving ourselves mentally and spiritually. To be honest, I, myself, struggled under this belief for many years. So if you, too, find my assumption about healing hard to accept, please just try to suspend judgment for now, as I'll address this belief throughtout this article.

This said, my purpose in writing this article is to teach people how to recognize and use these "markers," so they can heal their wounds and in doing so, become more naturally loving. Does this sound like something you'd like to learn? Then take your time and go at your own pace. There's a lot to tell you here.

A Blocked Ability to Love

In a moment, I will introduce what I call the two Prime Sequences. I call them, the "prime" sequences, because wounds and wounding experiences all contain the same two simple sequences of events, which I will describe in a moment. Also, these two "prime" sequences are the source from which all BLock Markers are derived, the "prime" BLock Markers, if you will.

Before I introduce them though, let me first re-frame what I have said about love and healing with something most people will find easier to accept. In fact, I consider what I am about to tell you to be the single most important fact to know about wounds.

This fact is that all wounds, to some degree, block peoples' ability to consciously experience love in the area of life affected. In other words, before being wounded, people consciously experience love in this area of their lives effortlessly. Afterwards, they can make no effort large enough to allow them to experience this love consciously.

Taking this idea a step further, then, wounding events are the events in which peoples' ability to consciously experience love, in a certain part of life, to some degree becomes permanently blocked.

With these two ideas in mind, let me now describe the two Prime Sequences: the first reveals the sequence of events we experience as we get wounded (the structure of the wounding events); the second, the sequence of events we experience when we relive these woundings (the structure of the wounds themselves).

Three views of the Wounding Sequence

How We get Wounded: the Sequence of Three

The Sequence of Three is the simple sequence of events which actually causes peoples' ability to love to become blocked. A more descriptive name I sometimes use for this sequence is, the Wounding Script.

Being able to recognize the Wounding Script is helpful because all people, as they get wounded, experience the same basic story line, a simple sequence of three life events: [1], they experience an event which entrances them; [2], they experience an abrupt sensory overload; and [3], they go into shock.

By "entrances," I mean people experience a state of heightened awareness, a kind of intense sensory state. In and of itself, this state is neither positive nor negative, but can range from the high alert state of someone about to be mugged to the intensely pleasant experience of a lover's glance. An analogy would be that you are listening to your stereo at a volume so loud as to be able to hear the orchestra in the most minute detail, like you are literally standing amidst the musicians as they play.

When I say people experience "an abrupt sensory overload," I mean they experience a jarring and violating increase or decrease in sensory input. This sensory input can be any combination of the five physical world senses (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling) and the spiritual world senses (emotion, intuition, premonition, etc.) The analogy here would be that the music you are listening to suddenly climaxes, causing the kind of sudden surge in your home's electrical system which would occur right before the fuse blew.

Finally, by "shock," I mean people experience a significant level of detachment from their current life event, the "it felt like it was happening to somebody else" or "it felt like I was out of my body watching it happen" experiences. To finish the analogy, your experience here would be like the sudden "deafening" silence you would hear if the fuse suddenly did blow (for a more in depth discussion of shock, see also my article entitled, "Recognizing Shock.")

The point is, people who experience this simple sequence of three events will always be wounded by it, which is why I have designated it, the Wounding Script. Again, by wounded, I mean these people will suffer a permanent decrease in their natural ability to experience love in the area of life in which the event occurred, as if the "deafening silence" never ends. Moreover, because events which contain the Wounding Script always wound people, you can use this script to reliably identify wounding events (a more in-depth explanation will follow.)

What Wounds Are: the Sequence of Two

The Sequence of Two is the simple sequence of two events which actually causes the suffering people experience after being wounded, in a sense, the "wound" itself. Another way of saying this idea would be to say it is the basic pattern of change which occurs to peoples' personalities during wounding events.

Here, a more descriptive term I sometimes for what happens to people as a result of experiencing a Sequence of Two is that they are left with a Being Lock, or BLock for short. I call it this because, in a very real sense, being wounded simply "blocks" peoples' ability to "be conscious" in a particular area of their lives. More so, the worst part of this "block" is that people become unable to experience love in the area of life affected. In other words, their ability to "view" loving acts in that area of their lives is literally blocked out; their vision of life becomes "wounded."

The point here, though, is simply that the structure of the events which cause these BLocks is always the same. Thus, people can use their knowledge of this structure to identify the actual wounds. What is this structure?

First, people experience what I call a key, and second, people go into shock. (The second event, "going into shock," is what prevents people from experiencing love in the area of life affected. It is also what makes finding wounds so difficult. How can you find what you can not see? Because people experience these events in shock, they do not experience them consciously. Because they consciously experience nothing of note, they conclude; I experienced nothing, therefore, there is nothing to report; I am fine there; there is no wound.)

Now, while this second event in the Sequence of Two, "going into shock," is relatively easy to grasp, it is actually the first event which has given us the most trouble. Why? Because it this event which has remained hidden until now. Literally, understanding and being able to identify keys unlocks the entire mystery as to what a wound is and how to heal it.

Wounds as Magnetized Iron

The Thing Which Causes Us to Relive Wounds: Keys

Let me start by telling you why I call these events, keys. I call these events keys, because they are the only things which can unlock a BLock. How? Before explaining this, let me first tell you where they come from.

I have already told you that every wounding event consists of a simple sequence of three events; first, people experience an event which entrances them; second, they experience an abrupt sensory overload; and third, they go into shock. (Notice that this last event, "going into shock," is the same in both the Sequence of Three and in the Sequence of Two.)

So, what is a key and where does it come from? A key is simply a kind of post hypnotic suggestion which gets implanted in us in the instant in which the abrupt sensory overload throws us into shock. Experiencing this abrupt transition from heightened experience (trance) to lack of experience (shock) actually programs our personalities in such a way as to hypnotically connect whatever sensory experience we last consciously witness to the pain and suffering of the whole event.

An analogy for this experience would be the way ferrous metals (irons) get magnetized. When ferrous metals are put in an electromagnetic field which then suddenly changes, they are left with a permanent magnetic pattern which, although normally invisible to us, can actually be read, given the right scientific instruments.

What happens to people during wounding events is very similar in that when people experience an abrupt sensory change while in a heightened state of awareness, the sudden change imprints them with a permanently altered pattern of behavior. Further, whatever ordinary life events people consciously witness in the instant before their "fuse blows" become the cues or keys which can later cause people to re-experience this pattern of painful behavior.

At this point, it would actually be quite helpful if we were to compare wounded people to stage hypnotists' subjects. Obviously, the outcome of what happens to these two groups of people is very different and in fact, learning to identify how these two groups differ is a very important part of learning to identify wounds.

[1] Giving Consent vs. Not Giving Consent

The first of these important differences is giving consent. What I mean by this is that stage hypnotists' subjects must be asked if they are willing to be hypnotized. They must also give their consent for it to happen. Wounded people, of course, are never asked for consent in the genuine sense of the word; therefore, can never give it.

The point here is, since no one consciously consents to being wounded, people can not be blamed for their wounds. (Here again, some may struggle with the scope of what I am saying. If so, please just try to allow for the possibility. In truth, this idea, which I like to refer to as "the divine perspective," is the cornerstone of the healing process, since allowing for this possibility enables wounded people to bypass the main obstacle they have to healing; blame. Since all beings have the right to heal their wounds, and since blame is one of the main things which prevents healing, in a sense, the assumption of "blamelessness" is a "birth right" of all beings. Here again, I realize this idea can be quite difficult to accept. I ask, then, only that you consider it may be possible and if necessary, reserve judgment for now.)

[2] Temporary Outcomes vs. Permanent Outcomes

The second important difference between what happens to people during stage hypnotism and what happens to people during wounding events is "how long the aftereffects last" or what I call, the permanence of being wounded. What I mean by this is that, when stage hypnotists' subjects get programmed, they get de programmed before they leave the stage. Thus, any discomfort they experience is minor and momentary. However, when wounded people get programmed, no one deprograms them afterwards. This means the discomfort wounded people experience reiterates indefinitely. (This reiteration is what deceives wounded people into believing their wounds are caused by lengthy, major events, rather than by instantaneous, minor events. It is also what causes people to misjudge the magnitude of their wounds, since most people use the cumulative total of the pain these reiterations cause to judge the size of their wounds. Ten thousand incidences of the same instant of suffering can make a wound seem very large, and people can easily relive these instants dozens of times in the course of just a few minutes of remembering.)

[3] Not Going into Shock vs. Going into Shock

The third important difference involves the presence of shock. By this, I mean that stage hypnotists' subjects begin their experiences by entering a state of trance (a state of heightened awareness.) In fact, stage hypnotists' subjects pretty much remain in a trance state throughout the experience. Moreover, regardless of how deeply they become entranced, they never transition into shock. Since being "entranced" is, for the most part, a pleasant experience, people generally experience stage hypnosis as pleasant. (To get a sense of this experience, know that most people find being hypnotized very similar to being led through a guided meditation. In fact, most people, during guided meditations, are hypnotized.)

Strangely, the experience of being wounded begins in exactly the same way: people enter a trance state. However, at some point, these people receive a sudden jolt which pushes them out of this trance state and into a state of shock. Since being "entranced" is a generally pleasant experience, and since being in shock is, for the most part, a painful experience, people experience most wounding events as a strange mix of pleasure and pain. (In this sense, wounding has much in common with being on a frightening amusement park ride. In fact, some people actually get wounded while on amusement park rides.)

[4] The Perception of No Harm vs. the Perception of Harm

The final important difference between these two events is in how people perceive the experience. Here, what I mean is that, during stage hypnosis, people know, in a general sense, what is happening to them and why. And stage hypnosis is a gentle event. Because people know what is happening and why, and because the event is gentle, people generally feel safe and loved during stage hypnosis. After all, stage hypnotism is not intended to harm. In fact, it is intended to amuse and entertain in a very caring way. Thus, even audiences generally perceive and experience stage hypnotism (and stage hypnotists) as good-natured and loving.

On the other hand, during wounding events, people do not know what is happening nor why it is happening. And wounding is a harsh event. Because people do not understand what is happening to them nor why, and because wounding is such an invasive and harsh event, people generally feel unsafe and unloved during wounding events. How could they not? After all, these people are entranced one minute and in shock the next and have no idea how any of it happened or why. By nature, then, people perceive wounding events (and those who wound them) as ill-natured and unloving.

Thus, despite the similarity of the cues involved (both stage hypnotism and wounding events use ordinary life events as cues), these two experiences are, by nature, very different, in that wounding events lack the love present during stage hypnosis. When people are wounded then, most times, they feel painfully alone during the experience and will often say afterwards that feeling alone was the worst part.

I say "most times," because some people, during wounding, go into shock so abruptly that they experience little if any of the suffering consciously. Because they have not experienced this suffering consciously, later, they cannot recall this suffering and so, often, they have no idea they were even wounded during these events. They are not lying. They simply cannot access the pain present during these experiences and so conclude, nothing really "bad" happened. Regardless, at some point, all wounded people experience the suffering in one form or another, whether during the events or later, when they are keyed. Moreover, peoples' feelings of aloneness, which comprises a significant portion of their suffering, can often be their greatest impediment to healing since, in order to heal, people must re-experience these painful feelings.

Once again, please note that in order to differentiate between the cues present in these two events, I have assigned the word "key" to the cues wounding creates. I call these cues, keys, because they literally unlock peoples' wounds; their BLocks. Further, if used to find wounds, keys can actually unlock peoples' ability to consciously experience love.

"Being Locks"

Once again, what is the actual sequence of events which programs people during wounding, the structure of a Being Lock? It is simply a sequence of two elements:

[1], people get hypnotically programmed to respond to some ordinary life event in such a way that, when they later experience this life event (the cue or "key" as I call it,) they abruptly return to the worst moment of this particular wounding experience; and

[2], people get programmed so that they abruptly go into shock immediately after experiencing this painful moment.

Here, by "go into shock," I mean people experience a significant level of detachment from their current life event, either emotionally, mentally, or both. Many people describe this experience as one of being an observer of one's own life; "I felt like I was out of my body and watching it happen to me," or "I felt like it was happening to another person." More important than these perceptions, though, is the idea that the more detached people become, the more they lose access to their normal life skills. They also become unable to experience any love which may be present, as well as becoming unable to let go. (This is very similar to the way people who touch a live electrical wire lose their ability to even let go.)

Now to summarize my points about the Sequence of Two: a Being Lock, or BLock;

[1] All wounds cause people to hypnotically associate some ordinary life event to the worst moment of a wounding event. I call these hypnotic cues, keys.

[2] Whenever people re-experience one of these keys, they are immediately thrust back into the worst moment of this particular wounding event.

[3] After they re-experience this pain, they immediately and involuntarily go into shock, regardless of their level of mental and / or spiritual development. Finally,

[4] by "go into shock," I mean people experience a degree of mental and / or emotional detachment significant enough to impair their access to normal life skills and to any love which may be present.

Damage Control as Love

Please note that wounded people can and often do develop the ability to hide most of their non-loving responses to keys, albeit with great effort. Unfortunately, many people mistake these responses for genuine mental and / or spiritual "health." In some cases, these responses actually do look like genuinely loving responses. None the less, there is a big difference between when people do actions which resemble loving responses and when they do genuinely loving responses.

When people do damage control (when they do acts which resemble genuinely loving responses,) they initially experience non-loving, oft times violent internal responses. Thus, when these people respond to their non-loving internal impulses with what appear to be loving actions, their responses do not match their internal experiences. In other words, these peoples' loving actions do not mirror their true natures; so although their responses may seem loving, these peoples' insides and outsides do not match.

When people do genuinely loving responses, however, their initial internal responses are loving. When they then respond externally to these internal experiences, they are simply mirroring on the outside what they have just felt on the outside. In other words, when people do genuine acts of love, their insides and outsides do match.

Sadly, many people even mistake the act of learning how to do damage control for healing. This error is based on something I have already mentioned; the misbelief that people can heal their wounds (or at least, heal parts of their wounds) by improving themselves mentally and spiritually. This idea is simply not true. Why? Because when people are in shock, they are exactly like people who are holding onto live electrical wires; they can not "let go." In effect, they cannot genuinely access even the most spiritual of self "improvements" no matter how hard they try and so, they suffer as if they had never even made the improvements.

Is Damage Control Really Self-Improvement?

Is there a point, then, to improving oneself mentally and spiritually? Absolutely. People who improve themselves mentally and spiritually do gain more ability to do damage control, and this ability is important in life. In essence, these people gain more ability to contain and control their non-loving internal responses. More important, while these acts of containment are not actually the health these people seek, they are still essentially acts of love, in that they are intended to prevent the harming of self or others.

In essence, then, when people do damage control, they are doing what I call unnatural acts of love. I call these acts of love unnatural, because they do not match people's internal natures. In fact, as I mentioned already, these seemingly loving actions are often the exact opposite of what people would do if they were to act on their original, often violent internal impulses.

For example, when a young mother she sees her four year old spill grape juice on her new, white carpet, she may feel and contain a sudden impulse to scream at her child. She may even go against her initial internal impulses completely and console the child. By containing her impulses to hurt her child and by imitating a genuinely loving response, this mother is indeed doing an act of love. Further, unnatural or not, this act of love is much more than just worthwhile. It is actually courageous.

Doing Damage Control as Will-Powered Efforts

The problem here, though, is that, because doing these acts runs counter to peoples' initial internal impulses, people must exert great effort in order to do them. Even trying to remember to do these things can take great effort. Thus, like any action which requires great effort, doing damage control for any length of time can be downright exhausting.

Worse yet, because these acts take so much energy to even remember to do, eventually, the people who do them run out of energy and reach what is commonly referred to as "burn out." Obviously, when this happens (when people have no energy left to do damage control) all hell breaks loose. Further, because they believe they "knew better," these people often blame themselves. Sadly, this error is yet another way people mistake damage control for the genuine article: they mistake "knowing what is healthy" for "having healed."

The point here is, damage control can never be never viable as a long term solution, because it takes too much effort and people eventually run out energy. Obviously, then, healing becomes the only viable, long term solution.

Mistaking Damage Control for Healing

Unfortunately, in lieu of symptoms, even those who grasp this concept may still mistake damage control for healing. In fact, despite the fact that doing damage control never heals, since the whole point of doing damage control is to "contain and control  the symptoms," we often see cases wherein this actually is the best course of action, such as in cases wherein policemen contain and control violence; in other words, in cases where they "serve and protect." (Note: this says a lot about the true function of our police, soldiers, medical doctors, etc., including that what they do are acts of love, unnatural or not.)

Of course, often, these people even know they are doing damage control because of the amount of effort these "acts" require. In fact, monitoring (and measuring, in a nonjudgmental way) the amount of effort supposed acts of love take can be very valuable, in that it is a very effective test for whether a particular wound still exists or not: if doing an act of love in the area of life affected takes great effort, then the wound in that area of life still exists; if doing an act of love in the area of life affected takes little or no effort, then the wound in this area of the person's life has been healed.

Here, then is the best way to distinguish between damage control and healing: did the act of love the person just did require significant effort? If the answer is yes, then it was an unnatural act of love (and the wound in this area of the person's life still exists). If the answer is no, then it was a natural act of love (and the wound in this area of the person's life has indeed, been healed).

The main point here is that, since people never actually alter their natures (their unconscious patterns of behavior) by doing acts of damage control, as valuable as they may be at times, they are still useful only as temporary measures. On the other hand, since, when people heal, they actually do alter their very natures, and since the effort to do both a single act of damage control and the process of healing is much the same, healing is obviously the better investment.

More so, because healing actually alters peoples' very natures, when people heal, they no longer have to make great efforts to be loving. In fact, they become able to respond with love effortlessly in the particular area of life affected, because it becomes natural for them to respond this way. In a very real sense then, the only legitimate proof that people have healed is when their acts of love come effortlessly.

The Two Prime Sequences

Obviously, then, there are many things which make finding wounds difficult, starting with the fact that the wounds themselves are invisible to us because we experience them while in shock. Add to this the fact that we frequently mistake damage control for having healed and we begin to see why healing is often so difficult. Even so, if you learn to use the two Prime Sequences, you can use them find and heal your wounds.

To review, then, what I have just presented are the two primary tools with which to find wounds: one, look for events which contain the first Prime Sequence: the Sequence of Three, or the Wounding Script; and two, look for events which contain the second Prime Sequence: the Sequence of Two, which is what creates Being Locks or BLocks. Finding either of these two Prime Sequences means you are well on the way to healing a wound.

Unfortunately, even for those who learn to use these two Prime Sequences, finding wounds can at times be quite hard, especially in cases wherein people can not consciously remember being wounded. Even so, since all wounds compromise peoples' ability to experience love, this fact alone can be used to guide your initial search. You simply look for the areas in which people struggle to experience love consciously.

How do you go about doing this? You use what I call the BLock Markers. I call these events BLock Markers because each of them is based on some part of one of the Prime Sequences (i.e. events which you can vividly recall [events in which you were in trance], missing parts of life experiences [events in which you were in shock], keys [the ordinary life events which cause you to involuntarily over or under react], the abrupt onset of suffering [the experience of abruptly shifting from trance to shock], etc.). And while finding a complete Prime Sequence will usually lead you to directly to a wounding scene, the BLock Markers will more often lead you to seemingly unrelated scenes, wherein people relive a wound rather than incur a wound. Either way though, all healing begins with the discovery that a wound exists, and people can use BLock Markers to discover even their most deeply buried wounds.

One last note. While there are only two Prime Sequences, there are many BLock Markers, and in no way can I even begin to document them all here. In fact, I could easily fill a whole book with different BLock Markers and even then, be far from done. What I offer here, then, is but a brief sampling; a starting point. My hope, then, is that you can use these few examples to begin discovering BLock Markers for yourself.

The State of Mind Known as Trance

Now, before describing the first Category of BLock Markers, I need to take a moment to talk about the state of being I refer to as "hyperawareness" or "trance," because there are actually two type of trance.

Let me preface this with the idea that trance, like the BLock Markers, is a complex topic; so much so, in fact, that in no way can I completely describe it here. However, being able to recognize the first Category of BLock Markers actually depends on being able to differentiate between the two types of trance. In fact, learning to distinguish between the two types is crucial to one's ability to locate wounds in general.

Fortunately, learning to do this is easy. Unfortunately, some of this learning will be painful because, in order to learn the difference between the two types, you must personally experience both, and experiencing the second type is painful. Further, being in the state of trance makes one very vulnerable. Therefore, since some of this learning will be painful, and since being in trance makes one very vulnerable, please do these exercises only when you are in a safe place. And keep in mind, you are learning how to actually find and heal your wounds and any efforts you make will be greatly rewarded.

The Events in Which you Learn to Love

First, let me start by talking about the pleasant side of trance; the events in which people experience Vivid Recall of a Wonderful Event (positive trance). You can begin simply by closing your eyes and recalling any event in which you experienced great beauty. By recalling, I mean, try to actually picture the scene internally as if it is happening to you now.

An example which comes to mind for me was when I first stood atop a high cliff overlooking the Grand Canyon. As I picture it, I can easily move back into the experience, as if I am there now. I can see the cliffs on the opposite side of the canyon, great walls of rock colored in spectacular hues and patterns. I can also feel the combination of the fear of falling and transcendent awe. I then picture myself turning back to see if my companions are sharing this event with me, then turning and again facing the incredibly beautiful scene in front of me.

This event exemplifies what I call Vivid Recall of a Wonderful Event (positive trance), an experience in which you learn to love something or someone. What qualifies this experience as Vivid Recall of a Wonderful Event (positive trance) is the ease with which you can return to that magical moment and the depth to which you can re-experience the love present. People frequently describe these events as dreamlike, timeless, or ultra-vivid; the "two lovers running toward each other in slow motion" kinds of experiences. Often, people will say things like "it was one of the best moments of my life" or "I wished that the moment would never end."

Further examples of events which contain Vivid Recall of a Wonderful Event (positive trance) are: the moments in which you first see the beauty in another person, whether that be a moment in which you fall in love romantically, or a moment in which you realize you have made a new friend; the instants in which you recognize the presence of unconditional love, such as when you witness a newborn infant look up at you, or watch a puppy and a small child happily playing; the moments in which you experience the beauty in art, such as when you see a great master's paintings, or hear an inspiring piece of music; the moments in which you fall in love with an idea, such as when you discover a better way of doing something, or realize how two seemingly unrelated ideas connect, as well as the moments in which you feel spiritually connected to nature, such as my experience at the Grand Canyon.

Being able to recall entrancing experiences like these always means people fell in love with some aspect of their lives in these scenes, whether that be love of romance, friendship, art, nature, children, learning, traveling, spiritual love; whatever. Since all wounds impair peoples' ability to love, and since people who have these experiences can effortlessly access the love that is present, these experiences always indicate the absence of a wound. In fact, when people can vividly re-experience the joy present in an event, this joy proves they have actually restored or even increased their natural ability to love something or someone during these events.

Vivid Recall of a Painful Event

The opposite of Vivid Recall of a Wonderful Event (positive trance) is Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance). Despite being opposites though, in many ways, these two events are identical. In both cases, people can easily and vividly re-experience an event. The main difference, then, is the presence of joy or pain during these events; in other words, the way in which people do or do not experience love during these events, and the abrupt onset of the experience. (Remember the fourth difference between stage hypnotism and wounding?)

Please try now to picture an event in which you abruptly began to suffer. Try to set aside any mental judgments as to the importance, cause, or meaning of the painful event. Just close your eyes and try to let yourself picture it.

An event which comes to mind for me occurred when I was fourteen. In this event, I was told by my best friend Danny that my girlfriend had come on to him. As I picture it, I can easily sense Danny's nervous ambivalence as he struggled to tell me. I can also picture his pained expression as he alternately looked at me then away. I can feel the sickness in the pit of my stomach and the anger and sadness that swept through me. I can sense my disbelief and can see myself alternately looking down at the ground and then back to his face. And as I see myself trying to make sense out of what I had just been told, I can easily experience alternating moments of blankness and pain; the two experiential poles of being wounded.

Certainly, it is obvious, I suffered greatly during this experience; I incurred a wound which permanently BLocked my ability to trust for years afterwards. The main point I am making here, though, is that even years later, I can still vividly picture this painful event (albeit, with significantly less pain than I used to experience, as I have healed much of this wound.)

Here, then, is an example of the first Category of BLock Markers: the Events You Experience in Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance). Whenever you find an event which contains this wound marker, you can be certain you have discovered an event in which a you were either wounded or were re-experiencing a prior wound.

Other examples of events which fall into this first Category of BLock Markers: the moments in which you first experience a great personal loss, such as the moment in which you are told that someone close to you has died, or the moment in which you realize you are being fired from a job which you love; the moments in which you realize you are about to experience genuine violence, such as the moment right before a car accident, when you see it coming, or the moment right before you get struck by a falling object, when you hear it falling; the moments in which you realize you have failed to accomplish something important, such as the moment in which you realize someone else got the promotion, or the moment in which you recognize you have made a serious mistake; and the moments in which you take on a painful belief, such as the moments in which people first identify themselves as stupid or ugly, or the moments in which parents first realize they wound their children.

Being able to vividly recall a painful event in which the pain began abruptly, then (recalling it in Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance),) is one way to locate wounds in cases wherein the Prime Sequences are hidden.

Again, my main points about this first Category of BLock Markers are: [1], that the events in which people experience the abrupt onset of Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance) always indicate the presence of a wound; [2], that there are two criteria by which to identify these experiences of Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance); [A], can you vividly recall the event (recall it in trance)?; [B], can you vividly re-experience the abrupt onset of suffering?; and [3] that the degree to which people can re-experience the pain present in these scenes when they visualize them indicates the degree to which the wound still exists.

Obviously, as people heal, they suffer less, and if they heal enough, they can reach a point wherein they actually become able to recall these events with little or no suffering. How can they then be sure that they are not simple experiencing the event in shock?

Again, the only real test for whether a wound has healed or not is whether people can effortlessly experience love in these and any related scenes. My point; when people heal, they can actually reach the point where they experience love instead of pain when they recall these events. (I can actually feel love towards my friend when I picture this scene now.) This experience of effortless love is the direct evidence (and essence) of healing, and of forgiveness; and this forgiveness means this wound has been healed.

Being Unable to Picture A Common Childhood Event

Since most people carry at least a few of their wounds right below the surface, asking them if they can vividly recall a painful event (see it in Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance)) is often where I begin my work with them. However, after we heal these initial wounds, most people then struggle to find additional examples of Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance). At this point, I usually ask them to try to try to recall some common everyday childhood life event, such as their first birthday party, or a time, before age ten, when they were sick.

Sometimes, these questions can help people to uncover further examples of Vivid Recall of a Painful Event (negative trance). Just as often, though, people respond with something like; "I can't remember ever having been sick before age ten" or, "I can't remember ever having had a childhood birthday party."

Obviously, very few children reach age ten without having been sick, and few children have no experience of birthday parties, whether their own or someone else's. The point is, when people have no access to areas of life which are so common to childhood, this "wounded" ability to recall these events always indicates a wound. I call this inability to recall, the second Category of BLock Markers.

What Keeps People From Picturing These Events?

What keeps people from being able to recall these ordinary everyday childhood events? Once again, shock. These people go into shock whenever they even try to imagine such events. Why? Because at some point, these people were wounded right at the onset of a similar event. Going into shock at the onset of the original event means these people have no idea the event even occurred; in essence, they experienced the absence of experience. Moreover, once wounded in this way, these people lose their ability to consciously experience any and all events of this type, even imaginary events. With no ability to experience these events consciously, these people conclude, these events never happened to them.

Mistaking the Lack of Suffering for the Lack of Wounds

What happens when these people realize they cannot recall such ordinary events? A few will actually begin to heal as they experience the pain of the loss. Often, when this happens, this pain is what motivates them to finish healing. More often though, people see this inability as a reason to ignore this aspect of their lives. Why? Here again, they conclude: no suffering, no wound; in effect, "if it isn't broken, don't fix it." Of course, here is a perfect example of a case wherein the absence of symptoms does not prove the absence of a wound.

The point is, when people experience a wound without "symptoms," they often see no reason to explore this area of their lives. In fact, many times, these people will identify the suffering involved with exploring these "blank spots" as "needless" suffering. None the less, because these wounds compromise peoples' abilities to love, these seemingly "painless" blank spots do cause people to suffer, albeit, in other, less obvious ways.

For instance, the people in the examples I gave above might say things like, "birthday parties are not important to me," or "I'm sure my parents took care of me when I was sick." These seemingly logical explanations are actually the evidence of the invisible suffering these wounds create.

Parents with the first wound will often feel burdened by their own children's birthdays. Parents with the second will often find themselves feeling quite annoyed or angry when their children get ill, despite having a genuine desire to act loving.

Again, both of these categories of  "missing life experience" are examples of the second Category of BLock Markers, and the events which contain these and similar blank spots always indicate the presence of a wound, Further, even though these people do not consciously suffer when they try to access these scenes, they still suffer because having these blind spots means they are unable to give and receive love in the particular area of life in which the scene occurs.

Further examples of the second Category of BLock Markers are: having no memory of a family member before a certain age, "I can't remember ever seeing my father before age seven"; being unable to recall details of having been in school before a certain grade, "I can't remember any of my teachers before fifth grade", having no sense that one's parents have ever been angry, "My parents were never angry at each other"; and being unable to recall one's accomplishments, "I've never really done anything important."

Hating an Ordinary Live Event

Is there someone or something you personally hate? Eating lima beans? Giving a speech? Being told, "we have to talk"? Visiting your brother-in-law? Having to explain yourself? Discussing money with your spouse? Hearing your alarm clock go off?

Everyone has a personal hate-list, a group of people, places and things which cause them to overreact. Of course, trying to get people to admit they are overreacting to these things can itself cause many people to overreact. Some people can even become downright indignant if someone suggests they may be overreacting.

Regardless, the point is, when people hate an ordinary life event, this hate means they have been wounded in this area of life. I call these events, the third Category of BLock Markers. The essence of these BLock Markers, then, is that, in these scenes, someone is overreacting (with hate) to an ordinary life event. How can I be so sure the people in these events are overreacting? Because in the genuine sense of the word, these events do not contain violence, despite the fact that these people do experience violence.

Of course, confirmed lima bean haters (like myself) might disagree with this last point about the violence being genuine. In fact, if I just smell lima beans, my stomach still reacts violently. Even if I imagine that I am about to smell lima beans, I still feel sick.

Am I wounded around lima beans? You bet I am. Am I ready to heal this wound? To be honest, probably not yet. But then, hating lima beans does not cause me to suffer anywhere near as much as people who hate the phrase "we have to talk."

The point is, responding to these ordinary life events with hate is a strong reaction. Dislike?   Maybe. But hate? In truth, hating an ordinary life event is one of the clearest indicators that a wound exists. Even more important, whenever people hate something, this hate not only impairs their ability to love the object they hate, it also impairs their ability to love in general.

The "Picture a Food You Hate" Experiment

To see how this works, just picture, for a moment, a food you hate to eat. Now picture a romantic candlelit dinner for two, where this food is on your plate. Can you sense how this food would distract you; in effect, how it would impair your ability to give and receive loving attention? Of course, you could always have the waiter remove it, which is what many would people do. But what if your partner liked this food and wanted to keep it on his or her plate?

What makes people hate these ordinary events? These people are being keyed by these foods or by something around these foods; meaning, these people are unconsciously responding to a previously planted "hypnotic suggestion," a key which is causing them to involuntarily and abruptly relive the worst moment of a wounding event; the moment in which they abruptly went from trance to shock in the wounding scene.

Since these moments are extremely painful, of course, people hate them. Who would not? This hate is simply human nature and a healthy response to being wounded, at least to the degree that it can lead us to a wound.

Is What You Hate the Key?

Is what people hate, the food for instance, always the actual wound key? Sometimes, it is, sometimes, it isn't. But since this article is not focused on learning to identify keys, nor on how to heal wounds, for now, please just set this question aside.

What may be helpful to know here is that you do not need to identify the key or keys in order to heal. All you need to do to heal is to remain out of shock while witnessing the scene or scenes wherein the keys are present.

In fact, wounded people can use any scenes to heal, real or imagined, as long as the scenes contain the key or keys. This means wounded people literally have an infinite amount of scenes which they can use to heal, once they identify the painful scenes. These scenes include even imaginary scenes, such as those in which you change the script, or even scenes which some doubt the authenticity of, such as those used in past life regression therapy.

What is amazing here is that the genuine nature of the scenes themselves have little or nothing to do with whether people can use them to heal. All that is necessary is for the person to witness the key or keys consciously, regardless of where the scene is staged or who or what is added to or subtracted from the scene.

One last point. Obviously, human beings can hate almost anything. In fact, the category of hate we call "prejudice" is simply another form this wound marker can take.

In its simplest form, though, this wound marker can consist of anything which causes us to have an acute awareness of any of our five physical senses (I hate: to be touched; the taste of liver; the sight of blood; the sound of chalk on a blackboard; the smell of mold) or on any of our emotional / intuitive responses (I hate: to cry; be angry; sense I am about to be afraid; etc..)

Thus, we can hate feeling sad or feeling excited as much as we can hate being touched on the head or smelling leaves in the fall, and even these simple responses indicate scenes in which a wound exists.

Under-reacting to a Loving Event

The fourth Category of BLock Markers is one of the easiest to identify, and a common example of this wound marker is the inability to experience a compliment. Of course, some people hate compliments, and these people are experiencing the third Category of BLock Markers: hating an ordinary life event. But when people experience little if any of the love inherent in a compliment, they are experiencing the fourth Category of BLock Markers: under-reacting to a loving event. Like all BLock Markers, when you find a scene in which you see this wound marker, you have found a scene in which a wound exists.

Other common examples of this wound marker are: the inability to enjoy a major portion of a relationship, such as being unable to enjoy making love, or being unable to enjoy learning from a partner; the inability to consciously experience gentle attention, such as going blank when you hear the words "I love you," or zoning out when you see people being affectionate; the inability to be grateful to someone who has just done you a favor, such as when a friend watches your children for you and you see it as "just what friends are supposed to do for each other"; the inability to experience the value in a gift, such as when you fail to feel good when someone is thanking you for a gift you gave them; the inability to see the worth in one's accomplishments, such as getting an "A" on a test and feeling it is "nothing really"; the inability to recognize when someone is trying to help you, such as when friends ask if they can help you and your first thought is "why would they want to help me"; and the inability to experience the awe in life, such as failing to see the wonder in the birth of a child or in the experiencing of nature.

As may be already apparent, almost all adults could find wounds in themselves by using this wound marker. So if you are already seeing examples of this wound marker in yourself, don't worry. Indeed, one way to recognize how common this wound marker is, is to picture the face of a child who is awed by life. A newborn is a great example. Now ask yourself, how often do you see adults in this state?

What if you cannot even picture children in this state? Here is yet another example of the fourth Category of BLock Markers. In fact, the degree to which people can not picture these scenes is a very strong indicator as to how many wounds of this type they have incurred.

The fourth Category of BLock Markers, then, Under-reacting to a Loving Event, is one of the easiest BLock Markers to find, because it is so common. It also reveals how much less wounded most infants are than most adults; just picture how easily most infants can experience love. Again, I call this inability to react normally to a loving event, the fourth Category of BLock Markers.

Under-reacting to a Violent Event

Like the fourth Category of BLock Markers, the fifth is also easy to identify, and here, an example would be the beaten spouse who does not leave. Most people cannot begin to understand why such a person does not leave. They may even make the obvious remark, "if it was me, I'd be out of there in a minute."

Despite being somewhat callous, though, these comments obviously make sense. So what is it that prevents these people from leaving? Once again, shock. Each of these people has, at one time, experienced a similar event but went into shock before the actual violence occurred. Once wounded in this way, even picturing the possibility of such violence happening literally causes these people to become deer frozen in a car's headlights; meaning, they immediately go into shock.

The thing to see is this. Because these people go into shock before the actual violence occurs, they literally do not experience the violence present and so, can find little or no conscious motive to leave. They might even say things like, "He didn't really mean to hurt me. It was an accident."

Again, because they go into shock so quickly, many of these people never even get angry. They literally experience nothing to get mad at. Add to this the fact that many of these people go into shock when they even picture themselves angry, and you begin to see why these people usually have such a hard time leaving, let alone healing.

At times, these people may even experience the violence momentarily. This will happen when they experience an event in which the amount of violence far exceeds the amount to which they have been previously subjected. In a sense, these moments are very similar to what happens to hysterical people when they get slapped. Even here, though, most of these people will eventually lose the ability to experience even this new level of violence, because repeatedly recalling events such as these will eventually cause them to go into shock; in effect, they will reach a point at which they can recall even these events with little or no suffering.

Mistaking Numbness for Healing

Unfortunately, this process—repeatedly recalling an event until numbness occurs—is yet another thing often mistaken for healing. In fact, this process (learning to witness a painful event until numbness occurs) is the essence of many behavioral therapies, wherein damage control (controlling the symptoms) is often mistaken for genuine healing.

My point is, calling this process "healing" is like saying that the way to heal a person with an injured arm is to repeatedly punch the person's arm until it becomes deadened; in other words, hit the arm until it goes into shock. Doing this may help the person to stop feeling the pain. But it will never heal the arm.

Here again, the lack of suffering, meaning the absence of symptoms, can never be seen as legitimate proof of healing. The only genuine proof for healing is the presence of effortless love.

Mistaking the Lack of Anger for Forgiveness

Yet one more mistake these people often make is they often mistake their lack of anger for having forgiven the person who hurt them. Such people may even equate the size of their ability to let go of the suffering as the measure of how much they love the person who hurt them. Neither of these conclusions is ever true.

Other examples of the fifth Category of BLock Markers: under-reacting to a violent event, are: the inability to experience the suffering present in ALL addictions; such as the alcoholic who denies he is suffering despite obvious consequences, or the gambler who continues to bet despite her losses; the inability to experience grief, such as when a young widow seems "fine" only weeks after her husband's death; the inability to experience fear while in the presence of danger; such as when people stand too close to the edge of a cliff and feel no fear, or when people casually put their hands into a dangerous zoo animal's cage; and the inability to be mad at someone who violates you, such as when you are more worried that the man who just robbed you may go to jail than that you will get your money back.

Feeling Like You Have No Choice

Have you ever heard someone say they did something because they had no choice? If you did, then whatever they were referring to was in an area of life in which they were wounded. For example, when a wife says that if she did not pay the bills, then they would not get paid, in effect, she is saying she had no choice but to pay these bills. In this case, saying she had no choice means she was wounded in a scene which involved money; in all likelihood, a scene which involved paying bills. Maybe, as a young child, she witnessed one of her parents struggling to pay the bills at one time, or maybe she overheard her father and mother saying they might lose their home if her father lost his job.

Specifics aside, the point here is that when people do natural acts love, they never feel forced. Natural acts of love always feel like choices people were free to make and made anyway. Actually, this is one of the best qualities of natural love; people feel free to choose to choose to act on it or not. In fact, this idea, that people are free to choose not to do these acts is what makes the people who do them even more lovable.

The point here, though, is that, when people feel forced to do something during an ordinary life event; in effect, when they experience being trapped, then they are experiencing the sixth Category of BLock Markers; the aftermath of a painful event in which they had little or no choice.

Note that these scenes may, at times, look very much like the original wounding events. Yet at other times, these scenes may seem quite unrelated to the original scene. Remember that it is the person's ability to make conscious choices that is wounded here.

Also, like the people with the previous wound marker, where their wounds cause them to be unable to experience certain types of violence, people with the sixth Category of BLock Markers cannot consciously experience the choices they may have in this area of their life. In a sense, they have lost their ability to love the process of choice, which is an essential part of how people express love.

Further examples of the sixth Category of BLock Markers are: the inability to say "no," such as when people cannot deny peoples' requests for money, or when people can not say no when they are asked to have sex, even when they do not want to (people who were sexually molested as children often have this one); the inability to set limits on the amount of help you offer people, such as when people feel forced to help others at their own expense (many therapists, when they begin working, have this one), or when people feel obliged to contribute to the needy even when they, themselves, are just as needy; and the inability to feel entitled to stop working, such as when people feel guilty when they have to quit before finishing an important job, or when people must be told to go home when they are sick.

Are There More BLock Markers?

If you feel overwhelmed by all these ideas, please do not be discouraged. As I said at the beginning, my intention here was introduce you to the idea of BLock Markers. In truth, I would be extremely surprised if there was anyone who was able to completely grasp such an expansive topic from such a brief introduction, although I admit, there may well be a few such individuals.

In fact, my own understanding of BLock Markers continues to expand daily, and at the rate I seem to be discovering new BLock Markers, I expect I will continue to discover them for the rest of my life. (In fact, as I write, I realize that yet another wound marker is "the events which you've always known about but never told anyone.")

Equally important though; if you feel pained because you do not fully grasp everything you have just read, or if you find that your main focus seems to be picking these ideas apart, you are, in all likelihood, experiencing yet two more of the BLock Markers; two more pointers to areas of life in which your ability to experience love is wounded. (In the case of the first, you were, in all likelihood, once wounded by a teacher. In the case of the second, you were, in all likelihood, wounded at an early age by someone who was harshly critical of your ideas.)

Whatever the case though, the point is, the BLock Markers I have just presented represent only a few of the ways wounds can visibly manifest in peoples' lives, and wounds can manifest in an almost infinite amount of ways.

So, why did I pick the ones I just offered? To be honest, I chose these six only because they were the first six to come to mind. In truth, I could have chosen any facet of a Prime Sequence as a starting point. My real desire, here, has been to encourage people to begin to develop their own library of BLock Markers. Know that there are only three tools you need to begin these steps toward healing consciously;

[1] you need to be able to recognize the two Prime Sequences;

[2] (for those instances in which you can not find a Prime Sequence and remembering that all BLock Markers are simply some part of one of the two Prime Sequences) you need to know how to use BLock Markers to find the scenes which hold the keys; and

[3] you need to just allow for the possibility that if you can find a wound, the healing will follow.

One Last Hint

Lastly, there is a simple phrase which I use to remind myself as to the essence of all BLock Markers. This phrase also happens to be my favorite way of defining the word key: a key is an ordinary life event which causes a person to overreact or under-react, while not in the presence of violence. Herein lies the essence of all BLock Markers; they are all scenes which contain a key or keys.

As for the suffering these keys cause in us, please try to remember, keys are literally the most potent guides to those parts of us which need healing (in other words, to those places of us which need love the most). Thus, if you truly want to heal and learn to love, focus on the love our wounds guide us to, not on the suffering we experience on the way.


Want to know more about the Block Markers? Here's a Quick Summary.


  • This is what it's like to relive a wound