The art of healing a wounded soul


I just suffered a setback. Things have been going really well in my life the last month or so. And then suddenly life handed me a blow that threw  me off path. Shook me out of balance. Scared me into taking a giant leap backwards.

I won’t lie and say it wasn’t hard. It was incredibly challenging. I spent most of yesterday putting the pieces of me back together.

Have you ever felt that way?

You have just finished writing your essay, your dissertation, your blog post or your important job document. And then your computer crashes and everything is lost forever.

You have just started to trust someone slowly. And then they act in a way that makes you withdraw the trust and close off your heart.

You’re on your way to get a promotion, get a reward or make your dream come true. And then something comes up and you are left with nothing.

You’re experiencing flow, velocity and momentum. Everything you touch turn into gold (or glitter). And then life shifts and everyhing you touch turn to stone and goes horribly wrong.

Have you ever experienced a major setback? Can you feel the disappointment of a past experience from where you are sitting right now? The grief? The embarrassment and the shame?

My instinct tells me to back away now. To protect myself from getting hurt. To wrap up my stuff and flee. (Or unfold my wings and fly far, far away.)

But a tiny little whisper tells me to stop. I can see through the desperate urge to control the situation. When I feel like I want ot run, it’s just me wanting to protect – me.

And I’m incredibly thankful for the love and thoughtfullness. But I think setbacks have a greater purpose than breaking and crushing. It’s an opportunity to reassess your determination. Your dream. If a setback is hard, doesn’t that just prove how much you care about the project? About yourself?

I suffered a major hit yesterday. But I’m not fatally wounded. I’m already healing. Because I carry my own little first-aid kit. I carry hopes and dreams and a tiny little bottle of self-love. (You know those small bottles with sparkly magic powder that makes wounds heal instantly and takes the hurt away?). I’ve discovered that I’ve got it.

You can have some too.

The set-back is a set-forth.

The shame is your way of protecting your soul.

The disappointment is a confirmation of you loving you.

You can carry the unbearable. You can do the impossible.

You can fight or flight. I know what I’m going to do.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline May 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I copied the four lines from The set-back is a forth…. up to You can do the impossible… printed them as a reminder… you’re just so right.. so right… again… (-:


Marthe May 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Aww, thank you! I really appreciate your comments:)


carelia May 19, 2011 at 4:40 am

You just described my entire life, LOL. Crash and burn and rebirth. I tell people I am a phoenix. ;)

A quote I try to keep in mind: When you are going through hell, KEEP GOING. :)


Marthe May 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Oh, I love the quote! I think I need to print that and put it somewhere where I can see it! :) Luckily, I’m through the worst part, hope you are too! :)


carelia May 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

The quote is from Winston Churchill, sorry I forgot that the first time! :)

And THIS time, the worst is past. But it will come again, just the way it is! It’s that phoenix thing! ;) It’s liberating in a way – all the old is shed, and it’s a chance to start over. It’s hard in the midst of the pain to keep that in mind, but we can try. :)


Marthe May 20, 2011 at 9:35 am

I agree, it is liberating. And painful. But good things come out of it, every time we grow a little. Look at it as a spiral of change, for every cycle we move forward a little.

I’m reading a book called Finding your Own North Star by Martha Beck. She writes a lot about change cycles, you might find it interesting! :)


May July 19, 2012 at 5:01 am

Thank you. You seemed to be talking about me.

I felt so inspired by that 4 powerful lines.

Thank you!


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