No one, more than victims and survivors, knows the power of being wounded and how working through the pain can bring healing not only to themselves, but to others as well. Victims, in the process of becoming survivors and thrivers, grow strong, resilient and become exemplary soldiers in love's service.

Each of us is wounded in some way. In life, it is unavoidable. Hurts, losses, and disappointments weigh heavily upon us and cause us to turn inward, thus isolating ourselves from the very source of our healing-relationships with others. Many times, the wounds come from those we love the most, so it can be a difficult process to heal. Dialogue sets you free. Opening your heart with all its hurts to another person allows for in-depth sharing which yields to compassion and ultimately, forgiveness. Of course, it all sounds simpler that it is. It takes courage to speak your truth and to abide a process that is painful. Strength is a by-product of your efforts. You become stronger, and your communication style and relationships are fortified. Of course, this is not to say that the strong emotions that surface won't add to your pain, and initial communications will be easy. Moving forward, despite the challenge, step-by-step, or even inch-by-inch is key.

Thornton Wilder wrote, "in love's service only wounded soldiers can serve." He knew that those who moved through their pain were significantly more disposed to help others in need. Those who reach out through their own pain to help people are transformed and, in turn, assist in the transformation of others.

Being wounded doesn't mean that you must remain in that state. Reaching beyond yourself is powerful. Henri Nouwen wrote extensively on the topic of the wounded healer:

"Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not "How can we hide our wounds?" so we don't have to be embarrassed, but "How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?" When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers."

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