Reflections about Unhealed Pain

Carol A. Hand

A history of unhealed hurts remains hidden
Buried, waiting patiently in memories that surface unbidden
Coloring the present to wound spirit again and again
Each new experience colored by remembered pain
Deflecting attention away from the beauty and potential
Both within and surrounding us

Dancer (2)

Drawing: Carol A. Hand

The impenetrable walls we build to protect tender hearts
Isolating us from the joy of connections that unlock the joy
Of singing together in harmony with all we are
Look within, deeper, with compassion to understand
And allow the dance of rewounding to end
With the grace of forgiving oneself and others

dancer (1)

Drawing: Carol A. Hand

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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31 Responses to Reflections about Unhealed Pain

  1. mschrysalis says:

    This is beautiful, Carol. You’ve captured what I consider to be a priority on this journey of mine.With permission, I would like to reblog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carrie says:

    Carol- This is a powerful post. Your drawings are beautiful…and the sentiment, very familiar. This period of dreaming that we are all in, seems to surface those old wounds for our healing. My approach to the feel to heal, observe and release has been to write as well. Blessings to you as you venture into these lands…and find your way back to the beauty of the present.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Carrie. This morning, I found myself thinking about the ways in which memories of past hurts continues to perpetuate divisions – a tribal community I studied in the past, my present neighborhood, and my own reticence to reach out to others. It’s a fascinating journey to discover how to use this process to build inclusive connected communities.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carrie says:

        I understand, completely, Carol. I feel as if our collective healing is at hand…in alignment with the rest period that winter is. I am grateful for this time of reflection and for the opportunity to heal through these dreams and reflections, more of the old, unconscious wounds so that as I move into community, I am more open and light as an example of what is possible for all. My sense is that you are doing the same.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Carol, you have expressed so well the repressed pain that prevents us from enjoying life fully and keeps us apart from others. Will we ever attain peace on Earth without first dealing with our collective pain?

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have raised a crucial question, Rosaliene. I don’t know the answer for others, but for me, I believe it means having the courage to continue my own healing journey. Although I’m not a Buddhist, I find great wisdom in much of what they teach.

      “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
      (Gautama Buddha,

      The willingness to ask this question begins the peace-building process…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Your drawings perfectly illustrate the emotions of being bound up in pain and then released. Please consider posting this at my Senior Salon today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sojourner says:

    Wonderful, Carol!

    “And allow the dance of rewounding to end
    With the grace of forgiving oneself and others”

    This is the cure, the only cure!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chi miigwetch, dear friend. I appreciate your thoughtful and kind words.


  7. Thanks for posting Carol. Very moving and meaningful writing as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. wolfegeo says:

    Beautifully written and so inciteful. “..The impenetrable walls we build to protect tender hearts…” It is difficult to overcome a history of abuse on a personal level; when the abuse (or betrayal) is rendered by one government or nation towards another… I can’t even begin to imagine. I feel that as a result of my own experience I’m more insightful, more contemplative, and more willing to fight for the underdog, or stand up for those I feel have been wronged.

    A deciding moment in my journey has been the realization that I am not responsible for anyones actions but my own; that what has happened is not a reflection of who I am but rather that of the abuser; that it’s ok to be successful, to be happy. And that to forgive does not imply you condone what transpired.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful! Just beautiful. And so evocative. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh so stunning and profound, Carol. And I love your drawings. Holding onto to past hurts is like digesting poison every day of our lives. Thus granting life to the hurt which in turns affects our choices, our ability to love and be loved, our happiness and steals our joy. We forgive not to save others but to save ourselves. Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful, Carol. Forgiveness is key and sometimes so hard to fully embrace. One of the keys to forgiveness for me is the recognition that time doesn’t roll backwards. There is no way to undo the hurts of the past, no way to “unhappen” them. I can drag the fruitless wish for a different past behind me or I can leave its heavy sack in my wake and face the future where my efforts and dreams can create a better future. Wishing you joy and many songs sung together in harmony.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pat says:

    There can be such chaos and destruction in relationships when an individual doesn’t do the inner-work to heal unconscious pain. The wounds get passed through the generations, metastasizing through the generations, metastasizing through relationships, and shaping our children’s lives. The sickness will stay in the family tree (or family collective) until someone in the outer branches has enough support and awareness to face and move through that ancient grief.

    I pulled that from somewhere, but I don’t recall where. I’ve been pondering my own journey in the context of old wounds that have visited themselves on the younger ones. Thank you for mentioning this now!

    “There are years that question and years that answer.” Zora Neale Hurston

    Liked by 1 person

  13. mschrysalis says:

    Reblogged this on Wild Currents and commented:
    I only wish that I could be so articulate

    Liked by 1 person

  14. amanpan says:

    This is lovely. You have gained a new follower.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Little Voice says:

    Thoughtful and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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