W is for Wound, Willingness, and Writing!

Updated: November 25, 2013

Dearest member of the fabulosity tribe,

I’m writing you from the road—traveling again—trying to stay grounded the best I can while in the air. Love the irony.

In last week’s blog I wrote about how important it is to tell your truth and this week I learned about being discerning about what I talk about.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of new things lately and have been thrown out of my comfort zone. I spoke at an amazing event called Catalyst Week, part of the Downtown Project in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (http://catalystcreativ.com/downtown-project/) You really need to check it out- it’s an amazing collaboration of innovative talent spearheaded by Tony Hsieh, Founder of Zappos. This was the first time in my life I addressed an audience without relying on my “woundology” as a narrative to show people how far I’ve come.

I’ve learned I don’t always have to lead with “how I overcame horrific things to become who I am” to get people’s attention. I can’t tell you how vulnerable I felt without my wound story.

I had plenty of time to ponder how sometimes people, myself included, lead with our wounds as a kind of shield. It’s actually more difficult to allow yourself to be seen as, well average. Without my wound story would I have anything interesting to say?

This was a strictly business audience. I wasn’t offering intuitive insights, so I couldn’t dazzle ‘em there! The topic was the catalyst in my life that brought me to my passion to help people see themselves with perspective and clarity. My talk was about how I learned to see the world, and what happened to change it.  Wow, tell the story without the shocking stuff?  Panic. I have never done that.

Of course the talk went well, and the experience was great. Without my wound stories I had a unique opportunity to be more collaborative and accessible.  These business owners did not come to hear me talk about rape, addiction, and near-death experiences, and all the wild things that happened to me when first discovering myself as an intuitive.

That would be a no.

How often have you felt you’d be more vulnerable without the stories told that you know set you apart from others?

One thing is true, that who I am today—a successful entrepreneur and business advisor (my strongest talents)—grew out of a lot of crap and a whole lot of unusual experiences.

It really hit me, that what I’ve built today is so far away from my past, yet I didn’t realize how much I still relied on the war stories to define me when standing in front of strangers.

I’m writing music this week, perhaps I will tell the tale there. I’m so grateful that learning is forever.

Love to hear from you, do you still define yourself in part from your wound? Do you know when you’re doing it? What need does it meet for you?

Not all of you will identify but if you do, join me in a week of self-compassion and self-acceptance. It takes courage to let go of old stories.

I’m ready if you are 😉

Love always and forever.


The Invision Project
Founder, CEO

If you have a question you would like to ask Colette, write to her at AskColette@ColetteBaronReid.comAll published questions and answers will be anonymous – we honor and protect your privacy. (Please, Colette respectfully asks that you do not request a reading as the anticipated response to your question.)



Showing 31 comments
  • Kim DePina

    Yes, I use the wounded part of my story often, too. Why? Because I find that it helps others to identify with me, and I with them. Many people, including myself, like to know that they are not alone in what they’ve suffered or experienced. The wounds create an initial bond.
    Then, I use what I’ve learned from you, and many others, to teach others how to move past the wounds and back into LIFE.

    But, you’re right. There does come a time when we have to drop the comfort of our wounds and just get straight to the pivotal point of our turning things around. To create a bond with others based on the present moment, and to lead them to their highest and best version of themselves by starting with that blank canvas.

    • karen

      I never tell i wounded story…i find i,m not such a friendly person….but a listener.

  • Lori Held

    Just last night I told my wound story to a new acquaintance. It made me feel vulnerable but my story made me feel strangely powerful as I knew that my experiences were not the average. Would I be interesting without it? hmmmm… thank you for making me think. I understand this and identify very much on so many levels. All stories are not appropriate for all audiences but I think for me I may still be in a stage of healing as when I tell my story I sometimes feel lighter afterwards. Your insight is incredible. I am so glad I ran across your article. The synchronicity spirit is bringing me today is amazing.

  • Sunny Sunny

    This is great for me to hear Colette! And perfect timing since I just applied for a screenplay scholarship and had to give a reason why I should receive it. My answer was along the lines of ‘Because I’ve overcome such hardship and’….into the wound I went. Now I ponder my response from a different perspective. Granted, my story is about overcoming hardship and believing in a personal destiny…but how could I have given credence to my reason for deserving a scholarship without the wound? Does it really have to include that I was the poor kid, that my teenage mom and I lived in food stamps? Are those details necessary? How about something more along the lines of…that I’m a hard worker and that I take steps to achieve my goals and that I am passionate about young people having hope and that I have a boatload of integrity and that my intention is true…I’m almost 50! At what point will I distance myself from those old chapters? Thank you Colette. My story is filled with grief and hardship. I value my story, it’s made me who I am… but I am more than that. What am I without the wound? A healed wise person? Hmmmm…Great Food for Thought for the Thanksgiving week.

  • Cindy

    Good evening Beautiful Angel, and OMG…I do ! when ever I start out its I was abused as a child then though my first marriage-survived an overdosed…then Married a wonderful man and God decided he needed him more…then goin through grief and his daughter the way she did me. then the abuse from my son…then saving my grandson mother only to have god take her..and the pain of this nerve damage and now I am 46 years old raising my grandson….but its going though all this and that..That has made me who I somewhat am today. lol….I’m stuck into what I can and can not do! I have a huge heart. I cry at the drop of a hat. but can turn that around and put a hard hat on….lol…Thank you!! I know there is a lesson to be learned …but it hasn’t shown up..or I missed it!! Love You and Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!!

  • Belinda

    I am amazed at how much of our lives is caught up in our old story. We identify with what happened to us sometimes years ago and have not learn how to let go of this past story. We drag it forward, with all of it’s false memories, exaggerations, and stinkin thinking. But I always did not see it that way. I saw the old story as my life, and drug that old wound with me like a security blanket. I have learned that the only reason that old story keeps popping up is because I have not let loose of it. If I let go of all the old stories, the sky is the limit. When I see people who have hurt me, I let go of the old story and they are new. Because really they are not the same people either. But that would really require that we detach from our old story. And that can be scary to some. But it really is not scary, when you know that you are fully supported by the universe and are safe.

    • Robin

      Well said and wow what an eye opening truth! I thought I had let go of my past but as you have wisely pointed out, I am still dragging it along. Thanks for sharing as you helped me to realize. Namaste

  • Bridgett

    Well, you got me again!
    I’ve used my wounds – recent and past – to explain why I’m such a mess. People won’t judge me if they know the pain I’m dealing with, right?
    What would it look like to move ahead and offer no excuses? Oooo – scary.
    I’ve considered myself trapped these past few years. Maybe I’m just trapped by the story.
    I’ve been churning and gaining insights for the past 2 or 3 months that have prepared me to receive this.
    I’ve noticed homeless people walking on the streets wearing what appears to be every item of clothing they own. Hmm.

    As always, thank you.

  • Kelly

    I have used wounds in the past to access points. What is ironic is I am in one right now, a debilitating writing frieze that is seriously affecting my school work and blog. It just is frozen and I am trying to figure out how to warm it up!!! Eek! Wound writing makes us relate able as much as being ordinary. Doesn’t it come a time to tell new stories of us as the Universe needs new guides? Maybe. Thanks so much lady! You’re amaze balls!!!! <3

  • Julie Hardy

    I find it really hardy to talk about me, i have found your books and oracle cards great to under stand my path and looking at my life in a different way, but you have made me think maybe i should talk more, but then i have never really found anyone i can trust enough to tell my story to and things are better left were they are. But reading back at what i have just written no wonder I am stuck!!!! and need to let go.

    So glad your writing more music, you have a great voice with heartfelt words. There is a very famous lady that has vocals just like you.

    Health and happiness x

  • Laura

    What if the wound is still raw and splayed open? What if you can’t seem to make it go away no matter what you do? I’ve had a chronic illness for,6 years. No amount of healing (and I’ve tried many forms – including going inside myself) seems to stop it. It is an illness no one can see and yet it has a huge impact on my life and how I live. My struggle always is: do I tell people so they understand why I do certain things? Or do I hide it away – since no one can see it anyway? I struggle – I so desperately want someone to understand me, the illness, to really hear me and yet I also want desperately to hide it – to be normal. I don’t want life on these terms and yet this is the life I’ve been given to live. How does one be in acceptance and strive for change all at the same time? I’ve also noticed that on the rare occasion I do mention my illness people are uncomfortable and don’t know what to say. Which greatly increases my uncomfortableness in sharing. I think ultimately no one wants to hear our stories, mostly they want their stories to be heard. I don’t mean that in a mean, petty way. I simply mean that I’m not sure people in general are heard enough so maybe that’s why we speak of our wounds because we are all waiting for that one time when someone will actually really listen and HEAR us. Maybe then our need to talk about it would end?

  • Carol Spain-Falk

    Hello! Your story has me written all over it. I will really focus on not depending on my own war story as my only definition. My book is a large part of that story so it will take courage to stand up and own my own place in the world without it. Thank you for sharing, your thoughts and your wisdom.

  • Theresa

    Hi Collette! Wonderful post! Here are my thoughts for today, in this moment of time… I love you!

    I think woundology teaches us things, moreover, it taught me that the journey is about working towards letting it go and realizing we do get to a point where it does not serve us anymore. When I realized I became stuck in this mentality, I felt like it did not fit anymore like a shoe I grew out of, then I was pushed forward to seek more knowledge and understanding of myself.

    I believe it definitely serves its purpose to inspire others to move through their own wounds, deal with every aspect of it, learning from it, and then move on. I also believe that when someone publicly shares their wounded stories, it means that they have mastered the courage to speak about it. And this is a very big step for many. Gaining back one’s power is part of the journey of healing.

    The speed at which we move through these things is personal. Everyone has their own rhythm and cycles and different circumstances, so I honour that about them when they share with me. When someone introduces their wounds to me, I can see where they are in their journey, and because of my own wounded stories, I can understand the stage at which they are at. I can also see the degree of desire that they show, to move through the wounds, will also indicate how long they will be in this important stage.
    I do not tell my stories much anymore, but when I do, if someone does ask, I am very far removed from the emotional charge. I can tell that I did the emotional work to finally be able to tell the story without any grief. My wounds are now part of my history, but not part of my energy anymore. Well, there may be one or two, that may still have a little spark left. So, yes, I am patient with myself and I have faith that these will work themselves out when the time is perfect.
    I believe that our wounds have influenced who we are, but better yet, they have propelled us in a different direction, as we seek understanding and healing.

    So the wound is the emotional hurt and the event which leads us to seek a better life. We eventually learn to turn it into a desire for change. The catapult. And that, too, is a very courageous step.

    • Emily

      Hi Teresa 🙂
      (& to all on here (I feel as if most of you are speaking my mind & then some.)
      Thank you for your comment(s)….
      I couldn’t have said it better–especially right now! Sleepy time :).
      Thank you all for sharing your insights, & helping people not feel so alone.
      & (of course 🙂 ), Colette, thank you for all of this & your team for making this a
      safe loving place to share.

      • Theresa

        Thanks, Emily!
        Sending you loving thoughts today! Life is just so full of magic when we can see all of our experiences as beautiful influences in some way.

  • Katherine

    This also made me think: what about the stories we are not sharing? Yes, some of hardships for whatever reason, shame, relevance, timing 😛
    I think of this for myself but also because recently my parents told me about a time they went without, and I didn’t know this part and one that they said is so sad they didn’t tell it often but as my heart felt for them, it also made me realize how strong they’d been and how lucky I was.
    Also telling some stories, (trying to not use them as defining who you are) help others know they’re not alone in their struggles.
    Also, what about those strong and powerful ones about how strangers helped us in a moment of weakness or vulnerability, or how we won something? Etc etc
    Just thinking how much appreciation of all the stories that help shape our lives, thank you!

  • caryn

    It’s been my thought for a while not to lead with my wounds. I have been working with the idea of original innocence that cannot be destroyed. That light-being who can never be affected by my human history. This is the “me” I want the world to see now.

    My wounds and human history can be manipulated, either by me or others. An example is when I explained to my mother a few years ago that a mental health care professional had diagnosed me as a child abuse survivor. The reaction was really stunning, ” you’re making me sound like a terrible mother..” That was not my intent, but rather my attempt at sharing my human truth.

    So the work I started doing was to reclaim my innocence, based on the idea that something that is inherent cannot be lost, perhaps covered up for awhile but never lost.

    • Abby Wizan

      Amen. I wanted that little girl innocence back but with smarter thought patterns. I believe there is even a stage after this. It’s important to BE abundantly aware of the truth. The goal was to be free of the thought patterns and events that were running our lives. Once that happens, I believe we move back into our purpose on this earth naturally. Creativity opens up and you just become your wonderful self.

  • Tara

    Ten years ago I got cut really bad on my hand with a straight razor. I needed to get stitches and it left a pretty bad scar. I took care of the wound and now the scar is barely recognizable. Sometimes I even forget it’s there, but every once in a while I see it and remember what happened. Even though I remeber how much it hurt I can’t actually feel the pain. Though the scar is a part of me now and isn’t exactly beautiful it reminds me that I should be careful with a straight razor as to not have the same outcome.
    My emotional wounds work pretty much in the same way. They are there and I know how I got them. I can remember the pain when they happened but I no longer feel the pain. I nurture my wounds and I let them heal. My wounds have made me who I am now but in a positive way. I treat them as lessons and learn from them . I don’t think there is anything wrong from recounting your wound stories as long as it’s for a proper reason, like helping someone else out in need. It’s the “poor me” individuals that use them for the sympathy card that have not gotten the point. They let the wound fester and become infectious and never let it heal and healing is the part that lets us grow. So even though I’m not one that constantly talks about my wounds, I do think that they are what makes me beautiful as a human being. They are what makes me, me!

  • Kimberly

    Now you have my attention! So many years listening, and telling, what it was like and what happened….I always wake up a little more inside when what’s it like now comes to the table because that’s where I live now. Thanks!

  • Juliet Schutte

    Such a beautiful sharing Colette!! I actually don’t lead with a wound story and in fact was just helping a client of mine in that very area! (Of COURSE! 😉 )

    Redefining yourself takes great courage — rising like the Phoenix! SO proud of you! Wow! <3 <3

  • Theresa

    Well, this was very insightful. I have the opposite problem. I was raised that you don’t put your stuff out onto the street because it’s not appropriate. Of course I grew up and realized that what they meant was avoid vulnerability and judgement. Ultimately, the wounds came out in other ways-in my case, self-sabotage. When I got to a point where I really needed help, I recognized that I had to open up and share some of my story. It’s a long work in progress, but one of the benefits of this is that I feel less isolated.

    Thanks for this post, Collette.

  • Karen

    Dear Colette, some time ago I stopped telling “my story”, because I realised that everything, how horrible it could have been, gets its own life if I keep on telling it. So I share beautiful, positive, encouraging aspects more and more and leave the ‘story’ for the moments I really want to do something with it. Sometimes it feels a bit scary to be silent where in the past I would have told a lot of things. It gives me the time not to interrupt or jump in the gap of the conversation to add my ‘terrible’ story, but to leave the room for the other person to continue and sometimes go deeper, in fact, to tell their story. It prevents me from being ruled by my past and living up more and more to my present potential. I really enjoy it and have more happier moments in my life than before. Thank you again for sharing!

  • Maria Wagner

    Our painful past helps shape who we become. But it is how we choose to deal with it, overcome it & grow that shapes our future. If we choose to let it overcome us, then that can send us in a negative spiral. If you are reliving the past, you cannot embrace the now nor the future. I have been through terrible times. But its ok that only my family, close friends, & God know this. And anyone who remembers the events on the news channels. If I dwell on the past I can feel it pull me down. I choose optimism & positivity! We are wonderful beings inspite of our past hardships! You shine bright Collette!

  • Diana Boles

    A wound is an opening. A portal. A letting. A way out. A way back. A way in. The strength of survival. The courage of healing. It cannot help but define. The will is to not let it control. We are heroes and warriors. We are meek and humble. The adventure is ours. It will only ever be what we make of it. Choose the opening to the future – second star on the right and strait on til morning!

  • Diana Boles

    Oh, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to the States and everyone who may celebrate change.

  • Patricia H.

    Yes, I do use woundology to define myself to others and this annoys me. I also feel annoyed when I tune into a spiritual radio show or webinar and for the first 15 to 20 minutes I find myself listening to another “victim” story. I would rather relate to a healer on the level of already healed rather than listen to a rehash of a series of tragic events, which by the way, lower my frequency.

    We’ve all experienced tragedies, but why do we keep focusing on them? It’s confusing because I listen to the Abraham Hicks teachings which focuses on the now and what raises our frequency and then I tune into another spiritual show, blog or site which rehashes dark events by people who say that they’re practicing Law of Attraction.

    So thank you for bringing up this crucial topic. The best healing is awareness of our bad habits and rehashing wounds is a bad habit with too much drama attached.

    • Diana Boles

      It’s confusing, isn’t it? So an opening my be the defining moment, but what passes thru it doesn’t have to be. Like a great meal. When it is totally digested, it passes. Then we are truly finished with it. So the vitamins and minerals support us, while not actually defing us.

      • Theresa

        Diana, wow, I love that analogy! Digestion as a symbol of extracting the right nutrients or good things we can take with us, and letting go of the other stuff that does not serve us. Wow, it fits so well. Thanks! You have inspired me today. <3

  • Michelle

    It’s funny I never really talk about my past with people. I say I can relate to some people because of their circumstances were like mine. I used to do the wounded thing but I always say I overcame some obstacles and I proved statistics wrong but that is about where it ends. I can do the whole sob story but it’s made me who I am and that is to work and be independent. I have those kinds of roots that instill me that nothing can be done with out hard work or at least your effort if you want spirit to support your dreams. Like I said I can talk about it easily without any emotion involved strangely enough. I do get emotional when I think about how much my mother loved and supported me and helped me to be who I am today but I am grateful for her always. The gratitude that goes into your life’s situations have all made us be who we are but we need to talk about who we are now because we are not our past, even it helped form us, its where we are now that matters only. So thanks colette for the wonderful blog and totally agree with it! 😀

  • Eira Kynthia


    You ARE so much more than your past. My counselor told me, a while back, that I tend to make my choices based on historical data. I go back to that so much that he told me I should coin the phrase and use it in all of my speakings! :o) I do believe this strongly though, we make our choices based on historical data. The REAL choice we have, though, is HOW FAR in history we want that historical data to permeate our present. I tend to conduct myself and make my choices based on my destructive and abusive childhood, almost fatal first marriage,and the strict, regimental culture of the Army (24 years of active duty and 6 years of reserve service), which defies and denies my feminine energies and disassociate myself with anything authentic. I hid behind a mask for so long the facade became my reality and my reality the facade. So yes, beautiful and radiant tribe leader, although my history is not my reality and does not define my present, it’s difficult to switch out the gears of my life-clock and remember to pull the weight chains so the hands of time keep moving forward on a continuous basis. Sometimes if feels like so much work just to remember to reach in and pull those chains. My reminder of self-awareness and attention to detail in the moment for me, not my history.

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