Art by Cheryl Shibley
I believe we all get gashed open by something in life, and that wound haunts us and, perhaps, shapes us. Some of us suffer traumas early in life that change us forever. Some have blissful childhoods but are wounded nonetheless. Core wounds tend to be things like a sense of not being enough, of being unlovable to a parent, of feeling stupid, dirty, unwanted, or ugly. No matter what your core wound may be, you can guarantee that your wound influences who you are and how you behave. You may heal your wound, yet how it affects you may live on.
My core wound is a feeling of “otherness.” From the very beginning, I always had a sense of being different from everyone else. Like most children do, I longed to fit in, to be accepted, to be part of the gang, and to be understood. While my parents adored me and blessed me with a blissful home life, they never quite got me. Friends, family, and boyfriends admired me but didn’t understand me. We all long to be gotten, to be truly known, don’t we?
When I was eleven, I wrote a poem about a tall tree amid shorter trees. The tall tree envied the shorter trees, because the villagers could climb them and pick their fruit, while the tall tree stood alone, unpicked, unclimbed. It’s hard to explain this sense of otherness to people without it sounding arrogant. Do I feel like I’m bigger, taller, more important, and special? No, that’s not it at all. I just feel different, and different feels lonely.
I was always too nerdy to be popular, too popular to be a nerd, too goody-two-shoes to be a druggie, too naughty to be a church girl, too prissy to be athletic, too athletic to be prissy. Then, as I got older, I didn’t quite fit in with the doctors, but I definitely didn’t fit into the art world either. The doctors thought I was eccentric and creative, while the artists thought I was too loving and bubbly, not dark or deep enough. I always longed to be part of a crowd that I could ask, “What are WE doing tonight?” But that never happened. I guess I never fit in a box, as much as I longed to.
So what did I do? After years of feeling too creative to fit in with doctors and too brainy to fit in with artists, I built Owning Pink. Here I am, the Doctor of Mojo and Pink ringleader, crafting a place where my otherness is accepted, even celebrated. I never fit into any group, so I built a group that invites me to be the Lissaest of Lissas and invites Pinkies to be the Pinkiest of Pinkies. I feel validated, understood, and affirmed by you all. You Pinkies are salve on my core wound.
What about you? What’s your core wound, and how has it shaped you? How has it limited you? What lessons have you learned? How has it held you back? What might heal those wounds? You’ve all helped me heal mine. How can we all help each other? Remember, it is in our wounds that we connect, but we can release them when they no longer serve us.
Dr. Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, an author, a nationally-represented professional artist, and the founder of Owning Pink, an online community committed to building authentic community and empowering women to get- and keep- their "mojo". Owning Pink is all about owning all the facets of what makes you whole- your health, your sexuality, your spirituality, your creativity, your career, your relationships, the planet, and YOU. Dr. Rankin is currently redefining women’s health at the Owning Pink Center, her practice in Mill Valley, California. She is the author of the forthcoming What's Up Down There? Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin's Press, September 2010).