The Core Wound

*Photo Evan Ludes


Scott continues to successfully use the Unfindable Inquiry on stories that seem to make up the core of who a person believes she is.

Through the years of meeting with people one-on-one, Scott has come to see that just about everyone suffers from some version of the “I am inadequate” story.

The story shows up in a variety of ways such as “I am not enough,” “I am incomplete,” “I am unloved,” “I don’t count,” “I am imperfect,” “I am powerless,” and “I am bad.”

These stories often reveal themselves in relationship. For example, a partner says or does something and this core sense of self gets triggered. It’s like a wound (i.e., a deep sense of hurt) that rushes to the surface, creating all sorts of personal suffering and conflict.

People often call Scott believing that they need to “work on” issues they have with a partner, mother, or friend. Fixing relationships is such an arduous task. It’s also largely unnecessary once that core wounded self is seen through.

In these moments when people get triggered in relationship, anger, fear, or some other afflictive emotion arises along with a fight or flight response. But upon looking deeper, the other is merely reflecting back this core sense of inadequacy in the person. The very sense of being separate often carries with it a corresponding sense of “There is something wrong with ME.”

Scott calls this central story that seems to lie at the core of who we think we are a “wound.” It is more than just a story or a couple of viewpoints. There is often deep emotional pain and physical contraction around this story. The wound gets triggered not only in relationship, but in careers and anything else in life that raises issues of the worth and value of a person.

For years, Scott’s approach was to point directly to presence or non-conceptual awareness only. And, although this is still helpful, he came to find that if one does not see this core self as empty, freedom and well-being continue to seem somehow out of reach. Not seeing through this core, wounded self causes people to continue seeking the future for release.  It sometimes results in a bottomless pit of self-analysis. The idea behind the analysis is this:  if I can just understand myself and how I operate and react to others, I can find freedom. But that kind of thinking usually doesn’t work. And it often solidifies the notion that there is a separate person there, wounded at the very core.

Scott helps the person see that there really is no wound there at all. It’s merely a series of thoughts, emotions, and sensations that appear welded together, making what seems like a fixed, concrete, separate self that is deeply hurt at the core.

Using the Unfindable Inquiry in the Living Realization text, he pulls up each thought, emotion, and sensation in that story, one by one, and asks: “is this the self?”

The wounded self is seen to be unfindable. And this unfindability is not an intellectual understanding. It is the direct experience of a freedom that no amount of self-analysis can reveal. It’s the seeing that there is no self there to be inadequate, incomplete, imperfect, bad, wrong, unloved, or powerless.

Read more on how the core wound can be seen through in all relationship.








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One Response to “ The Core Wound ”

  1. A Perfectionists Call to Life | 360clouds on January 20, 2014 at 10:24 am

    […] only a symptom of something else—an inner view of herself as imperfect. “I am imperfect” is the core wound of the perfectionist. And this is precisely why so much of the conditioning is geared towards […]