The First Wound is Hypervigilance.
This is an instinctual focus on any and all danger.
When you experience something traumatic, like a car accident, the way your instinctual nervous system remembers the experience can change your world.
The world now has that kind of danger in it – always.
If you have an opportunity to release some of your nervous system trauma, you will still be hypervigilant in those environments, like driving a car, or trusting people, but you will at least have some resiliency about how these experiences impact the rest of your life.
If you cannot find the support to release the profound instinctual aversion to traffic or threatening people, your nervous system will hold onto your spine, limbs, and mind with invisible, white-knuckled fists. This inner tension will gradually drive your stress hormones and immune system out of balance. Unresolved trauma is a factor in many, if not all chronic illnesses and is undoubtedly the underlying cause of most addictions.
Hypervigilance is the instinctual focus on any and all possible danger.
If you have a chronic illness, you may become hypervigilant about your symptoms. If you grew up in a dangerous environment, you will naturally have learned to ’empathize’, or be hyper-concerned with the mood and behaviour of the people around you. There are many other ways this can happen, but the important takeaway is your nervous system is prone to staying in a Sympathetic or Fight or Flight state. Your inner and/or outer world now has some kind of danger in it – always!
The skill and capacity to induce your innate Relation Response, to bring yourself into a more patient, present, and trusting relationship with your body and your environment can be as effective as using anti-anxiety medication. This is where practices like Qi Gong, Yoga, and meditation truly shine.