I’ve come to believe that the quality distinguishing humans from other creatures is our awareness of a wound, a sore spot, a tenderness that is the source of both all our pain and ultimately our joy. Other living creatures, though subject to the same natural pains and laws of physics, remain blessedly unaware of the nature of the wound, and hence do not suffer in quite the same way as do conscious humans. The dawning awareness of this woundedness, this tender spot, is the real life phenomenon that sees its symbol in the idea of our fall from grace, our expulsion from the garden, our entrapment in samsara.
We are lucky that we can’t hide forever from the truth, and a genuine glimpse of our own mortal woundedness is what offers us the opportunity to change, to awaken. To awaken and feel the wound after a long period of hiding is something you should celebrate. Some day, you may well come to realize that the moments of greatest trauma were also your moments of greatest awakening.
Perhaps you have known people who live this way, or maybe you have discovered it for yourself: It is when we are confronted with the indisputable and unavoidable truth of our woundedness that a conscious, free life begins.