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  • Writer's picturedennisharris04

Wound Care For Body, Mind, and Soul

Updated: May 31, 2023


Did you ever have one of those little cuts that you ignore? The kind that seems like just a scrape or an annoying little open sore? My son recently got a mosquito bite that itched as they tend to do, which caused him to scratch it repeatedly. He unfortunately chose to do that without thinking, with dirty hands as little boys do and no consideration given to proper wound care. All the things that his mom and I warned him not to do caused it to get infected and now he’ll have the scar to remember it by. It got me thinking about how we all handle our wounds, and that each of us has likely been guilty of just letting something heal itself, no matter how unpleasant, while we are picking at it. The body is pretty resilient and we get away with a lot of self-abuse, but sometimes we are left with scars.



So when it comes to things that affect us mentally…What are the lasting effects of adversity that cause the kind of pain that can alter our mindset and how we see things? I would suggest that the mental is worse than the physical because if left unattended, it can affect our mental well-being, our physical self and start to affect our soul. Mental stress can change our whole approach to life. If you leave mental wounds unattended because you believe that it is easier to ignore than a cut that is visibly bleeding, you are wrong. Pain caused by mental anguish, and then not dealt with causes stress that you actually carry physically on your body somewhere. We all wear it differently, but it is there and disguised until it’s not. It comes in the forms of angry outbursts, moments of sadness, depression, and a few other things that can be triggered. Have you had any of those moments where you wondered why a certain emotion spilled over?

Mental health is just easier to push past…until it’s not.


Any kind of wound not recognized and worked on towards healing, in my opinion, can affect your soul and the very spirit of who you are. Maybe you are not religious, or even spiritual, but I would suggest that we are more than just flesh held up by muscle, bones, and driven by our mind computer. Human beings are far too complicated and amazing to be that basic. Now taking what I just said into consideration, it makes sense that all of our wounds have to be acknowledged, tended to, and in a timely fashion to ensure our complicated selves can keep offering things that are amazing for ourselves and others.

Here is the thing, physical wounds are pretty easy to figure out, if and how they can be healed, but how can we address our mental wounds? It is hard and I’m here to tell you that you are not alone in whatever pain has slowed the journey. Someone else has probably had a similar experience and persevered through it. The worst thing we have been through seems like the worst thing in the world because we identify with it on a personal level. We need to share, especially if we have been through adversity because someone needs guidance from the knowledge you fought for. Making it easier, to lessen the brutality of what might be a similar lesson or painful experience.


From a life of abuse, I started to think of it differently and there are things that picked at me over time, it has taken years to fully understand what it meant to me. There is a scar on my right hand that is both a symbol and the culmination of a life that was abusive and scary. It has faded with time, but the memories of that moment have not. The people involved, the situation, and the beginning of a new type of mindset are right there if I stare at the scar for a moment. I’m not going to go into detail, I will leave that for my book coming soon…


I will share tips that came before that moment, at that time, and in the years after up to now on what I did to transcend that life to where I am now.


I’m not the list type of writer, but I want to make those things a little easier to go back to if you want when you are done reading what I have shared.


Like the situation with my hand, there are several different elements to most situations in our life, of those, we can only control what we can control.


Take Charge of What You Can Control In Your Life


It doesn’t matter what aspect of our life we consider, there is no way any of us can control everything all the time. Focus on the things you can control like staying active, knowing your limitations, making social connections and building your circle, writing down your goals and what’s bothering you, using reflection effectively, trying hard to find the lesson when faced with adversity, and being prepared. Be the hero in your own story by going after these things that are within your control. Conquering all of these things over time will give you the story you want for yourself, and hopefully, it’s epic.


Exercise and Staying Active


I am going to be brutally honest here, there is no excuse for not staying active and exercising. Excuses over time create an accumulation of poor health and low self-esteem, you owe yourself the gift of health. If you are in poor health and struggle with severe conditions, talk to your doctor about what the road to a healthy lifestyle could look like. The gift of at least 15 minutes a day of exercise is the gift that keeps on giving. Staying active is both great for the mind and the body by melting away stress, plus unwanted pounds. This is the real secret to aging well…


Know Your Limitations


It is always good to push boundaries while trying to achieve your best life, but know your limitations. What do I mean by that? It’s always good to have a grand plan to change our lives so we tend to start trying to do all the things we want to change at once, setting ourselves up for failure. We see these types of trends every time someone makes a New Years' resolution, by the end of Spring the goals have been left behind falling back into the same habits. Set one realistic goal and stay with it until it becomes an appreciated consistent routine, then start working towards another goal. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Other limitations would be things like the ability to deal with people that are negative and rob you of your energy. It’s time to stop allowing it. Set limits to what you will allow, and make the right connections.


Make Social Connections and Build Your Best Circle


“You are the sum of the five people you will surround yourself with the most”. That statement may change depending on where you are in your life. There are times you may be most in need of mentorship, guidance, and yes, even therapy. There may be times when work is your sole purpose and like-minded career people could have what you need for that objective. I think there will always be a good friend, or family that is consistently part of your inner circle. I would suggest that no matter where you are, you should do your best to ensure whoever you spend your time with is a positive influence that helps your journey. People that hinder it, are just hard lessons that hopefully are not around too long.


Write Down Your Goals and What’s Bothering You


Writing for me is a passion that has become a fantastic way to share and is very cathartic on a personal level. You don’t have to be someone that writes all the time to keep a handy journal on goals and any other thing on your mind. It helps a lot when you do a mind dump on paper or somewhere else to get out all the things cluttering your mind. You may find getting organized seems easier and stress seems to melt away at least a little. Give it a try.


Use Reflection Effectively


Do not allow yourself to get caught dwelling on what’s behind you, it doesn’t help. Reflection can be a great tool when you can find the lesson. I’m not going to spend much time on this subject, you can find a whole story on this topic I have already written on my profile page.


Find The Lesson


When you are neck-deep in adversity it is hard to see a lesson when everything may seem a little hopeless. There truly is some kind of lesson, big or small, in a lot of our life experiences. The biggest and most important lesson brings me to my next tip…


Don't Give-Up!


The life you truly want comes with the hardest lesson….not giving up. Fight, crawl, work, cry, scream, exercise, learn, embrace loss, recognize your inner anger, and just don’t give up. Those moments that bring us to our knees, seem like life can’t get worse and in some cases, as if you may even die, for most of us those moments will pass. It may not seem like it but you will come out on the other side. The hard part is digging out the lesson and allowing yourself to start growing stronger. Each of us has a different journey and if you step back and look at people from a general perspective, some have it worse and some better. Do yourself a favor and do not drag yourself down by comparing your journey to others, the worst and the best journeys will end up meaning nothing if there has been no growth from the experience. People who live a rough life, perhaps the same type of life they were raised in, do not break a terrible cycle. Others will look at that and say,” that's sad” and then move on. People that break the cycle and make something out of their life will be noticed and hopefully appreciated. The people that appear to have it easy, may not have had that way all the way through, and the ones that have is a good thing. I hope they appreciate it and hope their contribution to the world is based on the happiness of life.

It doesn’t matter for you if the focus remains to be the hero of your own story that doesn’t sit back and wait for someone to save them. We all need help at some point and in my experience, people are far more willing to give it if they see the effort to make your situation better. It comes back to not giving up every time. We all may doubt ourselves at different stages, but I refuse to believe there isn’t a way back to getting on the right path again. What is It? There is no finite answer for that, except it is a fluid solution for every person at different times.


As I get older and even through the adversity I have come through, surviving in some situations, I have questions about my journey. What is my purpose? Am I giving back and contributing? Is my thought process still relevant in today's world? Do I effectively share my journey to resonate and help people? These are all questions that are stressful, but are good self-reflection as long as I can dig out the lesson to answer them the best I can…


The point is that sometimes we may fight so long and hard that we forget to appreciate the path we have traveled. It happens no matter how strong or resilient you are. Remember, even with those attributes you will stumble, question yourself from time to time, and may need to find your path again. Some dead reckoning may be needed to find or remind yourself where you have come from and how to get where you are going in life. Cliches are that for a reason, they are usually mostly right. Here are a few to remind you, “ It’s always darkest before the light”, “I have never met a strong person with an easy past” and one of my favorites, “ The only easy day was yesterday”. Wounds need to be attended to quickly, effectively, and as they happen, to prevent lingering effects. Problems and goals are no different in the approach, simple triage is the answer. What can I do now and what can I plan for later?


We can affect change and become the hero in our own story by remembering one thing, DON’T GIVE UP.







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Robert Hale
Sep 12, 2022

You spoke of the lesson you attempted to convey on your son regarding his scratching of the the mosquitoe bite and I am reminded of my own son. As a young man, just now twenty years old, he is on his own adult journey. He is fortunate on two accounts. First, as parents, my wife and I are keen on ensuring an open and non-judgmental relationship with both our boys. We encourage them to come to us with all of their daily trials and triumphs no matter how big or small. In doing so, he has brought us many conversations that sometimes cause us to remember our own experiences and that have provided excellent learning opportunities for …

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dennisharris04
dennisharris04
Jan 30, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for reading Bob. You made some excellent points and I like your approach to parenting. When we see ourselves in our children it tends to ignite some self reflective emotions in us that can be challenging, but when you approach it like you have, the positive aspect is huge. Our kids also tend to keep us young at heart in the process…

Thanks for reading,

Dennis

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