Our wounds are fertile soil for our gifts.
When we stop running away from our wounds, and turn instead to face them, the night-monsters which have chased us reveal their true face and, as they do so, crack open, like piñata dolls, with goodies.
Fun and playful as that image may sound, this path is gritty, challenging, and with a huge eventual upside.
As we step onto this path, bit by bit, we come to understand that our wounds are a core curriculum to our school of life. And in gazing upon the world, seeing the myriad people similarly hurt, we start to discover our purpose. Something compels us then – a desire from somewhere deep inside – to help others through their struggle.
We begin to want to reduce suffering in the world.
And then, we step onto the path of the Wounded Healer (a term which Carl Jung coined), and start the process of alchemy (that’s the part with monsters becoming piñata dolls, or shall we call them allies).
Check it out if it isn’t true: Those who teach us how to create wealth grew up in poverty. Those who coach us on relationships have a trail of painful breakups behind them.
Many tantra and sexuality experts are deeply wounded in the area of intimacy, sexuality and boundaries. People passionately teaching about health at some point lived through debilitating illness (or witnessed someone do so). Experts in diet and nutrition were once desperately overweight and completely drained of vitality.
Now granted, some people do find their purpose through pursuing a path of joy, exploration and adventure, though in my humble assessment, in the so-called personal development word, the vast majority of leaders were born out of their wounds.
And so, dear reader, was I.
For large parts of my life, I felt like an outsider. I had a hard time finding a sense of belonging to any group, felt estranged from mainstream and Norwegian culture, experienced challenges in relationships.
I had grown up with parents who were extreme contrasts – two conditioning forces which to this day I struggle with reconciling – and two much older sisters.
I didn’t then enjoy the vision of manhood that my father presented (though I came to appreciate it with time), yet I also desperately needed to differentiate myself from the world of the feminine, that was otherwise so present in my family system.
I was a sensitive kid, always straddling worlds, never finding home.
With time, and a secret psychological breakdown, I understood that I needed help, and so when the spiritual escapism of my 20s finally gave way for a real encounter with my wounds at the end of my 3rd decade on this planet, my path soon took me on a hunt for masculine identity (my *real* struggle) and a home in this world.
I was privileged to train with some truly excellent individuals and groups and that time, and some years later I would start leading “authentic relating” events* and eventually powerful men’s work retreats, workshops and online trainings (of which Reclaim your Inner Throne is most famous).
And so in the final equation, my purpose work is, perhaps predictably, deeply connected to my own childhood struggles.
Which brings me to this day. Reclaim your Inner Throne is in a time of expansion. Men’s work is seeping into the mainstream and we’re getting more attention than ever.
TV channels are starting to report interest in what we do, and with all our plans of expansion – including the Inner Throne Academy and the upcoming Kings of the North summer retreat – it’s an exciting time.
In the midst of this, I have been creating a membership platform – the Fellowship – with the vision of building a worldwide Brotherhood where men support each other to do amazing things. (My mission in life is to create one million change agents, and this new system is an integral part of that.)
Having started to use the early versions of these tools myself, and reaping the rewards, I have been *very* excited about sharing it with others.
Though under the surface, beyond the reach of my own self-awareness, this project was secretly motivated, at least in part, by my own desire to be loved and accepted. (All I ever wanted was to belong to something greater than myself)
And as I was working hard on this, without the response I had expected, it became clear that my wounds had taken the wheel. No longer the inspiring visionary leader that I am at my best, I had become the little boy working so hard to be loved. “If only I can create this platform for hundreds of men to kick ass in life, then surely I will finally truly belong?””
That boy who lives inside of me is a sweet little guy, and I love him to bits, but he’s not supposed to be at the wheel of my life. That is a task too large for him.
Leadership can be challenging and lonely, with many people not relating to you as a human being, but as a screen for their projections, both positive and negative.
(And sometimes I wonder, if only for fleeting moments, if I’m unconsciously setting it up that way.)
And while my purpose is building a place in this world where men can come together in Brotherhood to co-create a better world for us all, I sometimes recreate my own loneliness in the process.
And my experience is that when my work doesn’t set me free and on fire as I’m creating it, the market doesn’t respond. Results are lackluster.
I believe people are more attuned to what lies beneath the surface than they may realize, and we can all smell it when something’s a little off. Isn’t it true?
If you yourself have stepped – or one day intend to do so – onto the path of leadership, you will likely face this challenge too.
I know the “personal development world” well by now, and I have seen many powerful leaders fall from grace, their communities exposed as cults, because they were not sufficiently attuned to how much their wounds were running the show.
I have also seen that many of the great leaders of the personal development world – some of whom I know as friends and allies – many (perhaps most) of them are deeply vulnerable people who are still struggling with their own shit and wounds, even as their raving fans are projecting their longings for a life free of suffering onto them, in this make-believe world of ours.
This is why the task of reclaiming lost innocence is such an integral part of the Reclaim your Inner Throne teaching. We cannot lead without holding our innocence. “Hold the innocence while challenging the adult” is one of our core leadership principles.
That doesn’t mean I do it perfectly – not at all. I teach what I need, as do we all.
And for now, me and the team have agreed to push back the membership platform for a few months, so that I can clean up my mess, stop wielding my creative powers in service of my need to be loved, and serve exactly the system that will help men thrive.
(When you register for the waiting list below, you will know when it’s ready and get a solid free trial period)
And while you wait, I encourage you to share your experience with me. Do you recognize when your wounds take the wheel?
Let me know in the comments below. Thank you 🙂
PS! Reclaim your Inner Throne round #10 starts March 25. We still have some seats left for the man who wants to uplevel his life.