Summary and book review of “Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self”: Lise Bourbeau explains that all our physical, emotional or mental suffering comes from five fundamental wounds and five masks that we need to identify in order to achieve true self-development.
By Lise Bourbeau, 2000, 220 pages
Book review and summary of “Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self”
Part 1: Introduction to the 5 wounds and the associated masks
All our troubles come from five fundamental wounds: rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal, and injustice. In order to bear the pain of these five wounds, we develop a mask for each of them: flight, dependence, masochism, control, and rigidity. Only the acceptance of these mechanisms will lead us to finally be ourselves and to begin the path towards healing.
Part 1.1 – The 5 wounds that hinder you from being yourself
For Lise Bourbeau, the four stages responsible for our wounds are as follows:
- We come into the world; we feel the joy of being ourselves.
- Then, we experience the pain of not being able to act as ourselves.
- We experience a period of crisis and revolt linked to the suffering of not being able to be ourselves.
- Finally, we resign ourselves to relieving the pain and end up creating a new personality so we don’t disappoint others and so we are loved.
It’s not the reality of the situation that creates the wound, but our felt experience, our mental construct.
Thus, all the ills of a human being can be condensed into five wounds which, in chronological order of arrival in life, are:
Part 1.2 – The five masks associated with the five wounds
During the third and fourth stages of the creation of our wounds, our ego will create a personality type to protect us from the suffering experienced during the second stage. Lise Bourbeau calls these “personality types” or “characters” “masks”. We create them for survival.
We wear these masks often, depending on the severity of our wounds: if our wound is significant, we suffer more often, so our mask will be used more frequently.
There are five of these masks and they correspond to the five major basic wounds experienced by humans, as mentioned above:
Part 1.3 – The personality types to recognize our wounds, according to Lise Bourbeau
After presenting the origin of the wounds and masks, Lise Bourbeau devotes each of the following five chapters to describing a wound and the mask associated with it.
This description will allow us to identify our wounds and those of others.
First, Lise Bourbeau develops the five portraits of the “fugitive”, “dependent”, “masochist”, “controller” and “rigid”, in a comprehensive way, so that everyone can recognize their own behavior.
Next, she details:
- The origin of the wound: its wake period and its relationship with the parent concerned.
- The fears and needs related to the wound.
- The physical aspects of the person who carries this wound: their body, their clothes, the type of vehicle they’ll prefer, their diet, the illnesses that are specific to them.
- But also, the character traits of the person suffering from the wound on an emotional and mental level.
It’s rare that a person has only one wound. It’s possible for some people to have three, four or even five wounds. One of the five wounds may predominate, while the others will be less apparent. They may also all be of lesser importance.
Lise Bourbeau insists that the safest way to recognize ourselves in these portraits is to observe our physique because it doesn’t lie.
Part 2: Description of our five wounds and masks, according to Lise Bourbeau
Part 2.1 – Rejection: Portrait of the fugitive
|Sense of belonging
|Of the same sex
Wakening of the wound: from conception to the age of one, with the parent of the same sex
“Rejecting someone” is to “repel them, not wanting them by one’s side or in one’s life”. The act of “rejecting someone” is different from “abandoning someone”, which means “moving away from someone for something else or for someone else”. Whoever “rejects” uses the phrase “I don’t want”; the one who “abandons” uses the expression “I can’t”.
Rejection is a very deep wound that affects the being directly: the child has the feeling of being rejected in their being and in their right of existence. It’s the first wound to manifest in life, sometimes even before birth (e.g., unwanted baby).
Since the rejection is experienced with the same-sex parent, the “fugitive” will later feel rejected by people of the same sex.
Their body: small and weak
To begin with, the body of the one who suffers rejection is weak, small, narrow, thin, tense, fragmented. They seem incomplete, as if they were missing a piece (e.g., no buttocks, no chin, no breasts, sunken parts) or as if some parts of their body didn’t go together (asymmetrical parts). It’s a body that doesn’t want to call for too much attention and seems to want to disappear, like the image of a “fugitive” who will try all their life not to be noticed.
They have a face with small eyes. Their eyes are fleeting, with the look of a mask (bags under the eyes) or of fear. Their voice is weak and subdued.
The “fugitive” favors black clothes or dull colors as to not be noticed. They don’t particularly like dancing; however, if they dance, it will be without moving too much and in a discreet way. What the feel in the moment is “don’t stare at me too much”. When they sit, they appear tiny in their chair and like to tuck their feet under their thighs.
The person who suffers from rejection has an appetite often ruined by emotions or fear. They eat small portions. They are predisposed to anorexia and consume sugar, alcohol, or drugs to escape.
Ailments and illnesses that may manifest in the “fugitive” are skin problems, diarrhea, arrhythmia, cancer, respiratory problems, allergies, not to mention vomiting, fainting and dizziness, coma, agoraphobia, low blood sugar, diabetes, depression, psychosis.
Their behavior: elusive and unassuming
First and foremost, the “fugitive” doesn’t attach themselves to material things: anything related to the mind or the intellectual world attracts them more. They consider themselves useless and worthless. They have very low self-esteem.
The “fugitive” seeks loneliness, usually has very few friends at school and at work. They don’t speak much and are discreet. They have the ability to make themselves invisible. The fugitive feels cut off and misunderstood by others. Thus, they take refuge in their imaginary world.
The “fugitive” is a total perfectionist who, with age, panics increasingly over not being good enough. They’re a person who strives for perfection in everything they do, because they believe that if they make a mistake, they will be judged (for them, being judged is equivalent to being rejected).
They go from phases of great love to phases of deep hatred. They often encounter sexual difficulties. And they struggle to let out their inner child as well.
The “fugitive”, for example, frequently uses the words “useless”, “nothing”, “nonexistent”, “disappear”, “no place”.
Moreover, they like cars with dark colors that go unnoticed.
Their greatest fear is panic. They don’t realize it because they often find a way to sneak off just before panicking. Other fears of the “fugitive” that affect their communication are the fears of not being interesting, of being considered useless or worthless, of being misunderstood, fear that the other person listens to them solely out of obligation or politeness.
The greatest need of the “fugitive” is the sense of belonging. Despite this, they will do everything to go unnoticed because they’re constantly afraid to bother people and believe it’s not worth it.
Part 2.2 – Abandonment: Portrait of the dependent
|Of the opposite sex
Wakening of the wound: between 1 and 3 years old, with the parent of the opposite sex
“Abandoning someone” is “getting away from them, leaving them, not wanting to take care of them”. According to Lise Bourbeau, abandonment is the most painful wound after rejection, because it also directly affects the being.
Lack of emotional food or any other type of desired food (lack of physical food, for example) can cause the wound of abandonment (e.g., busy parents, hospitalized child, mother caring for a newborn).
Abandonment is experienced with the parent of the opposite sex. Therefore, the “dependent” feels readily abandoned by people of the opposite sex.
Their body: long and sloping
The body of the person who suffers from abandonment is long, thin, lacking in tone, and has flabby or sloping parts (e.g., shoulders). Their muscular system is usually underdeveloped.
Their legs are weak, their back is curved, their arms seem too long and hang down their body. They often rely on something or someone. Thus, it’s someone who often has big sad eyes and a look that draws attention. Furthermore, we recognize them in their plaintive voice with a child’s intonation.
In addition, the “dependent” wears loose or baggy clothes. They like dancing because it gives them the opportunity to be glued to their partner, to “hang” from the other person. Thus, what they tell themselves when dancing is “look how my partner loves me”. They usually sit by collapsing into their chair, or more precisely by leaning on something (armrest, a chair next to it).
The person who suffers from abandonment has a good appetite. They like soft foods and eat slowly. Furthermore, they’re predisposed to bulimia.
The ailments and illnesses that may manifest in the “dependent” are back problems, asthma, bronchitis, migraines, low blood sugar, diabetes, agoraphobia, problems with adrenal glands, myopia, hysteria, depression, rare diseases that get more attention, incurable diseases.
Their behavior: seeking attention
The “dependent” seeks the presence, the attention, the support, and especially the assistance of their entourage, in particular of their spouse if they’re in a couple. In addition, they easily maintain close relationships with others. The “dependent” physically clings to the loved one. Thus, it is difficult for them to take no for an answer.
They have difficulty doing things or making decisions on their own. They ask for opinions (to get attention and not because they need it) but don’t necessarily follow the advice given to them. With age, they become increasingly anxious about being alone.
They have highs and lows: one day feeling happy, the next feeling sad. The “dependent” cries easily and gets pity, especially when talking about their problems or hardships. They tend to act as a victim and may make up difficulties of all kinds to attract attention. Finally, they may also play the role of “savior” to receive this attention.
In a group, they like to talk about themselves, especially their past. They try to make themselves desired to attract attention. They may also give importance to others and serve them in the hope that they will be helped in return.
It’s a person who does a lot of exaggerating, for example, the slightest incident becomes monumental. The most intense emotion experienced by the “dependent” is clearly sadness. Finally, they enjoy sex.
The recurring vocabulary of the “dependent” is as follows: “absent”, “alone”, “I can’t take”, “I bend over backwards to please everyone else”, “I can’t get a break”, “I’ll let you down”, ” I gave up “. They have a lot of difficulty with the word “leave” which for them is synonymous with “abandon”.
They’ll buy a car that’s comfortable and stands out.
The greatest fear of the “dependent” is loneliness. They’re not generally able to see this fear as they make it so that they’re alone only very rarely. If they do find themselves alone, they will use their television and phone to keep them company. Other fears of those who suffer from abandonment are: the fear of crying or of people thinking they’re a baby, the fear that the other person will leave them, that the other person doesn’t agree and ignores what is said or asked, fear to be told “no”, the fear of not being supported as much as they’d like, fear of not meeting the expectations of others. In addition, the “dependent” dreads any form of authority.
Their greatest needs are the attention and support of others to feel like they’re helped and loved.
Part 2.3 – Humiliation: portrait of the masochist
Wakening of the wound: between 1 and 3 years old, with the mother (or the parent who took care of the physical development of the child)
“Humiliation” is “the act of feeling degraded, of degrading oneself, or of excessively degrading someone else”. This wound is related to the physical world, that of “having” and “doing”.
This wound is experienced with the parent who took care of the child’s physical and sexual development. Therefore, it can be one or both parents. This wound appears in a child who has suffered humiliation after experiencing sensual pleasures. They felt shame with the parent concerned (e.g., the child was called “a little pig” because they got dirty). Furthermore, the freedom of the person who suffers from this wound has been impaired by the repressive attitude of the parent.
Their body: chubby throughout
The body of the person suffering from the wound of humiliation is fat or chubby, with excessive body fat. They are short with a fat and protruding neck. In short, they have tension in the neck, throat, jaw, and pelvis. It’s someone who has a body containing a lot of blocked energy. Their face and eyes are round, wide and innocent like those of a child. They have a cajoling voice that often conceals feelings to appear as an interested person.
The “masochist” often wears tight clothes, which accentuates their overweight body. They frequently stain their clothes. They like to dance a lot; they’re someone who takes great pleasure in it and uses the opportunity to express their sensuality. What they think when dancing is “look how sensual I can be”. They sit down with their legs spread out but seem uncomfortable as they often choose a chair that doesn’t suit them.
The “masochist” likes foods high in fat, chocolate. They’re bulimic or eat many small portions. They feel shame in buying or eating candy. However, they eat to compensate or reward themselves.
The ailments and illnesses that may manifest in the “masochist” are back problems, shoulder problems, throat problems (tonsillitis, laryngitis), respiratory problems, problems in the legs and feet (varicose veins, sprains, fractures), liver problems, problems with the thyroid gland, itchy skin, low blood sugar, diabetes, heart problems.
Their behavior: controlled by shame
According to Lise Bourbeau, the “masochist” finds satisfaction and even pleasure in suffering. Therefore, they subconsciously seek pain and humiliation.
The “masochist” has difficulties in expressing their needs and feelings for fear of being ashamed of him/herself, of others or of shaming someone. They show a lot of restraint in their words. The control themselves. Moreover, they repress their impulses because, without limits, they fear getting carried away and being embarrassed (as far as sex or food is concerned). They see themselves as dirty, heartless, coarse, unworthy or inferior to others.
The “masochist” tends to blame themselves for everything and even to take the blame for others. For example, they punish themselves before someone else does it for them, and they punish themselves believing they’re punishing the other person.
They understand their needs but don’t listen to them because others often come before them. They’re someone who “plays the mother role”. They may have a close relationship with those they love and will do all they can to be worthy in their eyes. As a result, they take on a lot, which creates many constraints and obligations, thus ensuring that they’re not free. What they do to free themselves in one area imprisons them in another. A sense of duty is very important to them.
They often have a feeling of disgust. They are usually highly sensitive. Finally, they don’t like going fast.
The “masochist” uses many words and expressions such “to be worthy”, “to be unworthy”, “small”, “fat”, “not worthy of you”, “shameful”, “embarrassing”, “pig”, “filth”.
They would prefer a small vehicle in which they would feel cramped.
Freedom is very important for those who suffer from humiliation. It is both their greatest fear and their greatest need. As a child, the “masochist” often did not feel free, especially with their parents. They’re now convinced that they can’t handle freedom as they please. Therefore, they subconsciously manage not to be free, because being “free” for them means “unlimited” and having too much “pleasure”. Other fears that prevent them from communicating clearly are the fear of hurting others, of being an egotist if they reveal their needs or desires, the fear of being degraded or humiliated, fear of feeling unworthy.
Part 2.4 – The Betrayal: portrait of the controller
|Dissociation and denial
|Of the opposite sex
Wakening of the wound: between 2 and 4 years old, with the parent of the opposite sex
“To betray” means “to stop being faithful to someone or a cause, to give up or to hand over someone”. According to Lise Bourbeau, those who suffer from betrayal have not resolved their Oedipus complex as a child. The child was disappointed and suffered from not seeing their expectations met with the opposite sex parent. They may have felt manipulated or betrayed and thus lost confidence in this parent. As an adult, they tend to blame people of the opposite sex for being the cause of their pain and emotions.
Their body: thick
First, the “controlling” man exhibits strength and power in the upper body (the shoulders are wider than the hips). The “controlling” woman will be thicker at the hips, buttocks, stomach, and thighs (the hips are wider than the shoulders, cellulite).
The chest and the stomach of the “controlling” person are rounded. Their muscles stick out. Even if they have a few extra kilos, they won’t look fat but rather thick. They have eyes that see everything quickly, with an intense and seductive look. Their voice is strong and carries well.
The “controlling” person
The “controlling” person favors flamboyant clothes. They like to dance while attracting a lot of attention. It’s an opportunity for them to seduce and to be watched. What they think in the moment is, “look at me”. When they listen, they sit leaning their body back with their arms crossed. When they speak, they lean forward to be more convincing to the person to whom they’re speaking.
The “controlling” person has a good appetite. They eat quickly. They add salt and spices. When caught up in something they’re doing, they can easily forget to eat. They even say that eating is not important to them. However, when they decide to eat, they can lose control and eat much more than their body requires.
The illnesses that the “controlling” person may manifest are those related to control and the loss of control of certain parts of the body (bleeding, sexual impotence, diarrhea, paralysis…). They can also suffer agoraphobia, spasmophilia, stiffness in the joints (mainly knees), problems related to the digestive system (especially the liver and stomach), diseases ending in “itis”, oral herpes. They’re afraid of insanity.
Their behavior: in control
The “controlling” person has a strong personality. They are clearly convinced that they’re right and categorically assert this point of view; they try at all costs to impose their point of view.
The “controlling” person does everything to be a responsible, strong, special, and important person. The controlling person likes to direct other people. They’re very physical and call attention to themselves. Likewise, they like to plan everything and arrive early to ensure control over everything. Their reputation is paramount, and they want others to know what they’re capable of.
The “controlling” person doesn’t trust easily. In fact, they have trouble confiding and don’t show their vulnerabilities. In addition, they don’t keep their commitments or their promises or have to force themselves to keep them. They lie easily. Furthermore, they are gifted with the power of seduction and easily manipulate others to get their way.
They’re good actors.
The “controlling” person likes to make their performances noticed. They expect a lot from others and are therefore very demanding with them. The controlling person understands and acts quickly. They are intolerant and impatient, especially with those who are slower than them. As a matter of fact, they think of themselves as indispensable and like to think that others would not succeed without them.
The “controlling” person is skeptical and has changing moods. They’re afraid of disengagement. The controlling person has a hard time accepting the unexpected and hates to have to change their plans.
The “controlling” person often uses the terms “separate”, “did you understand?”,”I’m capable”, “let me do it myself”, “I know that”, “I knew it”, “trust me”, “I don’t trust them”, “listen to me”, “I was right,” “it’s true,” “frankly.”
In order to draw attention to them, they will choose a powerful automobile that will get noticed.
The greatest fears of the “controlling” person are denial (because, for them, “to be denied” means “to be betrayed”) and dissociation in all its forms: separation in a relationship frightens them deeply, but they also fear separation on a professional level. They’re also afraid of the anger of the other person or of their own anger, of not being able to convince the other person, of appearing as a liar, of confiding, of showing vulnerability, of being manipulated or seduced, of being forced to get involved.
Part 2.5 – Injustice: portrait of the rigid
|Of the same sex
Wakening of the wound: between 4 and 6 years old, especially with the parent of the same sex
“Injustice” is the “character of a person or thing that lacks justice”. “Justice” is “appreciation, recognition and respect for the rights and merit of everyone”. A person who suffers from injustice is one who doesn’t feel appreciated, who doesn’t feel respected or who doesn’t believe that he or she is getting what he or she deserves.
This wound wakens at the time of development of the child’s individuality. They will find it unfair not to be able to express themselves, to not be able to be themselves with the parent of the same sex whom the child perceives as cold and harsh. The child has generally been affected by frequent criticism, intolerance, or conformity. The child has reacted by cutting themselves off from their sensitivity and has forced him/herself to be efficient and perfect (stifling individuality).
As an adult, the “rigid” accuses people of the same sex to be unfair to them.
Their body: straight and rigid
The body of the person suffering injustice is rigid, well-proportioned, and as perfect as possible. Their posture is straight, their appearance is neat and sexy. They have square shoulders and round buttocks. Their stomach, which they try to suck in, is flat. They have a small waistline, which is typically squeezed in by their clothes or belt. The “rigid” is self-entitled.
Their movements are quick and rigid. They clench their teeth. They often cross their arms, which blocks their solar plexus. Their skin is fair, and their eyes are a light color; they have a radiant complexion. They have a glowing and lively look; speak with a sharp and curt tone. And they talk in a rather mechanical and restrained way.
The “rigid” dance very well and, despite the rigidity of their legs, have a sense of rhythm. They’re careful not to make a mistake, they stand straight and seem to count their steps (they have often taken dance classes). While dancing, they think to themselves, “look how well I dance”. They sit up straight. Sometimes they squeeze their legs together and align them with their body. When they cross their legs and arms, it’s to not feel what’s happening.
The person who suffers from injustice prefers salty foods over sugary foods.
They enjoy anything that is crunchy. And they watch over their diet, so they don’t gain weight (they makeup excuses and feel ashamed when they lose control).
They’re a person who feels physically rigid in the form of stiffness or tension, mainly in their neck, upper back and in the flexible portions of their body (knees, ankles, elbows, etc.). The ailments and illnesses that may manifest in the “rigid” include burnout, anorgasmia (in women), premature ejaculation or impotence (in men), diseases ending in “itis” (such as tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, etc.), torticollis, constipation, hemorrhoids, cramps, disorders related to blood circulation such as varicose veins, liver-related problems dry skin, psoriasis, nervousness, insomnia, poor vision. The “rigid” tend to get facial acne. Most of their illnesses are usually not serious enough to see the doctor.
Their behavior: perfectionist
First and foremost, the “rigid” is a perfectionist: they do everything to be perfect and to live up to the ideal they have set for themselves or that they believe is expected from them.
They’re eternal optimists who want to always be positive, so they rarely admit when they’re facing difficulties or when something is bothering them. If they admit to having a problem, they’ll say that it’s not a big deal and that they can handle it on their own. They find it hard to enjoy themselves without feeling guilty. Since they don’t know how to handle their sensitivity, the “rigid” cut themselves off from their feelings. They also come off as being cold and insensitive, and they convince themselves that in doing so, nothing will affect them.
The “rigid” person
The “rigid” person is very hard on him/herself when it comes to their body. They rarely admit to being sick and brag about not having to see the doctor. Even when tired, they’re lively and dynamic. They demand a lot from themselves. They want to be efficient in order to be perfect and don’t realize their limitations. The rigid find it difficult to ask for help and to receive in a general. Finally, they make a lot of excuses.
The “rigid” can be envious and angry. They doubt their choices and compare themselves to better and worse. They’re someone who likes order. They’re rather extreme and stubborn in what they believe to be right. Furthermore, they find it unfair to get less and even more unfair to receive more than others.
The “rigid” commonly use the phrases “no problem”, “always / never”, “very good / very well”, “very special”, “exactly”, “precisely”, “surely”, “OK”.
They like classic cars that are efficient because they want to get their money’s worth.
Their greatest fear is coldness. They hardly recognize this coldness as they consider themselves to be warm-hearted. Their greatest need is freedom.
Part 3: The healing of the five wounds that hinder you from being yourself
Part 3.1 – Acceptance, a necessary prerequisite for healing
Acknowledgment of our own wounds
The preceding chapters, which describe the five wounds that hinder you from finding your true self, allow us, according to Lise Bourbeau, to acknowledge our own wounds. In the author’s opinion, the ideal is to be able to discern, in the behaviors depicted, the mask that we use to identify the wound we are trying to hide.
This approach is, in her view, essential because it causes us to heal rather than to change. When you manage to say to yourself: “I put on such a mask, it’s for this reason that I reacted in such a way”, the healing is well underway.
However, coming to this realization is a long and difficult journey. Our ego is not going to make it easy for us: it will create several beliefs to prevent us from being aware of our wounds, for each of the different masks. Thus:
- The “fugitive” is led to believe that they take good care of themselves and others so as to not feel the rejections they’ve gone through.
- The “dependent” likes to act independently and claims that they feel very lonely and that they don’t need anyone.
- The “masochist” is convinced that everything they do for others is a great pleasure for them; they say that everything is fine and finds excuses for the situations or people who have humiliated them.
- The “controller” is certain that they never lie, that they always keep their word and that no one scares them.
- The “rigid” tells everyone that they’re right, that they have no problems in their life and think they have many friends who love them as they are.
Acceptance of our wounds and those of our loved ones
First of all, no transformation is possible without acceptance. Acceptance is the trigger for starting to heal.
Once awareness is achieved, the first step is to accept the wound, watch it, observe it, give it unconditional love rather than wanting to make it disappear. Our deep wounds need to be acknowledged and loved. To love a wound is to accept that it was created for a specific reason and in order to help us.
With this new attitude, we begin to see our wounds differently. We could almost thank them for existing. We should be able to tell ourselves that having created a mask to avoid suffering is a process of self-love because this mask helps us to survive and to adapt to our family environment.
In order to heal from your wounds, it’s also important to understand the connection between the wound and the parent associated with the wound. The more the wounds hurt, the more it’s normal and human to blame the parent who we believe is responsible for making us suffer. Especially considering that, later on in life, we transfer this grudge or hatred onto people of the same sex as the parents whom we accused of hurting us.
Thus, history is repeated from generation to generation. This cycle can be stopped, and wounds can be healed only with true forgiveness towards oneself and our parents. Therefore, the author suggests checking with our parents to if they experienced the same wounds. By talking with them, we can, in fact, help them with the forgiveness process with their own parent. It’s also a good thing to identify the wounds of our loved ones because it allows us to have greater tolerance towards them.
Part 3.2 – Toward healing our wounds: steps to follow and indicators
The four steps to follow, according to Lise Bourbeau
Even though we’re wounded, the time has come, in Lise Bourbeau’s opinon, to decide that we can survive without our mask. As an adult, with experience and maturity, we now have the ability to handle our wound without the mask that is now harming us more than it’s helping us.
By applying the healing method explained in “Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self“, we can gradually get rid of our masks and begin the process of complete healing. Our attitude, even our body, will change.
The method Lise Bourbeau describes is the following: we have to reverse the four stages experienced when we created our wound (as described in the first chapter). It is thus necessary, to begin with the fourth step until returning to the first to become oneself again:
The process is the following:
- First step: becoming aware of the mask that we wear thanks to the five chapters describing the five wounds.
- Second step: Feeling indignant when reading these chapters or feeling reticent to accept responsibility (we will prefer to accuse others of our suffering); the intensity of our indignation will depend on our degree of acceptance, openness, and wound.
- Third step: allowing ourselves to have suffered and to have resented one, or both, of our parents; the more we feel the suffering that the child in us has experienced, the more compassion we will have for him/her and the more this step will be carried out in-depth. Forgiving our parents will happen out of compassion for their own suffering.
- Fourth step: we become ourselves again; we cease to believe that we still need to wear our masks to protect ourselves. We accept the fact that life is filled with the necessary experiences to teach us what is beneficial and intelligent for ourselves. This is called self-love.
To facilitate this process, at the end of each day, we must discover the mask that has taken over, for example, by taking the time to record our observations and our feelings. Then, we must forgive ourselves by understanding why we have used this mask, knowing that at that time, we sincerely thought that it was the only way to protect ourselves.
Indicators of the path towards healing
Lise Bourbeau gives us the means to check if our wounds are on the road to healing through the indicators below:
- The wound of rejection is healing when the person who suffers from it:
- begins to have the courage to assert themselves and to call for greater attention to themselves;
- feels good about themselves even when someone seems to forget that they exist;
- feels less afraid about being in a state of panic.
- The wound of abandonment is healing when the person who suffers from it:
- manages to feel good when alone and doesn’t seek the attention of others;
- perceives their life in a less dramatic way;
- feels more and more the desire to undertake and continue projects despite the lack of support from others.
- The wound of humiliation is healing when the person who suffers from it:
- takes the time to check their needs before saying yes to others;
- takes on much less and feels freer;
- stops creating limitations for themselves;
- is able to make requests without feeling like a nuisance.
- The wound of betrayal is healing when the person who suffers from it:
- no longer feels bad about something or someone disrupting their plans;
- lets go of what is easiest and no longer focuses on results or planning;
- no longer seeks to be the center of attention.
- The wound of injustice is healing when the person who suffers from it:
- allows themselves to be less of a perfectionist and makes mistakes without experiencing anger or criticism;
- allows themselves to show their sensitivity, to cry in front of others without losing control and without fear of the judgment from others.
Part 3.3 – Transformations and forces revealed through healing
Transformations related to healing
Since love has great power of healing and energy renewal, you must prepare, when you’re able to heal your wounds, to observe several transformations in your life: changes in your relationships with others but also in your physical body.
The discovery and healing of your wounds include:
- self-compassion: it helps to achieve greater inner peace by feeling less anger, shame and resentment;
- true love or the experience of being ourselves: “to love ourselves” means “to allow ourselves as we are for the moment and to accept ourselves even when we do to others what we blame them for doing”;
- emotional autonomy: that is to say, the capacity to know what we want and to take the necessary actions to achieve it.
Hidden forces by personality type
In the last part of the book “Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self“, Lise Bourbeau lists the hidden forces behind each character type. These forces are often buried, ignored, or misused because of the importance of our masks to avoid seeing or feeling our wounds.
Once our wounds healed, that is to say, when we manage to get rid of our masks, all the positive aspects can be revealed in our lives:
- First, the “fugitive” person is able to take on a lot. They’re gifted with an incredible work ethic. They are resourceful, inventive, efficient, reactive. Finally, the fugitive person thinks a lot about details. They can work, retire and be happy alone.
- The “dependent” person is skilled. They know what they want. They’re tenacious, persevering, determined, cheerful, playful, sociable, and are artistically talented. Moreover, they know how to capture attention. They’re able to help others and are good at using their psychic gifts.
- The “masochist” person is audacious, adventurous, sensitive to their needs and those of others. They have great abilities. They’re good mediators and peacemakers. Also, they know how to put people at ease. They are jovial, generous, helpful, selfless, good at organizing, sensual, and of great dignity.
- The “controlling” person is reassuring, protective, very talented, sociable and a good actor. They have leadership qualities and the talent to speak in public. They have the skills to capture the talents of others and give them confidence in themselves. But also, they know how to delegate, to promote, to let things go, and to downplay things by making others laugh. They know how to handle many things at the same time and make decisions quickly. They’re very efficient.
- Finally, the “rigid” person is creative, enthusiastic, lively, and very sensitive. They’re dynamic and gifted with a lot of energy; they have a great capacity for work. Very orderly, caring, precise, and talented to look after the details. The rigid person is able to simplify, to make things clear. They’re reactive and know how to cope with difficult situations.
Book critique of Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self
Lise Bourbeau’s ” Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self ” is a book that left me with a deeply mixed impression.
From the beginning, the author’s simplistic, dark, direct tone made reading the first chapters quite difficult. Moreover, although it was explained in the preface, I found the use of certain expressions for the subject addressed (for example, the term “inner god”) quite clumsy.
Lise Bourbeau also injects into her theory beliefs that are, in my opinion, very subjective (particularly her belief in reincarnation). Without questioning the credentials of Lise Bourbeau (who founded, as I recall, the largest personal development school in Quebec and has written many bestsellers), this made me skeptical about the legitimacy of the remarks made. In fact, the author relies only on her own observations, and I think she lacks cross-references that are scientific and from external sources to support her analysis.
Nevertheless, “Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self ” is an undeniably influential work.
At the end of the Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self, you can’t help but to start thinking about your own wounds and behaviors that are interesting to recognize in the portraits described. It’s rather fascinating to realize that, in fact, the characteristics set out to make sense in our experience (at least in mine).
The awareness that Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self can bring and Lise Bourbeau’s proposed method of healing undoubtedly provides support for many people to move towards an inner transformation.
Finally, on a lighter note, it can be quite fun to sift through your entourage using the five personality types discussed.
Strong points of Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self:
- First of all, a daring book that opens the debate on oneself and one’s relationships with others.
- The description of wounds and masks is very accessible, concrete and easy to appropriate for identifying one’s own wounds.
Weak points of Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self:
- A sometimes-simplistic tone and a repetitive writing scheme.
- Interesting ideas, but they lack sources, studies, and scientific explanations: Lise Bourbeau relies solely on her observations.
- Finally, the author injects her beliefs into her explanations (reincarnation, for example), which sometimes makes the reading slightly mystical.
My rating :
Have you read “Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self”? How do you rate it?