Wounds from your past can have a devastating impact on the way you feel about yourself and others. In a special series of six podcasts, I talked to former NFL star Joe Ehrmann about how we can turn the wounds of the past into our purpose for the future. Here are the top takeaways from the second episode, in which we tackle how to identify and heal from the three wounds of love that cause us difficulties in loving ourselves and others.

  • We all have three basic questions about identity, intimacy and industry.

All of us come into this world with three basic questions that need answering. The first is a question of identity:  Who am I? The second is a question of intimacy: Who will love me? The third is a question of industry: What can I do with my life? If we get the wrong answers to these questions, we will be wounded.

  • We can be wounded by our nature, our nurture and our culture.

There are three main wounds that we can experience in life.

First, we can be hurt by our own nature. We all have free will and the capacity to make good choices and to do what is right. Sometimes, however, we make bad choices and we hurt ourselves.

Second, we can be wounded by our nurture, or our environment. No one is born into a vacuum; we all grow up in an imperfect world with imperfect parents, siblings and peers. The people we are exposed to can impact us negatively, often damaging our self-image and self-understanding.

Third, we experience national wounds. These are the wounds inflicted by our culture, such as the false definitions of masculinity and femininity that our society perpetuates.

  • The number one wound in society is the father wound.

There are three kinds of dads. Missing dads are those who have abdicated their roles and responsibilities in the home and in their relationship with their kids. Dismissive dads are those who have a presence in the home, but don’t really invest in the lives of their children or reveal who and what they are emotionally. The third kind of dad is a mission-minded dad. This is the dad who understands that his greatest responsibility is to love and nurture his children; to give them proper definitions of what it means to be a man or a woman; to demonstrate his love, commitment and concern for them; and to help them find whatever their cause or purpose is in this world.

We all experience wounds in life. It’s not about blame, it’s about figuring out what happened so that we can deal with these unresolved issues and learn to love ourselves and receive love in return. In short, we must name these wounds, touch them, heal them, verbalize them and then release them so that we can be the people we were created to be.

Listen to the latest episode of “The Brian Buffini Show” to learn more.

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