The woman woke in terror, uncertain whether the dream referred to herself (symbolized by her daughter) or her real daughter with the interest in Cosplay. This dream may be seen as the call of the wounded healer archetype as represented by the famous figure’s lame foot as well as a direct reference to the wounded child.
Kalsched (2013) wrote that the inner image of the “‘child’ often stands symbolically for an affective inner core of the self that is experienced as both innocent and sacred… an image of the human soul” (p. 54). He further states that “the early story of the trauma survivor is a mythological story before it is a personal one” (p. 5). The Wounded Child archetype holds the painful experiences of your childhood (parental failures, mistreatment, abuse, neglect, and other traumas). These early experiences influence your life in terms of how you respond to your inner world and the world around you, whether with an openness or a defensive closeness. When trauma occurs in a child’s life the ‘transitional space’, where play and imagination take place, shuts down. The Cosplay convention could be seen as representing the ‘imaginal’ world where we play with the archetypes, trying on their “outfits”.
The ‘Wounded Child’ embodies the image of Leonard Cohen’s line “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. Our woundedness becomes the opening for deep learning to take place - compassion, forgiveness and love for ourselves and others. The shadow aspect may manifest as self-pity and a tendency to blame others.
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A social media post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica