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Teaching Your Wounded Self a Positive Form of Control

By Dr. Margaret Paul
May 20, 2024



Teach your wounded self to control in a positive way - a way that helps you rather than hurting you.



affirmationsOn one of my morning walks, I was thinking of new ways of working with my wounded self. An image came to my mind of the end of the third Star Wars film, "The Return of the Jedi". In this film, Luke Skywalker, who has been trained by Jedi masters of the light, is fighting Darth Vader, his father. Darth Vader is controlled by the emperor - the evil master of darkness. The emperor wants Luke to come to the dark side, so he keeps inviting Luke to identify with his feelings of anger and fear. The emperor knows that if he can get Luke to go to anger and fear, he owns him. Luke, representing the loving adult, keeps inviting Darth Vader, representing the wounded self, to join him in the light. "I know there is goodness in you," he tells his father. Finally, Darth Vader makes a decision to join the light and does away with the emperor. While he dies in body, he emerges as the Jedi master that he really is in his essence, with far more power than he previously had as a master of darkness.

"How does this apply to a new way of working with my wounded self?" I asked my guidance.

"The wounded self comes into being to try to have control over feeling safe," she said to me. "But the old ways of trying to feel safe - such as anger, negative thinking, worry, compliance, resistance, addictions, and so on - are no longer working. They may have given people some sense of safety as children, but as adults, they create the opposite of feeling safe. The wounded self needs a new way of feeling in control over feeling safe. 

“This new form of control is not over others – it’s over yourself. The new way of control is to consciously think in positive ways about yourself and about what you want, rather than in negative ways about yourself - and about what you don't want. Instead of trying to control others, the wounded self needs a new job description - to join with the loving adult in having healthy control over you! As a loving adult, you can invite the wounded self, just as Luke invited Darth Vader, to join you in a new way of having control that will make you feel much safer.

"Rather than trying to stop the ego wounded self from thinking negative thoughts, invite it to creatively think in positive ways. Help the wounded self to see that this gives it even more power - not over others but over your own feelings of happiness or fear. Invite your Darth Vader to join you in the light!

"The moment you feel any anxiety, fear, or stress, you know that your wounded self is thinking the old negative thoughts. At this moment, remind your wounded self of the new job description, the new way to control. Encourage the wounded self to creatively think the most positive thing it can come up with. Since the wounded self is about control over safety, it will eventually love feeling more in control!”

Redefining the wounded self's job description soothes its fears of losing control.

It soothes its fears of disappearing - of "ego death." It helps to stop the resistance that often comes up when we try to change our thinking. As the wounded self starts to see that it actually feels safer and more in control over your happiness and inner peace, it gradually heals and transforms, becoming more and more aligned with the loving adult.

Invite your wounded self to practice thinking about all that is wonderful about you, and about what you want, rather than what you don’t want and what you fear might happen. Teach your wounded self some positive affirmations and see how you feel!

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."



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