Transforming Your Weapons of Protection Into Tools For Growth
As we grow up, we walk through many experiences that shape our identity, some of which unavoidably wound us in some way. Because of these childhood wounds, we develop protective weapons and habits that keep us safe from being hurt by certain situations, people, emotions, or thoughts. We learn these ways to protect ourselves very early on in life, and we spend years and years sharpening these defenses.
If you refer to my blog on the Enneagram, you’ll see how I highlight the importance of using your Enneagram number as a tool for growth instead of a label. Similarly, these weapons that we carry do not define us. They are simply how we have learned to protect ourselves from being hurt over and over again.
For example, when I was growing up, I learned through experience that if I spoke my mind, it often caused conflict in my home. As an Enneagram 9, my weapons of choice are keeping the peace and mediating in order to feel safety and comfort. I believe that these weapons stem directly from my “wounds” and desire to avoid conflict when I was young.
Transforming Weapons Into Tools For Good
I see my clients carrying similar weapons in their lives because of childhood wounds. They are still using these weapons to protect themselves, even in times where they no longer need to. Whether it is by making jokes at their own expense, avoiding confrontation, or hurting others to feel power, these are simply a few manifestations of these weapons.
While they carry these weapons for a reason, as they have grown and matured, these weapons can often cause more harm than good. Through therapy, I am able to help my clients change these weapons from tools of defense to tools they can use for good. Growth doesn’t look like getting rid of these parts of ourselves; it looks like transforming these parts of ourselves into life-giving tools.
If you are familiar with what Christians would call the Old Testament (Jewish literature that was gathered and written during the time before Jesus showed up), there are several passages that speak about a time of peace coming in the future. A time where there is peace, prosperity, humility, and an ending of oppression. There are many poems and stories throughout these Scriptures that seek to paint a picture of what things might be like when change comes to the world. In both the books of Micah and Isaiah, there is a line that says:
“And he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
To explain just a little bit, “plowshares” and “pruning hooks” are both tools that are used to farm. To create life and food and growth. The authors here are looking forward to a time where people take the weapons they have created and turn them into tools for life. What an incredibly beautiful idea. What a hopeful and exciting idea.
We All Have Wounds
I want you to know that understanding how to change the weapons you have acquired throughout life into life-giving tools might just be more possible than you think. I can help you get started on that path by embracing these four concepts:
We have all been wounded. It is part of life.
Because of these wounds, we already have what we need within us to make something beautiful.
This will not happen overnight, and this transformation is never finished. This is a lifelong process.
God loves us entirely, wounds and all. Every part of you is loved and valuable.
Therapy is a wonderful starting point if you’re ready to begin this work. By working with a professional, you will have a guide who can help you understand yourself on a deeper level, heal your wounds, and see how your unique strengths can make the world a better place. By surrendering our weapons to become tools for good, we can discover real transformation.
Feel free to connect with me if you have questions or are looking for more resources.