The Wounded Healer by Carmen Mojica

In today’s midday conversation with my wonderful housemate, I was  sharing some of the challenges I am experiencing in my transition at the  moment. She was asking me how I was feeling, and what I needed.

I  mentioned to her that I needed to be acknowledged as a wounded human,  and not a wounded healer. Her reaction affirmed the thoughts that  formulated after – when a person known as a healer experiences pain and  distress, the assumption is that we are somehow way more equipped to  handle and transcend suffering than the average human being. The tragedy  of this is that healers are, in fact, very much human and because of  the healing work they engage in, are prone to being affected by pain and  suffering on a level the average human being is not necessarily  completely conscious of.

Wounded healers, in my personal  experience, are less likely to be vocal about their troubles, sometimes  less likely to demand a pity party and much more likely suffer alone  because others (and sometimes themselves) assume “they got this.” People  around them tend to assume that healers can also magically heal  themselves and have a much better rebound time than most folks, so why  would they the same level of attention as the folks they serve?

The  truth is, healers can be susceptible to incurring an incredible amount  of trauma. First, the healers I have come into contact with choose to  transform into channels of healing because they have experienced a deep  excruciating level of pain. This pain woke them the hell up; it awoke  something in them to use their troubles as the very medicine to bring  them out of it. That’s the first step to being a channel for healing:  healing yourself.

Second, they decide to facilitate healing for  others. That is to say, there is a difference between curing and  healing: curing is the act of restore someone’s health in which they are  not necessarily involved in the healing of themselves. To cure someone  is only to address the symptom and not the underlying psychosomatic  roots of their illness. Healing requests the active participation of the  ailing individual to engage in facing themselves while the healer is  only holding the space for them to transform. It is not out of the  question for a healer to be retraumatized or triggered by those that  they are holding space for. The healing sessions can also be draining  because of the amount of time, energy, lack of food and sleep that is  required at times (for me as a birth doula, that could mean anywhere  from 7 to 24+ hours of being present for a birthing woman). And because  of this, healers have to also be healed.

When I use the word  healer, I don’t mean just the typical image of a sage, shaman or  medicine person. A healer is someone who facilitates healing, and in my  broad definition, that can be any person on this planet who has decided  to heal themselves and have in turn used their experiences to bring  healing to others who want it. Musicians, painters, writers, doctors,  librarians, mothers…anyone can be a healer in their own right because  the truth is that we all have the capacity to heal ourselves and others.  It is those of us who have consciously and powerfully made the choice  to make healing their path that are pointed at as healers. Regardless of  a title, a healer’s suffering needs just as much attention as the next  person.

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One Reply to “The Wounded Healer by Carmen Mojica”

  1. Thank you, clotildajamcracker and dorhora for visiting LC Information and Resource Center. Please share with those in need and and pass the word.

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