Healer, Heal Thyself!

I’m particularly fond of this directive because I am a fine example of the exploration. Were you all to spend time with me (probably barely longer than a day), there are any number of you who’d think I’m not someone whom you’d expect to be a healer!

On my best days, my appearance is disheveled. I’m overweight, don’t trim my nose hairs very often, have eyebrows that reach to Orion’s Belt, have the styling consciousness of a microbe (I don’t mean to be unfair to microbes), I walk with a “hitch”, use the “F” word too much, am irreverent, if not blasphemous, eat what’s there (often, everywhere!), work to remember to brush my teeth, don’t understand the concept of “exercise”, at times embrace partying, and, well, you get the picture…for one who’s role in life seems to be to help others to wellness, a lot of you might think I’m a mess. Were I a dentist, perhaps you’d choose to go to a Veterinarian instead!

Having lived my life with healers of all stripes, through an incredible array of modalities, I can attest to having witnessed the most exquisite acts of healing come through the most unworthy-appearing and acting individuals. In the shamanic traditions, it almost appears to be a badge of honor that the shaman has groveled in the dirt as miserably, if not worse, than any of the people he/she heals. I’ve had it explained to me, “How else could I suggest something if I haven’t experienced it myself — to its fullest?”

Wrestling with one’s own demons is something we’ve signed up for. Why do I say that? Look around you and show me the people who aren’t? Look in the mirror. You think Mother Teresa was pristine?

I guess here’s the point where I let everyone know, point-blank, that I do not embody the Light Worker, though that is absolutely what I do. The light I bring to the world has come from the deepest of darkness. Beginning with an excruciatingly painful childhood that echoed within me until I was about forty, I cut my teeth in the back of an ambulance where, over the course of twelve years, I got to see (and experience) most every shade there is of the drama of being human, both in myself and others.

My life has been about overcoming that darkness, and using it for the good. I’m here to say it all happens incrementally and we never quite know where we are in the cycle of our own healing.

Sometimes, I act like a Saint, others, a Sinner. What is amazing is how much of that is dependent on the interpretation of the beholder in any one moment! But when I’m in service to healing, I’m in service to healing. Period. And in that state, my job is to be a vehicle.

An important part of my responsibility is preserving the integrity to recognize the limitations (self-imposed, or otherwise) of me as that vehicle in any one situation. It also includes mindfulness of how far I’m really capable of going in any moment. I consider myself very fortunate because I learned the art of working within limitations in the back of an ambulance.

Even amidst emergency situations (perhaps, especially!), I learned the less I worry about directing the outcome, the more capable am I of seeing the result. Now that I think of it while refining this piece, many, many times I have no idea of how what comes through me does its work, all I can look at is the clarity of my intent.

As a healer, I do not know what part of me does the healing. My weaknesses in some people’s eyes have been the very things that have offered others hope. The only thing that makes me a healer is that I consciously seek opportunities to be a vehicle through which healing energy flows.

That can be a bit tricky at times. I often see an opportunity, want to step in, and then I must take pause to put my attention on “emptying” so that my actions are not based on what I think should be. My strength as a healer is that I work with what is in the moment; using whatever tools my life has given me.

In this moment, I’m telling you that no one is immune from the struggle of being human. To deny oneself of being a vehicle through which healing energy flows because you, or others, deem you unworthy or flawed is to deny the world of something it desperately needs — YOU in all your miserable glory!

Does that sound harsh? Think of it this way…if you use all of your life experience — lots of which is “miserable” to someone, if you’re human — and turn it into a tool for healing, someone out there is going to need to “get” what you have to offer, in the way that only you can “give” it. Once you set the intent, people locked up will seek you out for the key that only you can offer.

Sometimes, healing is slow and incomplete. Other times it is instantaneous. Each of us experiences healing at the rate at which he, she or it will allow it to happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s cancer or a scratch. It’s true with me, it’s true with you. We’re all doing this dance.

There’s not a healer I know who has not had to crawl into his or her cave and lick his or her wounds for a while. There is not a person on the face of the planet who hasn’t found that life is ebb and flow, and that means sometimes the healing energy flows in torrents, others in a trickle. Sometimes you can’t cure the pain unless you’ve known the pain. Sometimes, just being in the struggle yourself, and failing — is enough fuel to help the other person get over the hump.

Of course, this does not mean that you should subject yourself to any Quack who hangs out a shingle. Some people’s self-destructiveness significantly clouds their ability to see what is in front of them and respond to it. But generally, in my opinion, you can tell when someone is truly in a “healing mode” when they are more curious than fixed, more open than closed, more willing to discover with, than determine for.

The true healer betrays him/herself by being a presence that allows, rather than blocks, the free passage/exchange of energy.

Now here’s the amusing part (actually, it’s ALL kind of amusing to me, I’m a bit on the Heyoka side!): I have been intimately involved with people at all levels of life who consciously take the stance of curmudgeon, doubter, denier, you know, the ones who throw water on the Birthday cake at every opportunity, and they are healers of the first order!

I can see how, by being fully themselves — in all their twisted glory –they’re offering others the fuel to build their strengths in contrast! What’s funny about it is, the healing energy that comes through them is clear as a bell, but they derive no benefit from it.

And that’s my second point. In any moment we can choose to be a part of the miracle of healing or not. We can choose to experience it for ourselves, as we work with others, or divorce ourselves from it. The degree to which we choose to be a part of the healing energy we want to exhibit — and believe me, this IS a choice! — is the degree to which we, ourselves, experience healing.

If you threw all my dark and all my light in a blender, however, you’d pretty much get the same shade of gray as everyone else. Mine tends to be a bit more visible. You, like me, happen to be going through this world at your own pace. By accepting this, you are more likely to be able to meet every situation with compassion, therefore, healing everything, including yourself.

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