I have recently read two books by Stephanie Sorrell: “Nature as Mirror” and “Depression as a Spiritual Journey”. Both are highly recommended and I am glad I have discovered such clear easy to read books on complex issues. Stephanie, in my opinion, is a great author because she has that rare ability to communicate the complex in a simple manner.
On reflecting upon her books I found myself agree with something she points out, (probably said or worded different to what I am saying, but the idea is the same).
Healer, Heal thy Self! This statement has always caught my mind. There was something in it that made me uncomfortable, but I never could pin point what it was. Now, I have a better understanding of what the statement was trying to tell me and that I did not understand before.
First of all, there is an acknowledgement that the healer, whom ever it could be (aren't we all healers in a sense too?), is not fully healed. The healer has an illness, a dis-ease. The statement tells him to take care of himself (or herself) first. That is sound advice. Nevertheless, the statement is said in a way that implies that the healer should take care of him/herself before trying to heal someone else. It is as if saying: healer mind your own business and leave me alone! There, that brings us to the core of the problem. Why should the healer heal himself first in order to be of help to somebody else? Come on, are we expecting perfection as a pre requisite? If so, it would be a long useless wait. As a matter of fact, I much rather deal with a healer that has the same or similar ailment as mine. The possibility of empathy is greater. We may meet in common ground, one we both have experience of. (Not saying that having the same experience is a must and all other possibilities are ruled out).
The problem is not really with the healers perfect state of health, but on how he/she lives and understands his/her ailment, the dis-ease. Do we feel the dis-ease is something that should be avoided at all cost? That it is a useless experience that we don't deserve? We just stand there shouting: Go away! Or asking: why me? If we expect the healer to move his/her magic wand and make the illness disappear we are in for a surprise. We don't need a healer then, but a miracle worker, and there are few of those.
I believe that a true healer is one that allows us to understand the reason for our dis-ease and accompanies, guides us, or helps us go through the experience and lesson(s) that the dis-ease is all about. The true healer may not do away with the dis-ease, but could very well help us find a sense of purpose to it. The healer may just walk or stand by us, non judgemental, trusting and thus being there with us and for us. No minor deed.
The healer could not be healed him/herself, but has the ability to see, to live, to understand and give purpose to his/hers dis-ease. Maybe the ailment won't go away, probably it isn't meant to. Probably there is nothing in his power to heal his/herself in the sense of getting rid of the dis-ease, of making it go away. Probably that is not in his power not needed to be. So, why would we expect for him to do unto us what he can not do upon his/herself?
In my understanding, a true healer is one that can help us see the light in the hours of darkness. One that can go down with us to the bottom of the pit and stay there with us. A companion on the journey, one that maybe can show us some of the milestones along the road that we would have missed if he/she wasn't there to point them.
It is not necessary to demand of the healer to first heal him/herself and be healthy and whole before we may profit from his experience for the enrichment of ours. I would just expect of a healer to be able to see and live thorough his wounds and ailments. To be a companion and a journey buddy, to the best of his/her abilities.
We all can and are healers in different ways and at different times. We should act as such and not wait for all our dis-eases to be done and away with before turning a helping hand full of understanding to those we may be of help. Maybe then, the healer will start to heal him/herself.
P.S. A friend recently pointed out to me: health has nothing to do with heart rate, fat percentage, or lung capacity, but with living according to our soul purpose.