Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What You Don’t Know About Your Healer

So, you think all health and holistic practitioners are wishy-washy, carefree spirits twirling in sunshine and rainbows of our own glorious auric fields?

(Well, maybe some are, and to them I say… grrrr!!!!!!!!) 

No, seriously. I think it’s good to share some things that many of us in the healing community go through to dissuade anyone thinking we’re disconnected from the full spectrum of human experience. If any practitioner ever has come off as flighty or down-right ridiculous, maybe there’s a reason for it, or, perhaps if you knew the things that often plague and bewilder us, maybe you’ll  forgive us a little. 

Dirty Secret #1

Let me let you in on a dirty secret: health practitioners have hang-ups, too.

 Since we tend to be a lot more sensitive, this can lead to a lot of self-criticism, self-judgment, and insecurity about our self-worth. I can’t tell you how many practitioners I’ve met who have gone through these same growth points on the way to developing their craft: 

- recognizing we have certain talents, much of which are intangible, yet nonetheless valuable to human experience (caring, compassion, empathy, listening, nurturing … I’ll hold off of any extra-sensory perceptive skills for now)
- seeing where there is need, and where we are drawn to help: the elderly, veterans, children, spiritual life coaching, cancer community, women’s issues, abuse, trauma, etc
- feeling worthy to accept payment for our services, period! (a reflection of self-worth and confidence)
- being able to brand and market ourselves, and charge more for our time and credentials

Dirty Secret #2: 

We’re constantly tottering on the line of our heart’s desire and what the rest of society actually wants from us. 

We feel spiritually called into our vocation. It is a sense of duty to humanity, the world, divinity, whatever you want to call it. There’s this progression of trepidation to accepting our path, elation when we’ve claimed it, and then frustration when the rest of the world doesn’t seem to understand or want our gifts. 

Example: We want to witness miracles of people breaking through limitations and emotional bondage through massage and bodywork and end up over-worked and underpaid in a corporate structure that doesn’t resonate with our ideals. The quality and depth of the work that can be done is unforgivably diluted. Yet we need to pay the bills. 

I’ll reiterate: we’re sensitive! It takes SO MUCH STRENGTH to actually claim our identity as healers. After so much inner reflection, refraction, sometimes dissolution and tedious rebuilding of ourselves, to only face rejection can be soulfully crushing. 

So what do we do?

We keep going. We improvise. We sometimes forcefully push our noses back to the grindstone and make ourselves finish that certification or class or grit our teeth through our daily jobs as a stepping stone to getting where we want to be… which isn’t always clear. 

We also come together in community support. Sometimes we just need to know we’re not alone in this journey. Or that we haven’t completely lost our minds. Yet… (see below for #3). 

Most of all, we keep searching within for inspiration and answers. It’s a never-ending journey. 

Dirty Secret #3

We crave community and don’t always know how to ask for it. 

You’d think the people touting how much we need deeper connection would be able to tack this one on the wall no problem, but not always. This goes back to our sense of self-worth and self-acceptance. Or feeling like we have to shoulder the burdens of the world and therefore do our own healing alone so as not to unload on anyone else. Oddly enough, sometimes it’s our clients that remind us to seek help and support when we need it. 

Dirty Secret #4

We have inner demons, too. We have our shadow side.

We just get more practice with how to release and express these sides of ourselves. We understand the ebb and flow. All things come to pass. There’s always something brighter and sweeter past the painful spots. 

And no, unless we attain Buddhahood, I don’ think this ever goes away. Like anything else, the process and pattern just gets more fine-tuned, our responses more precise. 

Dirty Secret #5

We are always driven by something greater than ourselves.

Even if it makes you cringe, inevitably, most health and healing practitioners subscribe to some higher source, authority, or power, even if it’s simply within ourselves, or a sense of universality and connectedness. 

It might annoy the crap out of you, you might think we’re hopeless idealists… but it’s what we witness day after day, and it’s what keeps us going. 

On that note…

Dirty Secret #6

We like to use the word “God,” but shy away from it publicly. 

Unfortunately. Don’t want to offend anyone else out there. So we keep it for private use. We’re okay with it. 

One more thing. We will never, ever stop trying to be better for ourselves and others, no matter how crazy our rituals and appearance and vernacular become. If it betters the whole, then it’s worth it. We’ve done our duty.  

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