The Language of Healing, Part I
In a low moment this past Sunday, I bemoaned, to a friend, the way in which the healing profession is publicly portrayed and described. Many healers speak incessantly about light, blessings, and peace, which are all well and fine but are only a part of the story. Others eschew any mention of their own healing journey yet "sell" potential clients on their potential to actual heal. Many others make no mention of their communities of support and the mentors who worked with them in their own process.
Healing is a process made necessary by a trauma. The trauma - be it physical or emotional, sometimes both - is often a violent act. A standard response to these kinds of acts is suppression. Understandably, no one who has experienced trauma wants to experience it again. A qualified healer must be able to identify the trauma, isolate it, and where appropriate remove it. In other instances the solution is working with the individual establish new behaviors and thought patterns such that the trauma is no longer framed as a disability or a barrier.
Even in instances, where the issue is not a trauma but rather one that generates hardship such as loss of employment, economic hardship, inability to sustain relationships, the healer must be able to identify the imbalance. These kinds of issues may be situational but where historically oppressed people are concerned, often there is a generational build up of energy that supplants any possibility for advancement. In such cases, the healing required must examine a person’s history of race, class, gender, and/or sexuality and that information guides the healer’s work.
I say all of this to say that many times the healing journey is hard and unattractive for both the healer and the person being healed. As healers, we have a responsibility to our clients to be honest about what these experiences may entail. The end result will be better but the journey involves multiple precipices, through storm and landslides, until you are finally at the top. We should use our own, ongoing healing journeys and corresponding epiphanies and struggles as examples.
Fellow healers, we do our clients and communities a disservice when we portray curated and contoured impressions of the journey. Let’s talk freely, and without shame, about our experiences and be examples for our clients and communities to follow.
Join me in two weeks on July 19, where in part II, I will speak candidly about my own healing journey.
Negarra A. Kudumu
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