Help the people live; nourish them with your life.
A healer must be like deep water, able to reflect without blurring, and to do so by not doing, shallow enough that people will not drown, but deep enough that the bottom will never be touched. For in being like water, all healers reflect the greatest truth: God is the healer, we are merely the cracked jars of clay.
If we as healers do not trust the people who come to us then how can we ever expect people to trust us? Ancient Wisdom from many traditions teaches us that as healers we too must be broken: to heal is to lay no claim to the healing or the healed; we are but servants and vessels of God’s awesome love.
A Question I keep asking myself often is how does one guide people into their own healing without controlling them or seeking gratitude?
The late Haven Treviño, a beautiful soul who lived with Lou Gehrig’s disease, wrote a deliciously soul-full version on the Tao called The Tao of Healing. In it he reminds us of the simplicity of eternal truths: that we are all connected…that we all are one and that we all come from the One – God. His translation of one particular section moved me to tears and chilled my spine as I realized I was reading my directions on how to learn to be a healer and to find my own healing: “we must recognize the utter holiness of each breath, of all things.”
His translation continues in a delicate manner revealing the hidden truths of learning, living, loving and service. But what is so remarkable about Treviño’s translation, so overwhelming, is that he wrote this book on healing all while living his life in a wheelchair and a hospital bed.
Truth without compassion is not the whole truth
And healing without a loving spirit is not true healing.
A miracle is merely the truth of God made plain.
Healing is merely our separation from God made whole.
There is no difference between healer and healed,
Both must be willing to dismiss the ego’s banal struggle.
And recognize the utter holiness
Of each breath, of all things. This is the challenge of love.
I could spend the rest of my life trying to live out this divine mandate, this life-long mission as both healer and seeker. It feels arrogant to discuss being a healer while simultaneously understanding that I am truly the one who needs healing. For in calling myself a healer people may be led to think that I am stating that I actually have the power to heal anyone (no!) or that I have somehow or someway “arrived” and I have answers, which is far from the truth.
I am called to be a healer, a wounded healer in fact (to use Henri Nouwen’s terminology). Naming my calling scares me because as stated above, it implies that I have “arrived” but it also puts me under the microscope of integrity: I cannot be that which I am not daily seeking, so in truth as a healer, I am merely seeking God in order for God to heal me, and then all I do is share what he has done. I am just the vessel.
In naming that calling or any calling for that matter, we are merely acknowledging God’s hold on our lives. Claiming a calling can set us up in a way, naked and out in the open: you will be watched and judged harshly by skeptics and naysayers alike. But all true healers (and anyone following a calling) will be judged harshly by fearful people.
Truth be told, I (like many others) am utterly afraid of this calling from God for living a called life is scary because it means we will be led into the darkness, our own and others, and it will mean stepping out in faith daily, but as we do so, we will begin to taste and see God’s goodness and we will begin to experience the world opening up like a gorgeous rose in bloom.
Note: Quotes taken from Haven Treviño’s (1951 – 1993). The Tao of Healing: meditations for body and spirit. Adaptation of the Tao te Ching (with a focus on healing). Novato, CA: New World Publishers.