Healing, Am I Doing It Wrong?
If my body heals my body, what does it mean if my body is not healing? What am I doing wrong? Is there something I’m not seeing? Am I failing her? Is she failing me? I’m listening, but what if I can’t hear her?
Being our own healer. It’s a topic that I have a lot to say about (I’m going to see if I can get my thoughts organized about it here) and one that has come up a handful of times in deep conversations with friends. One in particular referred to this as a bout of Healers Shame. It both sent a chill up my spine and a crack through my heart. There is this ever growing pressure to heal ourselves and when we feel like we have tried it all and done all the things at the end of the day it can feel like there is something wrong with us - that we still aren’t getting it right and we are somehow a broken healer (broken human) who should know what her body needs but cannot hear her.
Again, we are reminded often that we are our greatest healers - that our body has the ability to heal our body. And I must admit, I can be an extremely contradictory human, my view on this philosophy hasn’t swayed much. It’s the philosophy that says western / eastern / complementary medicine assist the body in arriving at a state of harmony and balance so that the body can heal the body.
But I’m also noticing more that this knowledge can come at a debilitating cost when we are in need of healing or even more so, when we are in some sort of healing crisis and nothing seems to be working. When we feel tired and broken and unfixable - when Healers Shame arises.
Shame can be debilitating. We both know this and I have yet to meet a human who hasn’t, even if just for a moment, wanted to crawl into a hole and die from it.
More recently I’ve witnessed this increasingly amongst friends and clients who have been open to and are now actively trying to get pregnant and then they miscarry or their period arrives and over time they can’t help but wonder, “What’s wrong with me? Haven’t I done all the right things? Eaten the right stuff? Had sex at the right time? I even worked on healing my relationship with my mother.”
Why is it that we can so quickly move from blame to shame and back again? And somewhere along that loop hope gets lost.
I’m honestly not one hundred precent sure what to say next here or in the conversations with my friends who are healing and coming up short with answers after countless trials and error or when there simply is too much information out there to even know where to begin. At this point we don’t want advice, we want someone who is going to listen to us and give us a goddamn answer.
Tonight the only words that I can formulate that really resonate are from the Hawaiian prayer for forgiveness called, Ho’oponopono. It is an ancient practice know for the cleansing of ‘errors of thought’ – which is thought to be the origin of problems and sickness in the physical world. The more literal translation of Ho’oponopono is ‘to put to right; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”
And it simply goes like this…
Please Forgive Me.
I Love you.
What I’ll go on to say next is more or less advice. If you find it useful, use it. If not, pass it along or place it on a shelf and maybe one day it will come in handy…
Find a community, a mentor/coach/therapist, an honest, no-bullshit friend, healers and doctors you feel you can trust - those who can support you in the way you need to be supported and value your values. (might be a good time to check in with those as well). In a time where we have an infinite amount of information at our finger tips, allow yourself to be extremely, extremely discerning in who and where you seek advice from.
Ask for what you need. And if you don’t know, go ahead and say that out loud too. That’s an honest start. And then keep talking to your youness, or as my teacher puts it, your woman. Ask her what she needs until her I don’t know’s turn into faint whispers that transform into spoken word. For me the request often begins with something I’ve had shame asking for in the past.
Notice who you’re comparing your healing journey with. Notice how you think it’s suppose to feel and be and what it needs to look like. I know this isn’t new, profound wisdom, but your journey is yours to be experienced by you.
That being said, share your story. Because although your healing is unique to you, your story most likely is not - it’s extremely rare that any of us are alone in how we feel and what we’re moving through. This right here can be the salve that saves you.
Although I’m a firm believer that properly cleaning up the thoughts and old belief systems that no longer serve us is well worth every ounce of effort it takes, I’m not a huge fan of the think positive rhetoric. I’m not a fan of looking in the mirror and telling myself “I am healthy” when I feel like exhausted and, well, not. What helps me more here is to one : notice how many times a day I say “I’m (inset ailment)” vs saying “I’m healing.” And two : sit down, close my eye and either feel for pleasure or beauty and softness within my body or recall a time when I felt what healthy feels like to me and let that run through my system.
I’ve also been more courageously asking myself a different set of questions these days. They sound less like, “Why am I not healthier? Why am I not healing faster? What did I do to get myself here? Haven’t I worked on my shit already?”. And more like, “Why do I want to heal - for what purpose? I wonder what this is going to show me? I wonder who I’m going to meet that I’ll have needed this experience to resonate with?”
Maybe that’s where we start, by changing the question. Mind you, if honest self-inquiry were easy, we’d all be experts of our lives. It demands for you to ask yourself simple sounding questions that are more often than not, difficult to answer.
Your healing is not an instant process, it’s a practice. Your soul didn’t land itself inside a human casing for it only experience steady days of rainbows and sunsets. I remember so precisely a few years after my first real bed-ridden heart break, the one I thought there was no way my heart would mend from, and I realized his birthday went by and he didn’t even cross my mind. I remember smiling and for the first time in so long, I honestly hoped he too was healing and doing well.
Or maybe, maybe all we need is to simplify life - to chop wood and carry water.
From one human being to another,
ps. if this is for you, and you need someone to hear you, my inbox is always open. firstname.lastname@example.org
pps. she/her/woman can be substituted to fit what feels good for you. you do you.