All Healers are Wounded

May 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

Wounded healer –
an archetype, they call it,
a phenomenon,
but they’re wrong.

It’s superfluous,
a word said twice, because
you see –

All healers are wounded.

Oh, they might not begin that way –
starry-eyed, full of cheer,
out to save the world,
cure its ills, a savior –

but a savior is a sacrifice
and they don’t know it
until they’re on the altar.

Most start out wounded,
and are wounded time and again.

This is what we do:
treat injuries,
see death,
witness the aftermath of all that
human beings are capable of,
the abuses we inflict on one another:
on each other’s bodies,
and hearts, and minds –
the fracture patterns we leave
on another’s soul.

Witnessing is the healer’s role.
Seeing without turning away,
hearing without fleeing,
holding the story and the pain
and seeing a fellow soul underneath.
We bear witness to pain when no one else will,
or can,
or even knows how.

In witnessing, we learn, in a soul-deep way:
there are terrible events in the world,
terrible deeds, terrible acts,
terrible capability in the human psyche.

You can’t see these things and stay whole.

Witnessing wounds.

All healers are wounded.

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