BARBARA BUCK: “Hiding The Wounded Healer”

Suffering can appear in our lives with little warning. It startles us out of complacency. One day we are swimming with the tide, just breezing through life, then wham! Disease and discord hit us when we aren’t looking. Suddenly our nice dip in the ocean becomes a terrifying race from the sharks that we had no idea were right below the surface.

Hardship in whatever form it manifests, can cause us to lose faith that life is on our side. It can render us incapable of trusting the ebb and flow of reality as we understand it.

When I was diagnosed with a chronic disease, I was utterly blindsided. I am a healing practitioner, so in the beginning stages of being sick I had faith that I would be more than capable of handling the issue and moving on with my life. I had multiple tools to help me.

I did all the work, taking a mind/body/spirit approach to the disease, but instead of getting better, I got worse. I did everything that I knew how to do as a healing practitioner, but all my knowledge was useless in the face of my wretched suffering.

I stopped trusting the process and began to believe that I must have done something horribly wrong to deserve the physical and emotional trauma that I was experiencing.

To top it all off, I had a belief that no one would want to see a healer with a chronic disease. How could anyone put their faith in me to help them, if I couldn’t even heal myself? A sick healer is a paradox.

I spent a good deal of time stoically putting on my best game face while seeking help from other practitioners behind closed doors. Everyone that I knew had plenty of advice to give me, from why I got sick to what might help me get better.

Conventional medicine, naturopaths, homeopaths, nutritionists, spiritual counselors, acupuncturists, biofeedback therapists, energy healers of all different types; you name it, I tried it. I stopped trusting the healthcare industry to give me answers, but the worst part about it all is that I stopped trusting my ability to help myself.

Suffering makes us feel weak, and in that weakness we become vulnerable. It’s a terrifying experience to recognize that no matter what we’ve been taught to believe, there are some things we don’t have control over. Sometimes when we allow ourselves to step into our vulnerability, we can feel like victims, victims to our bodies, our thoughts, our creative process that’s gone awry, to God, to the Universe, to genetics.

I have vacillated back and forth between all of these things. I blamed my ancestors, the environment, but mostly I held myself accountable for this disease. I have a firmly held belief that I am a co-creator of my reality, so clearly I must have made this happen.

I played the self-blame game very well. I decided that I can’t be trusted to care for myself when I am in this open, susceptible state. The Universe can’t be trusted either because it certainly didn’t have my back and stop me from creating this horrible mistake.

It didn’t even give me fair warning.

When we are raw and wounded, the first thing we throw out of the window is usually trust. The most natural reaction to our loss of faith is to wrap ourselves in a protective shell because we are afraid of what might come next. The world no longer feels safe.

When we become ill, whether it’s emotionally, spiritually, or physically, we tend to try to keep the world at a comfortable distance. Instead of stepping into our vulnerability, we hide it under the guise of courage and dignity.

Society rewards stoicism with praise. If we see a cancer patient, we say “Isn’t she brave? She never complains about the pain she’s in. She just keeps fighting. It’s amazing!” Very rarely do we acknowledge it when someone courageously embraces their vulnerability by taking a step into the darkness of their condition and seeing what gifts lie within the murky depths.

When we voice our fears or expose our vulnerability, it can frighten our loved ones. It makes people uncomfortable when they can see our wounds. It makes them remember their mortality and their own ability to suffer.

We often respond to this behavior by hiding behind a courageous mask, when the truth is that it makes us feel guilt, anger, and shame.

It’s time for us as healers to take that mask off. It is impossible to heal if we don’t allow the shadows of our creation to surface for healing, or try to hide them. Ignoring them is no longer an option.

 

Barbara Buck is a Foundational Reconnective Healing Practitioner, writer, and teacher. For more information, please visit her website at http://www.barbarabuck.org

 

~via We Are the Dreamwalkers

MELISA WANDREI: “The Art of Pain — Why the Dark Times Make Life Beautiful”

“But fullness — that is deep in our soul. When we have that, it never leaves. Fullness encompasses everything. It’s what allows us to be fully human in all the raw, real ways.”

~Melisa Wandrei

 

Happiness, and the quest for it, is not all it’s cracked up to be. What I mean is that I think we’re making a mistake in reaching only for happiness, lightness, good days, and good moods.

I think that we’re restricting ourselves.

We’re fishing in an ocean of emotions, looking to only reel in one or two kinds, throwing back the ones we don’t want without even noticing how shockingly beautiful they can be in their strange, confusing way, much like the fascinatingly mysterious fish of the deep sea.

There was a long time in my life when I wanted happiness, so I avoided pain. I wanted to call myself brave, so I didn’t admit I was afraid.

In my search for joy, I pushed away the other emotions I didn’t like, thinking I’d be left with only happiness.

But something was still wrong. I wasn’t full. By denying myself the plethora of emotions and feelings we, as human beings, are supposed to experience, I was only connecting with myself on a surface level.

I spent many of my days trying to achieve a persistent state of peace and happiness, and I wasn’t being honest with myself.

How could I just be happy when my heart was broken in two? When my own dad wouldn’t talk to me anymore? When I was uncertain and afraid of the future and the path I decided to take.

Yet all I wanted was happiness, and I kept pushing away anything else I felt that wasn’t “good.”

It took me a while to realize that I didn’t feel like myself anymore. And that was because I wasn’t. I was pretending to be a flat placard of peace and joy, which isn’t very real, is it?

I realized I was robbing my soul of all the emotions and feelings and desires it should have.

Every feeling and all the changes we go through become precious when we realize they are all necessary, and they create contrasting beauty in our lives.

Would you rather be happy, or would you rather be full inside?

Happiness is fleeting. It flits in and out of our days like a bird, singing a beautiful song that we want to revel in all our life, for one moment while the sky is blue, not to be found on the days with dark clouds on the horizon, heavy winds, and gray skies.

But fullness — that is deep in our soul. When we have that, it never leaves. Fullness encompasses everything. It’s what allows us to be fully human in all the raw, real ways.

We need the contrasts that fullness, not just happiness, provides us. How else can we know true joy if we have never known sorrow? How can we feel and trust the deepest kind of love if we have never felt heartbreak?

In art, this is called chiaroscuro. It’s the play of light and dark within a picture, the idea that you need dark shading on one side in order to notice where the light is supposed to hit on the other.

I believe that art reflects life.

I think that by suppressing emotions we don’t like, such as fear and uncertainty and pain, we are taking away the shading of our own image. We’re denying ourselves the beautiful picture that needs the contrasts and shadows in order to be complete.

Sometimes, two seemingly conflicting emotions can fit together and coexist. Have you ever felt that? Maybe you have pain inside you that you suppressed, and suddenly another person finds a way to gently bring it to the surface.

That person and their kind eyes bring warmth to your heart, even while the pain is being laid bare.

Happiness can fill your chest and sadness can well in your eyes until they are entwined in a beautifully poignant harmony. This is chiaroscuro in its most desired form — the shadow contrasting with the brilliant light, creating a depth and fullness that couldn’t be reached any other way.

Don’t ever think that being so paralyzed by fear you don’t know how to take a step, or feeling angry and betrayed, or sobbing while your heart is in shreds, or feeling lonely or confused or uncertain or whatever you feel, is wrong or not good.

It’s your shading, your shadows, making up the complete, beautifully exquisite image of your soul and your life.

 

 

~via TinyBuddha.com