Rachel Naomi Remen is an MD who is a storyteller. She is used to being put down since stories are “anecdotal” and therefore not as important as data. Many of us who read this blog are used to that reality too.
It’s strange how it works, or maybe it’s not, but trauma, injury and illness can truly be passageways to waking up and it’s not generally appreciated at all in western medicine which seeks to suppress everything and thus stop that process. Tragic really. Illness/trauma etc as initiation and/or passageway to waking up is also […]
People (often) don’t need help. They need love. Acceptance. Space to discover who they really are. Practical “help” might come in the way of providing actual needs like food, water, and shelter…but for the interior journey–holding space is far more important. Also, providing support so that expression of that interior journey can be manifested however the person taking that journey needs to do that in the safest way possible. …
Many therapists have not emancipated themselves from their training and think they are there to fix you. They are potentially dangerous. Trust yourself. If your therapist doesn’t encourage you to trust yourself, do not trust them.
I have certainly found meaningful support only from those who treat me as an equal. … [click on title to read more]
The Wounded Healer is initiated into the art of healing through some form of personal hardship–anything from an actual physical injury or illness to the loss of all one’s earthly possessions. Regardless of the shape of the wound, the challenge inherent in this initiation process is that one is unable to turn to others for help beyond a certain degree of support. Only the initiate can ultimately heal the wound; if it is an illness or accident, it will frequently be one for which there is no conventional cure. … [click on the title to read and view more]
Becoming expert has turned out to be less important than remembering and trusting the wholeness in myself and everyone else. Expertise cures, but wounded people can best be healed by other wounded people. Only other wounded people can understand what is needed, for the healing of suffering is compassion, not expertise. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Healing to me does not mean returning to what one was before something went wrong. Wholeness does not necessarily mean normal. And even the word recovery is problematic because, frankly, I don’t want what I had before. Who wants to go backwards anyway? Healing means being whole even while still perhaps not functioning like others. Healing also suggests some sort of maturation and growth from “before” for all that is learned on the journey. Ultimately now, I see this journey as one of transformation and individuation. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
It’s become clear to me that service is essential to a healthy and whole life. For me it’s been essential to healing. Focusing on others, if nothing else, takes the focus off ourselves. There is freedom in that in a multitude of ways. I love how Deikman speaks below to how service is a kind […]
If people could come to see that we are all “peers” (regardless of our role in any given relationship –professionals or client/patient etc)…we are, first and foremost, all members of the human race, struggling to understand this mystery called life… then professionals and experts (of all stripes) might stop imagining they are in any sort of position of “knowing” anything at all about what might be in the best interest of those they profess to want to help. Real service starts with a deep respect for the mystery of the person who is in front of you, whether it’s a friend, a child, other family member or a “patient.” Service is only truly honest and therefore effective when it is completely free of coercion…that can only happen from a deep place of humility and a surrender to the unknown. … [click on title to read and view more]
Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.