I stumbled upon this and felt compelled to share it with all of you. You see, I know many of you are Wounded Healers. I also know that the first time someone referred to me as such, I wasn’t quite sure what that entailed. Nor did I know if that was an insult or a compliment. I’ve since learned that it’s neither. Rather, it’s simply a truth… a statement of fact.
Here’s the thing though, I’m not a martyr. For some reason I flee from that word. I think largely because I don’t actually desire to cause myself any harm or extra burdens in order to lighten someone else’s load (exception being for my kids).
Plus, I’ve met too many “fake martyrs” in my lifetime. You know, those who want everyone to believe they’re so righteous that they’ll gladly give up their own comforts for someone else’s, all in the name of goodness, mercy, and hopefully a bit of praise from you. Yeah, that’s not for me. That’s not who I am.
Yet in working with all sorts of people over the last 35 years, I’ve come to understand that a lot of the hard things I’ve encountered in my life likely happened for a reason. A reason other than just for my own growth.
I now fully understand, and perhaps even appreciate, the simple fact that if you haven’t walked in someone else’s shoes you truly have no understanding of what their problem feels like. Let alone have any “real deep and penetrating life suggestions” for what they might do in order to overcome whatever is troubling them.
Thus, I get that unless you have wallowed in the same mud as they are, you can’t begin to understand what being dirty, in that particular way, feels like.
So yes, it seems that if you really want to help others heal you must have already figured out how to heal yourself, to some degree or another, of the very same wound.
That’s not to imply that you have to have had a hard life in order to do any good for those you wish to help. In truth, I’m sure there’s many healers out there who do good for others even if they’ve never experienced anything similar.
Rather, I’m saying that it’s the true Wounded Healers who can jump into that pit of hell with you, precisely because they really know what it feels like to be you in that moment. And, if they’ve learned anything from their own similar experience they have wisdom to share with you. True, practical, and proven successful solutions.
It seems we wounded healers shine the light in such a way that it makes it far easier for you to see the light. Maybe simply because you understand that we are comrades in the same war, which makes you far more open to letting us into your wounds.
It’s complicated. It’s deep. It’s intricately personal. And it’s likely been incredibly painful for all of us who try to help where we can, precisely because we know how lost a human can get. We’ve been there. We’ve felt it too.
I guess the downfall in all of this is simply that we wounded healers grow tired too. Personally, I don’t want to learn one more thing about the inexpressible pain we humans can go through. I don’t need any more lessons or growth experiences. I’m maxed out. I’ll help where I can, with what I already know, but I won’t even seek that out.
Today I find I’m ready for a break from it. I’m ready for fun, light-hearted, and breezy. Those are the pieces most missed in my lifetime. But not for long, not if I can help it.
So no, I’m not a martyr. I simply have a deep understanding about why my wounds exist. I also have learned how to best use my experiences for the good of others. In the end that makes some of the hell worth going through.
Anyway, in my humble, and perhaps slightly jaded opinion, this is what being a true Wounded Healer is all about. Tough job. But somewhere along the way I’m quite sure I chose it. Not sure why. Still sure I did.
I often say I think I was drunk or high when I picked out some of the challenges in this lifetime. Truth is, I’m pretty sure that’s true (lol).