ASK ABDI: WHAT IS THE JOB OF A HEALER?
QUESTION: Since coming into the healing work that I have been practicing, while there have been teachers around me, much of it feels like it’s coming from my own past life experience and intuition. The teachers are all wonderful, but difficult to converse with in the traditional sense. I realize that much of learning this world is to learn to teach and expand yourself. I don’t look to my teachers for answers, but I find myself without clarity on how to progress in my own work. What are your thoughts on healing?
ANSWER: I have spent many decades grappling with what you are working with yourself. Having studied different archaic traditions, I always felt that their essence and integrity had to be preserved while being adapted to a modern time of rapid awakening. I wondered what is it that we are really doing as healers? What is our intent? What is healing and what does it entail?
Here is what I have come up with so far:
My intention is for people to remember their true nature. I know that to be the only real healing.
I have learned to distinguish between healing and curing: a person can be cured of an illness or pain, but still be in a state of dis-ease. Or they can still have symptoms and be healed, meaning that they are not suffering anymore. Obviously the aim is to have both at the same time. However, I have observed people perish due to an illness but do so healed, or be cured of an illness but continue to live in a state of misery.
I have learned to be 100% present from the moment a person walks into the healing space until they leave. Much happens when we hold space in this manner. Rarely are we in relationships where this level of intention is offered. This is the gift of conscious attention.
I have learned to move as much of myself out of the room as I can. Beliefs, my own story, getting my needs met consciously or unconsciously by talking about myself, etc., are best left outside the session. Unless sharing a story as a teaching tool, the less a client knows about us, the better. This allows the person to fully have an experience of themselves without another’s energy taking up space. Again, a rare event in our narcissistic culture.
I have learned to make room for the fact that all of us are very much attached to our suffering, until we are not. It obviously is all on an unconscious level, but there is much comfort in that painful space. If we get reactive to someone’s attachment to their pain, that is our stuff. We need to work on clearing it and not project it out.
I have learned that suffering is what finally brings us back to ourselves. Hence I don’t view it as the enemy, but a necessary element of this realm, much like how a fever mobilizes the immune system. I have yet to meet someone who comes to me for a healing that is not under some level of duress.
I have learned that I can only take people to a place that I myself am residing in, and hence it is my responsibility to constantly be engaged in emotional self-care as well as self-inquiry. And to make room for my own shadow, while keeping a constant vigil on it as I would on a snake coiled beside my naked feet.
Lastly, on a practical note, I sit with the names of people daily before they come in, to feel what needs attention. At the end of the day, I mentally release them by again contemplating their name and intending for them to remember their true nature. I am not attached to the outcome as I know that the simple fact they are coming in for a healing means that their "yes" to life is bigger than their "no". I trust that big and brave act alone on their part will guide them back home when they are ready.