by Samantha Mant
One thing I know thanks to my own healing journey in life, is that I have always been the one to heal myself.
As a naturopath, I’ve learned that no practitioner heals a patient; they heal themselves. This may seem an extreme statement to some, due to how we are lead to put so much trust and faith in health care practitioners, so I shall explain my meaning and share a little of my own healing journey below.
All worthwhile journeys start with red shoes.
After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of five, the treatments I received from well meaning doctors of mainstream medicine slowly diminished my health, leaving me severely disconnected from my body, mind, emotions, and eventually on the brink of life by age ten.
It was then that my desperate mother took me off all medication and to see a naturopath for treatment.
It was one of those moments; angels sang, trumpets sounded.
Sitting in the naturopath’s office I could sense down to my bones that I had found the right path of treatment and healing for myself.
The philosophies and approach of this medicine resonated with me and made sense in a way that made every one of my cells dance. I felt like I was given what I needed to finally take control of myself again, contributing to my health on my own terms.
As soon as I had finished junior high, I sprang at the chance to leave school and study at the ‘practitioner in questions’ college, and become a naturopath myself.
What I learned gave me greater control of my own heath care, and I was endlessly amazed at the powerful healing I saw there in others on a daily basis.
Whilst learning the Pillars of Natural Medicine, part of the medicine’s philosophy foundation, one of them had quite an effect on me: The Practitioner is Teacher. It was taught to me a little something like this:
‘You are a teacher to your patient. You will provide them the knowledge they need to manage their own health and their families in such a way that is not only preventative, but that they can also heal themselves when things go awry’.
Huge stuff, and it totally confirmed how I had felt as a child.
The sense of self awareness, assuredness, and knowledge that the naturopath I saw instilled in me, was the most elating, empowering feeling, leaving me unafraid to be present in my own body no matter what was to come.
Learning this confirmed what I had known all along; healing journeys are sacred paths in people’s lives.
It is each of us, the individual, who chooses to walk it when we find it. It would never be in alignment with this Pillar or my own experience to claim to have healed another.
We can find the information we need, and be taught it by a practitioner that resonates with us, but what we choose to do, or not do with that information is what makes us a healer in our own right.
‘Physician, heal thyself’ (Luke 4:23), can be an applicable idiom or proverb in this case. For example:
Once we heal ourselves we are a healer.
Only then can we understand this transformative and committed journey. Only then can we effectively hold space with true support and knowledge for others who are about to embark in their own healing.
When we make the decision to heal any aspect of ourselves, we seek out the people who are sufficiently accredited, for their knowledge and insight; those who have healed themselves, to aid us on this initiation toward becoming ‘the healer’ ourselves, and eventually, hopefully- ‘the healed’.
This cycle has been traversed throughout time, as a part of human experience and celebrated in the most ancient mythology.
We can see it reflected in the stories of the Sage, Shaman, the wise men and women, and of course the WITCH, who walked mysterious paths and came back with the wisdom to assist others.
The psychologist Carl Jung noted this cycle as the wounded healer archetype.
A behavioural pattern that would consciously manifest in those who had healed their own wounds, and now felt compelled to help others.
When we heal ourselves, we indirectly heal others.
Ask yourself if you have at any time overcome a great emotional, physical or mental pain, anguish, disease? Maybe you are in the throes of walking such a path right now? If you answered yes to either (or maybe both) of these questions, you are a healer.
If you have yet to experience such an enriching life cycle (and I doubt there are any of you who have not) then this sacred journey is ahead of you.
But fear nothing! You are in good company among a world filled with healers to hold space with you, sharing their story and wisdom.
The transformation that healing brings can be painful. Stretching new wings as we emerge from the chrysalis, or Phoenix from the ash, we realise we are a new person in a different world.
We may feel hollow, or unseen, asking ourselves who could empathise, understand or even recognise us now if we were to share ourselves?
While we grieve for the person we once were, we also long to be heard, to shout about our triumphant survival and transformation.
If you find yourself in this somewhat lonely place, I invite you to courageously share your story, there are people who need you. They need you to gently and empathetically hold a space for them that tells them they are safe to heal, that healing is possible, that *you* understand. Claim your role as healer, and lead by glorious example.
Do you have a healing journey longing to be shared? Please share with me, I would love to hear it!
About the Author:
Samantha Mant (Sami Lou) is a ‘retired’ Naturopath from North Queensland, Australia. She presently runs a blog called The Holistic Branch, where she can share and connect with people interested in holistic medicine and lifestyle. She believes people have a greater ability to self heal than they realise, and desires to help empower them to do so. You can sign up for her newsletter and also contact her on THB Facebook page, where she tries not to post too many pictures of her cat. She is most definitely a Bad Kitchen Witch.
featured image – source
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