“Before you heal someone, ask him if he is willing to give up the things that made him sick.” – Hippocrates
This is such an important question in a healing practice. It is also probably one of the most difficult questions for a healer and client to thrash out and come to a mutual understanding of what the “healing” process entails.
Many clients come to me and ask me to “fix” them. Only yesterday while participating in a drumming circle, my neighbour-drummer wanted to give me challenge… to successfully heal him from an ailment he is suffering from and “cure” him of it… to do what others failed to achieve.
As a healer I find that this expectation “to fix” one of the most difficult things to deal with. In many instances it is precisely this expectation that stands in the way of the healing process.
As long as there is some level of “benefit” and comfort in illness and dis-ease, it is unlikely that a person will heal or make any efforts towards their own healing process. It is often easier to stay in the holding pattern created by illness and disease than to step into the discomfort of recreating the narrative of your reality, giving up the things that brought you to where you are. It also requires taking responsibility for your health and wellbeing, stepping into your own power, validating yourself and fully embracing your true authentic self… the light and the dark… to love, honour, accept and respect yourself.
So, what is typically required prior to embarking on the journey towards healing… And this is something that I use as pointers and discussion points with my own clients to create a mutual understanding around the expectations of me guiding and supporting them in their healing process:
- An understanding that we are at least in part responsible for what brought us to this point of dis-ease, discomfort and lack of wellbeing. We need to acknowledge that where we are at it is not only due to external factors and events. Even if what happened to us was not within our control, we do have the ability to control our reaction and response to happened. Not seeking help and support, not speaking up and not dealing with consequences are choices that would only keep us in a state of victimhood.
- An understanding that to move forward we need to let go of telling our victim-story. Healing can only truly happen when we make the conscious choice to tell our story differently. Or better yet, start telling a new story – a hero’s story. Every moment of every day we have the choice of what we give power to in our lives. If we keep telling our victim-story, we will remain victims. If we tell our hero’s story, we become that hero. As the narrator of your own life’s story, you can decide how this story should be told.
- An understanding that the only one responsible for healing is you… Healers, therapists and coaches are only there to give you guidance and support; to point you in the right direction or at least in a new direction. And as healers, we never invalidate the client’s story, but we also do not tippy toe around the issues, avoiding the elephants in the room. As healers our responsibility is to help unlock the door, open it and support our clients in crossing the threshold into their new space of hope, manifestation and opportunity. The space where they can fully live in the warmth of their light… embracing all the possibilities of their own potential.
- A commitment to do what is necessary to heal, no matter how uncomfortable, discomforting or daunting it may be. We need to understand that the healing journey is pretty much like a rollercoaster ride… and that it is okay! There will be moments of light and joy and others of darkness and despair… There will always be the Yin and the Yang, embracing each other to create balance and form a whole. Your clients should also know that no matter what, you will be there to support them, to guide them and to encourage them. You, the healer, will hold that space with honour, compassion and respect.
If your client is not accepting of these aspects and not convinced the validity of it, it is likely that they are do not fully understand the healing process and/or are looking for a quick fix. But do not despair and never underestimate the value and importance of planting the seed. I have many clients that initially did not particularly like the concepts of responsibility, accountability and commitment in terms of their own healing process; that stayed away for months; and eventually returned to fully participate in their own healing journeys.
We are often led to believe that giving up is not an option, but in order to heal, it is the only option. To heal, we need to let go and surrender and to trust the process. We also need to trust in Divine timing and Divine guidance and know that our guides, both in this realm and the timeless realms are there to guide, support and protect us.
Article by Thea van der Merwe
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Thea van der Merwe, Ph. D. is a nationally and internationally trained holistic energy, certified and experienced Master Reiki Practitioner, qualified in Usui Reiki, Reijukido, Karuna® Reiki, Karuna Ki Reiki, Crystal Reiki, and Gendai Reiki. She obtained the title of Shihan (full master/teacher), the highest level in Gendai Reiki Ho. Besides her greatest passion which is Reiki, Thea is also a spiritual shaman, healer, and teacher, offering readings as a way of accessing spiritual guidance. Her journey of personal discovery, growth, and healing started back in 2005 when she was personally in need of healing and searching for something more than what conventional medicine and therapy could provide. Thea is currently nationally and internationally registered with the South African Reiki Masters Association and The Reiki Healing Association respectively – both professional associations for the local and global Reiki communities, working to promote the wide-reaching practice and healing effects of Reiki throughout the world and where the primary philosophy is that together, we can do so much more. You can get into contact with Thea van der Merwe at viterra.co.za, which is her website, and at facebook.com/viterrahealing on Facebook.