Updated: Jun 16, 2022
I have had stomach issues for years. Bloating, constipation, stomach cramps, excessive wind, chronic diarrhea, every toe-curlingly uncomfortable and embarrassing stomach ailment you can have, I've experienced. Often. I've only recently realized that this condition has been with me pretty much all my life. Like most health issues the problem is not just physical, its emotional and spiritual too. For as we are only just beginning to learn in the west, EVERYTHING in and of the body is interconnected. Mind, body, soul, all intricately and delicately balanced and interconnected as one. This delicate balance is, unfortunately easily upset. Unhealed and unexpressed emotional trauma gets manifested in the body as chronic illness, pain and disease. Emotion is energy in motion and if it is not released and set free it lurks within the body, brooding and breeding physical illness and pain.
Years ago at a friends house party I met someone who told me that I was "The wounded Healer". He was in his fifties, had dreadlocks a friendly open face and kind eyes. It was 4am and yes I had had some vodka. I thought it was a chat up line when this guy asked me if he could read my Moon sign. But I was curious and said yes, happy to go where the conversation took me. At that point in time I was finding life difficult. I was unhappily single, working very hard for little to no money, living in a house share in London in a shitty town and trying to find my way in the world. I had direction and ambition, but somehow I felt broken. I was in my early 30's and had just survived my first bout of deepest, darkest depression that came out of nowhere and hit me like a speeding train. That moment at that party was pivotal to me. This complete stranger had just told me more about myself in one moment than I ever knew. As he read my astrological moon sign chart He told me all about my life so far, my choices and the implications of them. My personality, my family, my loves and losses.
"You are wise," he concluded, "Wiser and so much stronger than you know. You are the walking wounded, the wounded healer. Only you can heal yourself." At that point I hadn't really even realized how broken or wounded I was. Sometimes it takes a complete stranger to point out to you what is right in front of your nose.
At that moment the world stood still. The penny dropped. I had the "Aha Moment" and it changed the way I looked at recovery and healing and self responsibility forever.
Ten short years later I find myself sitting barefoot and cross legged on a comfortable and expensive looking leather sofa. "Please make yourself as comfortable as possible." The Doctor said. I was sitting in the consulting Room of a Doctor of Ayurveda and Functional Medicine.
The female Doctors Indian accent was soft and soothing and calm, and I found myself liking her immediately. She was pretty and kind, with dark shining curly hair and soft smooth skin. The room was beautifully decorated with modern ethnic furnishings and antique Indian carvings. It was spotlessly clean with marble tiled floors and beautiful rugs. There was color and style. A taste of modern, wealthy India in the UK. She was not much older than me, but I felt her authentic wisdom and knowledge beyond her years washing over me in soft and reassuring waves. She asks me many, many questions, takes my pulse, assesses the multiple and very in depth health questionnaires I've filled in previously and examines my tongue. At the end of our two hour appointment she says to me: "Helen, what are you most afraid of?"
I pondered the question. No, not death, not crashing down in a plane, not losing a loved one. What was I most afraid of? My answer surprised me. I ended up answering her question by realizing I was still caught up in a family conflict that had not been resolved. I felt bound by guilt and regret and disappointment and anger and as I began to cry she empathically cried too.
"You must let go," she said. "You must allow yourself to be free from this pain. You must begin the journey of healing."
Another penny dropped. Another "Aha Moment". I was instantly brought back to that party years before. I was The Wounded Healer. I had the power to set myself free from this conflict, this emotional pain. I had the power to heal myself, from within.
I realize now that I had been guided to this moment by a mixture of divine assistance, my life's teachers and guides, universal love and my own intuition and choices. It was a series of informed and inspired choices that allowed me to arrive at this time and in this space and come to this level of understanding. I chose to take up yoga to help heal my back and seek my spiritual self. I chose to study and become a yoga teacher. I met a friend on that course who I chose to travel to India with. It was another friend that I met on that trip who then suggested I visit this doctor. I chose to pick up the phone and make the appointment. I chose to keep that appointment. I turned up and walked forward, guided by the universe and my teachers, I chose to walk the path towards self healing, sometimes, without even knowing that that was what I was actually doing.
Me, The Wounded Healer, walking towards healing, one gentle step at a time.
I can't really tell you just how I felt after those two hours in that consulting room. More listened to and seen by anyone I've ever talked to? Most definitely, yes. I felt a mixture of all sorts of emotions: amazement, grief, sadness and disbelief. We discussed the consequences of my stomach issues: liver problems, anxiety and depression, adrenal fatigue, skin problems, hormonal imbalance.. all stemming from the impact of constant childhood antibiotics and trauma manifesting as chronic, severe IBS. We discussed a holistic path forward, supplements, dietary changes, spiritual practices... there was light and there was help. I felt both excitement and positivity at the thought of real and lasting physical and emotional change. But I also felt fear. I was walking into unknown territory, and I wasn't sure what the outcome would be.
Soon I find out what the plan is for the next 4 months. Its not going to be a quick fix, but a long, gradual path to recovery. It's up to me to put in the physical, emotional and spiritual work, to take the herbs and supplements and follow the plans to detox, heal and help rebalance the complex and interconnected systems in my body, and it wont be easy. I hope it will work, but the reality is it might not, there are simply no guarantees.
So why am I sharing this story with you? One thing I have learned at this stage of my life's journey is that we each have a responsibility to ourselves and those around us to do the work of healing our pain. However small, each of us has our own pain and suffering, our own trauma, regrets, stuff we simply haven't released and let go of. Suffering is our human condition. It is life. Hand in hand with joy and peace and love, is pain and bitterness and suffering. But each of us is the Wounded Healer. Each of us has the capacity to face our pain and suffering, to look it straight in the eye and say "I accept and recognize this pain and I choose to heal myself."
Ultimately, I do believe that it is a choice that each of us has the ability to make at the time that is right for each of us. And the time does have to be right. We cannot simply be told that this is what we need to do, what we must do. We have to have the penny drop, we have to feel and know it deep within ourselves. Perhaps it doesn't happen in this lifetime, as it is not our souls purpose, perhaps it happens in the next incarnation. There are certainly people in my life that I know to have embraced their pain and suffering, to have clung onto it for dear life and have refused to heal, refused to let go, afraid of what life might be without it. This then leads to a vicious cycle of more pain, more suffering, and unwittingly they spread it to all of those around them, infecting them with sadness and sorrow from their festering wound. Perhaps next time their soul walks the earth they can choose to let the pain go, and walk towards healing. I dearly hope so.
In choosing to begin to heal ourselves, we choose light and we choose love, we choose to step forward on a bright new path towards wholeness and peace. We choose to restore the equilibrium of mind, body and soul. We do this not only for ourselves but for all of those who cross our path on life's beautiful, incredible and awe inspiring journey, in the hope that after our many encounters we may all be infused with the powerful light of love that spreads out to all the universe and beyond.
"The wound is
Where light enters you."
With love and healing to you,