I have had stomach issues for years. Actually, I've recently realised, pretty much all my life. Its a long and complicated story. Its deep and complex, and like most health issues the problem is not just physical, its emotional and spiritual too. For as we are beginning to learn in the west, EVERYTHING is interconnected.
Years ago at a friends house party I met someone who told me that I was a wounded Healer. I was going through a difficult time in my life. Single, no money, living in as a lodger in London and trying to find my way as a working make up artist. I was in my early 30's and had just survived my first bout of depression. 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 even knew.
"You are wise," he said, "Wiser and stronger than you know. You are the walking wounded, the wounded healer. Only you can heal yourself." At that moment the world stood still. The penny dropped. It changed the way I looked at recovery and healing forever.
Now, ten years later I find myself sitting barefoot and cross legged on a comfortable and expensive looking leather sofa. I'm in an Ayurvedic and Functional Medicine Doctors consulting Room.
The Doctors Indian accent is soft and soothing and calm, and I find myself liking her immediately. She is pretty and kind, with dark shining hair and soft smooth skin. The room is beautifully decorated with modern ethnic furnishings and antique carvings. She is not much older than me, but I feel her wisdom in soft and reassuring waves. She asks me many, many questions, and at the end of our two hour appointment she says to me: "Helen, what are you most afraid of?" I ended up answering her question by realising I was still caught up in a conflict that had not been resolved. I felt bound by guilt and regret and disappointment and as I began to cry she cried too. I had no idea I would end up talking about this.
"You must let go," she said. "You must allow yourself to be free from this pain." You must begin the journey of healing.
I realise now that I had been guided into this moment by myself. maybe it was happenstance or serendipity, or it was the universe or the divine guiding me. I have definitely listened and asked and followed signs and stayed open to whatever the universe has been trying to tell me. But essentially it was me that chose to take up yoga to heal my back. It was me who chose to study and become a yoga teacher. It was me who then met a friend on that course who I travelled to India with. It was another friend that I met on that trip who then suggested I visit this doctor. Me who picked up the phone and made the appointment. Me who turned up.
Me, The Wounded Healer.
I can't really tell you just how I felt after those two hours in that consulting room. More listened to by anyone I've ever talked to? yes. I felt amazement, grief, sadness and disbelief, at discussing liver problems, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalance, the impact of constant childhood antibiotics, childhood trauma. I felt excitement and positivity at the thought of real and lasting change. I felt fear.
Tomorrow I find out what the plan is for the next 4 months. Its not going to be a quick fix, but a long 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 rebalance the complex and interconnected systems in my body, and it wont be easy. Nothing ever worth doing is. But we have a responsibility to ourselves, and those around us to do the work of healing our pain, however insignificant you think it might be. However small, however silly you may think it is, each of us has pain and suffering, it is our human condition. It is life. 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 "No. I choose to heal." and I do believe it is a choice.
With love and healing light to you,