“The concept of the wounded healer is prevalent in ancient and modern teachings alike. In many cultures, a shaman received the call during a Vision Quest or after a life-changing experience. In others instances, the healer’s path began in childhood, as the child’s unique gifts became evident. Even in modern times, the call to heal is often heard after a near-death experience or some other traumatic event.”
How can we help our soldiers heal? How can we help ourselves?
We’ve all been through a lot these last years — our men and women in uniform especially so.
9/11, war, the Challenger explosion, the tsunami, Katrina, school massacres, environmental meltdown… it’s enough to test anyone’s mettle. Most of us have not had to face combat, but all good people suffer with our soldiers, grieve with the families whose kids return home wounded or dead and wonder where there is an end of it.
I used to work as a counselor and still get pressed into service when the need arises. People have felt free to tell me their troubles ever since I was a young lad. Over the years I have come to cherish that trust. Lately, I’ve been wondering what we can all do to speed the healing we all need — our brave boys and girls all the more so.
The basics remain the same: Rest, quiet, exercise, good diet and a support network. For most of us, most of the time, talking things out with a trusted friend has as much therapeutic value as actual time on the couch. For those who are deeply injured, however…
Professional therapy and medication can save lives for the most severely wounded, but I remain troubled by the thought that our men and women who fight are made of tough stuff — and may regard it as a sign of weakness to seek help. To them I would only suggest that it takes a lot of courage to admit it when you really need serious attention. I can say this because I was grievously wounded for a long time and it was only when I died and then returned to this plane that I learned the value of humility. I discovered that it is quite literally true that, without God, we are nothing.
So saying, I encourage everyone, including nonbelievers, to consider that there is a light at the very heart of us, a presence too powerful for flesh to endure, a spark that is one with the Light that fires the stars.
The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That quesions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind us of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.
The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.
The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.