Healing the healer

We travel to unknown places – arid, devastated, or even dangerous – both physically and psychologically. We carry this big basket of hope, of life, of sanity. With this heavy basket, we jump through hoops, crawl up walls and are often met with hostility and suspicion, an uncertainty about this new form. We are met with resistance from the wolves in sheep’s skin who are nourished by the vulnerability of the flock.

In the basket, there are parcels of strength and empowerment. There are tools to clear the cobwebs from their dreams and hopes for a future better than this, and a quietening of the noise around to reach serenity within. With the basket in tow, we travel to meet those who are at the edge of their cliffs.

Upon receiving the honour, to trek through the ebbs and flows, to leap through the hoops, and crawl up the wall with this heavy basket, in order to touch those who have reached their limit, we present the parcels and lay out the tools. We seek not to impose, but to tread with caution approaching the lion with a thorn in its paw. We seek not to offend, but to acknowledge, reflect, validate and normalise.

We have swollen faces from turning the other cheek, and soiled lips from kissing “you-know-whats” in order to be allowed to leave an individual, well, Human. We return home. We kiss our loved ones “hello” as they celebrate our return, but we all know we haven’t really returned. We never do. We are never at the point of reclining and putting our feet up. We never allow ourselves. We all know that with bruises barely healed, the soil still grinding our teeth, we’ll be refilling this basket once more, for those we left at home. This healing business is not a part-time occupation, we do it in all corners of the world, including our own, at all levels of consciousness.

We walk into the office, normalised fatigue and all. “Take a self-care day” is the song on our lips and all shall be well. But we don’t know how to practice self-care for ourselves. We hardly do it. We assume that we are automatically attuned to our internal world, and inner peace because we work with others’ internal worlds and help them to stay attuned. Meanwhile, all along we’ve been ushering others to the river without ever stopping for a sip ourselves.

Lest we forget…“you cannot pour from an empty cup”. What makes us great healers, is our humanity, our ability to feel. Let’s be human, and feel.

Refill, restart, reset. Allow yourself to pause, even in chaos. Do not only focus on helping others to regain their equilibrium in a time of turmoil. It is okay to centre yourself. For your benefit, for their benefit. “Breathe beloved”. Heal the healer.

Dedicated to the millions of healers around the world.

By Charlotte Motsoari

silhouette photo of man with backpack standing in seashore during golden hour


Published by CSVR Trauma Clinic

This blog represents thoughts of therapist working within the CSVR Trauma Clinic. The focus is on understanding the drivers and impact of violence on individuals, families and communities to work towards violence prevention and the building of peaceful societies

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