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Wounded Healers #MondayMusings #MondayBlogs

With the #MeTooIndia movement gaining momentum, it’s difficult not to be disheartened. But there’s also something beautiful afoot.  I’ve watched and experienced how one woman’s story of pain is empowering another woman to share her own pain and begin the process of healing. Wounded healers, that’s what we all are.

wounded healers

Wounded Healers

A Rabbi who came across the prophet Elijah, and asked him: “Tell me—when will the Messiah come?”
Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.”
“Where is he?” asked the Rabbi.
“He’s sitting at the gates of the city,” said Elijah.
“But how will I know which one is he?”
The Prophet replied, “He is sitting among the poor, covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and bind them up again, but he unbinds only one at a time and binds them up again, saying to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be needed; if so, I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment.’”

Reflecting on this story in his book, The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen adds, “What I find impressive in this story are these two things: first, the  tending of one’s own woundedness and second, the willingness to move to the aid of other people and to make the fruits of our own woundedness available to others.”

Nouwen writes, “Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?'”

So today, I’d like to remind you, dear friend, don’t feel inadequate if a friend confides in you – sharing her story – when we listen without judgement, we are creating space for healing for ourselves and for others.

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  1. Ashvini Naik Ashvini Naik October 21, 2018

    Being able to heal any body’s wounds is such a beautiful trait some of us possess.

    Your post reflects on the empathy aspect of humanity so well, Ma’am.

    Nonetheless, I’ve recently learnt the hard way that empathy is something that’s not naturally hardwired in all humans & if it had been so, we would have been in Utopia.

  2. Esha M Dutta Esha M Dutta October 21, 2018

    To create a space for healing others and ourselves too—that is such a beautiful thought, Corinne. Thank you for sharing this idea. I’m blessed to know quite a few who do that and who listen patiently to others too. Having said that, I also tend to think that empathy does not come easily to everyone and that some people by their very nature, take on a lot more on their shoulders to reduce the burden that others feel.

  3. Modern Gypsy Modern Gypsy October 17, 2018

    I’ve been exploring the concept of the wounded healer too, and how often healers can start believing they’re fully healed and superior. I don’t think that’s ever possible. This is a tangent from the me too movement and how we are all wounded and are all healing even as we listen to one another’s stories. But this episode has made me think of wounded healers in the spiritual community too. Some more healing for me in that area after my ordeal with a teacher last year!

  4. Anamika Agnihotri Anamika Agnihotri October 17, 2018

    I have always believed all of us are broken in some form or the other. Some go on and on about their brokenness as if they are the only one, some shut themselves to others’ stories of brokenness believing opening up will cause the doom to settle upon them and there are some who are a constant work-in-progress of building and rebuilding themselves and at the same time are available to hear others. I aspire to belong to the third category.

  5. Magical Mystical Mimi Magical Mystical Mimi October 17, 2018

    I feel so very fortunate to have a wonderful friend who is also a wonderful listener, often times even when I’m not saying anything at all.. <3

  6. Mahati ramya adivishnu Mahati ramya adivishnu October 17, 2018

    Agree with you. Yes, with #MeToo movement progressing positively, we should listen and support a friend/colleague with an open heart instead of judging them. Opening up itself is to be considered a sign of positive change in the society.

  7. Ramya Abhinand Ramya Abhinand October 16, 2018

    Its like how these chain reactions work. One woman’s story, touches a chord within us, we empathise and belive her. And we also realise that we are vulnerable too and could have been in a similar situation.

  8. Bellybytes Bellybytes October 16, 2018

    Listening to others is an art because most people like to listen only to give unasked for advice .

  9. Suzy Suzy October 16, 2018

    So often we are quick to offer solutions yet most of the time it is just an empathetic ear that’s needed. I’ve learned that the hard way from my children who tell me all the time they don’t need solutions only to lend them an ear. Because just talking about what they are going through is healing for them. I’m learning slowly but surely.

  10. Calleen Petersen Calleen Petersen October 16, 2018

    I agree, listening without judgment is key. It is their story, not ours and likely we don’t understand the entire picture.

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