Living Life as a Wounded Healer
What is a Wounded Healer?
Many years ago, after we lost Enoch(to hear more about this story see the posts Mary’s Story and Mary’s Story: Losing the Kids), a dear friend and pastor, Dr. John LaNoue, told me that I would someday be a wounded healer. I did not know what that meant at the time. I had to work through my grief and healing. I have mentioned Solomon was a youth pastor for a while. During that time, I realized if I was real about my life hurts and issues I could encourage others more effectively. I worked to live a transparent life and let my guard down. Living a transparent life, in turn, made me more approachable to others who were hurting. I started an online ministry blog called wounded healer for a while, but it never really got off the ground. I have continued to live my life as a wounded healer, and that mindset is how I approach my life.
Removing the Masks
Life is messy, and we all have our share of troubles, heartache, and health issues no matter how we may try to portray our lives to everyone around us. We live in a world that wants to pretend all is well, but we all know it is not. The problem with living like this is that no one wants to step out and be real. No one wants to admit they hurt or have screwed up. We most certainly don’t want to admit it to all those around us who “have it all together.” If we are honest with ourselves, we know that no one has it all together, but because they act as if they do, you don’t feel you can be real with them. This mindset can make anyone going through a difficult time feel very alone.
The School of Life
I believe we should look at life’s struggles like a school. Many of us go to college to become lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses, etc. We must learn specific knowledge and experience in specialized areas to help others. Why should we look at life lessons any differently? Ok, we have a choice in the careers we choose most of the time, but not so much on the life lessons. We can choose to take those lessons in life and be bitter, or we can use them to in some way to help others.
If you have gone through a divorce, then you have some insight into the hurt and pain of others who are going through one. If you have a history of drug abuse, you understand the struggles of breaking free from addiction. If you have tragically lost a loved one, you have a glimpse into another’s life when they go through this. Maybe like me, you have many health issues that you deal with, and others could benefit from learning about your struggles and the knowledge and experience that you have gained.
While no two people’s struggles or the way they process them are ever the same, there is a certain amount of comfort and encouragement that can be found when you can come alongside someone who has had similar experiences. Every loss, divorce, hurt, health problem and struggle is different, but there are parts of the journey that are similar enough to be helpful. Just knowing that you have someone who has walked that road before you and can listen without judgment can do wonders.
What Does All This Mean?
Being a wounded healer means being able to share your story with others so that they are comfortable trusting you with theirs. Being able to reach a point with your story that you can share without bleeding it is essential. I want to share with you my walk through many struggles and hurts and how I overcame them. I also want to share how I have moved from anger, bitterness, and depression to a position where I can reach out to others. I am not always in a good place, and it’s important to be honest about bad days when they come. I just want to share my experiences and help you share yours. We all have a story and have been given the opportunity to share with those around us in a community.
Take a personal inventory; I would bet that there are struggles that you have worked through, in your life. If you really think about it, people are struggling with those same kinds of issues that might benefit from your encouragement. You can be a wounded healer too.