Many of us have heard the expression coined by Fr. Henri Nouwen that we are all “wounded healers.”
As followers of Christ, Jesus has given us the command and the power to bring healing into the lives of others. We must never forget that we are also in need of healing.
The fact that we are all healers and in need of healing is a primary part of our lives. At times, one of these realities appears stronger than the other. Some days we feel on top of the world and do not feel our own need for healing. We can respond to the needs of others and empathize with another person’s situation by feeling what they feel. At other times, we get caught up in our own pain and suffering and struggle just to get through the day without falling apart.
Not allowing one side of this equation to get out of balance is so important. If we are always reaching out in love and compassion to others but are not attending to our own inner needs for healing, we may find ourselves one day in a terrible situation of burnout and depletion.
As followers of Jesus, we must remember that our call to love others also involves a call to love ourselves. So many good people have pushed themselves to the extreme and wound up useless in the end because they have giving everything they had and now are completely empty.
When we find ourselves running on empty, we can always go to Jesus for healing. He will grant us the peace and strength we need. Our Savior may direct us to others who can help us through a difficult time. The Lord will lead us in a specific direction. Our task is to remain open to whatever and to wherever the Lord is leading us.
Don’t be afraid to seek out friends, groups, or organizations that can help us through difficult times. This is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom and strength. Wise persons know they cannot do everything by themselves. They seek help wherever it can be found.
A problem we had with the spread of the Covid-19 virus was that some people believed that they should not have to suffer because of the errors and mistakes of other people.
In his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” Rabbi Harold Kushner dispels a common myth about suffering and helps us see our way through suffering and intense pain.
“The conventional explanation that God sends us the burden because God knows that we are strong enough to handle it has it all wrong. Fate, not God, sends us the problem. When we try to deal with it, we find out that we are not strong. We are weak; we get tired; we get angry; we get overwhelmed. When we reach the limits of our own strength and courage, something unexpected happens. We find reinforcement coming from a source outside ourselves. In the knowledge that we are not alone and that God is on our side, we manage to go on.”
Someone sent me a statement of where they were in life today:
“I accept that I am Love. I release all judgments of others and know that they are doing the best they can. I keep my life simple and follow my highest path. I stay in tune with the Highest Source within me and let it guide my ways. I am gentle and kind with myself and others and pace myself with one step at a time. I know the perfect circumstances present themselves for my perfect, continued growth. I am Love. I am Joy. I am Peace.”
I wish we could all feel and express clearly something like that.
When individuals become real Christians, a complete change occurs in their personalities. St. Paul calls it “putting on the mind of Christ.” They exchange their old selves with the emphasis on “what’s in it for me” and pattern their lives after the way Jesus lived. This change is gradual and progressive.
Jesus had busy days, but he took time out for reflection, prayer, and rest. He knew the value of a balanced life.
We should follow his good example.