That IS the question, indeed. As a healer, should you heal your beloved?
The short answer: probably not.
El Desierto y El Corazón
The setting which taught me this lesson was the high desert, north of Santa Fe; the way the skies were there. The otherworldly fragrance of artemisia; sagebrush. The dry, cracked arroyos; parched until the rains came in the spring. The way the purple sunsets hushed the land. The mountains. The presence. The stars.
I had moved to that place—far away from civilization, amongst the coyotes who howled outside our door at night—because I had fallen in love with a man who lived there. I found myself in the midst of a new romance in the haunting beauty of the high desert.
I was young; a licensed massage therapist at the time, and also in the midst of my psychic training through BPI, over the phone. While still quite green and burgeoning in the healing field then—and in retrospect, quite oblivious and unconscious in many regards—I, at the time, considered myself a healer.
After said romance began—though quite early on in our relationship—I began offering my beloved-at-the-time healing work. Bodywork. Energy work. Psychic healing work. It seemed natural; I loved him, I cared about him, and I wanted him to a) thrive and b) also to experience who I was and what I did as a healer.
I remember one particularly poignant example of this—it’s funny only WAY after the fact—where I was giving my beloved-at-the-time a healing. I had pulled out all the stops; absolutely done it to the nines.
I had set up the massage table in the living room of the casita we lived in with every crease of the fluffy linens just so; each fold with its own poetry. I had lit a blazing fire in the fireplace for warmth in the cold, snowy New Mexico night. The smell of piñon, sage, and sweetgrass enveloped the space; a sense of landing, of home. I had set the music playlist with such attention to detail; waves crashing upon some distant shore. I had carefully selected essential oils I thought would be most potent for him. I had the lights dimmed to that just-right place of calm; of peace. The stage was set for what I hoped would be a magical and one-of-a-kind healing experience.
…Fast forward 20 minutes into the healing session, to the part where I was ever-so-healingly (or so I hoped) dabbing peppermint oil onto his third eye. I starting doing some craniosacral work, and eventually the poor guy started twitching; something that, at the time, I chalked up to energy moving. (“Yes!” I thought. “He’s having a healing experience! It’s powerful!”)
Well, it WAS powerful, alright. …Though not in the way I had hoped.
Two minutes later, he all but levitated off the table in agony because he couldn’t take the pain anymore. Peppermint oil (which is strong stuff, in case you haven’t experienced it) had apparently—unbeknownst to me—dripped back into his eyes from whence I had dabbed it on his forehead. He had tried not to say anything about it for as long as he could stand it, in order to try to preserve my feelings. However, at a certain point, straight-up peppermint oil en los ojos is enough to put ANYBODY into pure, straight-up, howling anguish.
…Needless to say, any healing from that experience that might have been possible was dashed, as we spent the next few hours next to the sink, flushing his eyes out with cold water, with me apologizing profusely. We were still new loves at the time. I was beyond mortified. I had wanted this healing to take him to new heights of experiencing Heaven on Earth. And instead, there we were, flushing his eyes out for what felt like eons, while he was on the brink of extreme-pain-induced who-knows-what. Some healer I was.
I wish, at that early point in our relationship, there would have been one of those blinking red warning buttons, screaming, “Mayday, mayday! Turn that ship around!” at me.
Why? Because, from that point on, our relationship was predicated on that cornerstone that I would be not only his beloved, but his healer as well. And over time, I started noticing that this was turning into ever more other roles, such as his cook, his payer-of-rent, his house cleaner, his fender-offer-of-coyotes, his …mother….?! (Wait a sec. I don’t think I signed up for that. ANY of that.)
In short, he was getting a pretty fantastic deal. Me? Not so much. While I slowly but surely allowed myself to become not just his beloved and his healer, but his everything else too, he was still just my… boyfriend. I was giving and giving, and was exhausted, and was not receiving quite the same energy exchange in return in the same way.
Read: It. Just. Wasn’t. Fun. Or. Sexy. (For me, anyway.)
And I can’t emphasize this loudly enough: I take full responsibility for this. This was not on him. This was completely, entirely, my own fault. Why? Because I was the one that introduced and propagated that unspoken agreement that I would be his healer, his lover, his everything. He just got to be my boyfriend.
I have to say, also, that this specific example is not the only time this type of pattern has happened for me in my life. While I tend not to herald this rather cringeworthy factoid from the rooftops, I have a formidable amount of experience in this topic, and can say, with some certainty, that trying to simultaneously be someone’s beloved and their healer doesn’t tend to end well.
As a younger person, before I was well-schooled in psychic work, I would often fall in love with someone, begin a relationship with them, and then try to be their healer too. It tended to trainwreck every time, as the boundaries between personal and professional space got blurry. (Not to mention it’s also just a ding-dang lot on you to be someone’s healer AND their lover.)
As a professionally licensed bodyworker (my former job), it is actually against the law to become romantic with someone if they started as your client in a healing sense. I have always appreciated the cleanness of this boundary, as I feel few things could be more damaging to a healing than the influx of romantic energy when the healee came in for healing, and healing alone.
Thus, while I’ve been a healer in my professional life, in my personal-life romances throughout the years, it’s always been important to me to uphold that very firm boundary of, “This has to start as a love relationship, not as a healing relationship. Otherwise it’s a no-go.”
However, my slip-up as a younger person was that even though I was super clean—and a total stickler—about making sure it began as a love relationship instead of a healing relationship, I always tended to bring in the healing role at a certain point after the romance had begun. While that is certainly legal, time and time again, I’ve found it just frickin’ doesn’t work. End of story. (And believe me, I’ve TRIED.) And now, thankfully, I know better.
What I’ve learned is that there is great care and conscientiousness to be taken with stepping into a role as healer for someone if you also have possible romantic intentions with them. I’ve found it to be a much cleaner space, energetically speaking, if you’re either someone’s professional reader/healer, OR you’re their lover, but not both.
If I’m working as a healer and someone comes in the door and I sense any romantic energy, or even the potential for it, I send them packing and politely refer them to another healer. Romantic energy can tank a healing, and thus it’s really important to be conscious–and conscientious–of keeping romance and healing spaces very separate, with everyone’s best interest in mind.
In my own life nowadays, I keep my personal relationships in an entirely different space/category than my psychic/healing work, so as to preserve the utmost integrity and energetic cleanliness in personal and professional boundaries.
I’ve found that keeping a lot of healthy space between the two roles of ‘beloved’ and ‘healer’ helps keep things really energetically clean and clear for both your space as a psychic and healer, as well as for your relationship space with another.
What I recommend, if your beloved wants some healing work: be kind but unwavering about this boundary, and graciously refer him/her/them/[insert preferred pronoun here] to another healer.
Well, at the end of the day, the thing about true love is that it’s not based on fixing/healing, but, actually the very opposite. The sentiment of, “You’re amazing just as you are. Don’t change a thing. I’ll meet you there.” This, dear readers, is the vibration of unconditional love.
And, chances are, your beloved will get the biggest healing of all from THAT.
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