Ok, so you’ve decided to become a healer (possibly even a professional one), and you’ve read my last post about making sure you’re coming to healing work from a healthy place (thank you). Great! You’re ready to save the world! YAY US!!!
Annnnnnd, you’ve also probably figured out that ongoing healing work can have some pretty challenging moments. Healers witness a lot of suffering and hold space for people’s problems which can be draining over time.
Not to mention the suffering we put upon ourselves by way of having sky-high internal standards. There are times that if I have a healing session that is anything less than a Lazareth-standing-up-and-walking type event, I can immediately start to doubt myself.
Whatever your practice, it’s essential to make sure you have methods in place to be a healthy healer. Do not create a deficit within yourself in order to do your healing work. Healer burnout is real and can hopefully, with the right precautions, be avoided.
At the BPI we have a few principles we teach to keep you in the ring long-term. These principles apply to anyone who likes to be a “Helper Being” out there in the world—not just the professional healers.
Consent. Have you asked the person if they would actually like your help? This is big. I wasn’t exactly doing this before the BPI because shouldn’t we all help anyone we can? Isn’t this what we’re supposed to do if we’re a “good” person? After some classes, I became more conscious of how jumping in to help people was actually me treading on their personal learning process. I was too busy being a savior to recognize that I was invading other people’s agency.
Transference. Is your energy getting all soupy and commingled with their energy? If you find yourself dwelling on that person hours or days later—you probably need to find ways to separate your energy from theirs. Healings are like a hug—they gotta end at some point, or it gets weird, y’know?
At the BPI we have specific ways to clear transference. What methods do you have for being complete with your contribution to another person’s well-being?
Healings work better when they’re co-created. Is the person you’re helping able to participate in the process? Some people can’t always face their own limitations or actually make changes in the short term. Can they fully integrate all that you are trying to offer? Would you be okay if they could only receive a portion of your help?
One way to tell if you are not including them in the healing process is if you are giving a lot of advice. Inclusion looks like: listening, validating, sharing your perspective, and mindfully giving only to the degree that they can receive or integrate. Advice (which is a close cousin, or possible twin, to lecturing) is when you are making a lot of “you should _______” statements.
Healing work is mutually beneficial. Time, money, and emotional energy are all limited resources. At the BPI, we often say that, “When you give a healing you get a healing!” This means that I benefit in my healing practice because I always set the intention that I will heal just as much, if not more, than the person I’m healing. One way I do this is by finding similarities in myself that my healee is experiencing. This gives me the opportunity to examine and heal that part of myself that I was most likely previously unaware of.
If you are being 100% self-sacrificing, it’s important to be aware of that—can you find ways to help someone out that uplifts you vs. draining you? Are you careful to give only as much as you are willing or able?
Replenish. At the BPI, we often say, “Always leave a healing brighter than you started!” Do you have a routine for replenishing yourself energetically? Are you lovin’ on yourself just as much as you’re giving to the wellness of others?
Take good care, fellow healer. We need you fresh!
Coming soon—Part Three: Do you have a healing container?
Blog post written by Three Brodsky, a student and staff member at The Boulder Psychic Institute.