Carl Jung said that only the wounded healer can heal. While he was referring to therapists, his wisdom applies to all caregivers: parents, medical doctors, physical therapists, nurses, social workers, teachers, holistic healers, etc. The more we understand our own psychic wounds, the better we are able to care for others.
This week I'm honored to feature energy healer and writer Tina Ji, who shares her beautiful reflections about making her way onto this spiritual path.
why i want to heal others as a way to heal myself
by TINA JI
“I am adventurous. I walk through the doorways of courage and enter a new world of wonder and awe. I discover that I had nothing to fear, for my explorations lead me to treasure chests that have always existed inside of me.” –Daily Guidance From Your Angels by Doreen Virtue.
This is the beginning of the story of me and that which I came here to do. Am I scared? Yes. Stepping through the doorway of my own truth and transformation scares the hell out of me, but I am walking nonetheless. I want to recount how I’ve gotten here and where I’ll be going next. I have a way of waiting until the perfect time to say things that need to be said and to do things that need to be done. I realize that such a moment never arrives, so here goes nothing and everything as I emerge from the closet of my own restrictions. To liberate, to free my true self, is my ultimate goal, regardless of what others think and no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Here I go…!
Here’s where I’ll start: at the point where I left my familial home and thrust myself into the great big world (which actually turns out to be much smaller than I thought!). Anyway, my husband and I have been together a whopping 18 years--practically a lifetime in my book. He’s from New Jersey and I’m from Michigan. Somehow the great and eternal universe managed for us to meet and fall madly in love in Savannah, Georgia. Within months we set off cross-country to build a life in the land of opportunity, California--kind of like 49ers, only we were nearing the new millennium and we had a car instead of a horse-drawn wagon. We made our homestead and got married. I earned my Master’s degree and began teaching English at the local community colleges; my husband had landed his dream job making hit video games. A few years later, we had our first son, then a daughter, then another son. I had become a full-time mom and life was good, predictable, safe, and acceptable. This is how life often goes–-speeding like a rocket from point A to B, C, D, E, and so on. Then one day someone (my husband) takes a leap of faith, decides to follow a dream and doesn’t give up. Life becomes an exhilarating challenge and often a daily test of our endurance and resourcefulness . That’s where we found ourselves about 8 years ago when my husband risked everything to start his own business with his two partners. But the last few years have really been an accelerated version of life–-sort of a do or die, change or be changed wake up call. The call is to evolve and become the people we are meant to be. While I cannot truly write on behalf of my husband, I can say with exact certainty that I have begun my accelerated path. I may get lost in the forest of my vision and plan, but I intend to find my way to my ultimate destination of joy. Let me explain…
Nearly 3 years ago we sold our home and dramatically downsized in order to live more frugally and to be closer to our kids’ school. My husband co-owns a video game production company, and I am a stay-at-home-mom. It’s often difficult to juggle life this way–-balancing the unpredictability of running a business with my passion and priority of being available for our kids around the clock. Our lives were set in motion in an entirely different direction: from stability, familiarity, and progress to frightening and numbing uncertainty with the way things were moving. Still, we were courageous and hopeful as we moved ahead for our family. At the time, we did what had to be done and went through the motions of relocating and keeping our same routine. We feigned keeping our spirits up and our days were busy—too busy to give space and form to the pain and even resentment that I know we both felt. These intense feelings were shrouded by outward action rather than inner-reflection. Now I see that these last few years have been a test of our collaborative mettle as human beings. For me, it was time to examine my own sense of strength and power up to this point in my life.
I'm that kind of person who likes to rescue anyone and anything I perceive to be in need of kindness, love, and well…healing. I can say that it has served a certain purpose for me all my life, like making me aware of loved ones’ emotional climates and possibly, assisting me in sensing what may happen to me or around me. All my life, I have perceived myself and others to be surrounded by all manner of “brokenness”--broken homes, broken relationships, broken cars, broken pets, broken world: you name it. I’ve always been extremely sensitive to others’ moods and emotions, but I haven’t always been celebrated or well-treated for it. In fact, I was sometimes rushed, teased, bullied, not taken seriously, or even punished for my sensitivity. Ironically, I sometimes acted in unkind ways to others to alleviate my own intense feelings of sensitivity. For me, that is most painful. Although I was lucky to have a few protectors, mentors, and supporters, being a sensitive child is not an easy or comfortable thing to endure, especially when you are not the one in charge. I’m pretty sure my own children are this way as well, and I must remind myself often what that is like, as years can fade memory and harden us to life’s bumps and bruises. We forget who we once were (and really still are) in an unfulfilling attempt to get along in life as responsible adults.
Care-taking and being overly helpful (unhealthy boundaries) led to a slow implosion which manifested in dramatic outward trauma. Not only had I lost my home and sense of self in the world, but my wise and kind dad also passed that same year. As hard as it was to lose him to a long-term illness, I still could not access that part of me which needed compassion, release, and healing. I turned away from my authentic self to overly give to others—not only to my own children and husband, but to my needy neighbors as well. Looking back, I see myself adorned with a sign on my chest reading, “Take from me. I'm yours.” As our soul’s knowing is much wiser than our human fallibilities, and we get what we are longing for even if it means experiencing shock and trauma to wake up to our gifts. What I longed for was healing, authentic healing—both for myself and for others.
My unconscious longing for transformative healing was ultimately generated by a single moment that shook my core understanding of who I was and allowed me to come to the realization that I’m a healer by nature, and that healership is my life’s purpose and calling. This traumatic and perception-altering experience happened while my kids and I were on an outing with my neighbor and she unexpectedly had a seizure that knocked her teeth out on impact. In that surreal moment when I saw her lying in a pool of blood accumulating around her head, I thought that she was dead and I was unable to prevent it. I also knew that I couldn't erase the image from my kids’ minds. I was numb and going into shock, only I didn't matter in that moment, she did. This was my 21-year-old neighbor with a birth injury whom I had welcomed into my home as a guest and playmate to my kids. I'd fed her, listened to her and let her watch movies in my living room. Her parents had effectively decided that she'd found a second home with us, perpetuating the unhealthy boundary and not being completely open about her condition. It was necessary for me to sever that relationship entirely.
I’m still working on the emotion attached to that day from time to time, and until now I could not discuss this event, as it reignited flames of guilt within me and re-energized the live wire of negative emotions which eroded my sense of purpose, joy and creativity. But I turned to the light and began writing again, revived my spirituality, began a yoga and meditation practice and recently became certified as an energy healing practitioner. Today I feel a sense of purpose and a call to service in a balanced, authentic way. I still have much more do on the road ahead, and it's not easy—yet I am walking my path, as imperfectly perfect as it may be, and it is mine, born from a knowing space in the heart that trusts in the journey unfolding before me. I am open and I am free. I am joy unfolding.
Tina Ji is a Body Mind Balance Energy Healing Practitioner and spiritual writer/warrior. She also holds an MA Degree in English Literature with a certification in Rhetoric and Composition. Most importantly, she is a mom to 3 creative and sensitive children, and a wife to an innovative, warrior husband. She loves cats, yoga, hiking and all music by Prince. She can be reached for healings at email@example.com.
Get Heart-Shaped Writing delivered to your inbox weekly! Sign up for Christina McMahon's mailing list here...