The Role of the Healer, Now (there is nothing wrong with you)

Once, long ago, in a faraway land called Ojai, CA I met with a healer of importance. I had become friends with a client who invited me to a colleague’s house for a gathering. This spiritual teacher was visiting from India, and this event, created in his honor, would allow each invited to share a private moment. As I waited to walk into the guest house where he was staying, to receive an individual blessing, I was so nervous. What would he see? Would he pinpoint that elusive thing causing my suffering? Would he see what was wrong with me?

I walked in. He looked to be my age, maybe a few years older, and wore a bemused and light expression. He was very present. I recall waiting… what felt like an interminable few minutes, in silence. Then, he said: You are a patient person. This is good. This serves you well on your path. And that was that. Yes, that was all. This was my life changing spiritual blessing from the famous and remarkable teacher.

I recall feeling disappointed, and validated -though I wouldn’t fully allow myself to acknowledge it, then. What he reported was Truth, grounded in presence. He saw me.

But, the cure, the answer, the RESULT I thought I wanted, not gotten… on I went to the next healer. I mean, I was f’d up, right? I could give you the whole list of how and why. This went on for a long while.

Today, I interpret all of this differently. I spent years looking for what was “wrong with me”, going from healer to teacher, some of which affirmed there was something wrong with me and kept trying to figure out “the problem”. Finally, I learned the only problem was thinking something was wrong at all.  The problem was the way I judged myself: for my sensitivity, my vulnerability, different-ness from the “norm”, for all my weird symptoms, for the way I never fit in…etc. My interpretation was the issue. It was the lens I was looking through that was wrong. Not me.

A Healer’s Role Now

The healing journey, all those tools and teachers, of course, helped to build my toolkit. But when I operated from a paradigm of “wrong,” I thought my role as a healer was to:

-Help, fix, resolve, answer or rescue someone from their issues.

-I had a responsibility to them, because they had entrusted me after all!

-I felt obligated to go there with their story, to buy into the drama and conflict they self-reported as the truth (on some level I thought to not do so would not be empathetic, kind) – despite when my intuition said otherwise.

-I felt I needed to heal them with the answer they were looking for, instead of what was coming through me as True and Right in this moment. And, as a result, I rarely felt like I was enough.

This would lead to me feeling a lot of pressure and responsibility. Feeling and being cagey with reporting the Truth as I received it, I stopped feeling authentic. Ultimately, this belief structure- buying into the world, others, myself included, as broken and in need of healing – made it hard for me to want to work with people at all. In tune with years of clearing out the old conditioning of “something wrong with me”, I discovered I wanted to work differently.

Now, here’s what I do when I’m with others:

-I see the other person as already whole and complete.

-It is not my job to heal another, or provide a winning epiphany. They have the answers already.

-My only commitment/responsibility is to be in grounded presence and stillness within myself.

-I focus more on what I feel inward than what another is saying, and deliver Truth from there.


I have been reflecting on the meeting with the Healer lately because its simplicity was so profound, so aligned with where I am now. He sat in presence and he communicated just one thing to me. Yet it took me years to recognize that presence is THE deepest healing. Holding a loving and awake presence. Seeing the other person as whole. These are the healings. Not bells and whistles. Not magic wands. What we are seeking in all the tools that we use, the healers we visit, is the Light within them. Don’t get me wrong, I love my magical tools! But the tools are in service of Presence. To paraphrase teacher Tosha Silver, God always wins out over astrology. Always.

Why am I telling you this, now? Whether you define yourself as a healer, or not…the world clearly is having “issues”. Many people are wondering how to help, how to be the change, struggling with a sense of helplessness. As a healee and healer, this is what I know to be True: We can only heal our self, and others, through seeing what’s whole and complete, already. If someone has a broken arm, we don’t focus on the broken arm, we focus on the resilience of the body to repair. This is Love. This is also Truth – All of it. If an arm is broken, it definitely needs a specific kind and quality of attention. We give it Love, tenderness, extra care. We also see: The arm is still an arm. We don’t redefine it as broken. We never doubt its capacity to heal, and to do all the things it was created to do.

Right now, I encourage you to make a habit of deciding to see things as whole. Yourself. The World. It may take practice, and a little Ego convincing, but trust me, you will be more connected to Truth, and feel peaceful, when you do. Again, acknowledge what’s broken, but know that by not allowing the identity of broken/wrong to overtake Truth, we hold Light for restoration to occur, naturally, when that wants to happen. I say when that wants to happen because the Divine is mysterious. Sometimes things need to travel a certain trajectory for reasons we cannot possibly comprehend now. If we build an identity around “broken”, though, it is very easy to believe in broken on all levels. When all we see is broken, we become that. Many of us have already been there, done that.

Start with: I’m okay. You are okay. It’s all okay. As an energy practice, go into your Ground, Root and Center, then ask your self Am I okay? Trusting that first response, no matter what you feel. And then to keep doing it.

There is something very profound in being able to receive a simple awareness given in the Light of Presence. Which is also to say, Some people cannot see/hear it until they are ready. I wasn’t, until I was. The U.S. is undergoing a crisis of understanding. It will take individuals time and patience to come around. All our attempts to convince, are just that, attempts to convince. I use this phrase, “If you have to explain it, they are not in the position to understand.” Literally, when you find yourself caught up in the energy of explaining- they aren’t in the position to understand it. Yet. Awareness moves at different rates. So, we see ALL as whole, poised to understand what IS. Because Truth is always ready and right here. We know the broken arm knows how to heal itself.

Again, bring it back to Now, to this moment. Be present to You. This is your role. The Divine doesn’t need you to do anything or be anyone other than your beautiful Self. There are no conditions to this, other than those you create for you, based on what feels right for you, right now. This simple (yet not easy) act of being totally present and connected to the Divine YOU is the highest calling any of us have. It is what sends ripples of awareness through Consciousness, including to those who cannot register it yet. Be OKAY. So, that as they continue to wake up, YOU are still right here, still seeing them as whole, smiling (because you are in Truth)…patiently awaiting the dawn of their understanding.

-Jessica Shepherd
healer, artist, author of Follow the Moonlit Path

artwork: by Jessica Shepherd, available as print under “Art”

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