When You Feel Called To Be A Healer
When you feel called to be a healer, everything flips upside down! Well, for the most part, this is what I've seen. I've shared that having a calling or being spiritually gifted can feel like a curse. Every healer has a phase of woundings, some major catastrophes to overcome, and sometimes a far as a mental health emergency. I can't tell you HOW MANY TIMES, I've heard budding healers say that they feel so out of sorts: How can I help anyone when I'm barely helping myself?!?! When I feel so broken??? I've said it. I've lived it. Oh, I also had the HOW COME I CAN SEE FOR OTHERS AND NOT MYSELF?!!-moment. I am here to tell you that it's a THING. If you took the time to ask many healers how they came into their "calling", trust me when I say that some aspects of their story would surprise you. In my tradition having a calling is often called the "sickness." More modern circles call it having a shamanic illness. It is not something most want initially, it's something that chooses you. It took a process of un-conditioning for me to want this. The root of it, though it varies, is simple. Something (divine) will call you until you answer. I think the ancestors disrupt our lives because that is when we truly NOTICE the information they are trying to direct us to. When it's all roses and butterflies we carry on as normal and settle into life. Having a calling is like the universe placing a big, 'What is normal?' question before you.
When we start to perceive the spirit world everything can feel uncomfortable, at first. When you think about what it's like to see spirits or what the modern world calls "hallucinations", or to have beings appear in the room suddenly, the questioning if you are still sane, the wondering if anyone else sees it, the bodily changes that happen when your chakras randomly make themselves aware to you, suddenly feeling heat or coldness, to be awoken a night by...well a number of experiences...it can all be a bit much.
And it gets deeper. I read a story of a healer who woke up in the middle of the night and saw a coffin floating above the bed. It scared him to the point where he ran out of the house, the coffin followed and the more he ran the more he realized it wasn't just him running. It's like he was being guided out into the forest. When he reached the destination he was being led to he had what I consider to be the most profound spiritual experience I've ever heard of. The gist of it was that he was being guided to a place where his ancestors could communicate with him clearly. That day changed his life and the difficulties he experienced before that moment were immense, mostly because he resisted and wanted to be "normal". Today, he is a powerful medicine man.
A few things to note here. This whole concept of being thrown outside of your comfort zone to learn who you truly are is a common thread. When the gifts come to the surface it can be scary at first but a greater purpose is always revealed. The journey, yet difficult, will strengthen you in every way you need to be rebirthed.
No matter the type of healer you are being called to be, it's an ancestral connection or I have yet to see it not be an ancestral connected occurrence. We are spiritual beings and these abilities lay awake or dormant within us. Since we aren't the first human beings though, often the level in which these gifts can be activated within us is connected to how someone before you developed, used and mastered these abilities. It can skip generations OR because one person refused the ancestors search for another to pick it up again. Some of you (luckily) already know your great grands were magical ;-). In the sangoma tradition, there is even a collective of ancestors who were killed and mistreated in such a way that now the descendants of those that wronged them have to make it up to them by doing certain spiritual work and rites.
There are many, many more examples of how this journey of becoming a healer unfolds. What I know for sure is that this is a major responsibility, the journey requires a new way of life, and it is a lifelong school or initiation. The way I live my life now is in constant service and humility. Not just humbleness towards the work/others but towards myself. This work calls us to be beyond truthful with ourselves, to reveal our deep wounds so that they may be healed, and to transcend difficulties so that we can truly experience solutions that we can then pass on to others. Sometimes folks admire the wisdom I've acquired and on the inside, I'm like I learned this the hard way and at times it was painful. There is beauty too though. When you breakthrough layers and all of the cosmos opens up to celebrate you...reveal wisdom to you...it feels like the greatest blessing there is.
On a more serious note, the calling can be a life or death situation. I know so many healers (including myself) who had to win the war against suicidal thoughts. I've seen that there can be this great feeling of not wanting to be in the world because something in you can't stand being here the way you've been. It's pushing you to uncover more about yourself and the meaning of life. It desires to see past the illusion of our 3D reality or one-dimensional thinking. Now I have such appreciation and reverence for life and it required to me to see it through a new lens. On the other end of the spectrum, some are so spiritually sensitive that they are in need of protection, guidance, and wisdom because when you are so open to portals and don't have to tools to deal with all that comes out of them you can find yourself in very vulnerable situations. Thus, for me, I look at being spiritually gifted as a very sensitive matter. Past abuses and traumas can also create great vulnerabilities for ones called to heal.
To the spiritually sensitive, the empaths, the seers, the astral travelers, the healers, the channellers...I say embrace the gift. Know that difficulties are not something wrong with you, it's something we all pass through and learn greatly from. There are those that run from the gift and like I mentioned before, it will keep calling and interrupting your life. I have also heard of those who were able to agree with their spirits/ancestors to use their gift differently in this life. There can be a harmony between how we answer the call and our personal goals for life in some cases.
This gift naturally calls forth the need for some form of initiation, vision quest, and journey to birth the healer in you. I know we live in a time where courses, books, and modern forms of training can be acquired. These are all helpful tools. I needed more. In fact, that's how I got here. I over-dosed on research, got to the point where I felt I needed to experience more of what I was learning and needed some form of community. I didn't know any of it would lead me to become a sangoma. I just knew something was missing and feeling different manifested in my life a number of ways.
We are being guided. Even when we don't know it. Allow yourself to be guided. The feeling of the call in itself is a piece of guidance. Notice the signs and symbols that follow. Nothing is by chance. Everything is on purpose. Guidance comes in many forms and your ancestors have already begun to orchestrate events for your path to be revealed. I was guided to my lessons and to my teachers both in spirit and human form.
There is a certain level of transformation that all healers reach before serving others yet the healing journey is ongoing. If you need support, counseling, and guidance, I invite you to schedule a reading and sessions to embrace this journey in a profound way.
I'm often asked by those who feel like the black sheep in their family, how to deal with people who find them strange, different, or don't accept your blossoming spiritual practices/transformation?
I have a lot to say about that and experiences myself but I'll just say this:
You are being set apart for a reason. If you have ever asked, what is my purpose? Surrender to the answer. When you accept yourself, a lot will change profoundly, and you will discover so much more strength. Your guardians, if you trust them, will clear so much up for you.
There are those that did not accept my calling at first, and now they ask me to interpret their dreams ;-)
Photo Credit: Hana Wolf Photography