Healing vs Curing
Distinctions between healing, curing, being a Healer and facilitating healing opportunities
As we cultivate sacred medicine ways, there are some foundational aspects to really wrap our minds around. One of these is the concepts of "Healing" and "Curing" as well as feeling out how "being a Healer" is different than "facilitating healing opportunities". A big reason that I am called to bring this into our awareness is to combat common trendy language that ultimately leads to misunderstanding, pitfalls for ego, and preconceived notions from those you may work with - either as a supportive friend or in a professional manner, and as well as when You are the recipient too.
Healing is a process over time undertaken by the one who was wounded. Generally this involves tending to aspects beyond the "wound" itself, looking at what lies underneath, and all angles that the wounding affected. Achieving a healed state is to become whole and complete, perhaps even wiser and stronger than if the wound never occurred.
A cure is a remedy for symptoms. To be cured of a wound is to have no outward evidence of it existing. There may be underlying issues, or weak spots, scarring or triggering.
We can cure a wound without healing, and heal without curing!
Our spouse is abusive towards us.
Leaving them is a Cure. Seeking emotional, somatic, and spiritual therapies to remedy trauma to our nervous system from it - is Healing.
One could choose to seek such therapies without leaving and the situation remains the same - this is a process of healing without a cure.
One could leave without seeking therapeutic support and cure the situation without healing from it.
We are riding a bike, fall and break an arm. If we have it casted and allow it to repair itself over a couple months - this is a cure. If we feel anxiety the next time we ride our bike - we have some healing still to do.
Judgemental Uncle dishes out criticism at every family get-together. We spend years building our self esteem, look at his life to understand the trauma place he comes from, create tools for keeping ourselves energetically and emotionally protected during family gatherings - and still attend those gatherings and don't avoid him. This is healing without a cure.
Who is the Healer?
Truly, as we know from walking the path of wellness, we are ultimately responsible for our own healing. We gather supports along the way, we find remedies, we implement or seek cures - but when we consult a practitioner, sit with a medicine person, visit a doctor, read a renowned author, take in wisdom from podcasts; they are there facilitating opportunities for our healing - which may or may not resonate with us and which we may or may not take up. We are the ones to sift and sort which medicines to actually apply. We are the ones to change our actions. We are the ones to mend and tend to new ways of being. We learn the lessons. No one can do the work for us. A doctor can set a broken bone, but our bodies repair it. We can cure a situation, but we must choose to heal from it. Like the old adage, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." We are ultimately our own healers - when we choose to be.
Therefore to call oneself a Healer for others is a common misnomer. We can heal ourselves, but we can only provide opportunities for others to heal. Even when channelling healing energy like Reiki, it only stimulates the other's natural ability to heal themselves. Focusing a frequency that stimulates healing can be blocked or not accepted by the recipient. Likewise it may be accepted by the recipient, who begins to feel relief - and yet if there is significant work to be done underlying their issue that they are not ready for, the ailment may return - a temporary cure. If one comes for a western ‘shamanic’ healing session and receives a soul retrieval, but returns to living in a state similar to when it initially left - that soul part may leave again. It is up to the recipient as an integral participant to actually heal.
This knowing can bring a great sense of relief to those who may feel responsible for healing (or not healing) people who come to them - when offering any healing modality, as a friend and confidant, or as a practitioner. We only offer an environment and opportunity. This may be a significant distinction to pass along to any friends, clients, or community members who might come to you for support - casual or professional. It can become a trap to fall into - wanting someone else to heal the wound. That responsibility lies with the one seeking healing. Knowing this too helps stem our ego from feeling over important and keep humble. We may have great skill at providing healing opportunities. We might have deep wisdom to inspire healing to occur. We might be able to provide some cures and remedies. But we are not Healers to anyone but our own self.
Did you find resonance or interest with this article? You are welcome to join the conversation and From the Cottage community over on Substack to let us know!
Tucked up in her cottage on the west coast of Canada, Juliette Jarvis lives as a Sacred Living Mentor, Best Selling Author, and Devotional Artist. She draws on 15+ years of hosting community ceremonies and immersion programs to write spiritually supportive works, and create hand woven ritual wear & ceremonial ceramics.
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