Ever since experiencing my own agony from a serious incident of workplace violence in 1999, I have not presumed to suggest a prescribed time for healing for others.
The good news is that healing is possible. Time moves on, with or without us. Time has a way of granting us perspective about our lives and what we have the power to do in the here and now.
Thus 16 years later, I view myself, not only a nurse, but as a wounded healer. I embrace the philosophy of Holistic Health for myself and the nursing students I teach.
The mind - body - spirit connection...
The mind - body - spirit connection is a core element of Holistic Health. Pain is a perfect example of this connection concept. When our bodies are experiencing physical pain, there is some related emotional and spiritual effect on us as well. The feelings of emotional and spiritual pain associated with depression will lead to physical responses such as changes in eating and exercise habits.
Forgiveness and understanding of ourselves is vital. There is no obligation for us to explain every grim detail of our pain to everyone we encounter. No one will ever truly feel what you feel but ... well, you.
We all know who can be trusted with how our true feelings, including the pain we are experiencing. As a nurse, I am forever humbled when a relationship has been built to the point that patients truly share their feelings. The objectivity of a compassionate caregiver can inspire both comfort and hope.
The Three Qualities of Relatedness
R. Moss, in 'The Mystery of Wholeness', writes about the three qualities of relatedness that we can offer to each other, loved ones or patients we serve:
Since experiencing my own pain, I am able to discern the pain that others are feeling all around me. I can see pain - in expression, body posture and state of mind.
Pain is as real as the shock, anger, disbelief and feelings of betrayal we experience as a result of the pain.
As this poignant song by R.E.M. reminds us, "Everybody Hurts (Sometime)":
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