Listening With Our Wounds
To enter into solidarity with a suffering person does not
mean that we have to talk with that person about our own
suffering. Speaking about our own pain is seldom helpful
for someone who is in pain
A wounded healer is someone who
can listen to a person in pain without having to speak about
his or her own wounds. When we have lived through a painful
depression, we can listen with great attentiveness and love
to a depressed friend without mentioning our experience.
Mostly it is better not to direct a suffering person's
attention to ourselves. We have to trust that our own
bandaged wounds will allow us to listen to others with our
whole beings. That is healing.
Our own experience with loneliness, depression, and fear can
become a gift for others, especially when we have received
good care. As long as our wounds are open and bleeding, we
scare others away. But after someone has carefully tended
to our wounds, they no longer frighten us or others.
"Time heals," people often say. This is not true when it
means that we will eventually forget the wounds inflicted on
us and be able to live on as if nothing happened. That is
not really healing; it is simply ignoring reality.
But when we experience the healing presence of another person,
we can discover our own gifts of healing. Then our wounds
allow us to enter into a deep solidarity with our wounded
brothers and sisters.