I’ve resisted calling myself a healer. Because I don’t feel like a violet-light-showering-angel. I’m surrounding by amazingly calm, lovely, elegant healers, and I have felt out of place. Healing looks so soothing from these goddesses on earth. Surely my talents could find expression and help people if only I could express them as beautifully as they do…Then: Last week, my friend Whitney was having a hard time dealing with an esoteric pain, and I realized something in all of our pleas to heal. Healing doesn’t have to feel good.

            …I would hate to break it to some of us, but healing is not the “good” and pain is not the "bad" part of life. Just because we are getting over one pain does not mean that process is all roses and tea. Healing is the pain part, too. And if you know me, I’m neither a fan of roses nor tea, especially, though it looks as though life is idyllic if you embrace them.

            Healing is irritating, consider an itchy scab. Healing is a mystery dark place, undefined and unpredictable. Healing is faith, healing is ripped open and crudely stitched. Healing is a nasty-tasting concoction choked down, sometimes. It can be dealt with love, which I recommend—but that does not mean the process to balance will be all pleasant. That doesn’t mean the result of healing is one hundred percent pleasant and done, once you’ve recovered your urgent wounding.

            Healing is the master plan; we naturally skew toward recovery, rebalance, wholeness. It is we who create the wounds, those we can see, and those we can’t see. And it is nature, god, goddess, angels -and did I mention nature?- that knit us back together—especially for the wounds we can’t see. Perhaps the scar tissue braces us for the next adventure. But healing is not cut-and-dried. It is not a pink glowing spa bath of calm. Not always. It isn’t harp music and epiphany. Not more than a couple of times in a lifetime.

            Rather than try and be the healer than promises warmth, comfort and pleasant feeling, I may be the healer that rips off the bandage and exposes the wound to oxygen. The one who re-brakes the bone to set it again. The one who boots you out of bed with a fever, and into an ice bath to break it…I may be that kind of healer. The one who’s not going to lie or sugarcoat it. The one who’ll tell you how long your illusion has got to live…and how you can kill it before it kills you. I may be Kali. I may be Durga. I may not be pretty, but neither are maggots, who will eat the infection off your wound so you can survive to hunt again. Healing is life, and healing is spirit. It ain’t always pretty, but it happens whether we attend to it or not. Losing the illusion that healing is comfy is like losing any other illusion. We can go through denial and nostalgia. Attending healing without it soothes a whole lot of pain of resistance along the way. I feel better, anyway, with calling myself the kind of healer with her options open.