Healers Won’t Reveal Their Deeper Humanity And This Needs To End
Healers won’t publicly reveal all of their humanity, and sadly, they do it to preserve their brands and businesses.
As a healer, who is friends and colleagues with many types of healers, I will tell you there is one main challenge we have in holding our role in society- we must show we are human and approachable, but also not reveal our current issues and struggles, as this will discredit our skills, and we will lose clients.
In the field of psychotherapy, the focus on how much personal stuff to share with clients is referred to as the issue of “self-disclosure”. In coaching this is referred to as our “narrative” guiding our brand. Psychics and energy workers perhaps have the least amount of pressure to share, or not to share their humanity, and this is why it is often referred to as “building rapport” or “trust building”.
All healers will tell you that they have a line they do not cross, in regard to how much of their own personal struggles they are willing to reveal to their clients. Many might say they simply don’t share much, because they would rather focus on the client’s material. They do not want to dominate the session and place the client in a position where they are now the healer’s caretaker. I value this perspective and practice, and also want to protect the client.
However, I believe that protecting clients, or potential clients, from knowing our struggles as healers, actually perpetuates the idealization healers receive. It also makes healers feel more unstable, stressed, unworthy, and unhappy in their work. Not sharing our humanity also perpetuates much of the population having deep judgement and criticism of those healers who are unmasked as having personal issues they struggle with. It also fosters unhealthy competition between different types of healers, where we can use each other’s humanity (and thus “weakness”) as a weapon against one another. Additionally, healers not sharing about their struggles also allows many potential healers on this planet to not recognize their own path as a healer, because they believe they are too unstable or unworthy to do so.
I observe that this fear of revealing humanity leads healers to present social media and website personas that are near to perfect. They may also, in the process, downplay or devalue other types of healers, and use the other healers’ humanity and imperfection against them, as evidence of their trade or service being superior. I see this so often in the rivalries between coaches and therapists.
This perfectionism and presentation of an idealized persona and lifestyle, I see especially in regard to coaches. I have noticed that when I or many I know are exposed to these types of profiles and websites, we walk away feeling ashamed and pathetic. Even I, as a coach, who was once a psychotherapist, fall victim to feeling horrible after looking at many social media accounts and websites of other healers. On my most challenging days, I have a small voice inside that begins to doubt how worthy I am to be a healer. I have seen that many of us, healer or not, upon seeing these profiles, think, “This coach/healer appears to have it all together, to have figured it out, and to never get stuck in life. How come no matter how hard I work, I can’t get there? Why can’t I fulfill my dreams like they have?”
This envy and sense of shame often hooks new clients in for business, and the coach/healer is hired to help the client strive to attain their persona and lifestyle, that they present as the final product. However, this unwittingly creates a dependency the client has on this healer to have to keep coming back, because they are striving for a perfection that doesn’t exist. The client (nor any of us) will ever overcome the givens of human existence, where we might sometimes feel powerless, lost, or stuck, while life still remains messy, to a certain extent. Over time, clients become disillusioned with one healer who has sold them the possibility of attaining the promised persona and lifestyle, and has not been able to deliver upon this. The client then either seeks another healer, or resentfully swears off healers altogether. This cycle perpetuates the idealization and the simultaneous devaluation of the cultural role of healers. Then to compensate for this idealization and devaluation, we as healers become even more perfectionistic, imbalanced, unhealthy, and paranoid about what personal information we reveal, as we sometimes question our value, and also want to remain relevant and viably competitive.
Additionally, I have treated so many people in addictions recovery who do not realize their potential to be incredible healers, and instead view their pain and instability as an inconvenience, and a pathology. They do not see that the very depths of pain they experience are actually developing their sensitivity, compassion, empathy, and ability to help others with the same issues. They don’t see that their pain is developing them into a stronger, deeper, and more insightful person than the average population. Instead, they fall repeatedly into depression and anxiety, and wonder why they can’t find their calling. They think to themselves, “If only I could avoid being such an emotional being.” When what they don’t see is their gift is PRECISELY that they ARE an emotional being!
So, what am I saying would be the potential outcome if healers actually presented whatever they struggle with, and when and how they experience getting stuck? What if we shared more of our pain processes than what is currently considered normal?
I believe healing, and each individual’s capacity to be a healer, or heal their self, would be demystified. I believe that as healers more fully accept and courageously share and embrace and express our “dark” sides, and the imperfect, ugly stuff about ourselves, we would model to the world that THIS is actually the point of healing and growth. That the way to be happy and move forward in life is to be MORE human, rather than become more controlled, performed, and curated (i.e. becoming more robotic). That the whole purpose in life is to be in a continuous process of transformation, rather than to attain perfection, and transcend the human experience.
If we all began to express and embrace our deepest struggles and darkest processes, rather than hide them, we might all, healers and non-healers, begin to experience cultures based around empowerment and self-love, rather than all of us living life in compensation for fear and low self-worth.
Can you imagine how much better the world would be, if we lived this way?