You Are The Healer--Not Me.
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
In 1996, my healing mentor, Malai Farrell, MS, PT, was devoted to my discovery that I was the healer, not her. At first it appeared she was the healer and I needed a healer. I was experiencing excruciating pain from extensive soft tissue injuries sustained in a near fatal automobile accident just weeks before arriving in her office. Yet, as soon as I began treatment with MaLai and started the projection that she was the healer, she laid down the boundary immediately cutting through what she called "foolishness" with her sharp sword of wisdom.
In her heavy Chinese accent she barked---and I do mean barked,
"NO! I am NOT the healer. YOU are! I will touch you with all my skill but YOU must heal yourself. Your body will heal if you DO what I say and FOCUS your mind, but YOU must do the work. You are responsible for your healing, not me. My job is easy, you are the healer, you have the hard work to do."
This was a completely new and different paradigm. For thirty-six years, like most people back then, I was always taught the Patriarchal power-over paradigm of "the doctor heals". Malai knew the deep essence of healing was from within and she was not about to accept responsibility for my healing when it was me, and only me, that could determine the outcome. Given what we know about neuroplasticity, the brains's ability to heal and learn, today, she was WAY ahead of her time.
MaLai's door was open for business, but only I could show up for the appointments, endure the pain of the treatments, tune in to the deep wisdom and messages in my body, follow the signals for rest, hydration, nutrition, and gentle rehabilitative exercises. Only I could take the sleep and pain meds as directed. Only I could be impeccable with the methods of modified activities of daily living that she would teach me that could allow me to continue to function, partially, while my body healed. Only I could face the truth of the extensiveness of my injuries, give up my fear of being disabled, summon the courage to face my demons, and heal.
MaLai was strong and stable confronting projections and discursive thinking around my progress. In one session, I hollered out,
"Stop, you're hurting me!"
Oh boy, was that ever the ignorant thing to say. She had taught me how to cue her when pressure or intensity needed to be reduced so we could work together as a team, but in this moment, my victim burst out like a fire hydrant and she slammed on the cap to stop my spew. She took her hands off of me, pointed her finger in my face, and said,
"I not hurt you, I touch your pain! This is your pain. Face it. You hurt yourself."
I hurt myself.
It wasn't until that moment that I snapped out of the subconscious denial and fully embraced the extent of my injuries. I had to accept they were present in my body to ever begin to heal them.
In that moment sobriety smacked me on the heart and I realized what a gift this wisdom was to my body, my psyche, and my spirit. MaLai was completely devoted to my understanding that I was always at choice and I could communicate effectively without projecting nonsense. This was a lesson in the precision of discipline to engage my presence 100%. This was another lesson in accepting responsibility for my outcome. I felt tremendously empowered and replied,
"Thank you. Please continue but I need just a bit less pressure because I am not able to handle this intensity quite yet."
With that, the team, therapist and patient, resumed our work together.
Malai was not interested in receiving the glory for my recovery either. She was so confident in her skill and so devoted to service that she was not about to accept responsibility for the outcome of someone's healing when it depended on them, the patient, the real healer. Malai was free of the ego that would try to glam onto any glorious accolades of her being responsible for the healing when that glory, gratitude, and confidence belonged to the one that did the hard work--the patient themselves. Me.
My mentor displayed the qualities of a true Bodhisattva and never hesitated with her kindness or sharp sword of correction when necessary. Today, I carry on that wisdom teaching and recognizing the inner healing potential, of every person that comes to see me for treatment. My many years of study and development of my skills, have given me confidence in the methods. I know they work when taught and applied correctly, and today, I am devoted to my service to offering those methods in my practice. So, just like I was the healer for myself every time I needed to be, so you too are the healer, the one that must follow the instructions, do the hard work, assume responsibility for your healing, and gain the confidence in yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. My door is just open for business as your healing mentor, like MaLai's was for me, to serve up these good skills so you may be the healer that you are for yourself.
Blessings on your healing journey.
Patricia Anahata Little, BS, LMT
You get one brain, one body. Treat them well.™