The process of healing another person begins with yourself. Have no personal expectations for what another person should be or do. Understand that deep wounds may be beyond your help, and may never heal. Do not rush the process—your urgency will interfere with or derail the person’s sense of ownership of issues. Be comfortable with long periods of silence. Our culture rewards effectiveness and assertiveness more than it rewards mindfulness and patience. You must quiet your mind’s chatter if you are to be fully present for another person.
Being a healing presence is an art. You must employ your senses, your intuition, and your helping skills in subtle, patient ways. Healing is not curing. Your purpose is not to apply a remedy that eliminates disease or distress, or fix what seems to be wrong in another’s life. That would imply something faulty in the person or person’s situation. Nor is your purpose to make someone well. Healing simply suggests someone’s gradual progress toward a state of original soundness. Healing may be of a loss, a traumatic physical injury, a devastated life, emotional wounds, or a relationship that has been damaged. Some feel that the only unfailing, unlimited power that heals without question is love.
Approach someone you assist as a person with dignity and worth. Respect the other’s natural and unique healing capacity. Relax, and simply make available what you have to offer, realizing it’s up to the person to accept or not. If the person declines, offer other resources, your future availability, your best wishes, and let go.
Create adequate time, and a space free of distraction, to interact with the other person. Ensure as much privacy as possible, and any other conditions necessary for a sense of mutual trust. Start where the person is emotionally. Show your regard for the person by honoring his or her individuality, equality, humanness, separateness, and autonomy. Provide a calm presence, acceptance, empathy, dependability, an unselfish focus on the person, willingness to follow his/her lead, and realistic hope.
As you facilitate healing of the emotional wounds of another person, you invite and honor your own healing process. If you live your days in simple moderation, care for your needs, set appropriate boundaries, and encourage your own growth, it is likely you will eventually reach your own desired state of soundness.