“OPINION” The wounded healer

I’ve been freed from a lifetime’s worth of angst and it took exactly an hour”, my friend said, her face shining with new found contentment. I was intrigued enough to find out more and duly went along to a Family Constellations workshop in a church hall in Hertfordshire. Family Constellations is inordinately difficult to explain — perhaps because it can’t really be explained, except to say that when a group of people come together with the help of a good facilitator, then magic can happen. Long-standing arguments can be healed, complex entanglements can be released and major shifts can happen.

I recently attended a workshop as an ‘issue holder’ with profoundly skilled, astute and perhaps clairvoyant facilitator, Julie Toms-Arbel. When hearing about my childhood struggles with my unwell father, Julie suddenly said “You’re exactly like Chiron the wounded healer.” Now I had to admit my knowledge of Greek mythology is sketchy so after the workshop I decided to investigate. Therein lay an interesting tale. Chiron was originally the God of Healing and in modern astrology he stands for the deep karmic wounds in the subconscious that we have come to this life to heal.

You may remember from your school days that Chiron is from the original dysfunctional family (Osbournes eat your heart out!) A child born of a violent rape, he was abandoned and rejected by both his parents and was later adopted by the Greek sun god Apollo. Later, Hercules carelessly and unintentionally, wounded Chiron — his friend and mentor — in the knee with one of his arrows. The arrows Hercules had chosen to use on this particular day were arrows coated with the blood of a monster, the Hydra. These arrows were known to cause painful wounds that would never heal. Chiron searched the entire world for the antidote and on his journey he found many natural cures for humanity’s ills, in the form of herbs and leaves etc. The story of Chiron stresses the importance of going within to find an answer and then sharing it with others. Ok so it’s a lightening trip through mythology but you get the gist!

Looking at the issues regarding my late father during my Family Constellations workshop was fascinating. My dad was a hypochondriac; he spent his life feeling unwell without diagnosis. His illness was psychosomatic and whilst as a child I felt massively frustrated that my dad was always in bed feeling ill, and consequently never really ‘available’ to me, the constellation that played out showed that the love and the bond I had with him (as most little girls have with their daddy) ended up shaping my life and my career choice. Julie Toms-Arbel, the intuitive Family Constellations practitioner, asked me to face a representative of my father and say ‘I’ll carry it for you; I will search the world to find a cure.”

My career has been one of searching for cures, finding ways to encourage other people, to inspire them to make changes that could benefit their health and wellbeing. Ironically I couldn’t cure my daddy, he passed away and never really experienced life to the full. Sometimes I wonder if he ever really ‘smelt the roses’?

However, I certainly am living life consciously and in all its abundance and recognising that I subconsciously made my choices because my father helped me to acknowledge him — better late than never. So meanwhile, wounded or not, the healer in me will carry on trying to inspire others and find cures, all from nature, even though just like Chiron, I’m far from perfect myself. It’s just as well I called my website Imperfectly Natural!

Janey Lee Grace

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