Dealing with human suffering is kinda my thing.
I know, that sounds weird, but stay with me here.
I didn't always know that I was going to be a healer, but looking back now I can see some clues.
When I was 6 years old, I entered a beauty pageant (all the cool kids were doing it) and they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. At the time, I said that I wanted to be a nurse. Later on, my parents watched this 80's hospital tv show called Saint Elsewhere. I told them that I wanted to have a job wearing scrubs when I grew up because they looked really comfortable. Give me a break, I was a little kid! Plus, scrubs are like pajamas for work and I'm all about comfort.
As time passed, I thought about marine biology, becoming a lawyer or maybe an archeologist. I couldn't really decide, and I was ignoring some big clues. It was like the Universe wanted me to help people (Spoiler alert: it did). It wasn't until my late twenties that I finally paid attention to the nudges of the Universe and started a pre-med course in college. However, you don't have to be a doctor, nurse, therapist or any other traditional medical job to be a healer. You are one naturally!
Recently, I've been reading a book called Archetypes: A Beginner's Guide to Your Inner-net by Caroline Myss. The concept of archetypes can be traced back to Plato. He theorized there was an "essence" that was imprinted upon our soul before we were born that directed the purpose of our lives. Carl Jung popularized archetypes in the early 1900's by separating what he observed into categories. These categories explained our behavior in a psychological context. Our archetypes would become the driving force behind our journey as humans.
Within the Caregiver archetype there are subcategories: Healer, Rescuer, Parent, Teacher, Servant, Mentor, Nurturer, Supporter, Saint, Doctor, Best Friend, etc.
The purpose of someone with a Caregiver/Healer archetype is to care for others in ways that they're unable to do themselves. Like anything, there's a dark-side to helping others. Overcoming fears of being judged, considered selfish, compassion fatigue, and losing yourself in someone else (ex. co-dependency) are all potential downfalls if you aren't expressing this archetype in a positive way.
So, how do you know if you're a healer? Here are a few signs.
1) You often think of other's needs before your own.
2) You're more comfortable helping others than yourself.
3) You feel bad asking anyone else for help and feel as if you should know how to do everything.
4) If you can't help someone, you feel guilty and like a failure.
5) You get frustrated or angry if others won't let you help them.
6) You give until you're empty but others don't seem to give much back to you.
7) You try to please everyone. You also feel the need to "fix" things.
8) Others have a tendency to take advantage of you.
9) You have a keen sense of what people really need.
10) You're a great listener and give wonderful advice.
11) You're compassionate and empathetic.
12) Often optimistic or see the greater purpose in things. You look for the silver lining.
Being a healer has less to do with your occupation (i.e. what you do for money), and more about your soul's purpose. Being a healer is who you ARE at your very core. Many of my clients express a feeling of being lost and unsure of their purpose or direction in life. If you have the Caregiver/Healer archetype, then it's important to find ways to express it. When you're actively engaged in serving others, you're satisfying your soul's direction. It seems too simple to be true, but that's it!
There are many ways to help others. It can be something you do as a hobby or volunteer activity as well as something you choose to do for your main occupation. My childhood dream of wearing scrubs came true when I became a naturopathic doctor. Even my journey within that profession changed when I went from being a primary care physician to helping others in a mental/emotional/spiritual way. So, even if you're unsure of where you're going in life specifically, just take a moment and tune into your soul's calling. The world needs healers like you!
Dr. April Darley is an expert at resolving stuck patterns of behavior through Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.). By identifying self-sabotaging behaviors, she can help you regain confidence, improve relationships, remove blocks to health, wealth and success in any area of your life.