The Wounded Healer

The wounded healer is an army medic, rushing to his fallen comrades as they cry out in pain, desperate for his medical expertise. He moves from one to the next, tending to haemorrhages, administering pain killers, splinting broken bones. But as he works, he leaves a trail of his own blood behind.

After some time his vision blurs, he feels weak, he gives the wrong injection, he bandages the wrong limb. He starts to have a negative impact on those he is trying to help.

He isn’t being kind or loving to himself. He is ignoring the one person crucial to making his work a success.

Slowly, quietly, he loses his own resources. And soon enough, he burns out, he can help no more.

This story is not unique to the army medic. I hear this story when I work in organisations, I hear this story when I coach individuals. It’s the story of giving too much. It’s the story where we ignore our own needs.

Lack of attention to our own mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing slowly and quietly makes us less resilient.

Don’t be like the soldier on the battlefield. Take care of your own needs and then you can support your comrades in an effective, sustainable and loving way.

With love, Hannah

*Image by Sylwia Bartyzel

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