When you need a wounded healer

We all have things that make us feel loved. Things or people that no matter the circumstances we walk away feeling that a part of us has been healed.
My oldest son is an old soul. He was born I think doing yoga. Everything about him moves at a slower pace. Unless he is on the soccer field then I apologize because he probably fouled your child. The competitiveness always wins on the pitch.
I know when he is struggling when he comes and sits right next to me. It is his way of telling me that life today is hard he needs to refuel. He needs to be hugged and listened to. He is already a quiet child and doesn’t express his feelings too well. But I am not sure of any middle school boy that expresses anything but body odor well.
So he sits next to me and I know what he needs. He needs me. He needs me to be present and reachable. He needs me to listen and not speak. He doesn’t need me to buy him anything or even say a word. He just needs to know he is not alone.
For me it is words. I know my day will be filled abundantly when I open the mailbox and see a card addressed to me. It is usually the same person who writes to me. She knows me. She knows that when life seems out of balance and I am feeling lonely in a room full of people, that I need words to remind me of who I am.
For many writers this is true. We communicate with words and are healed in the same way.
So it is no surprise that we are also detroyed the very same way.
A while back I received an email that was scathing to put it nicely. I was ripped apart and told who I was. For so long I let it play over and over in my head. I could see the words that were written and I could hear them throughout my day.
It had never occurred to me until recently why this email had done so much damage to me. I knew who I was. I knew I had friends who loved and cherished me. I knew that I served a God who poured grace over me daily. I did not need to let this one person’s opinion consume me. Until I realized that the same way that words heal me they also wound me just as deeply.
If my language of love is words, then using them against me or about me will do more damage than anything ever could.
For my son it is time. He needs time. He needs to know that I am around and that his time with me is valued. So while one child may need me to hug her all day and other likes to be surprised with little gifts, he needs me to play basketball with him until the streetlights come on. So there I am in my Birkenstocks tearing up the court. Just kidding, I am just trying to get it in the basket.
But for me it is words. It is the words that you say to me and the words that you don’t. It is the words that you write and those that you speak.
Every time I write I am laying a piece of myself at your feet. I am pealing back another layer and exposing a vulnerable piece of who I am.
I think as humans, especially fellow writers, we need to be careful with this. The way we talk to each other. The way we critique each other. The way we “encourage” each other. And the way we tear each other down trying to make enough room at the table.
There is room. At the table. For all of us.
But I want to be at a table where we are listening to each other. Where we are using our words to heal.
We all have the power to heal. We have the power to be a part of the healing process. By our words. By our time. By our gifts.
So know your people. Your people around you. In your home. In your life. In your world.
Know who they are and how they are loved. How they know that they matter.
Because if you know how they are loved then you most likely know how they were wounded.
And we all need wounded healers around us.
Be a wounded healer.