Learn to Embrace the Art of Healing

Below is Whisper #28 from my latest book, 48 WHISPERS, which is a collection of photographs and personal meditations created across a decade of travel to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the surrounding northern plains. 

Pain and trauma have been inextricably linked to the human experience. Setbacks and losses are universal. Everyone will be wounded. As a result, healing—the act of reconciliation and recovery—is perhaps the most important skill that humans can acquire. Yet where are the venues through which this critical capacity to recover is taught, cultivated, and nurtured? How do we learn to identify and transcend the wounds that dwell within us all?

First, we must look inward where the negative energy of all past injuries and injustice resides. While wounds are often inflicted or initiated by another, rarely can that offending party provide the cure. Instinctively it makes sense to look for healing at the scene of the crime, but wounding and recovering are separate acts. We often fail to heal because we look in the wrong place to find and release the residue.

Healing demands a willingness to journey within and stare vulnerably into the darkest corners of our past experiences. What is the true nature of my discomfort? What are the seeds of its origin? Am I ready to heal or has my narrative become too attached to the wound itself?

I made the decision a while ago to see my voice disorder as a gift, not a curse. Initially, I pictured healing as the restoration of my former voice, but in time I came to realize that healing is actually the opposite. Healing for me is the acceptance of my voice exactly as it is.