This is a question I hear from people more often than you might think. And it gets asked in a slightly lowered voice, because it has the whiff of shame about it. As healers, we are supposed to love everyone, and therefore if we admit that we don’t want to be of service to a particular person or type of person we feel that we are somehow unspiritual.
Sod political correctness. In the mind body spirit world we are living in a time of spiritual correctness gone mad. Where we hold only light thoughts, we are always in tune with our higher self and able to see the divine in everyone, and we give of our high vibrational healing energy to everyone we come into contact with. Where everything is love and light, and somewhere along the way a lot of people chose fluffiness over keeping it real. In the world of healing, this sometimes means that people miss out on understanding where they can be most powerful, because they feel they can’t admit to what are perceived as failings among spiritual types.
Myth: Healers want to heal everyone
Don’t get me wrong. I do want everyone in the world to have healing. I do wish everyone to walk a healing path, because what that would do for the world would be completely amazing. I literally do spend time visualising the world in perfection as I understand it, dreaming the good dream, and I believe it’s important to do that and it makes a difference.
I also remember what my life was like before I found this work. It was shitty. I know many people who live embroiled in illness, unhappiness, depression, dissatisfaction and a lack of meaning and direction. I wish it was different for them. But, for the majority of them, I’m not going to work on making it different.
This is part of understanding who you are as a healer
In the classes I teach, I work with healers to get in touch with their creativity and confidence. That means finding out how you, as the healer, actually want to work. Part of that is finding out who you want to work with. Last week I asked my students if they liked everyone they have ever met. I don’t. I don’t like everyone. Not by a long shot. Some people are arseholes. Not at their core – we all come from Source – but in the way they behave, not everyone is someone I like or want to work with. Some people bring out my healer’s desire, they make me passionately want to help them change their experience and become powerful. Others just don’t.
Awesome shamanic teacher Stephen Mulhearn summed it up for me beautifully in a class of his I attended a few years back. He said, ‘you’ve got to love your client. If you can’t do that, you can’t do anything for them.’ So simple, but it actually nailed it for me in a way that no one had before. For all the people who say they want to heal the whole world, that their work is for everyone, I am compelled to ask: do you absolutely and completely love everyone in the whole wide world? Don’t give me any of that higher self stuff, this is about the work you are doing in the world. Do you, as a human being, love every single person in the world, completely and unconditionally?
I am willing to bet that anyone who says yes to that is lying. (His Holiness the Dalai Lama excluded. Probably.) Returning to my class last week, I told them that I don’t like everyone, and I don’t want to work with everyone. In fact I only want to work with the ones I love, doing the things I love. And I told them that, as a healer and spiritual person, this is ok. The immediate reaction I got?
‘I am so glad you just said that! I don’t like everyone either! No one does!’
The relief I felt from them was noticeable, because healers – indeed, all spiritual types – do not admit these things too freely.
Who do you love, baby?
Finding out who you want to work with is essential if you are going to be a powerful healer. God I wish someone had told me that in the beginning. Let’s take Reiki as an example. We are all told as Reiki healers that this kind of healing works for everyone, for any kind of condition or situation. (Unless you come from one of those traditions that says you mustn’t work on pregnant women or people with pace makers. Which is total nonsense, btw.) So most of us offer our healing services with this message.
‘Will Reiki work for me?’ ‘Are you a person?’ *checks* ‘Yes! I am.’ ‘Then it will work for you.’ ‘Hurrah!’
But, as any real human being will admit, you most likely won’t love someone solely on the basis that they are a person. And as a healer, if you can’t love them, you can’t help them. This isn’t fluffy hippy crap, it’s FACT, so don’t waste your time and energy working outside of this very simple rule. I have been telling my students for a long time: you can’t build a business on the idea that this healing works for everyone, and you will not enjoy working on everyone. Please spend some time figuring out who you want to work on. It’s why I am loving the training I am doing with Corrina Gordon-Barnes – she is a woman who has got that totally figured out.
How do I work out who I want to heal?
Well, that’s your own journey really. First clue: you love them.
It’s more than that though. They must be people that you desperately want to be successful and happy in the world. People you believe can make a difference, people whose lifestyle is important to you. When I first told someone I was sick of working with people who weren’t walking their talk, that I only wanted to work with healers and spiritual seekers, I was scoffed at a little.
Now I’m on Corrina’s course, she has shown me I was right all along to want this. That if you’re running a business, that’s important to know. But I’m not even talking about business here. I’m just asking what your heart wants. Maybe this isn’t your business, maybe it’s something you do in your own time just because you love to do it. But the question is still just as relevant. Who do you want to heal?
The shameful list of people we don’t want to share our healing with
Here are some admissions about not wanting to give healing to people. Where they have come from students, they remain anonymous. Where they come from me, I freely admit it, because I don’t really think it’s shameful at all. It’s just honest.
- My family
Oh this is a juicy one. So many students have admitted this to me – usually out of ear shot of anyone else. Here’s the deal on this one: all healers are on a path of personal healing. That means you are likely still picking over the wounds inflicted on you by your family members over the years. This is true of everyone, and if you don’t want to work on a family member it means your heart knows you are not yet in a position to be unbiased and at your most effective. Either that, or you don’t trust their motives or sense that you are going to be put in a very difficult position. Whatever it is, it’s ok. You can recommend the work is done by someone you trust instead.
- My partner
Even juicier. Can’t count the times people have admitted this one to me. It’s usually followed up by ‘does this mean my relationship is ending?’ Of course, people normally know the answer to that one themselves. It doesn’t always mean that though. Again, you may just know that you are not the right person or in the right head space to help your partner. This kind of work requires extraordinarily strong yet flexible boundaries. It’s ok if you’re not ready to do this yet. It’s ok if you’re not ready to do this ever.
Note: both the categories above are people that you love. And yet, you may not want to work on them. This pesky idea of loving your client is not as simple as it looks, is it . . .
- People who won’t pay for it
I remember once watching a chat show where a vicar said that it was wrong to ask for payment to provide healing or spiritual comfort. Of course, he was getting his mortgage paid for him. Here’s the thing: there must be an exchange. It doesn’t have to be money, but if that’s what you need then that’s cool. If you feel like giving away freebies is devaluing your work, it probably is. So don’t do it. It doesn’t mean you’ll go to Reiki hell, or whatever. It means you care deeply about whether someone is prepared to invest in their healing. And that means you consider healing in terms of the long term, lasting changes it can bring. This is a good thing. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
- Anyone who isn’t me
Yes! Good. Healers are strong, they are copers, they are carers. And sometimes this means you will hit a point in your life where the only person you want to place your healing focus on is yourself, because you bloody well need it. Good. Do it. Please, I implore you to follow this instinct. It won’t last forever, but while it does it really can be done with no guilt. If there is someone, or a bunch of someones, trying to make you feel guilty then there are a few things I suggest you look at. Firstly, are they really trying to make you feel guilty? It might just be that you feel you should be serving all the time, or that you think other people should see you in this role all the time. Delve into this one – if it’s about how you see yourself, it’s an imbalance you must address. Trust me, addressing it will super charge your healing. Secondly, if people really are trying to make you feel guilty then it is an excellent sign that you are beginning to redraw boundaries in new places. Try to understand that you have shifted the goal posts here. While you have the right to do that, see if there’s a way you can explain it to others with kindness and compassion – while still remaining firm on what you need.
- People who don’t want to get better
This is one of mine. There are a large number of sick or unhappy people who don’t want to get better. I expect that they outnumber those who do want to get better. Remember, everything you are holding on to in your experience serves you, and this includes illness and unhappiness. People who are not ready to step out of their illness should be respected just as they are. Yes, I still love them (I know a lot of people in this situation) and I recognise where they are. Sometimes they go to healers even though they don’t want to do the deep work. I respect that too. But I am not that healer. I don’t take those bookings any more. I am ok with that.
- People who do not accept that there is a spiritual component to life
Another one of mine. There is a lot to be said for finding the perfect language to make our concepts accessible to people who view the world in a very material and/or scientific way. Framing the work in a way that makes it seem relevant to people who are not spiritual seekers themselves means that they can gain real results from this kind of work. It means something that would previously have been overlooked because it was too spiritual-sounding, or just wouldn’t come up on their radar, can become available and create healing results via stealth. I think it’s a great idea. But I don’t know those people, and I don’t want to learn their language. I don’t want to frame energy healing in a way that makes the NHS decide it’s ok for me to go in there and do some good for their patients, although I applaud those with the patience and focus to do it. I also don’t want to teach business people how to get in touch with their inner selves under the guise of ‘team building’ or ‘better communication’. Want this to be done in a corporate way, or with no mention of a higher power? Well, I’m going to sing into your head and teach you to journey to meet your newly returned soul part – so maybe this just isn’t going to work out. It’s nothing personal. It’s just not how I roll.
I could go on. I also don’t want to work with people who don’t know what they want or aren’t prepared to look honestly at where they are, or make changes in their lives. My work is not suitable for that. I also don’t want to work with people who are unkind to animals or who embrace scary right wing politics, because I find those people icky. Maybe that’s a failing on my part. Maybe one day I will transcend these small ideas and offer my services to lazy nazis with no self awareness, who kick the dog when they get home.
In the meantime, I have real work to do. I love it, and it makes a difference to the lives of people I care deeply about. I don’t have time to wear the mask of spiritual perfection because I am a real healer, and a real human being.
I know for a fact that this doesn’t make me a bad healer or a non-spiritual person. It just makes me an honest one. And I would rather be that than pretend to be perfect and try to appeal to everyone.
What about you? Does this article hit on some issues for you? Are there people you would rather not offer healing to, professionally or otherwise? Do you know what kind of healer you are?
About the Author: Kay Gillard is a shamanic healer and teacher who offers support and healing for healers. She offers the Become Powerful Programmes of mentoring and self-study for healing and power.