Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Good News

Someone wrote me last week (when I was acutely ill) asking me how I felt about a spiritual teacher/healer on Facebook (I honestly don't remember their name) who had declared that anyone who is not 100% healthy (physically, psychologically, spiritually etc.) cannot offer assistance to others and is, therefore, a fraud.

Honestly, I chuckled and muttered, "Yeah, good luck with that one, honey," meaning- good luck with finding or becoming someone who has no illness or neuroses or struggles. And why would you want to?

The truth is, there are many traditions around the world that honour the wounded healer- the one who knows the terrain of human struggles because they have lived them, hopefully somewhat awake to and compassionate toward the many levels of being human (and, let's face it, some days are better than others for all of us on the awareness and compassion fronts.)

The person who wrote to me was outraged. I was a little surprised at my own lack of reactivity, but the older I get, the more I trust that life will handle some of our bigger delusions and ideals about how we or others "should" be.

But as I lay in bed, unable to do very much else because of pain, I wondered about the effect of such an assertion. Perfectionistic ideals do real harm (and yes, on this I speak from direct experience.) They urge us to present as someone (or something) we are not and in so doing, encourage duplicity, denial and dangerous inflation that do not lead to a happy place.

And beneath the pumped up ideal there is, inevitably, a sense of unworthiness crying out for attention and tenderness.

The good news- seriously the Really Big Good News- is that we do not need to be perfect, do not need to be completely healed, awake, enlightened or consistent to offer something of real value to each other and the world.

Now isn't that a relief?

~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House (c) 2017


  1. Hi Oriah, I just wanted to say that I wouldn't want to consult anyone who hasn't been through some stuff in life if I were looking for a healer or spiritual teacher. That person's comment seems very naive. Only through years of experience with emotion and observance are you able to fully realize the extent of everything encompassed in each of our own experiences and derive something from it that is coated in compassion and empathy so rich from the spoils of life and turn it into gold. I always love reading your emails and thank you for your beautiful writing talent. The first thing I ever read by you was The Invitation and it's my standard as to who I will decide to share the rest of my life with if it comes to that.

  2. Your light and wisdom have been a glow on the path for me on many a dark night. Allowing that light out and into the world with out the need to be perfect has only helped me love you and thus me...MORE.

  3. Stumbled upon this blog after reading "The Call," which was linked on Uplift magazine. You are absolutely brilliant, Oriah! And the words in this blog are exactly what I needed to read, and understand, today. Thank you.