I woke up up the morning with this phrase in my head “witnessing not measuring”, which was quickly followed by “witnessing not controlling”.
I’ve been wondering about that since.
That’s the essence of my work. I sit with people, engage with them, enable them to tell their stories and be heard without judgement which leads to understanding and recognition. Everything I do therapeutically is intended to support and stimulate the individual’s self-healing. I think this is something we often forget in health care – there really is only one way to heal, and that’s by the person’s own ability to self heal. Stop and think for a moment. If you have a cut, how does it heal up? If you break a bone how does it knit back together? If you have a viral infection how does your throat return to normal? Ultimately it’s done to your amazing capacity to self heal and self repair. Any therapy should assist that process if it is to be effective. It’s not ME who produces healing. It’s not my therapies which produce healing. It’s the patient’s own healing system which does the work.
And I can’t control that. Nobody can accurately predict the outcome of any particular treatment given to any particular individual on any particular day.
We like to pretend that by making measurements we can predict and so control. It’s an illusion.
I amazed every single working day by human beings and their amazing healing powers. Witnessing this is powerful. Understanding and caring come with the witnessing, and therapies are then tried within that context. It’s humbling.
Today I read in Gary Lachman’s excellent “Caretakers of the Cosmos”
Love, for Scheler, was the sine qua non of phenomenology, which in its essential form, is a way of allowing the world to be what it is, without interference by human concepts or aims. It is, in a sense, a way of listening to what the world has to say to us, from which follows the recognition that it has something to communicate, and is not simply a vast inanimate machine.
I think, by the way, there is a lot to be gained from witnessing yourself……whether through mindful meditation, reflective writing, or however you might do that for yourself.
Maybe that’s the third variation of the phrase I woke with – witnessing not judging.