Numerous people have contributed to my ongoing journey of recovery. Some were positive. Some, not so much. Here’s a story of a wounded woman turned gifted healer.
Mimi was the manager at the restaurant where I was a server. People were drawn to her, but it took me a while to figure out why. At first, I thought it was her sense of humor or good looks. But those characteristics weren’t it at all. People loved her because she loved people.
She took me under her wing as a mother hen shelters a chick. I gave that woman hell. I questioned everything she said, her belief system, the way she did things. Everything was suspect. Somehow she saw through my snarky, rebellious demeanor to the real me underneath it all.
Mimi could reach me where no one else could because she knew what it was like to hurt. She knew what it was like to survive emotional, physical, and mental abuse. Instead of letting the suffering ruin her, she turned it around and became the most authentic definition of a healed person I know. I used to pray, “God, I don’t know what it is about her, and I don’t know how to get it. But whatever it is, I want it.” That may have been the dumbest prayer I’ve ever prayed. Or not. That prayer took me down a path of healing that has been both captivating and excruciating.
I once suffered from bulimia. The shame of succumbing to the repetition of eating and vomiting would send me into a near-suicidal spin. One day after I gave in to the cycle, I called Mimi. She listened quietly, without interrupting. When I finished ranting with self-hatred, she paused for a few moments. Finally, she said: “You know, Kate, I think that as God heals your inner person, the outer person will take care of itself.”
She nailed it. Her words taught me to focus on the source of pain, not the result. It’s easier for me to obsess about my actions. It’s much more difficult to reckon with the motives. Actions are merely indicators of pain and dysfunction. Like any disease or injury, if the source is dealt with, healing is the result. Topical solutions are just that: topical.
I moved away, and we lost touch. Wherever she is in the world today, I’d like to tell her this:
You were a qualified healer in my life because you sought healing for yourself. Your recovery gave me hope and courage to seek wholeness.
It is true. Healed people, heal people.