The Wounded Healer Who Couldn’t Heal Himself


I’m sure you’ve also been wounded and hurt at some point in your life. You’ve probably also wondered many times why you cannot heal yourself, even though you’ve helped many other people.

I see people who cannot work out those heart-wrenching, hurtful, and breathtaking incidents, and they’re worried that their affliction will never end. I realize that as they struggle, their pain increases. In reality, they need to give up on something. Maybe the things they need to give up are the things they were gifted when they were born, and they have to leave these things behind. This would surely cause anger and inflict pain, but if they want their pain and desperation to lessen…

People who’ve never been wounded cannot be healers, because the real power comes from the injury itself. At this point, quoting from the book Wounded Healer of The Soul by Carl G. Jung will help explain it a little:

The doctor is effective only when he himself is affected. Only the wounded physician heals. But when the doctor wears his personality like a coat of armor, he has no effect.

For this reason, let’s all set forth on a journey. Let’s bear witness to a tale that was told hundreds, no thousands, of years ago. Maybe we’ll discover something relating to ourselves.

We will quickly cover the story of Chiron (the Centaur or Horse-Man) who became a teacher to many mythological characters, such as Hercules, Achilles, and Asclepius, as well as even some gods, according to rumors. Chiron, who was born of a Nymph (a water sprite) and the titan Chronos, was abandoned to nature because of his half-horse, half-human nature.

Chiron survived nevertheless, and possibly due to being abandoned, he discovered all the beneficial herbs and specialized in the science of healing. At the same time, he also became a powerful warrior, a talented musician, and one of the most successful oracles.

The gods sent their own children to be trained by Chiron, because they wanted them to be prepared to overcome the matters that would be revealed in their fortunes. Chiron fought and accompanied many heroes, and with great success, he taught them to become warriors, healers, musicians, and prophets. He already had a deep connection with nature and its wisdom, since he himself was half horse. He embodied the perfect harmony of animal and human personas.

One day, he was accidently pierced by a poisoned arrow while at the home of his beloved friend Hercules. The poison on the arrow was deadly, but as Chiron was immortal, he could not die. The poison on the arrow instead inflicted unbearable pain. His immortality meant the pain would last forever, and despite being the teacher of healers, he could not heal his own pain.

There was only one way to free himself of this excruciating pain. Chiron would need to give up the immortality that was his birthright. He prayed to the immortal gods, and by entering into a deal with them, sacrificed his immortality to save Prometheus, who had been punished by the gods for teaching humans how to use fire. Once Chiron was mortal, he could treat his pain, because he had given up the identity of an immortal healer and accepted one of a mortal healer.  In recognition of Chiron’s sacrifice, the gods elevated him to the stars in the form of the constellation Sagittarius.

Although there are many subtexts and much hidden wisdom in this story, one of the clearest messages is this: To be free from torment, we sometimes need to give up something we’ve inherited through birth.

Chiron completed his mission by training many healers, physicians, warriors, oracles, and artists, and afterwards, he was immortalized in the sky.

All endeavors and pursuits need to be balanced according to the emotions, needs, and values at a point in time. These emotions, needs, and values are then freed from the influence of other concepts. For example, let’s say money becomes simply money, losing weight is just a number on a scale, and a partner is just what that person brings. If some notions become entwined with emotions, needs, and values, it may become impossible to develop a feeling of satisfaction from those notions. After all, it becomes more about what having money really means? What benefit does losing some weight really bring? What kind of a vacuum does a loving partner really fill?

In a similar way, what does healing and staying healthy give you? Is it strength? Is it self-confidence? Does it enable you to compare yourself with others? Does it make you feel important?

In Chiron’s story, easing the pain also meant getting rid of pain as well. He could not heal his own wound, as he might have caused enormous harm to his healer identity in the process. This never-ending pain might have brought back the pain of being separated from his mother, which was probably hidden deep in his subconscious. Nevertheless, he survived to transform into a new identity.

During life’s adventure, it will present gifts that more than compensate for anything that is missing. The tale of Chiron tells us that we should not try to keep everything in our hands, because some things occasionally need to be given up.

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