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Shout-Out to the 4th Year Students of WCHM

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Yes, there was a shout-out last week, but there is an amazing group of students who are studying like crazy this month, preparing for their accreditation exam with the Council for Homeopathic Certification – and this is for them!

On being asked to speak on behalf of the students graduating in June 2014, I wrote a piece that is my offering of encouragement. Hang in there! The world, especially Calgary, is looking forward to you becoming homeopathic practitioners.

And…this is also for everyone… We are all students, and my guess is that we all go through a similar process when we are on a BIG learning curve!

I shared these thoughts at the convocation for my graduating class at the Vancouver Homeopathic Academy, and I gratefully dedicate them to instructors, classmates and patients, to my family, husband, children, and friends…all teachers for me these past four years.

As I reflect on the meaning of the last four years of my homeopathic education specifically and my life generally, a poem by Rumi quoted in the book Heal Thyself: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine by Saki Santorelli best expresses what I feel in my heart:

Trust your wound to a Teacher’s surgery.
Flies collect on a wound. They cover it,
Those flies of your self-protecting feelings,
Your love for what you think is yours.

Let a Teacher wave away the flies
And put a plaster on the wound.

Don’t turn your head.
Keep looking at the bandaged place.
That’s where The Light enters you.

And don’t believe for a moment
That you are healing yourself.

Thank God for teachers who can wave away the flies! My imagination takes me to the place “where there are flies, maggots aren’t far behind.” If that’s not motivation for a teacher’s surgery, I don’t know what is! But then again, we’ve all heard stories about injured people being kept alive by the maggots cleaning the pus away – the person is lying in a swamp, on death’s doorstep, and is saved because the maggots fed on the infection preventing putrefaction.

My preference is a Teacher to a maggot any day.

Back to the bandaged place…

We all enter homeopathic studies for our own personal reasons: some are very noble, generous, idealistic, and practical – while others may be unclear (I can’t even remember what mine were at the time!). But looking back on four years of study, I can’t ever remember filling out a form that said, I want to study homeopathy because I have this gaping wound inside my soul and I would like it to be healed.

And so the learning began…the first lesson of the first year…that “first layer of self-protecting feelings.” I want to learn how to heal with homeopathy, but before we begin, the Teacher asks, “Tell me about the sore.” “Oh that?” I say, “Just a scratch, nothing serious.” Then I hear her say, “…many issues will come up for you as you begin your studies. Pay attention to them. Learning will be a challenge and perhaps not for the reasons you may think.” I did not recognize the offer of a plaster. Then came the readings, the assignments, the red ink, the evaluations, the exams, the struggle, the confusion, the failures, the successes.

The first year was mostly fun, a challenge…the second year- confusion and struggle…the third year- a falling apart. The fourth year, the Teacher asks once again, “Tell me about the sore.” “Well…after four years, it’s still here. It’s more than a scratch, though. Ignoring it has not made it any better. In fact, it’s developed into quite an ulcer.” “So, tell me about the wound.” “Well…yes…it is a wound, isn’t it? For four years it has festered…for as long as I have been learning to be a homeopath.”

And as I speak of the wound, the Teacher listens; he brushes away the flies, puts on a plaster, and the Light enters. I needed the struggle, the confusion, the falling apart, the evaluations, the red ink, my fears and my failures to fully understand and appreciate that. Even though I did not write it on my application form, I did in fact embark on homeopathic studies because I have a wound. Now after four years, I have experienced grace in my life. I could not have done this by myself. And on the last class of the last year, he says, “You have what you need to practice.”

In the words of Saki Santorelli:

“Oh, servant of the healing arts…Aren’t you searching for the cure too? Aren’t you curled up close, protecting that old interior soreness, that longing for remedy you secretly hope for but hardly dare to admit?…What could have drawn you to this calling if not this reference point, this open, inside wound that needs tending? Look, my friend, we are all wounded…Fragmented and longing, aren’t we all searching for the cure that will restore us to wholeness? Isn’t helping simply an expression of our longing to recover this completeness? At its center, the profession of healing is the fulfillment of our wish to serve, to give- and to be restored. Outwardly, we direct our efforts toward restoring others, but somewhere maybe we know there really is no other.”

May I remember the wound always and be open to the Light as I become a healing art practitioner of homeopathy.

Remember – we are all healers, all teachers, all students…listen and receive.

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