“Your patients don’t come to you to get cured. They come to get known.” ~ Unknown. Nicaragua, Miraflor. 2013
I cannot recall exactly who said this to our Natural Doctors International herbal brigade in Miraflor, Nicaragua last fall. Maybe it was a villager? A teacher? A fellow brigader? Regardless of its origin, that comment came to mind today while sitting with one of my herbal clients.
It struck me — In a time and space where we work in 140 characters, Facebook updates and when it comes to healthcare — 15 minute primary-care appointments — it’s no surprise that what we each are really seeking in our health and healing journey is someone to listen. To connect. To be heard and to be known.
Frequently — for a multitude of reasons — I wonder if the time I’ve set aside for herbal consultations is fully understood or wanted in my own community. But today, while sitting with one of my clients, I heard a little voice inside that assured me my time (and perspective) was valued and of service: “You offer them the time to be known – to hear their story. To be listened to.”
My role as a practitioner? I just help connect the dots. Help line things up — usually that includes bringing plants, food. Getting them excited about being outside and with the plants around them. But sometimes not.
Holding space for my clients to decompress, open up and become light is probably the most important aspect to my work. And then, I love it when they realize that their own healing actually rests in their own hands. In that space — in their hands — is hope. That sweet, healing hope.