When I was a teenager, my friends used to come by the house to chat with my mom about life and love and relationship woes. She had a trifecta of superpowers at her disposal, maternal instinct, clinical skills, and social nuance that drew people in to the alter of our kitchen stove. It was a place to see and be seen, share stories that made you laugh or cry or sometimes both at the same time. There were cigarettes and real talk, and my mom would always give it to you straight. At least that's how I remember it. That is how it is even now, minus the Virginia Slims and hum of the stovetop air vent.
Though if you asked her directly, she might disagree, I see my mom as a healer. A healer of broken hearts, broken families, broken spirits. She has the gift of seeing you clearly, and that is what has alway served her kind of magic out in the world, though her approach is much more pragmatic. I know this more by hearing it from others than by witnessing it myself as I see her mostly as Mom, though for a short period in my twenties I got to work with her in a clinical setting and saw her in action. As much as she helped the kids and families she worked with, she was also a grounding force of comfort and wisdom within the greater system. The counselors of the house looked to her the same way my friends always had, though this time is wasn't the kitchen stove we huddled around, it was inside the small back porch. She simply has a way about her that draws people in to ask for advice and direction.
This morning I was thinking about this, and my mom, and these through lines in my own healing work - we are so different, yet so similar. My kids are more likely to call me an artist or occasionally an alchemist (which I love), but I'm a sort of healer too. I may not have a clinical degree like my mom, or any piece of paper that speaks to certain skills of this or that, but people come to me looking for advice and direction just the same. Maybe being a healer is more an instinct and way of being than a certain set of skills. It's a calling to use truth and empowerment to help others see and change their lives for the better.
Whether it's delivered on the couch, in the kitchen, or around a sacred fire of cigarette or sage, the message is equally as important and powerful. I'm grateful for this legacy of healing and the ways my mom taught me to see and hold space others.