What is Healing to Me?: Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation

9157171_origHere are quotes from six different people participating in a national consultation process:

‘Initially, I think healing is about recognition. Recognition, both internally and externally, of self, of others and as a collective that there are ‘issues’. That there is pain. That there is anger and hurt and sadness that stems from past events. And that this anger, hurt and sadness is handed down, like an unwanted legacy, though the generations of our people. Once there is that recognition, collective recognition, of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and of all Australians, then begins the process of healing. Healing is a change. A change of attitude, a change of behaviours that have become entrenched.’

‘It [healing] meant knowing where I fitted in the world. It was about being accepted and about belonging to someone or something. It meant feeling at peace, at one with the land and then within the family.’

‘Healing to me is being able to come to terms with the trauma I’ve experienced throughout my life, and the fact I cannot change what has already occurred, but I can start to connect with my spiritual self and take the time I need by myself to discover what the road ahead has in store for me.’

‘Healing to me also means cleansing my mind from the memories of traumatic events, and realising that whatever took place was beyond my control and wasn’t my fault.’

‘Healing comes from acceptance, within your skin and within your people and community.’

‘Healing for me is reconciling myself with my history, my family and the associated heartache, despair, trauma, addictions, self-doubt and hopelessness that comes with an inability to truly connect with other people because no-one understands my pain, loss and questions.’

> Describing Healing: Professor Helen Milroy