Quotations about healing. Healing is to restore to health. These words of wisdom look at healing in a number of different ways.

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We have to believe that even the briefest of human connections can heal. Otherwise, life is unbearable.

— Agate Nesaule

I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.

— Albert Camus, The Plague

It is rather paradoxical for our task-focused self when it isn’t the quality of the practice, but our honest and humble acceptance of the emerging moment, that prepares us for nonjudgemental, agendaless presence with another. Being kind to ourselves can be helpful as we seek to practice this way of being, because it places us at cross-purposes with our culture, where performance and improvement are so valued and the limits and variability of our humanness are cause for criticism and correction.

— Bonnie Badenoch

We are never too old or too wounded to receive healing waves of the personal delight of another. … at its best, it transcends being delighted with a particular happening and is instead the reflection to us, and often to one another, of an enduring bond that is bigger than any single occurrence between us. When we are small and see that look on our parents faces, there is such an affirmation that we are good, lovable, welcome. These experiences go deep into us and become an implicit foundation for drawing in warm companions throughout our lives.

— Bonnie Badenoch, The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships

The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent—strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering. It has the power to heal the psychic harm and injuries that lead to aggression and violence, abuse of power, mass incarceration.

— Bryan Stevenson

I understand that I don’t do what I do because it is required or necessary or important. I don’t do it because I have no choice. I do what I do because I’m broken too. My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression and injustice had finally revealed something in me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn’t just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish, it also exposed my own brokenness. You can’t effectively fight abusive power, poverty, inequality, illness, oppression, or injustice and not be broken by it.

— Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy

I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.

— Carl Jung

Grant me the grace to dissolve my negative thoughts about myself today. I breathe the grace of kindness into my heart. And may the grace of healing flow abundantly to every one in need of help.

— Caroline Myss

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estes

That our pains and longings are thousandfold and can be anesthetized in a thousand different ways is as commonplace a truth as that, in the end, they are all one, and can only be overcome in one way. What you most need is to feel…

— Dag Hammarskjöld

To follow Story is to understand the path of healing. Each of our stories is a universe. Each one of us is living a story. To discover its shape and essence is essential to soul making.

— Deena Metzger

The body keeps the score: If the memory of trauma is encoded in the viscera, in heartbreaking and gut-wrenching emotions, in autoimmune disorders and skeletal/muscular problems, and if mind/brain, visceral communication is the royal road to emotion regulation, this demands a radical shift in our therapeutic assumptions…. The challenge of recovery is to reestablish ownership of your body and your mind — of your self. This means feeling free to know what you know and feel what you feel without becoming overwhelmed, enraged, ashamed, or collapsed.

— Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

In healthy development, trust evolves. How do we decide whether to trust? We share a feeling with someone and watch their reaction; if the response feels safe, if it is caring, noncritical, non-abusive, the first step of trust has developed. For trust to grow, this positive response must become part of a relatively reliable pattern… Trust develops with consistency over time.

— E. Sue Blume

It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm.

— Florence Nightingale, 1859

War has always been the grand sagacity of every spirit which has grown too inward and too profound; its curative power lies even in the wounds one receives.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.

— Gabor Maté

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.

— Henri Nouwen

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.

— Hubert H. Humphrey

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.

— Jean Vanier

If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.

— Joanna Macy

We don’t have to surrender our individuality to experience the world as an extended self and its story as our own extended story. The liver, leg, and lung that are ‘mine’ are highly distinct from each other, thank goodness, and each has a distinctive role to play. The larger ‘selfness’ we discover today is not an undifferentiated unity. As in all living systems, intelligence depends on the integrative play of diversity. Diversity is a source of resilience. This is good news because this time of great challenge demands more commitment, endurance, and courage than any one of us can dredge up out of our own individual supply. We can learn to draw on the other neurons in the neural net and view them with gratitude. The acts and intentions of others are like seeds that can germinate and bear fruit through our own lives, as we take them in and dedicate that awareness to the healing of our world.

— Joanna Macy

The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present, and when you’re worrying about whether you’re hopeful or hopeless or pessimistic or optimistic, who cares? The main thing is that you’re showing up, that you’re here and that you’re finding ever more capacity to love this world because it will not be healed without that. That was what is going to unleash our intelligence and our ingenuity and our solidarity for the healing of our world.

— Joanna Macy

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

— John Muir

Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.

— John Stott

Some say they get lost in books, but I find myself, again and again, in the pages of a good book. Humanly speaking, there is no greater teacher, no greater therapist, no greater healer of the soul, than a well-stocked library.

— L.R. Knost

Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

— L.R. Knost

Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across difference to participate in God’s actions bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.

— Letty M. Russell

The cure for all ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and the crimes of humanity, all lie in the one word ‘love.’ It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.

— Lydia Maria Child

When you forgive, you heal your own anger and hurt and are able to let love lead again. It’s like spring cleaning for your heart.

— Marci Shimoff

We are like a torn tapestry and we all have to be responsible for making the threads that we weave golden.
It is the only honorable thing to do.

— Marianne Williamson
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