:: What do we mean by wounded healer? ::

The term gets thrown around a lot these days in various circles. But what does it really mean?

It was first coined by Carl Jung as a personality archetype. However– while this personality type is certainly included in our definition– here at With Her Heart, we mean something a bit broader.

We take our cue from a book by that same name written by Henri Nouwen. According to Nouwen, “Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’

“When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”

This is what we mean here when we use the term ‘wounded healer.’ Regardless of personality or profession, we believe we all have the capacity and the freedom to be wounded healers who are invaluable when it comes to making a difference in this confusing, often brutal, yet always beautiful world to which we all belong.

This is our official invitation to you.

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:: Get to know the women behind W.H.H. ::

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Elizabeth Quashie

Writer, founder and creator of WithHerHeart.org

I am the product of my father’s all-American Southern family, chock full of football players and beauty queens, balanced with my mother’s much more reserved and strictly disciplined Korean heritage.  My life experiences have taught me the profound value of human dignity, justice, and restoration– but most of all of showing ourselves and one another crazy-stupid amounts of grace.  I am myself a survivor of domestic and sexual abuse, and since 2010 I have chosen to walk out my healing journey as an international aid worker alongside women and girls who have faced various forms of trauma, everywhere from the Americas to the Caribbean, to the Middle East and Asia.

Until recently, I very sporadically blogged glimpses of my personal journey at maryhooke.wordpress.com.  To get updates on my current work to combat sex trafficking, promote education and empower women and girls on the front lines in SE Asia– click here to join my personal email list.

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Suzanne Seidel

Contributing writer

Everyone on the planet needs a friend like Suzanne. She is of the rare breed that is relentlessly honest but has also done the hard work of learning how to tell you like it is while making sure you know you are safe. In all of her truth telling she never leaves any doubt in your mind that she cares about what you have to say and who you are. A self-described “Body Positive 20 something working out her salvation and celebrating her literacy in the Dominican Republic,” Suzanne is a rockstar at thinking deeply, choosing kindness, and never shying away from things that are hard. She blogs at Suzanne M Seidel.

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Hannah Ferrell

Graphic Design

There is literally no one in this world that can be compared with this woman. She is creative, adventurous, socially conscious, tough as nails, and the perfect example of my favorite type of person– the kind that is fiercely loyal to those she loves and who also cannot be pinpointed by a single stereotype. She is open minded and generous, but she could never be swayed from the core of who she is. She also happens to be laugh-until-it hurts hilarious. Check out her design portfolio here.

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Jamie Ratliff

Social media Guru

jamieThis woman has proven magical abilities to calm my anxious mind.  Just the idea of promotion and getting work out to new audiences is enough to cause me to break out into hives. But Jamie is unfailingly there to offer encouragement and her help along the way. She and I walked through the ups and downs of our teens and early twenties together– and when someone has your back through times like that, you can trust that they pretty much have your back for life.  She embodies what it is to be a “chosen sister.”

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We’ve also got some amazing women who are leading our Facebook page and filling it up with wisdom, light, bravery and kindness.

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Liz Haynes Lovell

When I think Liz the first word that comes to mind is OVERCOMER. She has battled deep in the trenches with mental illness, and come out a survivor. Through bravely living her truest, most authentic self for all to see, Liz has touched countless lives, breaking the taboo around mental illness, bringing those of us who suffer hope by letting us know we are not alone, and reminding us that help and grace are ALWAYS available. Liz owns her own home-based business as a Younique presenter, and she also creates beautiful made to order artwork that can be found on Etsy.

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Olivia “Livvy” Owen

wp-1481030770282.jpgfiery warrior with the smile and energy to light up any room.  She drinks in every experience and moment of life to the fullest, and it is infectious. Early dropout turned educator turned bold feminist advocate for children, youth, women and the formerly incarcerated, she is all about creating opportunity and  believing in the dignity and potential of every being. When I think Liv, I think solidarity and light.  She is a fellow yoga enthusiast and is the Co-Founder and Director of UK based charity EduHaitian.

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Priscilla Dyer

Priscilla and I only met face to face a couple times while I was working for THI collaborating with Fordham University in New York. But with Priscilla a single encounter is really all that is all it takes to recognize how remarkable she is.  She radiates compassion, kindness, strength of conviction, fearlessness and sisterhood. It shows in the things she says, the work she does, and in simply the way she carries herself. When I think Priscilla, I think “SHINE”– her light could never be extinguished.

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Suzanne Cox Short

Suzie is the ultimate example of a healer by nature. She has been through SO MUCH in life, even now living with a rare chronic illness, and it seems that with every experience the woman that you thought couldn’t possibly be love ‘her’ people any harder, somehow becomes even more loving, more generous, more passionate. When I think of Suzanne, I think of the true meaning of COMPASSION. She is the perfect example of a woman who is living out one of the core values of With Her Heart: that we belong to one another.