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Healing In Community by Julie Bock

By Julie Bock, President of the Congregation

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed.
It means the damage no longer controls your life… “
                                                                                                             -Akshay Dubey

In my day job we talk a lot about healing. We see everyone as carrying pain of some sort; a burden that we actively work towards easing. The assumption is that everyone is an “iceberg” – that we only see a tenth of what is really going on with someone. We also see pain as a natural part of life; that you can’t move through life without experiencing hurt, discomfort, sadness, and heartache. Consequently, we see the need to heal on a personal, community, or society-wide level as normal and to be expected.

A philosophy we adhere to is Trauma Informed Care. While our expert therapists provide specific treatment to address a hurting person’s healing process, we see every single person being involved in and holding responsibility for providing caring help. It’s about slowing down and listening with your whole heart to another human being, without expectation of needing to do anything other than be present. It’s about assuming everyone is inherently good and that their pain and suffering are causing them to make hurtful decisions, for themselves or others. It’s about looking hard to see not the easiest explanation for what happened (he’s a jerk, she’s a snob) but to work at compassionate understanding of another’s circumstances.

So why am I telling you all about my day job? Because it’s not really only my day job. It is the way I choose to see and interact in the world. And it comes from a deep spiritual call to help heal the hurt in the world, which frankly really needs it right now. I know as I relate in a trauma informed way with all those I interact with, I am pushing out into the world healing and peace. And what I give out I am sure I get back, at least three-fold.

That brings me to First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, my spiritual home (that I didn’t know I needed). As members of this beloved community we don’t need to be specialists in anything other than kindness, compassion, authenticity, and love to be healers in our world. We can practice a form of Trauma Informed Care with all we meet; assuming good intentions and looking for what pain is powering their puzzling or hurtful behavior. We can be in community and heal each other, and consequently heal the world. Let us truly live this ideal and work to repair the pain and mend our weary souls.


First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee  is a home for spiritual community, social justice, and intellectual freedom, active in Milwaukee since 1842. Unitarian Universalism is an inclusive denomination; core principles include recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.

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