Leah’s Blog
Editor Albany UU | Nov 03, 2020

Hurting and Healing – We’re here to help


Teresa Honey Youngblood, author of Soulful Homes writes on our theme for November – “Healing”

The best description of healing I ever heard had to do with healing being not a matter of reaching a fixed state called “cured” or “healthy,” but rather engaging in a dynamic and multi-faceted process of restoring one’s self to a new kind of wholeness.

I cherish this idea as a parent. When my children make mistakes, or suffer, or discover their own limitations, I remember that it is truly through these gaffs and disappointments that they are able to build themselves into the people they are meant to be. To protect them from all suffering is to deny them the crucial experience of learning to heal. Seen in this light, what a disadvantage, to never experience setback or trouble!

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen writes, “Living well is not about eradicating our wounds and weaknesses but understanding how they complete our identity and equip us to help others.”

We know that this is tender terrain. As Soul Matters partner, Lea Morris,  puts it in her monthly song, “In every place/that I can feel/I might get hurt/but I can heal.” We cannot heal without suffering a hurt, first. So, actually, it is only through our conflicts (within ourselves, and with others) that we are able to practice that crucial skill of resilience–learning how to heal.

Helping children heal and to build resilience is tough and tender work for parents and caretakers. Teresa urges parents and caretakers not to do this work alone this month. Parents/caretakers, would you like regularly scheduled, online drop-in parent group meetings for support? We had such a good time with them when we met in person. Let me know at dre@albanyuu.org  I’m happy to facilitate them. It’s also true that it’s hard work for any adult to look at weathering difficulties themselves and loss as a way of becoming more whole!  If you haven’t connected with a trusted friend, parenting partner, or small cohort of buddies in a while, and you’d like to connect with others at Albany UU, please reach out to Rev Sam at  minister@albanyuu.org or contact one of our Pastoral Care Associates – just send an email to listeners@albanyuu.org.

May we all be sustained and healed, at least well enough, so that we may live into the promise of a whole and vibrant society as a congregation and as a country.

Take good care, friends.


Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry