We heal ourselves.
Sometimes I am so drawn to help someone and feel that they're put on my path for that very reason. There's no direct pay off whatsoever and many seeing it from this perspective would feel that I function at an extreme loss- since I do give my life energy when I heal. I'm purely driven by the instinct to help because I can.
Subconsciously you already register commonalities that won't become apparent to the conscious mind for much longer. Like attracts like meaning you won't match with someone who doesn't have something in common with you. Moreover, for empaths who absorb the feelings of others, besides having a subconscious belief that leads to this, you absorb only what is still matching you.
And when choosing healers, often times this subconscious mechanism happens as well. You just know who can help you and who can't. Many people who approach me for healing are those who struggle with obstacles I've overcome without knowing at all we share those patterns.
I used to feel upset because I would take on the negative energy and issues of others- but what I realized is once we do accept that we still match with those energies and they bring out the same dense energies/memories trapped within us from years ago, they're ready to be released.