To get right to the point, the thing which helps provide me with inner peace is my mortality. If I am only here for a limited amount of time, then why spend any of it being miserable? I know how difficult and painful life can be, but I am still in charge and control of only one thing; my thoughts. So whether I have been abused, robbed, thrown into a concentration camp or prison, I still choose what I think and, therefore, how I feel every day.

Of course, when you find peace and are capable of understanding, forgiving and loving your enemies, you also give yourself an enormous gift. Love is blind because it does not see a world full of defects and faults but chooses to see ways of providing compassion and assistance to others. But if you do not love yourself, you will never be capable of loving others. What resides within you is seen in others.

One day while walking our dogs, I was very impressed by water and what a great role model it is. You never hear water complain about the rocks, dams and seashores which get in its way. Instead, we sit and listen to the relaxing sounds it creates with these obstacles. So I went home and wrote this poem. The title comes from Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus when he asks him how an adult can be born again when he can’t fit back in his mother’s womb.

We Are Water and Spirit

You can look into a mirror and see your image

Water reflects your image too

But unlike a mirror you must get close to the water and yourself to see the reflection

And you and the water must be still and untroubled by outside forces

And just as water may exist as a liquid, solid or vapor

You can undergo continual transformation too

Depending on your state of consciousness

You can choose to close your heart

And become hard and cold as ice

Or become sparkling diamonds on the branches of the tree of life

Or protect and guard the life which exists beneath the surface

For it is only when we are willing to go beneath the surface

Into the stillness and depth of our being that we truly find ourselves

And create the authentic path our stream should follow

As a stream of water flows over and around stones making beautiful sounds

Your blood stream can flow over obstacles, become as destructive as a tsunami

Or choose to vaporize and rise above life’s difficulties

Ready to fall back, when needed,

As gentle rain softening the soil of life

One day every blood stream will find its way to the endless sea of life

Where you will be reborn as white crystals

Which descend slowly and gently onto the frozen ground

When the world experiences a drought of love

Forming a blank canvas upon which the world can now create a work of art

 

Bernie Siegel

Bernie Siegel

Dr. Bernie Siegel, who prefers to be called Bernie, not Dr. Siegel, was born in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Colgate University and Cornell University Medical College. He holds membership in two scholastic honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha and graduated with honors. His surgical training took place at Yale New Haven Hospital, West Haven Veteran’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He retired from practice as an assistant clinical professor of surgery at Yale of general and pediatric surgery in 1989 to speak to patients and their caregivers. In 1978 he originated Exceptional Cancer Patients, a specific form of individual and group therapy utilizing patients’ drawings, dreams, images and feelings. ECaP is based on “carefrontation,” a safe, loving therapeutic confrontation, which facilitates personal lifestyle changes, personal empowerment and healing of the individual’s life. The physical, spiritual and psychological benefits which followed led to his desire to make everyone aware of his or her healing potential. He realized exceptional behavior is what we are all capable of. Bernie, and his wife and coworker Bobbie, live in a suburb of New Haven, Connecticut. They have five children and eight grandchildren. Bernie and Bobbie have co-authored their children, books and articles. Their home with its many children, pets and interests resembled a cross between a family art gallery, museum, zoo and automobile repair shop. It still resembles these things, although the children are trying to improve its appearance in order to avoid embarrassment. In 1986 his first book, Love. Medicine & Miracles was published. This event redirected his life. In 1989 Peace, Love & Healing and in 1993 How To Live Between Office Visits followed. He is currently working on other books with the goal of humanizing medical education and medical care, as well as, empowering patients and teaching survival behavior to enhance immune system competency. Bernie’s realization that we all need help dealing with the difficulties of life, not just the physical ones, led to Bernie writing his fourth book in 1998 Prescriptions for Living. It helps people to become aware of the eternal truths and wisdom of the sages through Bernie’s stories and insights rather than wait a personal disaster. He wants to help people fix their lives before they are broken, and thus not have to become strong at the broken places. Published in 2003 are Help Me To Heal to empower patients and their caregivers and 365 Prescriptions For The Soul, in 2004 a children’s book about how difficulties can become blessings, Smudge Bunny, in 2005 101 Exercises For The Soul and out in the Fall of 2006 a prescriptions for parenting book Love, Magic & Mud Pies. Published in 2008 Buddy’s Candle, for children of all ages, related to dealing with the loss of a loved one, be it a pet or parent, and to be published in 2009 Faith, Hope & Healing with survivor stories and my reflections about what they teach us. Woody Allen once said, “If I had one wish it would be to be somebody else.” Bernie’s wish was to be a few inches taller. His work has been such a growth experience that he is now a few inches taller. His prediction is that in the next decade the role of consciousness, spirituality, non-local healing, body memory, and heart energy will all be explored as scientific subjects. For many, Bernie needs no introduction. He has touched many lives all over our planet. In 1978 he began talking about patient empowerment and the choice to live fully and die in peace. As a physician, who has cared for and counseled innumerable people whose mortality has been threatened by an illness, Bernie embraces a philosophy of living and dying that stands at the forefront of the medical ethics and spiritual issues our society grapples with today. He continues to assist in the breaking of new ground in the field of healing and personally struggling to live the message of kindness and love. Dr. Siegel appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss Finding Thanksgiving After Loss.

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