Question for Bernie:
This isn’t a question—just a thank you.
A year ago, I was teetering on the edge with Stage IV double-hit non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I was undergoing massive chemo treatments and dealing with all the infections and side effects of that.
Thanks to amazing doctors and nurses, lots of love and laughter from my family, and meditations of all kinds—oh, and I think the chemo had something to do with it—I did recover. I’m now seven months cancer free.
As I was recovering, I read your books and they strengthened my own native understanding of what true health is. Thank you for devoting your life to this work. I have been thinking about starting a group in my area focused on your work. There are so many people drowning in fear and anxiety! My gratitude goes out to you.
I’m sending you a big hug and thank you. And I remind you that without your willingness to “show up for practice,” I couldn’t have been an effective coach.
It’s nice to coach talented performers.
Question for Bernie:
How does one deal with family members who say, “You’re fat.” My father especially makes me feel like I am fat.
I have struggled with acne and digestive issues for years. I would love to heal and not feel bad, or think that it is just my misfortunate to have an unloving family.
What I recommend for people who find themselves in a family where they don’t feel loved is to become a “Love Warrior.” This means that every time a family member insults you with a mean-spirited criticism, you respond by saying to him or her, “I love you.” And that’s ALL you say. Never get into an argument or try to reason with family members who treat you badly. That doesn’t work. What DOES work is to wear them down by continually demonstrating how to be a loving, supportive family member—that is, never to be cruel and critical, but always to be kind and loving.
It is not easy to do this at first, but keep at it and soon you will find that those family members will stop making comments that make you feel bad because they are no longer “getting a rise out of you.” In fact, when you start simply saying, “I love you” after each critical comment, at first the family members who have been in control of your emotions by being cruel for so long—especially your father—will be confused so they may get temporarily a little worse.
They may try to make fun of your response and continue to belittle you for a while. But stick with it. Finally they will see that you intend to take back control over how you feel about yourself. And one thing you won’t do is act the way they have acted toward you all of these years. You want to like yourself—and you DO like yourself—in spite of these cruel criticisms.
It is time you abandon your past and the hypnotic effect this repetitive criticism has on you. See yourself as your own person, completely independent of who you are related to and their opinions about anything—especially about you.
Find pictures of yourself as a child and put them up around your living space. When you look at yourself in the pictures, tell that beautiful child that you love her—she is loved.
Finally, repeat the following affirmation several times throughout every day:
- I decide what I think—nobody else can tell me who I am.
- I am healthy. I am happy. I love my life.
- I have no regrets whatsoever.
- I am thankful for all of these blessings.