How would you introduce yourself to God? As a member of the Board of Directors of Heaven I have always found the admission line in Heaven to be an interesting process to observe. When people are asked how they want to be introduced to God and their answers relate to their profession, role, religion, personal information or the word me God says, “Come back when you know who you are.” Hopefully this poem I wrote will help to get the idea across.
The other day I introduced my right hand to my body
I thought they ought to know each other better
People said, “That’s crazy. They already know each other.
They’re all part of the same thing
Come from the same thing
Made of the same thing
They don’t need an introduction.”
I was thinking when I get to heaven and they ask me if I want to be introduced to God
I’ll say, “That’s crazy. We already know each other.
We’re all part of the same thing
Come from the same thing
Made of the same thing.
We don’t need an introduction.
We already know each other.
Just tell Him his right hand is here.”
So, when it is time for your introduction to God answer, “It’s you” or “It’s your child.” Then there is no separation from the divine which the word me and the other answers create. The best answer I ever heard was from a high school student who said, “Tell God his replacement is here.” When God laughs our lives benefit too. As long as we are on this subject let’s look at our relationships with people and get into them and marriage, which is a most significant one, too.
Joseph Campbell is one of my never ending teachers and his description of marriage was that it was an ordeal. When my wife told a group of women that being married to me was a struggle she was saying the same thing. In other words a relationship is work and not about self interest but about creating a relationship, or third entity. So 1+1=3 as the two individuals create the third entity. I believe this is true for me as a doctor with my patient and for all of us who are interacting with other people for whatever reason. I have always said that if you want to have a successful relationship then each person involved should take 60% responsibility for the relationship. Then the extra effort makes a difference and the relationship survives.
When we are busy blaming others involved in the relationship nothing works out. Remember blaming someone versus giving them feedback, or criticism, are two different things. I always say if you want a good doctor or roofer, for that matter, find one who is criticized by the people he works with, the people he works for and his family. Why does that make them good? Because they are willing to listen, not make excuses or blame others and learn from their mistakes. So their work and relationships get better and better. Their image gets polished by the comments they are willing to accept and learn from.
I would also say that we can learn more from how we feel about others as well as how they feel about us. I always look for people who think I am inspiring because I know the inspiration they see in me resides within them. And if I coach them skillfully they will exceed expectations no matter what it is we are trying to do from surviving a disease to painting a portrait. The sad part is how many people fear relationships and challenges because of their past relationships.
Two examples: One is a woman whose mother always belittled what she did and dressed her in dark colors so she wouldn’t be noticed. Her comment; “My mother’s words were eating away at me and maybe gave me cancer.” The cancer and my words helped her to be reborn and buy a red dress. She eliminated the wounds of past relationships and created a new relationship with herself and life.
Another woman was screaming at her plastic surgeon for making her ugly after he removed a malignant skin lesion. He asked me to see her since there was no cosmetic issue. I asked her, “How would you describe your experience of cancer?” And I recommend you all ask your self that question but substitute your problem for the word cancer.
She answered, “A failure.” I asked how that fit her life rather than her feeling her body had failed her and she said, “My parents committed suicide when I was a child. I must have been a failure as a child.” That led to her avoiding all relationships so she would not be hurt again. Due to the cancer she started a process of labor pains which transformed her life. Remember in life and relationships a curse can become a blessing if we are willing to learn from it and bring love into the story. Life is a never ending labor pain of self birth. To quote a woman with cancer, “The canvas is never finished. There is always more color on the palette.”
I will close with my friend Carmine’s way of resolving these problems. He learned from his Mafia experience and is a very different man today. As he said, “I do not want to be a member of a family everyone fears. I want to be a member of a family everyone loves being a member of.” He told me there are four ways to resolve a difficult relationship. If it is threatening your health and life you eliminate it. That scares some people but he goes on to say you move out, get a divorce, resign or get the other person to depart. However, if your health is not an issue ask yourself how bringing love into the relationship could resolve the problem. I said love, and not like, because as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “It’s a good thing Jesus told us to love one another and not like one another because there are some people I can’t like.”
Now finish the following: After looking at the bill for my surgery………. I believe there’s intelligent life in the universe except……. Women don’t have hot flashes they……..
Bernie Siegel, MD
Aspire to inspire before you expire.
~ Ann Onymous
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
~ Lao Tsu
If you never replenish the well it will run out of water.
~ Monica Krewsky