• Quick Links

  • New from Bernie Siegel – Love, Animals & Miracles

    Introducing Bernie Siegel's new title, Love, Animals & Miracles: Inspiring True Stories Celebrating the Healing Bond . The stories in this new book offer funny and heart-touching, true-life experiences that convey loving connections, amazing rescues, and healing with (and by) animals — both wild and domestic. Learn more     Available now in bookstores everywhere. Order your copy online today at:  Wisdom of the Ages, Barnes & NobleAmazon or New World Library.
  • Amelia’s Ark Angel Society

    Please support my friend Amelia Kinkade with her new charity, ARK ANGEL, which enables her to go into schools in rural Africa and educate children about wildlife conservation so that they don’t grow up to be poachers.

    Amelia Kinkade has written a book called Whispers from the Wild: Listening to Voices from the Animal Kingdom. In this book, she takes us all over the world, revealing the inner thoughts and feelings of a huge variety of animals, including dangerous ones. She shares the advice she has gleaned from working with such a diverse group of animals — words about tenderness, reconnection with nature, life after death, and the possibilities of magical awakenings inside the brains of an ever-evolving human race. Learn More

  • Ask Bernie a Question

    Have a question you would like to ask Bernie? Use the message box below, and be sure to include your e-mail address. Bernie will answer questions each Monday on his blog (see below). Thank you for sharing your question!

    Your Email (required)

    Your Question

  • Today’s Prescription for the Soul – Prescription #250 – Song of Life

    I hope that my “365 Prescriptions for the Soul,” will be a welcome and healing addition to your day. The prescriptions I ask you to fill are designed for your total well-being. They come from hard-earned wisdom and experience with the difficulties of life. They are dispensed “as written” with love. At the end of each prescription is my “Soulution” to help you develop healthy self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth. Please take the prescription I have written for you here and fill it right away.

    You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.

    ~ Doug Floyd

    The world didn’t begin with a big bang,
    But with a silence which was replaced by the symphony of life.
    Each of us had the right to choose the instrument
    By which we create our music
    And serve to maintain the harmony.
    We may all play different instruments
    And make different sounds,
    Some of which hurt our ears,
    But when we are all playing the same tune,
    In spite of our differences,
    We are in harmony.
    And, that tune is the song of songs
    called Life.

    Soulution of the Day

    Join the universal orchestra: toot your horn,
    sing your heart out, bang your drum, and harmonize.

    - Bernie

  • Share
  • A Healthy Life and a Healthy Body

    Studies reveal that women diagnosed with the same cancers as men live longer and that married men live longer than single men with the same cancers; smoke as much and have fewer cases of lung cancer than single men. It is not female hormones, or sleeping with them, that is protecting these men and women. It is their connections and relationships. Years ago I was criticized for asking people what happened in the year or two before they became sick. I was told I was blaming people and creating guilt. Recent studies show that loneliness affects the genes which control our immune response. So people who feel lonely are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases, viral illnesses and cancer. I may add that a sense of humor laughter improves survival statistics.

    I bring this up because I want women to keep their power and not live a role related to doing things for other people. I’ll make this marriage works if it kills me can kill you. Being the good girl to please parents and spouses while internalizing all your feelings is self destructive. It turns on the cancer genes. I have seen an audience of southern women become hostile to my wife and me after our presentation. I couldn’t understand what we had done wrong. A friend said, “You didn’t do anything wrong. They are jealous of your relationship. Your wife can interrupt and correct you and shares the stage. They have gone from politeness to submissiveness.”

    Please ladies let your heart guide you through life so what you do is out of love. Then you benefit from your activities as does the recipient of your love. When you can’t die until all the kids are married and out of the house what happens when they do all move out. I have watched a woman with nine kids die, twenty years after being diagnosed with cancer, when the kids all left home.

    One woman did a drawing for me entitled will the real me please stand up. It shows a mommy and a professional and you don’t need to be a therapist to know which one makes her happy. So do what makes you happy and keep your power. Don’t wait to develop cancer to obtain permission. If something is threatening your health eliminate it from your life be it a marriage, job or anything else. If it does not threaten your health then give love a chance to heal the relationship. You have a choice when your health is not at risk to change your life or your attitude. You can be born again free of your disease. Life is a labor pain related to your birthing your unique self.

    Relationships, with family or your doctor, are a struggle according to my wife and an ordeal according to Joseph Campbell. They are both talking about creating a relationship so that 1+1=3. It is not about what each individual wants but about a third entity, the relationship they create. So be sure your spouse, partner, family and doctor are willing to create a relationship you can all live with. A sure sign of future successful relationships is that the persons involved are criticized by the people they work with, the people they work for and their family. These are people who are willing to learn, accept criticism and apologize rather than make excuses or blame others. The tourists are then trained by the natives who understand the experience they are living with that the other party has never been exposed to.

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Humor & Healing, Mind / Body Medicine, Psyche & Soma Revealed by Images, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


    Most people I know only find enlightenment through their emotional or physical difficulties. That is a sad statement. Wouldn’t it be far better to be educated about life and prepared for its difficulties by the wisdom of others, rather than to need your own breakdown in order to become strong at the broken places—or expand through the openings among the broken places. Many painful events become our blessings because of what they teach us and for the voids they fill in our lives. I believe it is better to be blessed by wise parents, teachers, and spiritual leaders rather than by adversity.

    Others learn the hard way that the darkness leads them to the light, finding it a painful journey through the tunnel of darkness seeking the enlightenment. Inspiration is found in considering the journey of charcoal, as it becomes under pressure in the darkness of the earth, a diamond.

    My writing and today’s books have nothing new to say. We may have new stories, but they are only repeating ancient wisdom. So read the wisdom of the sages and learn from those who have gone before us. Which path you take makes little difference. The themes of all the great spiritual leaders of the past have much in common So if you seek enlightenment get started by paying attention to what has been said and don’t wait for a personal disaster to bring you the gift of enlightenment. You may know the saying, “If you seek enlightenment, seek it as a man whose hair is on fire, seeks water.” It takes that kind of desire to truly face the light.

    What has helped me most was my search for the answer to why we have a world filled with pain and difficulties. As a physician I saw much suffering that seemed to make no sense. Ultimately I realized it was to give our acts of compassion meaning and that what was evil was to not respond to the person with the affliction. We have free will, and when we choose to love it, the choice makes our love meaningful. The free will allows us the opportunity to become co-creators and, hopefully, some day we will create a family of man and our own Garden of Eden. As a surgeon I know we are one family, despite our actions, because we are all the same color inside.

    A veterinarian friend of mine listed five points necessary to train animals properly. As I listened to her list, I realized that the words described what the enlightened give to each other. They are Love, Trust, Respect, Consistency, and Commitment. So the enlightened treat people as well as they do their pets.

    The questions I would ask you to consider to awaken and see the light are:

    1. What is evil?
    2. Who can you hate?
    3. Who can you love?
    4. Who is the enemy?
    5. Who is the Lord you work for?
    6. What do you need to say that you haven’t said?

    I won’t answer for you, but as you seek enlightenment the correct answers will make themselves apparent.

    The last point I will share with you is this—when you are enlightened you will understand the power of love. So ask yourself why we say kill with kindness, torment with tenderness, love is blind, love thine enemies and love thy neighbor as thyself. Therein is the answer to life and enlightenment.

    Several years ago I fell from our roof, hitting my head and developing amnesia, which improved my marriage and family life dramatically. I learned a great deal from the benefits of amnesia. When my memory came back, I had a difficult time with my wife and children because now I remembered all their faults. A therapist friend said she could save me from years of therapy. I asked her how. She handed me something and said go home and read this and live what it says. What she handed me was Corinthians 1:13 which describes all the benefits of amnesia and more through love.

    I tell you this so that—until you are enlightened and capable of loving—try amnesia in your relationships and daily life. It will help. Or, if that doesn’t appeal to you, the next time you don’t know what to do and seek to make the enlightened choice, ask yourself, “What would Lassie do now?” If you prefer denominational or religious figures as choices there are a few I can recommend, but choose wisely because animals are complete and man is not, or so the Bible tells us.


    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Animals, Mind / Body Medicine, Relationships, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Touch Me and Understand What Happiness Is

    Forgive me if in this column I simply share with you some of the things that fascinate me and teach me about myself and life. I was reading about the problem thinking is. Our thoughts and ability to think are what separate us from each other and the true nature of life. When we think we know the truth we become closed minded and very unscientific. A true scientist has no fixed beliefs and so can experiment in the hopes of learning the truth.

    We need to truly be open and gain insights into the nature of life so that we can participate fully in the healthiest way. I know our ability to think offers us options but sadly too often the options we choose are destructive ones rather than unifying and healing ones. As we look at our common genome we will see how much we have in common and how we share the same ancestry. What do we need to pay more attention to then thoughts? How do we become rational, sensible human beings?

    The song Touch Me from Cats gives us a clue. How do animals think and communicate without words? Not to mention their miraculous physical accomplishments that we cannot come close to. Can you make a spider web? Do you know why it is so strong and adhesive? How do slugs and snails create lubricants that allow them to slide over razor blades without being cut? A lot better than a quart of oil does in our car. I could go on but I think you get the point.

    They have wisdom and can be taught language but they know that symbols and feelings are more important then thoughts. When we think we become irrational. ‘Think’ how often your thoughts have gotten you into trouble. The times you knew what your mate, friend, boss, coworker, relative etc. was thinking only to learn you were wrong and what ensued because of your mistaken beliefs.

    What do I recommend? What the song tells us and what I always finish my articles with. Keep in touch. Touch is about feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. They are simply feelings. How we react to them may be a problem because when we start thinking about our feelings and why we are feeling the way we are and who is responsible etc. we are back in trouble. You are responsible for your feelings. No one else makes you feel what you do. You have choices and options but most of us would rather blame someone else for our problems then empower ourselves and take responsibility for our feelings and move on.

    If you want to take charge of your life and live in the moment then accept your feelings as your creation and let them guide you. You will find that living that way gives you a different sense of time because you will change the way you live when you live in your body and not your head. Do we need to think at times? Yes, when we are evaluating experiments, options and choices that our feelings open us up to but my response is that when you are making decisions let your feelings be your guide.

    Your choice in difficult times is to change your attitude or your life. When you do you will no longer feel badly about whatever it was that had been bothering you. Even your pain will be something that you learn from and meaningful pain is always controllable. I only ask that you give it a try and see how your life works out when feelings become more significant than thoughts. I know that for some that will be difficult. Jung classified four types thinking, feeling, sensing and intuitive. However, we are all capable of being aware of our bodies no matter what personality type we are. So feel and touch and live fully.

    One word of caution from a lesson I just learned. I was feeling a bit depressed, lacking in motivation, experiencing headaches and was wondering what was wrong in my life that had me feeling this way. Hey, that’s my thing to evaluate and learn from my problems. Well I came up with some ideas but that didn’t change anything.

    Then I noticed a sensitive spot on my anterior thigh enlarge and become purple in color. I thought I must have bumped against something but when it enlarged further and I continued to feel poorly I went to a doctor friend because I was getting suspicious about the diagnosis. Sure enough I had Lyme Disease and one days worth of antibiotics had all my symptoms and feelings reversing themselves. I now feel better and realize that there are times that physical problems can lead to feelings that make us aware of an illness or affliction.

    My word of advice is to pay attention to all your feelings and evaluate them. Don’t think you know all the answers. There is a wisdom of the body that exceeds the wisdom of the mind. Like our animal friends the intuitive wisdom comes more from our feelings and their communication then our thoughts.

    If you don’t think your thoughts and feelings transmit intention to others and are felt and known by others you have a lot to learn. A friend and animal intuitive in California was able to locate our lost cat in Connecticut by getting into her feelings, thoughts and the sights she was seeing but that is another long story that has helped change my relationship and ability to communicate with living things how I feel about them. It has helped me get along much better with our chickens, cats, dogs and rabbits. If I keep at it I’ll soon be able to do the same thing with my wife, children and their families.

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Animals, Mind / Body Medicine | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Accept, Retreat & Surrender: How to Heal Yourself

    If you view illness as an opportunity, then when you get sick, you can ask yourself, “Okay, what can I learn from this disease. What do I need to look at first?”

    When I began working with the group Exceptional Cancer Patients, I noticed many of the group lived longer than their doctors expected. I wanted to know why. I began to observe and inquire and noticed that the long-term survivors were the ones who began to pay attention to their feelings. As they expressed their emotions, made wise choices and became more spiritual, their bodies benefited. The physical changes were the side effects of an altered life.

    Physicians call the most dramatic healings “spontaneous remissions.” Once we have labeled them, we learn nothing from the people in whom those remissions take place. We cannot afford to ignore these remarkable successes. We are all at risk for a great many diseases, and as the world gets smaller the list of things we are exposed to grows larger. We need to learn from people who recover and people who stay healthy.

    In his novel Cancer Ward, Solzhenitsyn wrote of self-induced healing, which is a much better term than “spontaneous remission.” Solzhenitsyn chose a rainbow-colored butterfly to symbolize healing. The butterfly represents change and the rainbow represents all of our feelings and emotions. We need to let the butterfly of change and emotional growth touch our lives if we are to heal.

    One of the gloomy patients in Cancer Ward reacts to the talk of self-healing with this complaint: “I suppose for that you need to have a clear conscience.” He is right. You do have to have a clear conscience. When you do the work necessary to clear your conscience, then the joy of living returns and the physiology of optimism restores you.

    If you are ill or facing adversity, you can begin to heal yourself by following the paths others have followed. Forgive yourself and others, live with hope, faith and love and watch the results in your life and in the lives you touch. Remember that success and healing refer to what you do with your life, not to how long you avoid death.

    What approach should you take to your illness? I have three words of advice: accept, retreat and surrender. Those three words might scare you if you were an inexperienced warrior going into battle, but others who have employed these tactics have won great victories.

    You need to accept your situation if you want to be empowered to change it. I don’t mean you need to accept any particular outcome of a disease, but you need to accept that the disease exists in your life and you are a participant. Once you accept that the disease or other misfortune has become a part of your life, you can marshal your forces to eliminate or alter it. If you avoid thinking about it, deny it or feel hopeless, you cannot play a part in changing it and your life.

    Accepting the situation does not mean accepting someone else’s prediction about what will happen to you. No one knows what your future will be. Do not accept that you must die in three weeks or six months because someone’s statistics say you will. You are better off denying your illness completely than accepting a prediction that sounds like a death sentence. The best course, though, is accepting that you have problems while denying anyone’s predictions about how your situation will turn out. Individuals are not statistics.

    When I say “retreat,” I don’t mean withdrawing in the face of a more powerful opponent. For me a retreat means withdrawing to a quiet place where I can be aware of my thoughts and feelings. The quiet place may be anywhere; the source of true peace and quiet are inside me. In my retreat I withdraw from all the demands of life, but at the same time I am fully alive to myself and my loved ones. I do not always retreat alone. I can retreat with those who are close to me so that we can heal our forces and prepare to take on life when our retreat is over. When we return we are ready to fight for our lives. My wife Bobbie and I regularly retreated when our five children were young. We needed the space and time to restore and heal ourselves.

    When you have accepted, retreated and prepared yourself to fight, then you are ready to surrender. Again, you do not surrender to outcomes but to events. We waste so much energy fighting the nature of life. Accept the nature of life and surrender to it. When you do, you will have peace. When our energy is restored, we stop fighting things we cannot control, and we can start building our lives. Surrender is not about doing nothing; it is about doing the right things.

    When you surrender to the illness, you continue to receive your treatments, explore your feelings, repair your relationships and do all the other work of healing. But while you are working, you are saying, “Thy will be done” and not “My will be done.” Surrender the pain, fear and worries and you’ll be able to keep love, hope and joy in your life. As the Serenity Prayer tells us, leave it to God and rest.

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Mind / Body Medicine, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Q & A with Bernie – March 13, 2017

    Question for Bernie:

    Today is the wake for my husband.  It’s been a long hard journey, but you have guided me every step of the way with the wisdom and love in your books and DVDs. I am so grateful to you.  I awaken every morning to see the picture of your hung on my dresser and I am blessed.  I want to express my heartfelt gratitude as I enter this phase of my life and continue to learn how to be my best self.  I know I can do this because I have my friend Bernie to continue to guide me.

    I’m happy to tell you that treatment of my brother’s cancer was completely successful—my husband’s first gift to us from heaven.  We got that good news yesterday.  I believe our hospice night nurse also wrote to you.  My heart is joyous that you have been gracious enough to make those connections.  It’s all about sharing the love and helping one another.

    I love you, Bernie.  Deepest thanks.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    I am here for you whenever you need me.

    See if you can get a copy of my book, Buddy’s Candle. It is written in simple style for those who lose a loved one.

    And remember that his consciousness is with you, so look for signs and coincidences to affirm that fact.

    Peace & love,

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Mind / Body Medicine, Q & A with Bernie, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

    Participating in the Creation of Our Consciousness

    Dear Everybody,

    Now let me see if I can get you thinking and smiling.

    What did the agnostic, dyslexic, insomniac say when he couldn’t sleep?…..There is no dog! Women who think they are equal to men……lack ambition.
    A psychotic believes 2+2=5, a neurotic knows…..2+2=4 but can’t stand it.

    Today, I want to share two letters to the editor that I have written recently.  My first letter to the editor related to an article in USA Today about God.

    Dear Editor,

    My God is intelligent, conscious, loving energy and not some identifiable being. The Creator is obviously intelligent because this universe could not be an accident. Just ask astronomers or astrophysicists what they think. Just move the earth a few hundred miles closer to the sun and we would be in big trouble.

    Water is a prime example of the intelligence. Every liquid when frozen becomes denser and heavier except for water. It becomes lighter and ice floats. Who arranged that so our planet would survive as life is protected by the ice rather than displaced and frozen to death by it. Water also has the option of being gas, liquid or solid so our planet’s needs are met.

    My God is conscious because it involves choices and the ability to respond and change related to the conditions we are exposed to. Instead of the Biblical line “there was the word,” think about “there was consciousness and consciousness was with God and consciousness was God.”

    My God is loving because the changes we are capable of making allow all living things to survive threats to their existence. Bacteria resist antibiotics and viruses resist vaccines by altering their genes. Plants survive droughts and parasites. We heal our wounds and resist disease too. Our Creator must have desired that we survive so these abilities were built into us.

    The energy had to be available to accomplish all these things and create life as we know it. Even if after seven days a rest was necessary.

    The one question many ask is: If God loves us why didn’t God make a perfect world? God’s answer is that perfection is a magic trick and not creation. We are all participating in creation and really not prepared for perfection. We are here to live and learn and hopefully someday imitate God by showing compassion to each other and all living things so our lives will feel perfect due to what we have created thanks to God.

    Here is a second letter to the editor. I sent it to the New Haven Register after it printed articles about police behavior and the incident with Yale students.

    Dear Editor,

    As a former New Haven Police Surgeon the problem with the behavior of police officers is no different than that of any profession. We must have an in depth awareness of why we choose a specific profession or the result can have destructive consequences. Look at Jack Kevorkian, and his issues with death, leading him to become a pathologist and killing people. If I became a surgeon as a reaction formation to my destructive tendencies, or an oncologist because I needed to fail, or a policeman because of my violent behavior or a psychiatrist because of my emotional problems, those I have a relationship with will suffer from my problem unless I am aware of it and understand myself and my emotional issues. We are all good at avoiding emotionally painful feelings.

    What police, doctors and others need to do is really investigate the healthy and unhealthy reasons for choosing their profession. This should be done as part of their training. When a medical student writes on his application that he wants to be a doctor because he is fascinated by the human body he has a problem, as do veterinarians who choose it because they love animals. People come in the body and bring the pets in.

    I help a lot of medical students by asking them to draw themselves working as a doctor. Many drawings show no people in them; just diplomas, desks and technical gadgets. It would be interesting to see what police officers would draw when asked to draw themselves working as police officers. It could be very therapeutic and enlightening for the individuals involved if all they see in their drawings are speeding police cars and weapons.

    We need to know ourselves and be wary of the professionals we utilize. If you are not treated properly by any professional, let them know how you felt due to their behavior. And if they do not apologize and learn from their mistakes, change who you are dealing with. If their actions are criminal, then take the appropriate steps too.

    I became a surgeon because I liked people and fixing things. I was not prepared during my training to understand that there would be many things I couldn’t fix. So I became very angry when that would occur. One day a patient I was about to discharge said, “I am giving all the doctors who cared for me a gift but not you.”

    “Why not me?”

    “Because you are always angry.”

    “I didn’t like what happened to you or what I had to do to you.”

    “But you took it out on me.”

    I apologized and he said, “Okay, I’ll give you a gift.” That moment stays with me because he helped me to become a better doctor, know myself and have his criticism polish my mirror. The best in every profession are criticized regularly because they don’t make excuses. They apologize and learn from their mistakes.

    To close, here is a question for you this week: How would you introduce yourself to God?


    You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.
    ~ Mark Twain

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Heart Mind Matters, Psyche & Soma Revealed by Images, Relationships, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

    Love and Laughter: Our Best Defense Against Violence and the Craziness of Human Existence

    Dear Everybody,

    Think of the recent headlines we all have read. The gay college student who committed suicide when his so called friends and dormitory mates videotaped his sexual encounter and publicized it and how we blow up and kill other human beings. Use people as slaves. Carry out mass slaughter, inquisitions and holocausts because of racial, religious, sexual and nationality differences. When are we going to define ourselves as the human race, the family of man, and see that as long as we define ourselves as different from one another we create separation, problems and conflict.

    Animals do not define themselves by their color, shape, eating habits or size. They instinctively care for each other when a mother of any species dies and leaves her abandoned offspring; while we murder children because they are not of the correct classification of human beings. Think of how many Jewish children were saved during the holocaust by caring human beings who were of other religions and understood we are all one family. I remember caring for a man at Bellevue Hospital who had a deep cleft in his skull. He told me, as a child, he had been run down by Cossacks on horseback who struck his skull with their swords trying to kill him because of his religion. In a past life I killed people and their animals with a sword too and know it is a big part of why I have been rescuing animals and saving lives with a knife as a surgeon. Right now in our home we have six rescued creatures. I have learned the importance of having faith in the right lord. One whose words and requests you can rely on and can trust will be for the greater good.

    What we all need to do is find the right lord so that when we follow our lord’s instructions we are enhancing life on this planet we all call home and not destroying other members of the family of man. There is a story by Dostoyevsky called The Grand Inquisitor. In it the Inquisitor enters a Christ like figure’s prison cell and tells him about his coming crucifixion and being burned at the stake. The prisoner walks over to him and “Kisses him gently on his aged lips” at which point the Inquisitor tells the guards to release him and tell him to come no more. The power of love overcomes the love of power.

    Now there is a Mel Brooks version too in his 2000 Year Old Man CD. When the Inquisitor tells him what they are going to do to him Mel Brooks’ character suggests a few more forms of torture like shoving a hot poker up his ass and more. The Inquisitor says to the guards, “He’s meshugah. Let him go. We don’t want him as a Christian.” Love and laughter are the two best weapons we have available to us if we are to end the violence and craziness of human existence.

    As many of you know our home has been a rescue shelter for many creatures especially when our kids were younger and home to help me care for them. If you want to see a more peaceful world then show your kids that every life is meaningful and to have a reverence for life as Albert Schweitzer taught. As I have said in previous posts, people who abuse animals are far more likely to become criminals than those who shelter and protect them. Our local paper reported about tigers being displayed as part of a town show and kept in small cages which some of the parents attending felt was a poor thing to do and have as part of the show. Their children will get the message about the value of life because of the example their parents are showing them.

    Now let me see if I can get you thinking and smiling. Finish or answer the following: What did the agnostic, dyslexic, insomniac say when he couldn’t sleep? Women who think they are equal to men…………. A psychotic believes 2+2=5 a neurotic knows………

    Bernie Siegel, MD

    Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
    ~ Henry Ford

    You see things and say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why Not?’
    ~ George Bernard Shaw

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
    ~ Coach Darrel Royal

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Animals, Heart Mind Matters, Relationships, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

    The Bricks of Love

    Dear Everybody,

    What benefits do love and amnesia share? Think about the comment that love is blind and what it means. What is love blind too? If you look at the Biblical description of love you will notice that love does not see faults. It is blind to the imperfections of others. I have learned from a concussion and amnesia that if you are not capable of unconditional love amnesia is very beneficial. When I experienced amnesia I got along exceptionally well with my wife and our five kids. I had nothing to get upset about because I couldn’t remember what happened yesterday. When my memory came back I was in big trouble until I saw a therapist who handed me Corinthians 1:13 and said if I did what it said it would save me a lot of therapy time and expense, as well as, help me to create a happy family. She was very right. So spread love blindness wherever you can; be a carrier.

    Another thought I had about relationships was that they are all about love and laughter. When we build our relationship with the bricks of love and use humor as the cement to hold them together our relationship will survive. The following are the words of Eknath Easwaren:

    “Jealousy comes into a relationship when we try to possess someone for ourselves. It is a very difficult secret to discover: that when we do not want to possess another person selfishly, when we do not make demand after demand, the relationship will grow and last. And it is something we have to learn the hard, hard way. This is the secret of all relationships, not only between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, but between friend and friend, parents and children. Instead of trying to exact and demand, just give, and give more, and give still more. This is the way to earn love and respect.”

    Some of you may have seen the following poem before. It was my response to being hurt when, after my wife came home from shopping, I brought in all the groceries while she ran to the bathroom. When she returned to the kitchen all she said was, “You don’t put tomatoes in the refrigerator.” Not one word of thanks or gratitude. So I wrote the following poem in response.

    Tomatoes don’t belong in the refrigerator
    I did it again
    My wife may never forgive me
    Our marriage is on the rocks
    I snore, put tomatoes in the fridge
    Walk and eat too fast
    The divorce lawyer doesn’t know how to help us
    Reach a valid settlement for my cruelty
    He suggests we try to work it out
    Give love a chance
    And don’t put tomatoes in the fridge
    I read his settlement to my wife
    She laughs
    I love her when she laughs
    And forget the difficult times
    We fire the lawyer

    The following is a note I gave my wife, over a decade ago, for a past anniversary. I discovered it the other day in my computer and read it to her again. How you would respond to it if your loved one read it to you?

    “There is no card and truly there are no words that can ever express my love for you adequately. I feel it in my body and soul and wish I could have you feel what is inside me. I hope you will continue to forgive me, as you always do, for my weaknesses and faults. Your touch and kiss are the greatest gift I have ever known. Throughout my life I could always count on your love. You were always there to come home to and I bless you and thank you for that gift. It is the greatest gift anyone could ever hope for and receive. I shall continue to work to provide you with a husband who is deserving of your love. I look forward to our years together and sharing my life with you. To see the blossoms, walk the beaches, shop, care for the pets, argue, make love and live. Bless you. I find it hard to stop thanking you because words are inadequate to express my desire to tell you what you mean to me. You are my anniversary present.”

    When she heard the sentence ‘I shall continue to work to provide you with a husband who is deserving of your love,’ Her reaction was: “So, you are still looking for another husband for me.” We both had a very good laugh.

    I think the following poem of mine says it all.

    As we ride our bicycles over the road
    She points and says, “Bittersweet,”
    “What, I can’t hear you?”
    She points again
    I look and see the beauty of Bittersweet
    I feel the peace its beauty brings
    Bittersweet, I am struck by the taste of her words
    They do not make sense
    But they explain our life together
    And point out the road to peace
    Bitter, lights left on, counter covered with things not put away,
    Laundry not folded, tired, forgetful and more
    Sweet, her love, smile, laughter, touch, caring, beauty
    Bittersweet, but I hardly taste the bitter
    She is so sweet
    Life is Bittersweet
    Thank God for you Honey
    I hope you flavor my life forever

    So don’t try to be normal. Being normal, as Jung said, is only desired by those who feel inadequate.

    Now finish the following: The remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us……… I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating and in fourteen days…….. Marriage is a wonderful institution…….

    Everyone needs recognition for their accomplishments, but few people make the need known quite as clearly as the little boy who said to his father, “Let’s play darts. I’ll throw and you say ‘Wonderful!’  ”
    ~Author Unknown

    Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.”
    ~Kahlil Gibran

    Bernie Siegel, MD

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Heart Mind Matters, Relationships, Stories | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Introducing Yourself to God

    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

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Heart Mind Matters, Mind / Body Medicine, Parenting & Family, Relationships, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Q & A with Bernie – January 29, 2017

    Question for Bernie:

    You have helped me so much when my father was going through cancer and when I had to comfort a friend with a mass on her ovary. I have read your books and live by your example because I wholeheartedly believe in it.

    The past 4 months I have been observing a small lump in my left breast. My family has no history of breast cancer but often have cysts. I had a baseline mammogram at age 35 a year and a half ago and everything was fine, although they had to take a second look because of how dense the tissue was. So after observing this lump for 4 months (keep in mind I had never done self-exams before this), I decided to call my friend who is a PA at my OB’s office. She says it sounds like a cyst but she wants another mammogram even though I expressed my concerns about unneeded radiation. I do believe this is needed however.

    Although I do not believe this is cancer (and have been meditating off and on telling my blood supply to shut off nutrients to the lump for a couple months), I cannot shake this feeling of nervousness. If they tell me they need to take another look because it’s suspicious, how do I stop myself from going to the dark place? I know I have the tools, but I need you to tell me how to implement them when faced with blinding fear.

    Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Yes, get a mammogram. There are newer x-ray machines with less radiation and better imagery.

    You are in charge of your thoughts, so several times a day start visualizing having a mammogram and getting good news. It will help reprogram your mind and body.

    Remember to laugh for no reason every few hours, too.  Just bring to mind something you have experienced that made you laugh out loud.

    Ask yourself why you would choose to waste your life’s time being fearful.  You are a thoughtful, strong person, and you are in charge of your future, so be confident that you can rely on yourself to eliminate fear from your life. Then set about putting as much positivity into your life as you can—love your body and your life.

    Peace & Love,

    Question for Bernie (follow-up to question above):

    Wow…I need you to reel me in again. I was doing well yesterday after your last email. Then I informed my sister of what was going on since she’s had many benign tumors in her breasts, and she cluelessly scared the shit out of me with symptom facts.

    And I had to tell my husband; I told him it’s just a cyst, but want to be sure. Seeing the fear and the thoughts rolling around in his head made me nervous. But my sister was the kicker. Now I’m having a hard time focusing on the good news thoughts. They feel distant and are always interrupted by the bad, which I stop right away, but my stomach is constantly nervous.

    This is reality and I’ve always wondered how you help people get past this—just keep forcing the good thoughts? Just keep saying to myself “it’s a cyst?” How do I believe it once again, though?

    Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    You believe the “good thoughts” because you have faith in both yourself and your Lord that you can handle whatever comes.

    How you were brought up is the problem, but you have grown stronger in your understanding of the Mind-Body connection and no longer need to fall back into old thinking habits that make you vulnerable to irrelevant information.  We can’t always avoid hearing “horror stories” that people blurt out without thinking.

    Always speak up right away before your sister or anyone else can dominate the conversation, and simply state that you would appreciate it if others did not share their experiences. Be firm and walk away if you must.  Practice survivor behavior—show your body that you love it and intend to protect your life and your body from the unnecessary (and potentially emotionally damaging) opinions/stories of others.

    First of all, rewrite your history by “re-parenting” yourself—learn to love your life and your body no matter what comes your way.  Give yourself complete permission to prioritize YOU.  It is not selfish, as many people were told as children—it is showing your intention to contribute to society by helping people believe in themselves in all areas of life.

    When you believe, peace will come.

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

    Click the links below to read similar posts
    Posted in Humor & Healing, Mind / Body Medicine, Q & A with Bernie, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment