Susan Duffy’s List for Survivors

by Bernie Siegel, MD

Susan has lived for thirty years with scleroderma. She was originally told all she had was a hope and a prayer. So she learned how to hope and pray and has been one of my teachers capable of letting love into her prison and abandoning a painful past.

THE FOLLOWING ARE FROM SUSAN DUFFY’S SECRETS OF LIVING FOR SURVIVORS

  1. Trust yourself enough to become your own teacher.
  2. Cultivate your own sense of being and spirituality.
  3. Trust in your own instincts, intuitions and leadings.
  4. Learn to flow with your own ideas concerning searching and seeking answers.
  5. Choose to have faith in yourself and your place in life.
  6. Discipline yourself to love the positive more than the negative.
  7. Let go of everything that you can’t change.
  8. Change yourself through self-acceptance and love then what happens around you won’t matter.
  9. Learn to forgive the unforgivable and you will become free.
  10. Forgive God, others and yourself.
  11. Allow yourself to feel anger, pain, joy and sadness.
  12. Express your feelings and don’t feel so alone.
  13. Everything changes.
  14. Look to other people for guidance and inspiration but not answers.
  15. Other people don’t have all the answers they are learning too.
  16. Nothing so bad ever happened to you that didn’t happen to someone else.
  17. No one is unique we all suffer the same joys and pains of life.
  18. Our problems may come in different shapes and sizes but the solutions are the same.
  19. Embrace life it will hug you back.
  20. Don’t have a need to control.
  21. Allow the order of things to take place. God knows what He is doing.
  22. Enjoy the peace knowing someone bigger and stronger is in charge.
  23. Don’t make too many schedules you will go crazy.
  24. You can’t fix everything; you are not the creator.
  25. Have faith and trust in the things you don’t understand. Life will become easier.
  26. Nothing ever happens to you that is not for your good in the bigness of things.
  27. Deal with grief, pain and loss when they happen and you won’t have to relive them.
  28. Don’t make too many plans for the future life may step in.
  29. Love is the greatest healer there is.
  30. The less you need someone the more you can love them.
  31. Rest when you need to no one else can do it for you.
  32. Never stop learning you will become bored.
  33. Behind every cloud of adversity is a silver lining. Have the courage and faith to find it.
  34. Good and bad events are the pieces of the puzzle that make life complete.
  35. God heals. Doctors get paid for it.
  36. Letting go of those we love is the greatest gift of love we can give them.
  37. Live each day as if it were your last. You will have a lot of great days.
  38. Don’t live a life of confusion you will get lost.
  39. Love unconditionally those unable to love back and you will be set free.
  40. Pray, meditate, sit quietly, take walks.
  41. Look up to something bigger than you are, life, love, God.
  42. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Then move on life is too short.
  43. Live a life of prayer and you can get through anything.
  44. Learn to laugh at yourself and you will make friends with yourself.
  45. Know you are a child of God.
  46. God loves you even when you think no one else does.
  47. Be your own person in all things.
  48. When you know yourself other people will know you too.
  49. Learn to accept criticism, advice and suggestions. They can help you.
  50. Be humble when you receive praise.
  51. Don’t get stuck following one religion, group or person move forward.
  52. Life holds the wisdom, answers and solutions that any person could ever need their life.
  53. Have the courage to explore.
  54. Open to life. Feel it, experience it, live it and you will learn to fly (transcend).

In conclusion let me say live in the moment as children and animals do. To put it in the words of one of my patients, ‘I want to be dying forever.’ If we live with a sense of time we learn how to spend it and that it is everything and ultimately what is immortal is not our bodies but our love.

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