Question for Bernie:
Bernie I love you so much for the love and healing you give to others. I discovered you when looking for things to help a friend with a second dose of cancer—she’s fine now, hooray!!
My dearest friend and I both come from families that hated us from the moment of birth. According to our parents we should have been boys, but we weren’t. We were treated vilely because of that, and although we both somehow grew up to be exceptionally loving and caring people, we carry a burden of fear with us as a result of this early treatment. That is particularly true for me. I am very ill, disabled, exhausted and in fear of government reviews on benefits— argh! The strain is unbelievable.
We need to find a way to conquer the fear that can attack us when we are exhausted. It’s not just the repetitions of childhood miseries (“…you are useless, you are worthless, we hate you, why are you still alive…”) but I keep reliving the terror that I felt every time my father’s heavy tread thumped down the hall. Was he going to come into my room to attack me or rape me again or just torture me mentally? That has come alive again with this long drawn out review process, and I live it daily despite my best efforts to fight it. My dearest friend and I have devoted our lives to helping others and now we need to help ourselves, too. We are both devout Christians and try and live our faith.
I have most of your books. Can you point us in the right direction?
Many thanks and HEAPS of blessings be upon you and all those you love.
First of all, realize that you can abandon your past by doing what you are doing now—asking for help. But you must also realize that reliving the memories that fill you with fear yields a result you do not want because it only serves to still empower those who wounded you.
So let go of them, and even pray for them to free yourself of these fearful thoughts. Remember that you choose your thoughts, and have the ultimate control over them.
Please read The Immune Competent Personality Test on my website, too. Click on it under Quick Links at the top of the home page of the website, or just click on this link:
The next action to take is to “reparent yourself.” The way to do that is to put up pictures around the house of yourself as a child and love that child. Also put up words to live by, Mottoes and poems and let them keep you focused on the change you want to create.
Here is a quote that I love from the great ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu ~
Rejoice in the way things are
Be content with what you have
And when you realize nothing is lacking
The whole world belongs to you
Question for Bernie:
Following your advice in your answer to my first letter, I continue to tell him “Ich liebe Dich.” He answers, “Are you sure?” or “Maybe, but what is love for you?” or “I hope so.”
He rarely says, “I love you too.” I have the impression that he doesn’t like for me to say it. He does not want to have sex. He does hug me but does not kiss me, giving the excuse that he has a cold … he says. I don’t know what this is all about. I am just getting confused and tired and ill. What shall I do?
Try this—ask him to name his favorite animal and why it is his favorite. His answer will tell you how he really feels about himself.
This is your life and your choice, so if you don’t want to help him learn to love himself so that he can love you, make the choice to stop trying. If you want to save the relationship you have with him, then let love be your weapon.
You can change your attitude or change your life. You can accept him or leave him. If you choose to continue this for months and then suddenly skip a day, you will see how he responds when he doesn’t hear that you love him. At the root of his behavior is that he wasn’t loved as a child and so doesn’t love himself. We can’t love others without loving ourselves first.
Question for Bernie:
Thank you for your reply to my earlier e-mail. I appreciate your insights. I am going to also get some crayons and start drawing to see what emerges. It has been several years since I have done this.
I especially like “love your life and body.” This illness makes it difficult to love a body that is constantly reacting to chemicals and that can no longer function well in society.
I also want to contribute to the world in whatever way I can given my current limitations, so thank you for encouraging me to choose life and do actions that benefit the world. I am looking for ways that I can do this.
Of course, first I must choose actions that benefit myself and my healing process. You have taught me that most important of lessons!
Thank you again.
YES! You have learned the most important lesson—“…first I must choose actions that benefit myself and my healing process.”
I also want to suggest that you look at the wounds of your past and childhood. The sensitivity you describe can be a way of keeping you from going out into the world where, in your mind, you might be wounded again.
A nurse’s personality makes it hard to care for yourself and say no to the things which don’t make you happy. Try to change that way of thinking and realize that if you first take care of yourself and act authentically, you will actually be a much better caregiver when you turn your attention to others.
Under ‘Quick Links’ at the top of the first page on my website you will find “The Immune Competent Personality Test.” I highly recommend that you take a look at that.