Question for Bernie:
My brother-in-law is preparing for double bypass heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, next Friday. He is a 57- year-old true-blue “Iowan Mid-westerner” from Des Moines who enjoys his Busch light beer, Camel cigarettes, and NASCAR on a daily basis. And, he is the most kind-hearted, generous, and loving person I know. The family has a long history of cancer as well.
After reading your books, Love, Medicine & Miracles and Peace, Love & Healing, I am convinced that he would most definitely benefit from your meditation techniques and self-healing. I also believe that he would be remiss not to ask his surgeons to give him positive messages during surgery. Perhaps he could write down the positive messages he wants to hear during the surgery, and then ask to have them read to him.
Am I trying too hard to help out? Am I out of place? I just don’t know the best approach to present these gifts to him. I’m not afraid to approach him, but am concerned that the family will think that I am a lunatic. They are not ones that adapt to new ideas or change very easily. I am so proud of myself for discovering you and thank God every day. I’ve started on the path of self-healing from depression, and perhaps can set the best example myself for my family. Are you planning on any speaking engagements in the Des Moines, Iowa area this year?
It’s great for you to give him the books and more, but just tell him that he may find them helpful. Resist the temptation to tell him what to do. Just let him know you care, but that you are not telling him what to do or criticizing him.
If he responds to the books, of course that’s a very good sign. If he doesn’t, remember that the best thing you can do is listen to him so he can hear himself talk. From hearing himself talk about things in his own words, he will find out who he is and what he needs to do.
It is clear to me that he did not grow up feeling loved, or he wouldn’t be doing the things he is doing to himself that have resulted in this surgery. Without telling him that you are following my advice about re-parenting someone who clearly did not get the love he needed growing up, give him that love by just showing that you care—especially by just being a very good, supportive listener.
Question for Bernie:
I am struggling with the diagnosis of a failing congenital aortic heart valve. I am scared of surgery, even though they tell me that replacing valves is very commonly done these days.
I feel trapped, as I have been told that congenital bicuspid heart valves cannot fix themselves, but that they just get totally worn out and fail. I am vegetarian, do some meditation, have high anxiety, have some family issues with my younger sister, and have been happily married for 31 years with a very supportive husband who loves me. Also, I have a good job in a medical clinic.
I am now 58 and so worried. I am now worried about worrying and making everything worse. I had to learn hypnotherapy for my anxiety issues. I am aware of the strong mind-body connection and especially the heart-brain connection. I am not taking any medications except for hay fever and other allergies.
Do you have any advice to offer me? I know you are probably really busy. Many thanks.
If you love yourself, you reach out for help. Yes, I am really busy, but I’m here for you.
The problem is with your thoughts and images. You are visualizing the worst and preparing your body for that result instead of for successfully going through the surgery and healing.
Get my CD “Getting Ready” and listen to the part for future surgery. Or, start visualizing the surgery going very well, and see yourself as healthy and vibrant when it is over. Do the visualization several times.
Another thing to do that has been shown to change body chemistry in a very positive way during the healing process is to laugh every few hours for no particular reason. Think of something in the distant past or recently that made you laugh out loud. Then, at least three times every day, think about that memory and laugh out loud. Your husband might be able to help you remember some really funny things.
Draw yourself in the operating room and send your drawing to me. Let’s look at what you see. Will it be an empty black box or a room filled with caring people and God, all giving you loving support?
You might find that my latest book, The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing will help you to understand how you can change your thoughts to be positive and worry-free once you see them in your drawings. If your thoughts are powerful enough to cause anxiety with their negative spin on people and/or situations in your life, then they are certainly powerful enough to change and give you a positive, loving perspective on your body and your life. You are choosing which way your thoughts bend, so stop bending them toward a dark, negative, worry-filled world and bend them toward a world of light, love, and positivity. You can—you are the “decider.”
Question for Bernie:
How can a friend best communicate with a cancer survivor when the survivor is focused on only physical limitations?
Here is a quote from a great and very wise woman.
Deafness is darker by far than blindness.
You need to listen to your friend until she hears what she is saying, and then you can take credit for helping.
Telling her what to do doesn’t work if she isn’t ready to do anything. She needs to be ready for a life coach and willing to show up for practice.
So for now, just be a love warrior, using love (and listening) as your weapons.