No News and Rules for Being Human

From:  Mind & Heart Matters By Bernie Siegel, MD

Dear Everybody,

First, I apologize for the editors at the Bulletin making an error in judgment. I sent them a very long column which they said they couldn’t fit into the paper and still have room for the news. It is obvious that they could have left out the news and printed my column, so I am asking you all to write or email them and tell them how you feel.  Just kidding, but when people stop me to talk it is always about getting some words of wisdom, not about the news they read in the Bulletin.

Remember that saying, No news is good news? So why do we spend so much of our lifetime reading about or listening to the news? Stop listening to the news before you go to bed, after you wake up, and during the day, and watch how much healthier you feel (and the free time you have). You’ll hear about any disasters, don’t worry. We also need a good news station you can enjoy, and which will help our children grow up with hope and love versus fear and hatred.

The only news I want to share with you today is that God loves you and so do I. My prescription is: No news for a week and then evaluate how you, your family, and your life are feeling and doing. Spend the extra time loving one another and you will soon find that you are not missing watching or listening to the news at all. You can assign someone to report significant events to you.

Next comes a set of rules for being human, but first a quote from Eknath Easwaren: When you realize the Self, you will find you have such security, such energy, such love and respect for everybody, that instead of feeling empty you will feel fulfilled, instead of feeling lonely, you will feel at home wherever you go.

That statement is so true. I find that even with strangers, I feel at home and at ease. The other night at Katz’s Deli, my wife and I were sitting in a small area with people waiting for booths and I began a conversation. After a few minutes of my having fun one man asked me, “How long have you two been married?” I was impressed that a perfect stranger felt comfortable asking us a personal question. Of course you know my answer, “We’ve had 45 wonderful years of married life. The only problem is they weren’t consecutive.” When we laugh we are family. Don’t ever forget that message of mine.

Next I will share more from some papers I came across at home. Our house may be a disorganized collection of everything, but it is a great resource for ideas. By the way, the Woodbridge Library is having a public book sale June 3-5. I just took them classic novels and health oriented books. It feels good to make use of things you have had around for decades—and knowing that others can benefit eliminates a lot of guilt.

The Rules for Being Human

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error: experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments which ultimately “work.”
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another there that will again look better than here.
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. The answers lie inside you. The answer’s to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
  10. You will forget this.

Let me emphasize it is so important to love your life and body if you want to live a long and healthy life. When you see your experiences as lessons, not mistakes or problems, something good comes from every experience, as you become a more complete human being and not just a human doing.

Learn to always be here, in the present moment, by quieting your mind. It is so true that what you see in others, good or evil, resides within you. So learn about yourself from your reactions to others.

Take responsibility for your life and who you are. Yes, others participated in creating you through your life experience but you always have the choice to accept or reject their teachings. Remember, the only news I want you to accept is that God loves you and so do I.

So when you need a tutor while in life’s school, ask us for help and read what we have written.

Peace, Love & Healing,
Bernie Siegel, MD