Please read the following letter sent to me by a young doctor in Guatemala. Her dedication to self-healing and learning about it so she can teach her patients is inspirational.
Dear Dr Bernie
I started reading the books you told me and couldn’t stop reading almost all your books. I started reading to learn how to treat in order to treat patients but suddenly I started reading them for myself, for the sake of my own wellness and applying them in my life.
So I decided to start living during this last month and celebrated my new birth on May the 3rd. My relationship with God got much better (which by religion I have struggle with it). It finally got into me that I needed to celebrate life and make changes without getting cancer. I got more in touch with my intuitive side and have delighted in it.
I started my own second bible, my manual for living, loving, healing, growing and much more..
I quit my job, which I hated.
Now I wake up and go to sleep doing imagery with your audiobooks. During my meditations I found that I have a forest inside of me. I found a woman who guides me (no name yet) just that she is dressed like a dancer and likes to dance. The exercises of the baby in a crib crying has helped me with my guilt and fears.
I started dancing, continue with my journaling and I am painting more. I want to study art, psychology and integrative medicine. I don’t want to postpone my life anymore (still haven’t figured out where to start).
I am writing you today because I just finished your last book in my list (not in the order that you published them) It was How to Live Between Office Visits. I have always liked to be there when patients die, be with them, with the family. I love the mystic in the transition and the possibility to witness it. I have found that most patients are always thirsty and ask for water, so when they say, “I thirst”, they speak to my soul and I give them more than water… I give them myself. But my relationship with death was very painful since last year, when my brother died on the 2nd of May with a recently diagnose of stage IV lung cancer… a part of me died too and death became unbearable until a read the last chapter of this book and changed my perception of death: “Nature or God heals them when they die”… I feel sad for the emptiness that I feel without him, but relief that he was cured and that Nature or God did not let us down. This understanding brought me again to my pleasure in the process of transition, now with a different and more loving relationship with death.
In your books I understood the message of words and swords… probably I could have helped more patients and my brother if I had understood this before. I did my best and I am forgiving myself. I came also to understand that the doctors (and me so many times) are not villain, but it is the way we are trained.
All the way through the surgical residency I had a great psychologist walking the road with me (who by the way knows you and introduced me to your work four years ago). She taught me how to deal with all this frustration and sadness we doctors deal with and also taught me to share with my patients and love them without fear. I started having more strong relationships with my patients and their families and that was what kept me going during the residency years and during the sickness of my brother.
In my soul it is much more meaningful to give the patients and their families support and all the knowledge about how to live with the disease and have a better quality of life than to do some surgical procedure and be so busy between procedures that I have no time to spend in this loving caring of the perioperative or the transition time. I always prefer being with the patient awake than in the OR with him asleep. I fell in love with psychoimmulo-endocrinology some years ago and it was the basis for much of what I tried to stand for in rounds and hospital work, but got frustrated with the health system in the public and private practice. It seems like we, surgeons, don’t go deep into the healing process.
I am still dealing with letting go of the OR and focus only on what is really important in my heart, and that is a mind-body-soul approach to the patient. I need to live authentically, but I still don’t have clear how to make it my private practice. All that I have loved and all that you teach is not part of the health system in my country, and in private practice this is usually expected from the palliative care doctor or psychologist/ psychiatrist (many times they mix-up the patients emotions with an illness and lack the integration and a guide to what living with a disease is).
I am guiding myself with my intuition and I am doing what I believe is best for my life, I am taking the risk of doing something I am passionate about. I am learning to say yes to what makes me happy and no to the things I don’t want to do. I am prepared to take less money for the right job. But I don’t know how to start. I would really like to learn more of how you implement it and how you manage to live from it. I would really like to hear from you. I need some guidance on how to apply all this in our health system without practicing surgery.
Can we schedule a Zoom meeting?
I am still planning to visit. I really want to meet your in person, listen to you, and of course meet Rags (thanks for sharing the poem… they are pure love on 4 legs. I am still pending on having my own pet, I will call him Milagro (that is Miracle in Spanish… it is a cat). I want to see what you do and Learn from you. I dream of an observership. I have never found a Doctor who puts together mind, body and spirit like you. I want this for my country and more of this to the world.
Let’s all live a soulful life! Hope to hear from you soon and meet you soon.
For now I have read: The Art of Healing; No Endings only Beginnings; How to live Between Office Visits; Peace, Love and Healing; Love Medicine and Miracles.
Still pending: Help Me to Heal and I am going little by little with: A Book of Miracles and Love, Animals and Miracles. On daily basis I do: 365 Prescriptions for the Soul and 101 Exercises for the Soul.
I highlighted the books you cited on your other books and I would like to read them also.
I have The Science of the Mind; The Undiscovered Self; The Body Never Lies; The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I am pending on finding the ones of the drawings—I want The Human Comedy; Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul; The I Ching or Book of Changes.
So much pending to read and learn ~