Thursday, November 3, 2011

" Heal The World ... "

"There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me"
~ Michael Jackson ~ Heal The World ~

Recently, I read about Dr. Bernie Siegel.  For some this name may sound familiar ... Dr. Siegel is a physician who has cared for and counseled countless terminally ill patients.  He embraces a philosophy that bridges medicine and spirituality.  And although he has a few best-selling books, I am intrigued by his book titled Accept, Retreat & Surrender: How to Heal Yourself.  Heal Yourself resonates quite nicely with me, but I was curious of the acceptance, retreat and surrender aspect.  

For me, now, I look at my illness as an opportunity.  What am I to learn from this dis-ease and where do I start.  Knowledge is power right? ... so I have been super keen to learn as much as I can.  According to 
Dr. Siegel he asks the question "What approach should you take to your illness?" and has three words of advice .. Accept ~ Retreat ~ Surrender.  He says those words might scare us if we were inexperienced, but according to him, those that have employed these tactics have won great battles.  

Acceptance ...  Dr. Siegel says we need to accept our situation if we want to be empowered to change it.  He doesn't mean we need to accept any particular outcome of a dis-ease, but need to accept that the dis-ease exists in our lives and that we are a participant.  Once we accept that the dis-ease or other misfortune has become a part of our lives, we can eliminate or alter it.  We cannot play a part in changing it and our lives if we avoid, deny or feel hopeless.  Accepting the situation does not mean accepting someone else's prediction about what will happen to you.  No one knows what your future will hold ... the best course is accepting that you have problems while denying anyone's predictions about how the situation will turn out.  My favourite saying .. "Individuals are not statics".
Retreat ... retreat does not mean withdraw.  According to the wise doctor "retreat means withdrawing to a quiet place where you can be aware of your thoughts and feelings. The quiet place may be anywhere; the source of true peace and quiet are inside you. In my retreat I withdraw from all the demands of life, but at the same time I am fully alive to myself and my loved ones. I do not always retreat alone. I can retreat with those who are close to me so that we can heal our forces and prepare to take on life when our retreat is over. When we return we are ready to fight for our lives".  We need this space, this withdrawal as a time to restore and heal ourselves.

Surrender ... not to the outcomes but to the events.  Dr. Siegel says we waste so much energy fighting the nature of life.  "Accept the nature of life and surrender to it".  When we do, we will have peace.  When our energy is restored, we stop fighting things we cannot control, and we start re-building our lives.  He says "Surrender is not about doing nothing; it is about doing the right things".  Surrendering allows us to continue to receive and repair, to let go of the pain, fear and worries and welcome joy, love and gratitude in our lives.  

We continue to learn and heal ourselves as our journey never ends ... above are a few thoughts to help us deal with adversity, misfortune and in extreme situations, illnesses.  I believe we can play an integral part by choosing to be a participant and not a spectator.

"Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires ... Disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time, but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way"
- Bernie S. Siegel 

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