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Wednesday, June 6: Dr. Bernie Siegel

    Some caregiving relationships are the one-on-one kind, but there are some extraordinary people whose messages and deeds of care touch millions. The power of their gift is magnified by their mass audience who in turn are inspired to pass along the love. One such caregiver is Dr. Bernie Siegel, a surgeon and oncologist whose experiences with his patients transformed into an alternative type of healing which couples a holistic approach with scientific knowledge. Actually, his philosophy teaches us how love, faith, and prayer are healing forces. He has written a number of inspirational books: Peace, Love, and Healing, Love, Medicine, and Miracles, and Faith, Hope, and Healing. He has produced books and tapes of meditation; he is a popular speaker and conducts seminars which teach health care professionals as well as the rest of us who are personal caregivers how to better take care of ourselves and those we care for. These materials are full of true stories of the healing power of love, forgiveness, compassion, and faith. Dr. Siegel also established ECaP (Exceptional Cancer Patients), a foundation providing information, workshops, support groups, and comprehensive assistance to people with catastrophic diseases.

    The philosophy is ancient and innovative, combining traditional western medicine with psychological/emotional changes brought on by the patient himself through counseling, meditation, visualization, and prayer. It seeks to reveal deep-seated hurts, lack of forgiveness, bitterness, loneliness, absence of love, any of which can impede healing or even be the root of illness.

    It is important to note that within each of us is the ability to help the healing process along by letting go of resentment, disappointment, anger, by forgiving and being grateful, by loving God, others, and ourselves. It does not mean that everyone is cured completely, but it is documented that love, forgiveness, and gratitude can lengthen life and most certainly allow someone to attain peace with his circumstances and live more happily. “By changing the inner attitudes ….[we] can change the outer aspects of our lives.” I believe it is the power of God’s love within us, and that this is how He wishes us to live – caring for ourselves and others.

    Prayer: Dear Lord, surround us with people who care. Teach us to change our hearts and attitudes so that we are filled with Your peace and contentment. We thank You for the power of Your love which manifests itself in our thoughts and actions as well as the healing of others. Amen.

    Leslie Willet