Bernie Siegel Quotes

 

Feelings aroused by the touch of someone’s hand, the sound of music, the smell of a flower, a beautiful sunset, a work of art, love, laughter, hope and faith – all work on both the unconscious and the conscious aspects of the self, and they have physiological consequences as well.

— Bernie Siegel

God wants us to know that life is a series of beginnings, not endings. Just as graduations are not terminations, but commencements. Creation is an ongoing process, and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease.

— Bernie Siegel

Most of us never stop to consider our blessings; rather, we spend the day only thinking about our problems. But since you have to be alive to have problems, be grateful for the opportunity to have them.

— Bernie Siegel

When my body gets to the point where I can no longer function or feel gratitude, then I’ll leave it and become grateful again. But until then, I will appreciate what I have and not whine about what I don’t have. I will feel blessed by life and the opportunity to help others see that they are blessed, too.

— Bernie Siegel

There have been many dreams which have been personal guides for me.

— Bernie Siegel

Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive… to live now… to have the courage to confront each day.

— Bernie Siegel

When your heart speaks to you about what you need to do to sustain life on this planet, listen to it, make a difference, and be an inspiration for generations to come. Be inspired by people like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Christopher Reeve, Albert Schweitzer, Helen Keller, and many others.

— Bernie Siegel

The question is not, will there be difficulties and threats to our existence, but how will we deal with them and what can we learn from them. How can they become blessings to society, as a life threatening disease is to an individual, by teaching us about the meaning of our life and existence?

— Bernie Siegel

I believe the reason we sleep is not just to allow our body to rest but that it is to allow this inner wisdom to speak to us through symbols. This includes the body or somatic problems as well as psychological ones. Dreams and drawings are useful in diagnosing physical conditions.

— Bernie Siegel

Give someone who has faith in you a placebo and call it a hair growing pill, anti-nausea pill or whatever, and you will be amazed at how many respond to your therapy.

— Bernie Siegel

For me, consciousness is non-local, not limited to the body, and can exist independent of it.

— Bernie Siegel

Inspiration is the greatest gift because it opens your life to many new possibilities. Each day becomes more meaningful, and your life is enhanced when your actions are guided by what inspires you.

— Bernie Siegel

If God had made a perfect world, it would be a magic trick, not creation, with no meaning or place for us to learn and create. Mankind is not yet ready for a perfect world. We do not know how to appreciate perfection.

— Bernie Siegel

Stories change people while statistics give them something to argue about.

— Bernie Siegel

True inspiration overrides all fears. When you are inspired, you enter a trance state and can accomplish things that you may never have felt capable of doing.

— Bernie Siegel

Being a survivor doesn’t mean being strong – it’s telling people when you need a meal or a ride, company, whatever. It’s paying attention to heart wisdom, feelings, not living a role, but having a unique, authentic life, having something to contribute, finding time to love and laugh. All these things are qualities of survivors.

— Bernie Siegel

Parents, teachers, clergy and physicians change lives with their words. It is hypnotic for a child or patient to hear an authority figure’s words. As I am always sharing, ‘wordswordswords’ can become ‘swordswordswords,’ and we can kill or cure with either words or swords.

— Bernie Siegel

Medicine is a very tough thing. I mean, everyone is going to die. Sooner or later. That’s a tough thing to face.

— Bernie Siegel

Traditional doctors say I’m a mystic. I don’t deny it.

— Bernie Siegel

The spiritual message is we lose our lives in pleasing others; if you’re the good child who pleases Mommy and Daddy but internalizes anger, you’re setting yourself up for disease.

— Bernie Siegel

The thing you see in survivors is that they express feelings – I won’t say some of the things they tell their doctors, when doctors tell them they’re going to die in six months. Boy, do they let the doctor know how they feel about that statement.

— Bernie Siegel

I know patients who bring a dozen roses to the doctor’s office. And, boy, the next visit, nobody forgets that. You come in and hey – ‘Here’s the lady who brought the roses’ vs. ‘Here’s the lung cancer.’

— Bernie Siegel

If you think about evolution, sleep, at some time, was a dangerous undertaking. You lie down in your cave or shelter, and along comes a predator and has you for dinner. Many creatures do not sleep or sleep while standing so they can escape from dangerous situations.

— Bernie Siegel

As doctors, we are not trained to communicate and understand the power of our words as they relate to a patient’s ability and desire to survive.

— Bernie Siegel

Society should see parenting as a public health issue and help parents to bring their children up feeling loved. We have birthing classes, but no parenting classes. The latter is desperately needed if we are to avoid self-destruction.

— Bernie Siegel

I was called a ‘CD’ by a suicidal teenager, who is alive today because I became her ‘Chosen Dad,’ who loved her. We all have the potential to re-parent ourselves and others.

— Bernie Siegel

Your body loves you, but if you do not love your life, it will end it far sooner, thinking it is doing you a favor.

— Bernie Siegel

Mind-body medicine should not be an ‘alternative,’ nor should complementary and integrative medicine be something doctors are not exposed to during their training.

— Bernie Siegel

I wish medical schools helped us to analyze our healthy and unhealthy reasons for becoming doctors.

— Bernie Siegel

I truly feel the best doctors are ones who are criticized by nurses, patients and family. They do not make excuses and learn from their mistakes.

— Bernie Siegel

When one teenager dying of cystic fibrosis asked me, ‘Why am I different?’ I answered, ‘Tony, because it makes you beautiful.’ He loved my answer because he knew full well how much he had done for the world and that he would be immortal through his love and the fund raising of those who knew him hoping to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

— Bernie Siegel

I have learned to become not an M.D. but a ‘C.D.’ for the wounded people I meet. Yes, a ‘Chosen Dad’ who may not like their behavior but loves and reparents them and helps them to heal their lives and find self-worth and self-esteem and save their lives.

— Bernie Siegel

If we had no hope – for a cure, for winning the lottery, for falling in love, for the end of war, for being free of abuse, or for having food, warmth, clothing, and shelter – we would have no reason to go on. What you hope for doesn’t matter, but rather the essence of hope itself.

— Bernie Siegel

I see people who die a few minutes after a doctor tells them there is no hope of a cure. They give up and go. Others get angry and find joy in proving the doctor wrong. Something within them is challenged and hopeful. Hope is the divine motivator.

— Bernie Siegel

Life is a miracle, and we need to not fear trying to achieve our potential and reveal the remarkable creation we and all living things are and that our Creator has built into us the ability to induce self-healing.

— Bernie Siegel

There is survival behavior, and doctors need to learn from patients who do not die when they are supposed to, instead of saying, ‘You’re doing very well, so keep doing whatever you are doing.’ They should be asking what their patient is doing and pass the information to other patients.

— Bernie Siegel

If you talk to your body, it will listen.

— Bernie Siegel

Part of my evolution has been to learn how painful most people’s childhoods are. They grow up not liking themselves, not loving themselves. Ask people if they were lovable the minute they were born, and watch them sit back and have to think about it. One lady said, ‘I suppose so.’ That’s painful.

— Bernie Siegel

We participate and are responsible for a lot of the things that happen to us. If you hate your job, you are much more likely to get sick and die at a younger age than someone who’s happy at work and has a nice family life and is mentally well adjusted.

— Bernie Siegel

I think some people do want to die, and they will get a disease. There are people who know their lives are so troubled, and their bodies are getting them out of here.

— Bernie Siegel

What I try to get physically healthy people to understand is that they’re going to die someday. There is no way out. And dying isn’t failure, but not living is, so make use of your time. Don’t keeping waiting.

— Bernie Siegel

We’re all here for a limited amount of time, and life is difficult – not unfair, but difficult. The key is to really confront our fears because when we do, and when we look at them, we really begin to realize that we are capable of handling them.

— Bernie Siegel

You can’t control the world, but when you control your thoughts, you bring order.

— Bernie Siegel

I use music in the operating room to help create a healing environment for patients and staff. There is a reason that certain heart rates are healthy and certain beats of music heal and relax us.

— Bernie Siegel

One of the best ways to change is to act as if you are the person you want to become. When you behave as if you are a different person, you change on a very basic level – even your physiology changes. When actors and actresses perform, their body chemistry is altered by the roles they play.

— Bernie Siegel

You can survive tough situations and even turn them to your advantage by acting as if you are the person you want to be. When you act like that person, you can become that person. The hard parts are deciding whom you want to become, being willing to rehearse until you become that person, and forgiving yourself until you do.

— Bernie Siegel

I decided to become a surgeon named Bernie who writes books and gives seminars to teach people what he has learned and is still learning about how to deal with life’s difficulties.

— Bernie Siegel

A surgeon is surrounded by people who are sick, discouraged, afraid, embittered, dying – but also courageous, loving, wise, compassionate and alive.

— Bernie Siegel

If I were rewriting ‘Love, Medicine & Miracles,’ I might consider changing its title to ‘The Side Effects of Cancer.’ Healing is hard work, as is any change one must make in one’s life. I and others have learned, however, that the side effects of cancer may not all be bad ones.

— Bernie Siegel

An awareness of one’s mortality can lead you to wake up and live an authentic, meaningful life.

— Bernie Siegel

The mind and body are not separate units, but one integrated system. How we act and what we think, eat, and feel are all related to our health. Physicians should be capable of teaching this behavior to patients.

— Bernie Siegel

Physicians need to be good technicians and know how to prescribe, but for healing to occur they also need to incorporate philosophy and spirituality into their treatment. We need to feel as well as think.

— Bernie Siegel

I have always made a distinction between healing and curing. To me, ‘healed’ represents a condition of one’s life; ‘cured’ relates strictly to one’s physical condition. In other words, there may be healed quadriplegics and AIDS patients, and cured cancer patients who are leading unhealthy lives.

— Bernie Siegel

Patients want to be seen as people. For me, the person’s life comes first; the disease is simply one aspect of it, which I can guide my patients to use as a redirection in their lives. When doctors look at their patients, however, they are trained to see only the disease.

— Bernie Siegel

The doctor I would want for myself or for anyone else I cared about would be one who understands that disease is more than just a clinical entity; it is an experience and a metaphor, with a message that must be listened to.

— Bernie Siegel

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