by Dr Jane Barker, GP, Australia
I first met Serge Benhayon in a tin shed where he did his healing twelve years ago. I remember saying to him that I was not looking for healing for my body but wanted to connect with my heart.
I attended one of the first healing workshops he ran and surprised myself by crying when he presented that although we are responsible for doing our best for the patient, we are not responsible for the illness itself. It felt at the time that I, as a Doctor, had practiced Medicine for thirty years under the illusion that I was responsible for others’ illnesses. Through the truth of his words I felt as though a huge burden was lifted. I was very interested in what Serge had to say because, after thirty years of practicing traditional Western Medicine, I knew there to be gaps in our knowledge. I had seen that for all its amazing scientific progress, each solution raised more questions. So often as a General Practitioner I was preventing the progress and the complication of disease yet I was rarely treating the root cause of that disease. There was a feeling that we were not getting to the bottom of it.
Serge presented to me a new concept – that of the importance of being able to feel energy. Western medicine does not have a name for that energetic life-force that is the difference between living and dying. Serge introduced the idea of energy and how the nature and flow of energy are integral to health and well-being. Over the next few years I learnt to have a better understanding of the role of energy through feeling it in my own body and that of others. I learnt a better understanding of the relationship between energy and illness. I am hoping that in time we will develop a way of measuring energy that can be used scientifically.
Perhaps the most important thing I have learnt through Universal Medicine is that it is imperative for a practitioner to maintain their own energetic integrity and health to the best of their ability. In medical school morality and ethics were discussed and indeed the Australian Medical Board has a beautifully written Code of Ethics. However, at no point, in my career, was the need for self care discussed. I have now come to understand that it is not possible for someone who does not love and care for themselves to love and care for another.
In some ways it would seem obvious that if a doctor goes into a consultation angry or distracted by personal issues or worse, if they were to go in to a consultation with a hangover, the level of care they could offer a patient would be compromised.
When I was a young doctor it was usual for the doctors’ common room which we used when we were on duty, to have a bar. It was not uncommon for people to drink while on duty. However, it goes deeper than this. When I talk to my medical students about this, I use the analogy of a ripe juicy tomato, a sphere of loving energy which is given out to many – patients, family, friends. If self care is disregarded this beautiful tomato shrinks to become a sun-dried tomato, quite unable to care for either ourselves or others. To work in health care means to be able to connect with a patient at a deeper level and to see them as the individual that they are. This connection allows the patient to express their own needs with honesty and allows the doctor to truly hear them. From this place, together, and with the doctor’s clinical expertise, they can make health care choices which are for the greatest benefit of the patient.
Self care includes an awareness of mind, body and soul. In the simplest terms it is about healthy life-style choices, for example in regard to diet, exercise, sleep patterns, having moments of stillness. It is about becoming aware of the effects of emotions on your body and mind. It is about being completely honest with yourself and listening to all that your body is telling you. In other words it is about loving yourself TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY!