Over a number of years I have had clients who demonstrate the curse of being told in childhood, how special they are. Special comes with a dark side: anxiety, pressure to succeed, perfectionism, isolation and failure to meet expectations; and in time may lead to illness. “The gifted” may either burnout or self-sabotage to prove their family or teacher were wrong or to validate to themselves how they truly feel about themselves.
The beauty in life is found in its imperfections, the source of difference and ordinariness. The expectations placed on the special child are not only unrealistic, but impossible to achieve. Post childhood, these children find out that they are not alone. There are other individuals who are just as intelligent, just as successful, just as intelligent, just as athletic, just as creative……..more proficient.
The now adults becomes filled with a sense of failure, and they tend to sabotage themselves. Too often they may have illnesses that are difficult to diagnose and often associated with their gastrointestinal tract. Most recently, the gastrointestinal tract is referred to as the “second brain”. The gut produces the same bio-chemical substances in response to stress, fear and pain, as does the brain.
In parenting, we don’t need to do anything other then love our children and realize they, like all children, are love made visible. We should teach them to accept their ordinariness and follow their dreams. We should teach them that there is no such thing as perfection. We should teach them that there is no such thing as “the perfect job” or “permanent success”. We should teach them to mimic life by living in the present and embracing uncertainty, for the only constant in life is change and the beauty that can only be found in
Paul Brenner, M.D., PhD
A special post from Dr. Brenner:
Over the past few days, I’ve realized that I’m totally saturated by America’s fear of Death. Fear of not eating the right life extending diet or not doing the latest exercise to assure that I can live into my 90’s. And yes, those ridiculous Pharmaceutical Companies, filling T.V., while proffering cures while unashamedly create other illnesses. “Science” recently reported that 65% of all cancers are “simply bad luck,” the chance of DNA mutations, while the remaining 1/3 are due to diet and lifestyle. Oh, and yes, longevity is diminishing for the first time since “Modern medicine.” Ya mean the promise in science and technology to continue extending our lives is no more than a hoax? And Ya mean, I didn’t have to go to Medical School and take that Cancer Fellowship?
Along these lines, I could only ponder, maybe the sole purpose of Life, is to prepare for death. And the only way to prepare for Death is to live Life fully. And the only way to live Life fully is to be willing to die each day.
Dr. Brenner recently came across this fantastic article, which he would like to share with his friends (that’s you!)
Please click on the link or image below to check it out!
Dr. Brenner recently came across this inspiring story and has, himself, asked us to share it in lieu of his blog posts for this month! This wonderful story appears to be written in the words of a cancer survivor, who is the subject of this story, along with his miraculous animal friend , as you can see in the photo below.
This is the kind of story you need when it seems like the world is spiraling out of control.
Freedom and Jeff
“Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer.
She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings.
Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She’s my baby.
When Freedom came in, she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice.
We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet’s office. From then on, I was always around her.
We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn’t stand in a week.
You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.
She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear.
I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day. We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her.
I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington.
We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.
In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair – the whole bit. I missed a lot of work.
When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.
Fast forward to November 2000. The day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant.
Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.
So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill.
I hadn’t said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don’t know how long.
That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.
On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them.
I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom!! Hope you enjoyed this!”
We’re glad to hear that Dr. Brenner is doing well and back in action!
We love you Dr. B!
If Energy cannot be created or destroyed then birth and death are illusions. Where’s the fear?
What is more important to you, “who” you are or “what” you do or is there no difference? There is no correct answer! Know thyself without judgement or comparison.
If life is the ultimate gift, do we understand life by dissecting it or by living it?
Love is like a Bunson.
If Self-love is lost when we are compared or compare ourselves to another, then how much suffering is needed before that love is reclaimed?
We are all healers. What in your ancestral past are you here to heal?
What quiets you soul? Where within you is peace?
How has childhood pain shaped your life to serve others at the expense of your self? And, can you love yourself as clearly as you love others?
“If you can’t give someone a nickel you don’t have, can you give someone love if it’s not within you.”
“If life is the the ultimate gift, do we understand life by dissecting it or by living it?”
“Since there is no greater gift in life than life itself; what, if anything, is preventing you from living it? If not now, when?”
“What If the meaning of life is to experience the experience, then there are no bad experiences.”
“A physician’s training is not complete until it integrates the wisdom of his or her patients. I feel like the ancient mariner. I have taken a long, stormy, forty-year journey in search of the medical Holy Grail: what makes people sick and what makes people well? This journey has taken me through traditional medical training, an obstetrics and gynecology practice, an American Cancer Society Fellowship, a doctorate in psychology, counseling the dying, and the holistic health movement: hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation, and shamanism. Throughout, the albatross around my neck has been the contained wisdom I have learned from my patients, mentors, and my own aloneness. It is now time to share that wisdom. Although this book traces the thread of my journey through the healing arts, Buddha in the Waiting Room is written for you and in honor of those who taught me the truth about health. Paradoxically, most of my teachers were ill. However, despite their apparent physical state, these individuals were vibrant, wise beyond their years, and very much alive – even those diagnosed with terminal illnesses. They defined the meaning of health. They knew something that I had to learn; despite their physical state they taught me the art of healthy living. Each of them was a Buddha to me, a source of pure wisdom. Other Buddhas in this book are those mentors and events that shaped my awareness concerning health, illness, and the human potential.”
~ a quote from Buddha in the Waiting Room, by Dr. Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.
Available on Amazon
What quiets your soul? Where within you is peace?
How can we justify killing in the name of God?
Can you love yourself as clearly as you love others?
What is more important to you, “who” you are or “what” you do or is there no difference? There is no correct answer! Know thyself without judgment or comparison.
Can fear be the “unlived” part of the self? What are you afraid to live? If not now, when?
If Life itself is the ultimate gift, do we understand life by dissecting it or by living it?
If you are born without generational bias, would you create your own?
If the need for more is inborn, will you ever have enough?
When is your more, less?
If Self- love is lost when we are compared or compare ourselves to another, then how much suffering is needed before that love is reclaimed?
The mind created difference by seeing life as outside the illusion of self.
Why is it so difficult for religions, races & nations to simply say, “I’m sorry” as an act of reparation?
How has childhood pain shaped your life to serve others at the expense of your self?
We are all healers. What in your ancestral past are you here to heal?
If our purpose is to heal the past and provide for the yet unborn, why is it so difficult to realize that you are doing what you’re intended to do?
Does one find themselves by following or living?
Our foremothers and fathers had to do horrible things to survive, do we?