The Cross - symbolic of Love, Christ or something else?

07 Apr

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, has called upon Christians to "wear proudly a symbol of the cross of Christ" every day. This is in the background of a case going to the European Court to allow employees to wear crosses at work. Some argue that as long as it does not interfere with one's work then people should be allowed to wear a simple symbol of their religion if they so choose. 

Whilst the Cross is often associated with Christianity it is in fact an ancient symbol that pre-dates the time of Jesus or Yeshua. It comes from the latin, crux, and was a Roman symbol of death and torture. So how does a symbol of death, torture and suffering come to be representative of The Christ - which is the energy of pure love that was embodied by Jesus/Yeshua?? Something about that just doesn't feel true to me...

From a Christian perspective, it is put forward that the Cross does represent the love of God as he gave his only Son to die on the Cross that we may have our sins forgiven and be saved. But what if, that is simply not true? What if, that is a mis-understanding, mis-interpretation or even a bastardisation of the true teachings of Jesus and The Christ? What if Jesus was crucified not because of God or being given by God, but because of Godlessness, Lovelessness in those who did not recognise him as the Soulful Master that he was, who did not recognise him as the embodiment of The Christ? What if Jesus was not the Only Son of God but that every human being on the planet is a Son of God who has the potential to embody and express the Love of The Christ as Jesus did? What if the only way to be 'saved' from suffering is to know that one is a Son of God and to embody and live that love on a daily basis? 

Of course some do use the symbol of the Cross to remind them of the suffering of Jesus, that suffering is a part of life that cannot be escaped by anyone, that they believe it can make it easier to accept their own suffering, knowing that Jesus also suffered, as the story goes. But what if this again is simply not true?? What if suffering is a necessary part of life only because we live in ignornance of our true nature, contained in a prison of our own making until such time that we come to a deeper truth? A deeper truth regarding our true nature, who we really are and how to live from there in such a way that what once would have caused suffering, no longer does. I know for myself, that even the experience of losing a loved one, something that for most is associated with a great deal of suffering, can be totally transformed, when we live from our essence of love and all that that brings. It has shown me that there is a different way to live and understand life rather than the somewhat limited perceptions I previously held. Of course, as always it is a work in progress for me such that when I slip into old ways of being, or am suffering in some way, I know that I am not living from my essence and can take steps to choose again. 

Thus the Cross can have many meanings and interpretations even within Christianity and for some it has none of those meanings. Indeed for many years I wore a variety of cross shaped necklaces with no religious or spiritual meaning whatsoever - it was just a piece of jewellery I wore and I didn't give it too much thought. However, knowing now that it was orginally used to mean death and torture, that that was the initial energetic imprint or seed of the Cross, I no longer feel to wear those necklaces. I will now often wear a heart shaped necklace instead - as for me that is symbolic of love. I could even say that that is symbolic of my religion, the religion of love, the religion of the soul. However, I do not need to wear a heart or symbol of the soul or argue that I should be allowed to wear it at work at all times as that is a symbol of my religion - far from it! To argue that the wearing of any symbol is required for one's religion is to miss the point altogether if we are talking about religion as being that which concerns one's relationship with God, rather than the man-made institutionalised versions we have today. Much more is revealed about one's religion through our relationships and way of relating and being with others than it is by any symbol. Thus, if I am wearing a heart necklace, but being angry, rude or judgmental towards others - it is the latter that truly reveals how I live my religion rather than the necklace! Rather than encouraging people to wear a cross every day as a way to portray their religion, how much more effective might it have been, if Cardinal O'Brien had asked people to be gentle and caring each day, both to themselves and each other??  To bring the love and gentleness of Christ into everyday activities and expressions - rather than putting the Cross around one's neck and arguing with one's employer??

The point is this, the wearing of a cross or a heart or a symbol of the soul or any other symbol of one's religion is not what it's about. And thus any argument or court case to insist upon it is equally fallicious. Anyone who knows the Christ, who knows the Love of God, knows that 'by their fruits ye shall know them,' not by their symbols and adornments. In other words, what matters is not the wearing of a cross or 20 crosses, a heart or 20 hearts, or any other symbol, but the purity and quality of the love and gentleness expressed through one's eyes, one's hands, one's words, thoughts and deeds. 

Feel free to discuss or share your views re the cross or other religious symbols or any of the points raised in the blog. 

Recent Posts

15 Aug

#ILookLikeASurgeon – Surgery is what I do, not who I am...

Over the last few days the hashtag #ILookLikeASurgeon has been trending on twitter and has sparked interest across the globe. It originated when a female engineer @IsisAnchalee was told she didn’t look like an engineer and started the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer. This was followed by a female surgical resident Dr Heather Logghe suggesting that #ILookLikeASurgeon might be next and sure enough the twitter world responded. Female surgeons from America, UK, Australia, Europe and elsewhere posted their photo claiming that they ‘look like a surgeon’ – because they are surgeons – celebrating the diversity of surgeons and smashing the gender stereotype.

So many female surgeons have been told they “don’t look like a surgeon”  - so obviously there is some image of what a surgeon is supposed to look like that has been emblazoned onto the minds of the populace and that still reigns supreme. Of course once upon a time….. ALL surgeons were men  – and so clearly ANY woman is not going to fulfill that image – even though some of us may have tried to emulate those manly traits that inhabit the patriarchal stereotype of ‘the surgeon’. Indeed even if we succeeded in adopting those traits and acted accordingly we still did not look like men – so no matter how hard we tried, we could never fit the bill of ‘looking like a surgeon’ even though we already were!  Could it be as simple as that? Could it be that no matter what a woman did or said, she would never be considered to ‘look like a surgeon’ simply because she isn’t a man and doesn’t possess the necessary anatomy, even if she did have the ballsy attitude?

Of course the stereotype is not just a man – it is a man in a pin stripe suit, an arrogant man who holds court in the ward or operating theatre and who can instill fear into the heart of nurses, junior doctors and students with just a look or a word, who assumes the all powerful status of being the one to tell you exactly how it is, no matter who you are (patient or staff) and whom no-one dared to question or counter. A man who commanded and controlled, who was an authoritarian dictator, who battled night and day to save lives and who was both given and assumed a God-like status. Of course this God-like status was the false God of the authoritarian dictator who could do and say whatever he liked irrespective of the effect on others and who bears no resemblance whatsoever to God in truth.  He is the surgeon of films and tv shows that perpetuate the stereotype – and so no wonder female surgeons are oft frequented with ‘you don’t look like a surgeon’ – and we never will whilst that stereotype dominates the consciousness. Of course I have to add that there are lots of male surgeons who do not fit this stereotype either thankfully! But certainly this image that to be a surgeon one must be a man is one that needs to be and is definitely worth smashing – and the twitter storm of beautiful faces is doing just that! 

I know from personal experience it is definitely possible to adopt the stereotypical patriarchal  traits of “the surgeon” – someone who is arrogant, superior, hard, tough, demanding, takes no prisoners, does not suffer fools, who prides themselves on the long hours they work, who gives orders and expects them to be obeyed without question or counter and who in many cases had more balls than the men and whose ruthlessness and aggression was justified by it all being done in the name of providing good care for the patient.  I lived that stereotype for many years. Stamina was my middle name. My identity and sense of self-worth was wrapped up in being a surgeon – it gave me power over others, commanded a certain respect because of my profession and was a key part of my identity. I prided myself on being tough and hard, strong and in control – I thought it was a good way to be, that that was what was needed to be a good surgeon.

However, since those days much has changed, especially my relationship with myself and from there my relationship with others and my work. I have discovered much about myself and why I was the way I was and what was underlying those ill-behaviours. The way that I am with myself and with others has completely changed – I am no longer the tough nosed, hard, domineering surgeon of days gone past. My sense of self-worth and my identity no longer come from being a surgeon – surgery is what I do, but it is not who I am. So who am I?

Who I am is purely and simply love – love is the essence of my being (and everyone else’s) and surgery is one of the ways that I get to express the love that I am through what I do. If we need two little letters in front of our name (Dr) or a list of qualifications after our name to feel better about ourselves, then we can be sure that our sense of self-worth is derived from things that are outside of ourselves, by measures that society have deemed are what makes us a good person, a worthy person – rather than coming from the innate divinity that rests within. When we have the latter as our foundation then outer identfiers are seen for the false pillars they are and more importantly we have an inner strength that is true and indomitable.

When we are dependent on the outer recognition we can be easily offended when people do not give us the recognition we are seeking – hence why some female doctors or surgeons can be offended when they are called ‘nurse’ by patients – as all their years of hard slog to be a doctor or surgeon is not being recognized. When we feel that we are somehow superior or better than another just because we have studied longer or harder – we are in deep, deep illusion. For when we know who we are, it doesn’t really matter what people call us, as our sense of self is not dependent on the outer – there is an inner unshakeable knowing that who you are cannot be offended by any labels or identifiers that are not true.

We come to know that before any role or job title we are people first and foremost – whether that’s a nurse, doctor, surgeon, dentist, accountant, hairdresser or carpenter – these are all what we do for a living but they are not who we are. The truth of who we are is so much grander than any role we play or adopt. We also know that there is true equality – that no-one is more worthy or less worthy – for all are love in essence, even though we may not all be expressing that love! To be mistakenly called a nurse is no sleight nor should it cause offence – and those that are offended have a shaky self-esteem built on outer pillars that can crumble to dust. Personally I have nurses in my family and some of my best friends are nurses and of course many are work colleagues – they are hard-working professionals who care deeply about people – but before all of that they are people whose essence is love and worthy of respect without needing to do anything, as we all are. 

People like to be accorded their appropriate names and titles and it’s a part of how we work in current day healthcare and there is no problem with that provided the equality of all is recognized first – but that is not what happens. People use their job titles to have power over another, to bully and abuse and so we have a healthcare environment that is not actually very caring. But imagine what it would be like if we treated each other as people first, people who are love, and not our job titles? Is it possible that could annihilate the medical hierarchy and level the playing field in a way that was beneficial for all? No more power plays and struggles – just people helping people, collaborating instead of competing, working harmoniously together instead of fighting and arguing creating disharmony, stress, and tension; where the most junior person in terms of professional rank feels equal and valued in person to the most senior in rank and can express accordingly? Surely that would be a healthcare service and environment worth providing?

It may be stating the obvious but we are women before we are surgeons – we were born female but we did not come with a scalpel in our hands from the womb. Where I and many others have made a mistake is thinking that we needed to be like the men to play in what was their assumed territory – instead of connecting with and bringing to surgery the qualities of the true woman.

A true woman is someone who is comfortable in her own skin, who does not need to put on any face or mask, who does not need to pretend to be something she is not, who is natural and at ease, steady and consistent, who can be tender and nurturing as well as strong and firm, who does not suffer any abuse, she is not emotionally driven and neither is she scared of her own vulnerability and fragility; she is a woman who cares deeply both for herself and others and who beholds all equally with the same quality of love. Now there is a Godly way to be! The true woman lives within all women for that is what we are – they are innate qualities that we can connect with and live from and bring to all that we do. In this way we can truly claim #ILookLikeASurgeon and surgery is what I do, not who I am – for who I am is so much more. When we bring the truth of who we are to what we do – then the true magic begins and the magic of God is known.

 

I have been blessed to learn about life, love, God and the human condition from Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and through applying the teachings in my life, I continue to unfold and deepen my own connection to the true woman within me and bring that to all that I do to the best of my ability and definitely without perfection! But they say a picture is worth a thousand words and that the camera never lies – so I posted pictures on my twitter feed as a surgeon before and after applying these teachings and you can see for yourself if you feel there is a difference.( or click on the links below)

For me now it is a no-brainer – living the love we are is the key to true health, wellbeing and to being a surgeon….without needing that identifier to feel worthy or better about myself for it is not who I am, it is what I do.

 

I am

Love,

No hurt nor wound,

No illness nor disease,

No word nor deed,

Can alter that

Immutable fact,

I am

Love

 

Eunice J Minford ©

 

Surgeon before Universal Medicine 

 

Surgeon after Universal Medicine 

We are who we are, not what we do

This is beauty-full Eunice, we often forget as women to be ourselves first, and what we do second. Whether we're surgeons or astronauts or butchers or cleaners or whatever it's important to be ourselves as the woman we are first and foremost, and then the job as something we do from there. I love your poem too :)

Thank You!

I love this piece. Thanks so much for sharing!

a role as an excuse to be abusive...

Such an important expose Eunice. I have dealt with a handful of surgeons who all seemed to be in that 'role of a surgeon'and it seemed to give them permission to 'get away with' any kind of behavior and no one called them out on it... it felt to me like a dangerous situation where the patient is vulnerable in need of their services but the surgeons were not coming from the love that they are which you so speak of. I want the person not the title!
13 Jul

Charities exposed for Cold-calling: what is True Charity?..

How charitable is cold-calling?

You may say, “what a ridiculous question, it’s obvious there is no charity in cold-calling”, yet we have seen this week how a number of large charities in the UK think it is appropriate to ‘cold-call’ people to raise money for their charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children, the British Red Cross, Macmillan and Cancer Research amongst others.

They employ companies to do the dirty work – and dirty work it is indeed. Fundraisers were apparently "ordered to be 'brutal' and 'ferocious' when asking for money"...and that people " 'have no excuse' not to give, even if they are elderly or poor."  The under-cover videos in this article show the tactics that are used to get people to depart with their cash. No-one is spared from being given this opportunity to donate including elderly pensioners and those with dementia. How twisted and distorted is the thinking that converts the imposing technique of cold-calling elderly people with dementia, using tactics to coerce them to donate money to the charity and calls it ‘giving them the opportunity to donate’?

How far removed have people become from what are ethically and morally acceptable practices? To me, cold-calling people and effectively coercing and forcing them to donate, is the absolute antithesis of charity. Whilst they may argue that no force is used, I would have to disagree. It takes a force devoid of true love and care to cold-call and force, harass, coerce, persuade, talk around, people to donate to a charity. As a consequence of this exposure the government is apparently bringing in new laws to curb such shameful tactics. However, it is in itself an indictment of the charities and the people who are implementing and condoning these practices that such laws are needed. True charity would not require such laws for it would go against the very essence of what true charity is to behave in such a way. 

The word charity comes from the Latin caritas, translated variably as meaning eternal love, unconditional love, God’s love, love of all mankind, generous love, Christian love. The latter of course refers to the love that is the Christ that lives within every human being – not just those who profess to be Christian or who align to the Christian religion. The Christ being the energy of the soul (of love) in embodiment – something that every human being has the potential to live.

What is consistent is that it is a love that is freely given, with no attachments, expectations, investments, needs or demands. And so it follows that true charity are acts done, money given, time and space offered, with no investment of self of any kind – where there is absolutely nothing in it for us, but we do what we do and give what we give with, from and for love.  It sounds simple – but perhaps is not so easy to live given our human predilections for “what’s in it for me, me, me, me?’ to take hold. There are the obvious and not so obvious investments, attachments, and other emotional hooks than can catch us out – for example:

  • Do we feel better about ourselves for having given to a charity?
  • Have we given just because everyone else is giving?
  • Have we given out of guilt – the haves vs the have nots? Guilty that others are less well off than ourselves?
  • Have we given because it is expected, but it’s not really something we want to do?
  • Have we given to not be shown up in some way, to be considered uncharitable, a miser or thought to be hard of heart?
  • Do we give out of pity or sympathy for those deemed less well off?
  • Have we given and then resented the fact that we gave our hard–earned cash away? Or our time to a project, a charity, cause, a friend in need, when we really would have preferred to have been doing something else, something better, something for me and my family?

And so the list goes on ----- if any of the above resonate, then we know we have not given in true charity but have had some investment or need for self.

And so perhaps there are not too many people or too many charities out there who are truly giving of their time and money with ZERO investment of self. Certainly all of the above charities that were exposed in the article for cold-calling and haranguing people for money using ‘boiler –room tactics’ are far, far removed from true charity.

Of course it’s always easy to point the finger at others and the real work is looking at ourselves and removing our own attachments and investments which requires a radical self-honesty to clock when we are doing something for self, when the ‘what’s in it for me’ rises up, and when it is purely and simply for the love of all. I can recognise both within myself – times when I have done something but there was an undercurrent of resentment about it, and other times when I have freely given with zero need for anything in return. The two feel quite different in my body. The first is heavy and sticky, the second is open, expansive and free-flowing.

I have been privileged to learn about and see first hand true charity at work by the living example of Serge Benhayon. For over 7 years I have witnessed and experienced him give of his time and services freely to hundreds and hundreds of people including myself over and above his paid work. But it has not just been the giving, but the quality that comes with that giving – his patience is unending, every individual is totally held, listened to and met with love no matter how big or small the issue is, there is no rushing to get away, no flicker of resentment or frustration, for there is only true caritas, true caring, true charity.  The list of the ways that he has given of his time and services freely to support many across the world would fill a book.

Many have been inspired by his example and subsequently the College of Universal Medicine Charity has been established by the students of Universal Medicine and endeavours to live by and adhere to the principles of true charity – where there is no investment of self. I know for certain that cold-calling will never be a part of this charity for there is absolutely nothing charitable about call-calling and persuading people to depart with their money. If it is not freely given with love, without force, coercion, persuasion, guilt, sympathy, pity, resentment, need, attachment, expectation or investment then it is not true charity. 

The College of Universal Medicine Charity is a forum through which we can return to the community that which has been given to us. We all know how much our lives have benefitted from applying and living the principles of the Ageless Wisdom as presented and lived by Serge through Universal Medicine, where lives have been transformed, people ultimately healing themselves of all kinds of physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual ills and being empowered to be who they truly are and share that with the world. It is by its very nature not something that can be contained within or held for a few – but calls to be freely given to all mankind that they too may know who they are and arise out of the quagmire, misery, struggles and suffering that many find themselves in, in the knowing that they are already healed, already whole, already love and thus there is no need for any pity, sympathy, attachment or investment of any kind. True Charity is Love Blessing Love. 

30 Jun

Paul Girvan's 'Conscience Clause' - taking N. Ireland back to the Dark Ages..

In the past year a furore erupted in N.Ireland over a cake – Ascher’s bakery refused to bake a cake for a gay man in support of gay marriage on the basis it went against their conscience or perhaps more accurately their beliefs. Following on from this, N. Ireland politician Paul Girvan has tabled a ‘conscience clause’, which if it was successful would give people the right to refuse admission to gay people in hotels, restaurants or to refuse to provide any form of service to gay people on the basis that it went against the ‘conscience’ or ‘beliefs’ of those providing the service. Any service provision that was deemed to be promoting, endorsing or celebrating same sex relationships could be refused if such a law was passed. 

It is shocking in this day and age that people actually think this is ok and can boldly stand in public and make such suggestions. It is rampant homophobia dressed up as ‘going against ones conscience’. Well if one’s conscience is in any way supporting such discrimination then we need to go up against it and call it out for what it is – blatant discrimination. Imagine if instead of gay it said black people? Or Jewish people? Or dare I say catholic or protestant? It doesn’t matter what the label is – all of it is bigoted discrimination that has no place in a modern day society where the equality of all should be first and foremost.

Girvan asks the question if gay rights are more important than religious rights - showing that he misses the point altogether. This is about equality of all - not one group or faction above another. People believe all kinds of things in the name of religion that are not founded upon equality - and so yes, when that occurs equality legisaltion trumps religious beliefs that endorse discrimination and rightly so.  

Girvan argues that Christians are being denied their rights and are not being treated equally as they have to provide services that offend their beliefs. Well, any beliefs that support discrimination against another human being for any reason need to be offended, challenged and called out. Equality is not about giving people the right to discriminate against others based on beliefs that are man-made – because for sure no such beliefs emanate from God.

How far away from the Christ can you get? It is a complete misappropriation to claim to be acting in God’s name or Christ’s name when tabling such proposals – as if the source of omnipotent love is really looking down saying, “Yes Mr Girvan, that’s right I love everyone equally – except gay people”. It’s ridiculous and if it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable. It is a clear example of some ‘Christians’ using beliefs in the name of Christ, but which actually are the anti-thesis of the true Christ and his Love, which is for all equally so.

Yet apathy can end up with such motions being passed – apathy by all the people who disagree and know this is just another fundamentalist attack on the equality of all. We can shake our heads and disagree in coffee shops and restaurants or at work  - but do we actually do anything about it? Do we let it be known that this motion is offensive to any human being who knows the equality of all?

When good people stand back and do nothing, evil (the forces that promote separatism, them and us, amongst humanity in whatever form that takes) gets a free reign – for there is no doubt it is evil to suggest that a group of people are somehow lesser or offensive to us just because they have a different sexuality and thus cannot be treated with the same respect and service as everyone else.

The conscious clause is nothing more than the human desire to have a law that gives people the right to discriminate – it has absolutely nothing to do with the true love of God. Girvan and those who agree with him, might as well say they are complaining that they are being discriminated against because of their ‘right’ to discriminate! Just because people have been fed beliefs that to be gay is an abomination, an affront to God, ‘wrong’, ‘unnatural’, not Godly, or absolutely any of the other derogatory remarks used against people who are homosexual, does not make those beliefs true! It does not make it a fact, there is no evidence for them – confirming that they are only beliefs – unproven and unsubstantiated. When the true nature of the human being is known and felt - then it is also known that these beliefs are in fact not innocent beliefs but deeply harming lies.

Of course they argue that “the Bible says….” . The Bible is a book written approximately 2000 years ago by people who were not living the truth that the Christ lived. Whilst it contains wisdom it also contains falsities and it requires discernment to know what is true and what is not. The purity of our inner hearts, unimpeded by imposed outer beliefs is the best arbiter of what is true and what is not.

By reconnecting to the inner heart and essence of our being, we come to know that we are love, that we are all Sons of God – with no one lesser or higher. This can be felt and known to be true as an energetic fact as well as being consistent philosophically and religiously. If we have this foundational truth and principle as our guide and compass then it is clear that there is no need for a ‘conscience clause’, for any form of discrimination is offensive, and goes against our very nature of love, care and acceptance of all in the absolute knowing that all are equal.

 

Conscience Clause

Eunice, you have put the nail in the coffin of the idiotic Conscience Clause - a nail that should close the discussion right here, right now. You speak with such clarity and conviction it is hard to imagine anyone would try to argue against a word you have written. Thank you for continuing to bring a loud and righteous voice to our world which is often shrouded in chaos and darkness.

HONOUR

Dear Eunice, It's been an absolute Honour to read your blog. It has a very very Strong message: DO NOT MESS UP WITH THE BASIC RIGHTS OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT OUR (!) SOCIETY. There's not one single argument or reason that justifies separation. In this case putting Christians above Gays. Where really, behind the 2 stereotypes are people. Just like you and I. Godly people. Paul Girvan's opinion in this case is in fact very very cruel. I'm wondering if he's actually aware of what he is actually saying. If he is, to me that should be considered a crime. We - as a society - have to come back to our senses and call evil for what it is. And indeed - as Eunice is stating here - everything that is creating separatism is evil. This asks for a general consideration of how the world is today. Because there's not many that live with this integrity. And whilst there are many that would agree, there's hardly any that share publicly how they feel about it. And publicly doesn't necessarily need to be on a blog on the internet, but can also be at the dinner table, with friends, at work, etc. Or even just in our heads, CALL IT FOR WHAT IT IS. Because this is the way we create energy together to come Truly back to our senses and start acting on it as well. Thank you deeply Eunice to bring this to the fore. It is much appreciated!

Paul Girvan's 'Conscience Clause'-

I love how you have exposed the intent of this bill. It is taking everything in the striving for equality back to its original inequality. It would undo all that has been achieved.

Eunice you deftly deconstruct

Eunice you deftly deconstruct the corrosiveness of a belief in inequality. This needs to be shared wide.
24 May

Ireland says a BIG YES to Equality and Gay Marriage. ..

Yesterday Ireland became the first country in the world to legislate for same sex marriage based on the popular vote of the people. And the people of Ireland have spoken loud and clear and given a resounding YES to inclusivity, to acceptance, to equality and to love. The people of Ireland have listened to and been guided by the wisdom and love in their own hearts, rightly bypassing the doctrinal religious teachings that in the past would have been the source of their guidance for such decisions.

The archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has stated that the church needs a ‘reality check’ in light of the result and the overwhelming support for gay marriage that has directly contravened the teachings and advice of the religious leaders in Ireland.

Perhaps, it is time for the church to wake up, to listen to and learn from the people – the people who are in fact showing a true example of the love of God in action compared to those who are preaching from the pulpits against gay marriage; which is to be against equality, against inclusivity and against love. To be against love is to be against God – for God is love – and that love knows that every human being on the planet is equal.

For far too long gay people have been marginalized, outcast, downtrodden, rejected, abused, vilified, ridiculed and even killed – all because they love people of the same gender! It is absurd and ridiculous to say the least that a human being can be subject to such hateful abuse – all because they love another person of the same sex. That it has taken until 2015 for this to become obvious is an indictment of the religious teachings that have promulgated homophobia in their teachings and of us as people who listened and adhered to them.

Given that homosexuality was only decriminalized in Ireland just over 20 years ago – shows that great strides have been made since then to have a majority of the population voting in favour of gay marriage in the recent referendum. The fall of the Catholic church in Ireland due to the child abuse scandals and more has helped remove the wool from people’s eyes and to see that the church and its leaders are not infallible paragons of virtue – and that their authority as a source of moral and ethical guidance has been seriously jeopardized. It has given the people the opportunity to listen to their own wisdom, unfettered by the deeply harming and separative teachings of the church. Rather than go by the teachings of the institutionalized religion, it seems to me that people are being guided by the wisdom of their own hearts, by their own love, by the God that lives within their own being – a relationship that could be called true religion.  Equality is a cornerstone of love – without equality there is no true love. God loves all equally and it is our call to do likewise and the people of Ireland have taken a grand step in expressing that love for all equally by supporting gay marriage.

This too was emulated in the decision by the judge to find Asher’s bakery guilty of discrimination against the gay man in the case I commented on recently. A victory for justice, equality and for love. The bakery are now only going to make cakes for babies and birthdays in order to avoid having to make cakes that support gay marriage. This is where the difference between the love of Christ that loves all irrespective of gender, sexuality, creed, race or any other identifier and Christianity as organised religion is all too clear.

The real evil here that needs to be exposed are the religious teachings that feed people the absolute lies that being gay is an ‘abomination’, is evil, is a sin, is against God, is punishable by being sent to hell and a host of other religious teachings that serve to denigrate and dehumanize gay people, to make them feel guilty for being born and being who they are. The cost of such teachings is unfathomable – for so long gay people have been forced to lead secret lives, have been inculcated to feel guilt and shame for being who they are, have become addicted to alcohol or drugs as a way of numbing their pain, have taken their own lives or been killed by others along with the endless list of abuses they have endured. When the truth is the opposite of that promulgated by institutionalised religion – being gay is not an abomination, it is the true expression of love for many, and is to be accepted, nurtured and cherished as such. It is in no way an affront to God or against God – God is love and it is through love that we come to know God – whether that love is for a person of the same gender or not. The gender in that sense is irrelevant – what matters is the quality of the love. Is it a love that is all encompassing, open, accepting, understanding, allowing that sees and knows all are equal?

Whilst I greatly appreciate and celebrate the people of Ireland for taking a step in the direction of love and equality – there is work to be done! Northern Ireland needs to follow suit but is significantly curtailed and restrained by the false religious teachings that many of the country’s politicians adhere too. Such is the strength of their patriarchal superiority they think they know better than the people and have refused thus far to hold a similar referendum in the North. The day will come when gay marriage is legalized in Northern Ireland – it is just a matter of how long we have to wait for the dinosaurs to become extinct once more!

Furthermore, in terms of equality, there are the issues of women’s rights and access to abortion to contend with both north and south of the border. So let us not get too complacent just yet – the day is yet to come when women in Ireland are held as autonomous and equal individuals who have the power to make decisions over their own bodies without the patronizing patriarchal constrictions and restrictions that are currently in place.

So well done Ireland for recognising, honouring and acknowledging the equality of our gay brothers and sisters across this land and the wider world. May it set an example that other countries and people follow such that no man or woman should ever need to hide, or feel guilt or shame for being who they are or live in fear of being who they are and expressing their love for another human being of the same sex ever again. 

Equality

A big thank you to the people of Ireland, breaking the shackles of old dogma and control, and taking the lead in showing the world a loving way to accept and to love everyone as equals.

God is Love.. as are We.

God is love and love is every way of living in connection to and from this love, it couldn't be more simple and more about our acceptance of ourselves and each other as equal beholders of this true and love-filled way of existence.

Is it possible the Catholic

Is it possible the Catholic Church will come out from behind its cloak and realise its time to live with humanity equally? Maybe they can bring the politicians out as well. It's time all bastions lived truth and integrity based on equalness and true love. It might take a while for them to catch on what that actually is, so no more delay!

Wow!

I did not think that was going to happen! What a turn up - it just shows what you can do just by challenging the status quo, the church does need a reality check and in a country like Ireland where religion has such a hold, it is a amazing that they saw the writing on the wall and responded. If they respond to this, as they have - what else can we challenge the church on?

indeed Joshua - imagine if

indeed Joshua - imagine if people's minds had not been poisoned by such false religious teachings and instead they were encouraged to listen to the wisdom of love in their own hearts - then this day could have come alot sooner. I too have gay friends where I know the love is solid and pure and where they are a shining example of living loving relationships that many of us can learn from!   

Ireland says Big Yes to Equality and Gay Marriage

Eunice , this is such a stirring and deeply heartfelt message it brought me to tears - a Big Yes - to one more step towards Equality for all - Thankyou for sharing this and I surely hope a lot of people in Ireland get to read this blog for it is truly inspiring.

yes Beverley and what message

yes Beverley and what message does that send to the people?? This is the same patronising patriarchal rubbish we have in N Ireland where those in parliament deem themselves superior to the people. 

True Equality should be the Norm!

So well expressed Eunice. Gay relationships have been held for so long as wrong or 'dirty' or even unnatural and outcast in many societies of our modern times. I know for one I have held this same view of gay couples and know it is deeply engrained not only in the Church but also social and cultural ideals. Good on Ireland for this true revolution of equality as I have begun over recent times to observe true love in gay couples I know and can say it is truly gorgeous and something the must be embraced by all.

Ireland says a BIG YES to Equality and Gay Marriage.

Eunice, I support you in all you have said here. This was a wonderful result for true equality. About time that also happened here in Australia. But it does not look as if we are going to be given the opportunity here yet, it is claimed that it is the right of Parliament to make the decision, rather than the people of Australia.

Fantastic news!

Fantastic news! It does seem ridiculous that in 2015 we are still even discussing whether gay people should have the same rights as all others. Ireland is a shining example to other countries to have come so far in such a relatively short period of time. As you say, this is what happens when people listen to their hearts (their innate wisdom) rather than the church.

Powerful and heartfelt

Powerful and heartfelt expression Eunice. Love is love and renders all equal, is the simple, profound and compelling take home message I received from your article.

hear hear!

hear hear!
28 Mar

The Cake, the Christ and Christians - what's really going on? A call for equality, freedom of conscience or homophobic religious discrimination? ..


N. Ireland is currently in the midst of a legal case that is set to be a landmark case between equality rights and religious beliefs. The case centres on a cake, one that Asher's bakery refused to bake because the purchaser asked for the slogan "support gay marriage" to be on the top of the cake. The bakery initially accepted the order and took the payment, even though the person who took the order knew they would not agree to make the cake because of their religious convictions. The purchaser, Gareth Lee, was later contacted and told by the bakery that they were not going to make the cake due to their personal religious beliefs.

The McArthur family who own and run Asher's bakery state that they do not support gay marriage as it goes against their religious beliefs based on the teachings of the bible. They could "not stand before God" and make the cake with a slogan that supports gay marriage. It is clear from reports that the McArthur family take their faith very strongly and endeavour to live their life by the teachings of the bible, which they clearly hold as the source of truth about God and Christ and are earnest in their conviction that they wish to uphold the will of God. For them taking a stance to not make a cake that was in support of gay marriage is, they believe, aligned with the will of God and they argue on the basis of freedom of conscience that they should not be forced by equality legislation to make a cake with a statement that goes against their religious belief. In addition they have had the support of many Christians across the province who are just as convinced that to support to gay marriage is in some way an affront to God and the Christ. They feel in fact that they are ones being discriminated against on the basis of their religious beliefs. 

So what is really going on here? 
Is the McArthur's stance a true representation of the will of God or Christ? 
Or is it a distorted man made belief that is nothing more than homophobia dressed up in religious beliefs? 
Is there any substance to the claims that supporting gay marriage goes against the will of God? 
Should religious beliefs usurp equality legislation? 
Is it more important to give credence to individual religious belief, even if it leads to discriminating against others than to legislation which recognises the inherent equality of all irrespective of religious belief ? 

This case is a great example of man using God to substantiate his own prejudices and beliefs and what can happen when actions are based on beliefs that do not come from the living source of Love that God is. Whilst the bible contains many wisdom teachings it is not the infallible word of God that many Christians hold it to be but a man-made collection of edited writings that require judicious discernment to know what is truly representative of God and inspired by Him and what is not.

God is love first and foremost, and we connect to that source of love within our own hearts. That source of love knows without a shadow of doubt that all people are not just equal, but equal sons of God whose essence is also love. Jesus said ' the Kingdom of God is within' and it is by connecting with this source of love within that we can come to feel and know what is true truth and what are bastardised teachings devoid of the Love of God. When this love is felt and known there can be no doubt that God loves gay people exactly the same as every other human being, and if two gay people love each other and want to show their commitment to each other in marriage then so be it....and so yes, it could be said that God supports gay marriage. Now there's a slogan for a cake! It does not matter to God whether people who get married are heterosexual or homosexual and therefore those who use God to argue for their beliefs of discrimination against gay people are taking his name in vain and misrepresenting the all encompassing love of God.

To imagine for one second that the omnipotent source of love, loves all except those who are gay or who support gay marriage is absurdly ridiculous to say the least. Any religious belief which supports any form of segregation or separation of humanity by gender, sexuality, religious belief or nationality is not coming from God but playing into the hands of those who want to keep humanity at war with itself. The love of God is a unifying power that recognises the equality of all irrespective of religious belief, gender, sexuality or nationality and thus equality legislation is more in keeping with the love of God than those religious beliefs that are anti-gay and which in fact are nothing more than forms of bigoted religious discrimination devoid of the love of the God.

I have read that the defence is making the point that this is not about the person that ordered the cake but about the cake itself and the slogan on it in order to not be seen as discriminating. But the request for the cake did not manifest out of thin air, it came from a person, a person who is gay and who supports gay marriage. To say it is about the cake and not the person is to pretend that the cake request somehow came into being on its own -  which it clearly did not - it came from a person, a person who supports gay marriage. The bakery has no problem making cakes at Halloween with witches on them even though I suspect witches are not consistent with their religious beliefs - so why single out people who support gay marriage? If the slogan was "hate all Jews" or Catholics or Christians or any other group of people then the bakery could rightly justify refusing to bake a cake that supported hate - but the message here is for one of love and acceptance of our fellow humankind who are gay and who wish to express their commitment to love through marriage. It could be said that refusing to bake the cake is analogous to baking one that says "hate all gays", in the message that it sends out to the world. 

If the McArthurs and Asher's bakery win this case then it is a sad day for humanity and equality. It opens the door to all kinds of discrimination based on nothing more than man-made prejudices that have nothing to do with the love of God. Gay people could be refused services across this land and further afield - barred from hotels, pubs, restaurants, bed and breakfast, shops and churches - the potential list is endless. Will we see signs up 'no gays allowed' in windows of restaurants or bed and breakfasts? Ironically placed by Christians who in the name of Christ are doing the opposite of what the Christ would do - which is to welcome and love all with open arms.  

Conviction in ones beliefs is not enough to say they must be recognised or that they can usurp equality - radical Muslims believe they are acting in the will of Allah to kill the cartoonists in Paris or fly into the twin towers in New York or to behead people in cold blood - does that mean they too are excused on the basis of religious belief? That may sound crazy .....but if Ashers win this case then we are opening the door to all kinds of craziness founded upon religious belief. We can all see and know the actions of radical Muslims are evil and in no way representative of the love of God - but they are at one end of a spectrum and at the other end we have the refusal to make a cake that supports gay marriage dressed up as freedom of conscience and 'Christian beliefs' by people who truly feel they are acting according to God's will. But a Christian who does not recognise the equality of his fellow brother, be that brother gay, and his right to marriage the same as heterosexual people is coming from the same source that tells a radical Muslim to kill - it is just wrapped up in niceness, earnestness and sincerity. Of course radical muslims are a minority and are not representative of the way of the true religion of Islam which is loving and peaceful and is just used here as an example of how religious beliefs can be used to justify heinous crimes - and it applies to anyone who uses any religion to justify persecution or discrimination of any kind of another.  However, in this example, the evil of the radical Muslim is easy to see, but what about evil that comes wrapped in niceness, earnestness and sincere religious belief? Is it even more harming as it can fool many well meaning people into thinking it is ok? Yet it is not ok - it is not ok to deny anyone the right to love, and if they so desire, to marry a consensual adult of their choosing. Refusing to bake the cake with 'support gay marriage' is just the thin edge of the wedge that at the deep end has others killing and maiming in the name of God. 

If we all lived according to the love of God that resides within we would not even need equality legislation for it would be part and parcel of our way of living to know and recognise the equality of all, to extend the love of God to all. As Jesus said,  'by their fruits ye shall know them' - it is by our lived actions, by how we treat our neighbours, our customers, our clients and so forth that we can be known to express the love of God or not. Thus any form of discrimination, separation, segregation, feeling superior or judgement does not come from God - refusing to bake a cake that says 'support gay marriage' is just a form of homophobic religious discrimination and needs to be called out as such.  It has nothing to do with the love of God that recognises the equality of all and is therefore also a serious misrepresentation of the divine - something that religious institutions in particular have excelled at for aeons! 
God, the Heavenly Father of All loves ALL and it is our call to love as he Loves, to know that we are a one humanity,  all divine expressions of the one source of all, all innately equal and to accord each other the respect, love and kindness we would like to receive. The more we live this for ourselves, the more we are able to be it for others. 

So how will this particular cake crumble? Will religious beliefs that are misguided and misrepresentative of God, designed to perpetuate the separation of humanity, take precedence over the equality of all that we all innately know in our inner hearts is right and true?

The Cake, the Christ and Christians

Rachel, I love your comment, much humour, but much truth. I agree 'To use religion or God's will to push a personal belief and agenda shows a deep misunderstanding of what God and love really is'. God is love, God does not judge, so what right does this cake shop owner have to judge how this customer wanted his cake to be decorated?

Is "religious freedom" freedom to hate?

This exact same scenario, cake and all, also happened recently in Utah. Utah has been central to the battle in the USA between Equal Rights and 'religious freedom'. Unfortunately, the legislators of Utah responded by passing a bill that was marketed as protecting LGBTQ community from discrimination, but they conveniently added in clauses that make religious people exempt from exercising this law. Other states have followed suit. It has been heralded as a "win-win" situation, and as a peaceful compromise between the two sides. The whole bill feels like a wolf dressed in sheepskin to me. I agree with you Eunice, that this is conveniently disguised as a 'win-win situation' when it is really the right to hate, and the right to separate. The rights of ALL should be considered equally, without special exceptions for the rights of those with certain beliefs. I would not be surprised to see signs in certain businesses in Utah that ban gays from service. I hope Ireland is able to see through the fog of so-called "religious freedom".

" this is not about the

" this is not about the person that ordered the cake, but about the cake itself" - The other place you hear this defense is 'gun's don't kill people, people do" -- make no sense in both cases.

Its a case of not being able

Its a case of not being able to have your cake or eat it because sorry you are gay and therefore you are not equal or worthy of God's love and should be punished. Oh come on! What century are we living in here? To use religion or its God's will to push a personal belief and agenda shows a deep misunderstanding of what God and love really is. I truly hope common sense prevails here and that justice is served (perhaps with cake and a cup of tea?).
13 Mar

Women in Surgery: Should we kneel down and open our mouths, lie back and close our eyes, or stand up and speak the Truth? ..

Dr Gabrielle McMullin, a senior vascular surgeon in Australia, has recently caused a stir by stating that women in surgery should stay quiet about sexual abuse, harassment or advances from male superiors if they wish to continue in a surgical career.

She was commenting on a case of a female surgical trainee, Caroline Tan, who won her case for sexual harassment but could then not find employment in any public hospital in Australia. Dr McMullin said,

"Her career was ruined by this one guy asking for sex on this night. And, realistically, she would have been much better to have given him a blow job on that night."

She goes on to say, "What I tell my trainees is that, if you are approached for sex, probably the safest thing to do in terms of your career is to comply with the request; the worst thing you can possibly do is to complain to the supervising body because then, as in Caroline's position, you can be sure that you will never be appointed to a major public hospital."

In a follow up article Dr McMullin says she is not ‘condoning abuse’ or these types of behaviours, but states that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

There have been a number of articles written on this since and some women have come forward anonymously to speak of their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment, in fear that if they speak out they will be ostracised and their careers over.

In the heat of the media glare after making such comments, Dr McMullin may not wish to be seen as ‘condoning abuse’ but in actual fact her comments, if accurately reported, are doing just that. Recommending trainees to just suck it up when it comes to sexual abuse and harassment may appear in some misguided way to be a solution of sorts that keeps the person in a job, but it is definitely not the answer to the problem of sexual abuse/harassment and misogyny in surgery or the wider field of medicine.

Two wrongs do not make a right – and it is wrong that there is abuse in the first place and it is wrong to condone that abuse with advice to permit it by just lying back and closing our eyes or kneeling down and opening our mouths. It is deeply disturbing that this is both occurring within medicine and that the ‘best advice’ a top female surgeon can give is to comply with it.  Indeed such advice only perpetuates the culture that says this is ok and it will not change until more women (and men) speak up and say this is totally unacceptable and take action to expose such behaviour. Silence, saying nothing, doing nothing is only a way of ensuring that these forms of abuse continue. Furthermore, it is a most disempowering approach to take, one that sees women as powerless and helpless victims, who seemingly have no choice but to get on their knees if they wish to continue in a career in surgery.

Dr McMullin’s article has brought a subject that was very much in the dark out into the cold light of day and the responses have been varied. Some have denied that this is a significant problem, stating that only a few complaints to the medical boards concern sexual harassment. But this most likely just confirms the reluctance of female trainees to report such episodes. The latter being confirmed by some coming out and speaking up now following Dr McMullin’s comments, and tellingly so doing it anonymously.

Some point out that it’s not just the overt sexual advances that are the problem but the underlying misogynistic culture that thinks it’s ok to make such remarks as: the only female surgeons that are acceptable are the ones that are ‘childless, single and pretend to be men’.

Dr McMullin’s comments have also now tarred all female surgeons with the sexual brush. All those years of hard work, dedication, study, and on call, for the sake of their greater calling – have now been reduced in some people’s eyes and minds to: 'She slept her way into the job' and this will actually provide more fodder for justifying future abuse of women.

.....

Whilst my own experiences in surgical training have been positive and affirming, I encountered some misogynistic comments as a medical student regarding women in surgery, but that was over 25 years ago when the patriarchal attitudes were perhaps more pervasive. But those comments did not affect me nor put me off a career in surgery – if anything it made me more determined to do it. At the same time, when it came to lighthearted banter I could give as good as I got, and for me personally that wasn’t an issue.  It would be an interesting piece of research to find out the extent of this issue in the UK as well, for even though it wasn’t a significant part of my own experience, I am aware that it does occur and it needs to be addressed.

However, a close friend and colleague Dr Anne Malatt, who is an eye surgeon in Australia, shares with us her experiences:

“When I was training to be a doctor, on my first day at the hospital we went to an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) clinic. The tall gruff surgeon showed us our first ever patient, an elderly gentleman. He asked him to open his mouth and it was full of maggots, eating his tongue cancer. He then proceeded to demonstrate a mouth examination, using me as the subject. He shoved a wooden tongue depressor into my mouth so hard that I gagged, and laughed and said: 'Well, you won’t be much good giving head!'

There were numerous snide comments, rude jokes and generally demeaning treatment through my training. I would make light of them, but they were offensive and hurtful. Despite them all, I passed surgery with honours.

I was inspired to become an eye surgeon.

I was the only one of 13 candidates to pass the primary exam at the time that I sat it. This exam was required for entry into the surgical training programme at the time. Yet I was frequently, and sometimes to my face, accused of sleeping my way into the job.

My friend and I were the first women to be accepted into the programme for 5 years. We were given second-rate surgical jobs, and ignored when we questioned why, given we were the most ‘worthy’ of the ‘good’ jobs, on paper.

I remember sitting in the tearoom one morning and the senior consultant saying to me: 'It is a waste of time and money training you girls – you are just going to get married and have babies.' "

.....

Pregnancy has been used as a weapon to undermine and discredit female colleagues, by suggesting they would not be in the profession for the long-term.

And from another female surgeon in Australia: "I was told when I was an intern that there are only two types of women surgeons: women who shouldn't be surgeons and surgeons who shouldn't be women," she said.

It is clear that with attitudes such as these, true equality in surgery is but an illusion in such environments. What is perhaps astonishing to consider is that most, perhaps even all, of these men are probably married, could have daughters, sisters and have had mothers – do they treat these women in the same way? Would they like their nearest and dearest women to be treated in the same way as they are treating others? Do they think it’s one rule for the workplace and another for home? But that too is an illusion – showing such disrespect to one woman is in effect showing disrespect to all.  

Only when women are accepted as human beings and women first and foremost, not pretend men, or even as doctors /surgeons, will there be true equality.

.....

The issue here is not just the few or the many men that are involved in such cases, it is the culture of surgery and medicine in general which has allowed such incidences and more to go unchecked for many, many years. The culture of medicine itself is toxic and abusive – little wonder then when it churns out doctors who are also abusive, not just to others, but to themselves. The system of medical training is abusive – long hours of study and work to swallow copious amounts of information, training/teaching by humiliation was just par for the course and there was definitely no sense of care for how the students were coping and living on a daily basis.  

The caring profession has spectacularly failed in its first duty of care – which should be to the students and staff within that profession.

Hence we have higher rates of addiction and suicide in medicine than the general population and rates of burnout of 1 in 2. Astonishing facts that are just another face of the abusive and toxic culture of medicine.

So what is the answer?

  • As a profession we need to state categorically that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and in no way condone such practices.
  • Women need to speak up at the time the incidents occur, to say no and to know they do not need to prostitute themselves to be successful in their career.
  • Empowering female trainees to know how to address sexual abuse when it comes their way, to know they are worth more and that they are not helpless victims.
  • Empowering male doctors to also speak up and call out such incidents when aware of them.
  • A mechanism for reporting incidents of abuse and harassment that trainees can trust and which has effective powers – one that may need to be independent from the mainstream medical culture and ‘old boys club’ approach to such issues.
  • A change of culture is required and that will only come about by the individuals within that culture changing and saying no to the current abusive and toxic system.
  • Developing a culture of medicine that is based on care for the human being first and foremost who is training to be a doctor – such that they develop a care, love and respect for themselves to the point that such abusive ways towards another or to self are eliminated. 

 

Changing the culture of medicine will not happen overnight, but let us not underestimate the power we have to bring about that change by using our voice and saying no. Men and women all need to take responsibility for their part in perpetuating this toxic system and for bringing about change – for each of us it starts with ourselves and what we are prepared to accept or not accept. It starts with each of us standing up and speaking the Truth and not accepting anything less.

The following is an adaptation of the words of the Army Chief David Morrison regarding the army, made relevant to surgery and medicine:

Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of surgery and medicine and the environment in which we work. If we become aware of any individual degrading another, then we need to show moral courage and take a stand against it. No one has EVER explained how the exploitation or degradation of others, enhances the capability, or honours the traditions of the Medical Profession. The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.   

That goes for all of us; leaders have the onus of responsibility of their position to set an example, but that is no excuse for others to be silent bystanders – we all have a voice and can use it.

So what do you and will you walk past? What do you and will you accept?

Not being part of the Medical

Not being part of the Medical Fraternity I must say I am only expressing from one looking in from the outside. To me anyone who takes away anothers confidence, feelings of self worth and in the end their livelihood in such a crushing way deserves to be made accountable as the Highest level. Surely when there is often reported a shortage of good Doctors and Surgeons in our Country that everyone, female and male should be valued more than ever. Thank you for revealing these sad state of affairs in our Hospitals Dr Minford!

In full agreement with what

In full agreement with what you say here Gayle. Eunice, you have nailed so many things in this article and brought them out into the open for us all to see and feel and no longer ignore or plead ignorance about. It is shocking, it feels horrible and it is time to say NO MORE.

It is shocking to hear that

It is shocking to hear that nothing much has changed. Having worked as a nurse in London hospitals 40 years ago, the nurses - all female back then - were often treated as less than - as hand maidens of some doctors.

Women in Surgery

'So what do you and will you walk past? What do you and will you accept?' Great questions Eunice to sum up this thoroughly explored topic of abuse in surgery but equally relatable in may spheres of work. It simply boils down to the lack of understanding that we are all equal and that what we will impose on others in a work setting would be horrific and totally unacceptable if it were our own son or daughter we were saying or doing those same abusive things to!

Women in Surgery

It always shocks me that we have a Medical profession that can treat its Women counterparts with such utter disrespect! This is something we certainly need to continually bring out into the light to be aired and changed. I wonder what a man in the same position would do? Surely not accept the degradation to have a career, then have to live with that! It also makes me wonder how much disrespect is shown to female Patients!

Women in Surgery

Thank you Eunice for putting pen to paper on this - as it is so much more powerful coming from someone with your life experience within the sector being abused and now humiliated by comments such as Dr McMullen's . I was shocked when I first heard the response of Dr McMullen and am aware she has tried to amend her intention but her initial comments were received, by me and I suspect most of the public, for what they were, condoning of sexual abuse. The world is made a scarier place by comments such as Dr McMullen's.....and a much safer and richer place by comments such as yours.

I wholeheartedly agree

I wholeheartedly agree Eunice. Anything less than speaking up is just perpetuating and supporting the status quo. Whilst it is a positive step that this is being discussed, it seems like the cases we are hearing of are just the tip of a much larger illness. Your words make me wonder whether this culture of inequality exists across all professions not just medicine.

It is not ever ok to abuse

It is not ever ok to abuse another, ourselves, or our position, this is not something we need to be learn, it is a known. In allowing it by not speaking up we hold hands with it, and say ok to it. It doesn't require a medical degree to know this is wrong, and not ever acceptable!
04 Jan

Bad luck causes cancer……and the world is flat! ..

After a few hours I had just completed an in depth blog post on this topic, replete with references and analysis when the whole thing disappeared from view to be replaced by a clean page!! Alas, I had not saved it along the way...lesson learned! And so I will submit here just a brief entry and perhaps return another day to flesh it out a bit more in another post!

There have been many reports in the news this week that bad luck causes cancer, based on a study that correlated the number of stem cell divisions in different tissues and the cancer rate in those tissues. Those with more stem cell divisions had more cancers ( not that surprising as cancer is cell division beyond the body's control) based on the premise that there were more opportunities for mutations in those with higher number of cell divisions. However, not all mutations are retained or lead to cancer - something that this study does not explain - except to say that for those who get it the cause is 'bad luck'. These are critical questions that go unanswered. An article in the guardian explains some of the flaws in the press reports but does not fully debunk the bad luck theory.

I was also told at medical school that many cancers are just down to bad luck without considering the implications of this. Dr Vogelstein who was behind the study, believes that one major message to come out of the work is that cancer cannot be prevented. And it is reputed that "it helps cancer patients to know" that the disease is not their fault. But it does not say how it helps to keep them as victims of circumstances beyond their control or in other words as victims of bad luck?

Understanding illness and disease is never about blaming the individual or saying its 'your fault' you have cancer or this condition or that condition. It is about bringing understanding in a way that is empowering for the individual, that is healing and which offers them a bigger picture with which to understand their life and their condition and which enables them to develop a truly loving, respectful and honouring relationship with their body and their condition. 

The understandings offered by this study do none of that - they leave people as victims, with no recourse to address or heal the underlying cause - how does that help them? To me it feels very disempowering. 

What if, instead, people understood that how they live their lives, their biography if you like, does affect their biology and has an impact on their body that can be healthy and healing or detrimental and harming? Would that not be worth knowing? 

If I had cancer, to be told it is bad luck, to me leaves me with nowhere to go other than standard medical treatment, nothing I can do myself to change it or heal the underlying cause, no steps I can take to help prevent it coming back, no way to understand it that gives me some empowerment and control - it leaves me as a victim. 

Whereas if I understand and know that how I have lived my life has in some way contributed to this condition then I have somewhere to go, I can look at how I have been living and consider making changes that are more healthy, I can take responsbility for the choices I have made and continue to make....in the knowing that they have an effect on the health of my body. 

Furthermore, with deeper understanding of illness and disease, I can see this as not something bad, but something that is healing. It gives me a bigger picture to understand myself and my life and who I am. If I know that my body is a vehicle for the love that I am, and that love is unaffected by any illness or disease or even death itself, then even terminal cancer can be seen in a different light. 

To say that cancer or any illness and disease is just bad luck, is to disempower people and rob them of the rich opportunities to heal the underlying cause. It encourages an attitude of irresponsibility - for why bother making healthy choices if it's all down to bad luck?? 

Whilst it can be a big ouch to realise how we have been living in ways that are not truly honouring of ourselves and our bodies, it is but a temporary ouch, once the true glory of our being is realised and even more when it is lived. This is an ever unfolding journey on the cycle that is life with no perfection ever being sought or required. To understand illness and disease as part of the healing journey of life, healing our separation from who we are in truth, is to transform them such that one is never a victim of them but is instead blessed by the healing they bring. 

Science is showing how our lifestyles, our daily choices are resulting in illness and disease much more than was ever acknowledged before. The sciences of epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology are demonstrating how our thoughts and emotions affect our immune system and genetic expression and can result in illness and disease. As more and more is discovered, the more we realise that we have a much bigger role to play in the conditions we develop than we previously realised and the shift is towards ever increasing personal responsibility for the state of our health. 

I'm sure one day people will look back at those who support the bad luck theory of cancer in a similar way to how we view those who believed the world was flat - with incredulity that this could ever be believed! 

Well said Eunice. I would

Well said Eunice. I would much prefer to be empowered by the knowledge that the 'disease' was my body's way of healing itself and reminding me to look at the way that I live. In the past I have blamed bad luck or genetics on my woes, but in hindsight I gradually have been able to identify how I was living/feeling contributed to the state of my health at the time

What a great article, spot

What a great article, spot on. It seems that we prefer to just be victims and let life take over, instead of claiming our enormous power and our responsibility with every choice we make. There is no such thing as luck or no luck. We have a choice.

Bad luck? I don't think so.

Once again yours is the voice of reason amongst the bogus headlines, this time claiming cancer is just bad luck. As you have so clearly laid out for us, this leaves the person with cancer, a sad helpless victim with no control over their own life. That makes no sense.

Cancer rates

Hi Eunice Your blog is spot on - the claims that it is 'bad luck' aren't quantifiable if the rates of people being diagnosed with cancer are increasing, as per the recent article and statistics from Macmillan Cancer Support (ref - http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30682088) There simply must be something in the way we are living that is causing the rise in diagnoses - or lots more people are a lot more unlucky than those 30 years ago!! Sarah

How much responsibility can we handle?

To me it just makes sense that we have a part to play in our own illness & disease. Most of us can admit that if we catch a cold it is usually because we have been run down or not taking such great care of ourselves leading up to it, if we have a hangover we know it's because of what we drank the night before, if we are tired and grumpy it's because we didn't get such a great night sleep. Perhaps taking responsibility for something more serious like cancer, that takes a lot more to deal with is too much responsibility to take on?

If this is your abridged

If this is your abridged version Eunice, I eagerly await your full article! Thank you; this is a wonderful peep into the real roles we play in ours and everyone else's lives.

Astonished -

Thank you for so clearly likening this proposal about cancer as akin to the proposal that the Earth was flat. On several occasions I have been astonished when seriously ill patients showed remarkable healing and instead of pursuing the point to find out why and how that has happened, the whole thing was dismissed with the favourite label 'spontaneous remission' and so the case was closed. And now we have a study that claims that cancer is due to bad luck and not only is it not laughed out of the door, it is taken seriously. How can scientists remain blinkered to the studies in epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology that clearly show there is more to the limited view we have been running with and come up with a misleading study that takes us even backwards.

Thank you for such an

Thank you for such an insightful overview of what's really going on behind illness and disease and our individual relationship with and responsibility for it. 'To understand illness and disease as part of the healing journey of life' provides a much needed broader truth beyond just cancer causation.
04 Jan

Selling off the NHS..

Last night I watched this documentary by Peter Bach about the Sell-off of the NHS. It exposes the extensive corruption in political and government circles that is leading to the dismantling of the NHS step by step. The NHS provides cheaper, more cost-effective healthcare than the US with better results but the government persist with going down the route of the US model. You might ask why? Well it has nothing to do with patient care that's for sure. But when you realise that over 200 politicians have links to private health care companies that might provide a clue.....yes money and greed are the underlying motivators in this story. Those who speak up about it experience attempts to silence and intimidate them. Of course professional apathy and burnt out doctors play into the hands of their agenda - and before we know it, too many irreversible steps will have been taken. A recent Bill apparently did away with the longstanding legal obligation of the government to support the NHS - what more clear indication do we need of their agenda?

This film was made to help raise awareness of what is happening. If you care about preserving the NHS, founded on the premise that care would be equal for all and based on need and not ability to pay, then please watch and share....and help to raise awareness of the extent of corruption that is on the verge of destroying the NHS. It needs the people who vote to speak up and not accept these underhand tactics motivated by pure greed. For once the UK follows the US model it opens the doors for other countries to follow suit and more gold in the pockets of the private investors.  

03 Nov

Emotions and Feelings - is there a difference? ..

Many people think that emotions and feelings are just different words for the same thing – that we can use those words interchangeably.

But what if emotions and feelings are not the same?

What if there is a significant difference between them that has implications for our health and wellbeing?

Would it not be helpful to know what the difference was?

You bet it would!

In order to explain the difference, let me explain a little more about the human body and our make up.

Human beings are not just solid matter – we are in fact energetic beings with energy flowing through us all the time in every direction.

It’s like we are made up of lots of holes through which light can enter and leave the body.

We feel this flow of energy in and through the body all of the time – even if we do not recognise it and this flow of energy is felt and is what we know as feelings.

Feelings are the bodily sensations or feelings that register what is going on around us and within us at any moment and which we can tune into or feel as we so choose or not.

So feelings are constantly changing depending on what is going on around us and within us. However, ideally, we have no attachment to them – we just feel them, recognise them and honour them. Feelings are what tells us what is really going on for us and around us, and are much more truthful than the thoughts in our heads!

Indeed we often override what we are feeling in our bodies with our minds in order to please another or gain some form of recognition e.g. we are tired and exhausted and feel that we need to sleep but we continue to work late in order to please the boss or to get his/her approval. 

In addition, we have a natural energy source within us, which is loving, caring and gentle. In order to have harmony in the body, we need to make choices with this same quality of energy as much as possible. If we do not choose this quality then we will have energy flowing through us that is not of our true state and this will be harmful for the body over time. 

So What Happens when we are Emotional?

When we are emotional e.g. angry or frustrated we are running an energy through the body that is not harmonious for it and indeed we can even feel this at the time. These emotions affect our pulse and blood pressure and cause other internal changes as well that affect our cells and organs.

What are Emotions?

Emotions are the result of feelings that have either been reacted too or that have not been felt, recognized, or honoured and may be stuck and carried in the body. Usually they are the result of an unmet need, a hurt, or an expectation that has not been fulfilled. Often there is a story about them and we usually have some attachment to the story and the emotions. Emotions are detrimental to our health both in the moment they occur and over time.  Esoterically and energetically emotions are at the root of many of our illnesses and diseases – so it’s definitely worth knowing about them. Medical science has not fully elucidated this as yet but more and more evidence is accumulating that is confirming the detrimental impact of emotions on health.  

The Differences Between Feelings and Emotions

Feelings:

• occur constantly, all of the time

• can stay centred (do not alter the energetic state of the body)

• non-emotional and feel what is there to be felt

• true guides re what is occurring in life and in our bodies

• can recognise what is going on within and without

• clairsentience is the ability to feel clearly

• based on the energetic truth of what is occurring. 

Emotions:

• reactions to something or someone

• involve a story

• unmet expectation or need

• have a disturbing energetic quality

• we are no longer centred or still (alters the energetic state of the body)

• are poisonous to our health and wellbeing

• based on false beliefs about who we are 

So emotions and feelings are not the same – they feel different and they have different consequences in the body.

Of course it is easy to get caught up in our emotions and think we are them. Sometimes people think a life without the emotional highs and lows would be boring but that is a fallacy. Instead, we can have a consistently steady and joyful way of being, no matter what is going on around us - how great would that be! 

So it is good to let go of emotions knowing they are not healthy and are not who we truly are. We are not our anger, our sadness, our frustration, jealousy or any other emotion – connect to the natural loving energy within and you will know this to be true for yourself. This also helps us to not take other people’s emotional reactions too personally as we know it is not coming from their true essence. By staying centred in such instances, it can assist the other person to return to their essence also.

Feel what you feel, recognise it and honour it – your body will thank you for it!

I love how you succinctly

I love how you succinctly suggest to feel what we feel and how this is an honouring that our bodies will thank us for. I can feel the indulgence now and the burden of carrying my reactions and generating even more emotions in my body.

Great Difference

This is really helpful. Thank you a lot, Eunice. In some languages (i.e. German) we can´t differ between both terms, because only one is used. Your list of differences is very useful to me and I will use it in updating my personal understanding but also in my trainings. I have noticed, that I support many people just by offering the possibility of asking: What are you feeling at this moment? And so everybody can look at the emotion, which has conquered the body and is so hurtful. It just needs honesty ... but that´s another blog.

Great explanation

Great description of the difference between feelings and emotions. It is clear from the explanation in the article that feelings are well worth paying attention to and becoming more aware of, while emotions are clearly toxic to us. Yet most people think they are one and the same. It is great to have the difference clearly explained.

It is so great to have a

It is so great to have a definition between emotions and feelings and how they relate to health. I know the utter hardness and devastation that emotions cause in my body - I'm left felling drained, heavy and with a headache, so in learning to connect to my feelings instead makes for a much healthier body and life style.

Thank you Eunice, I used to

Thank you Eunice, I used to think that feelings and emotions where the same, and held onto a lot of anger, frustration, jealousy and sadness in my body. Over the last few years I have come to understand the difference and as I have started to connect to my feeling more the emotions have started to fade. Now when they do pop up, I am so aware of them that I choose not to get caught in the reaction.

Yes...

Thanks so much for succinctly putting into words what I have been discovering over the past few years. I have always thought I was my emotions and they have been driving me and my body for years. I have only just started discovering the difference between feelings and emotions and it has been life changing. I still get caught in my emotions and identify with them but the story is becoming less and less and I am now living much steadier than I have in years. I'll 'feel' to that !
01 Oct

Does Love Heal? ..

 

 

It has been written since ancient times ‘that only love heals’. But what does that mean and how does love heal? Some might feel they are just words or platitudes with no real substance or meaning. Certainly when it comes to medical school training there is no mention of love – so is it just some out-dated notion of yester-year or does it still carry relevance in today’s modern scientific medicine?

In modern medicine the word healing usually refers to the physiological processes of wound healing after an operation or an injury or trauma. It is the process to describe skin healing or broken bones healing together. But this is a very limited understanding of the term healing.

The word itself originates from the Olde English word ‘Hal’ which is also the root word for whole and holy. Perhaps true healing then is about returning to wholeness and holiness? In other words returning to our true divine nature or essence – which is whole and complete and holy in that it is divine. The word holy has been frequently misinterpreted to mean something pious but here just refers to the fact that we are by essence divine.

So what is that divine essence?

Every human being has a divine essence that is pure love, whether they believe it or not. It is an energetic fact that can be known and felt by everyone if they so choose.

The problem is that we have lived in ignorance of it and as if it is not there – hence we make daily choices that are not based on our true quality of love.

Instead we have taken on beliefs about ourselves that are not true, that we are not good enough, not lovable, unworthy and so forth. These false beliefs lead us to feel bad about ourselves and to carry out behaviours that are not healthy. We can feel an emptiness and ache inside that we endeavour to fill with work, achievements, success, relationships, hobbies, sport, missions, sex and on and on the list could go.

But nothing can fill that emptiness other than our own love – knowing that we are love, that we are already whole and complete without DOING anything. That is healing – love heals by letting us know that we are already love without having to prove or demonstrate our achievements to the world in the hope of being loved back.

Our very being is LOVE. By accepting that we are love we are empowered to make more loving choices and to look after our bodies – treating them with love, care and kindness and not taking in any toxins ( eg alcohol, illicit drugs, nicotine, caffeine, excess sugar, gluten, dairy etc)  that are detrimental to the body. We realize we are worth caring for – first and foremost by ourselves. In this way our lifestyle choices are modified and become more healthy which in turn has a beneficial effect on our physical bodies, health and wellbeing.

I certainly had no idea that we each had an essence of love and it was a revelation to me when I first heard it. It certainly wasn't any part of my medical training and I would have been dismissive of the use of such language in what is a 'science' subject. Also when I first heard it, I wasn't that sure what it really meant or the implications of it, as I had lived in a way that wasn't very loving to myself and my body.  Being irritated, frustrated or angry about something were quite common experiences for me working in surgery in the NHS that I just accepted was the way I was and there was nothing I could do about it!

Thankfully I have come to realise that is not the case and that there is plenty I can do and have done about it such that these emotions are much less frequent today as I have dealt with and continue to address the underlying reasons for their appearance. Finding out that my essence was and is love, irrespective of my experiences, was a game changer for me. It helped me to understand myself and life in a new way that then influenced my choices. It gave me a different perspective and understanding of illness, disease and healing - one that was empowering and transformative.  

So yes – love heals – and this has been my experience. For it is only by living from our true essence of love that we will make choices that are truly harmonious for the body. Our essence of love is constant and is unaffected by any trauma, illness or disease – and so even if we have a condition or an ailment present, we know we are more than the condition or the ailment. Instead we can see it as the body’s way of clearing that which is not love, that we have taken on and a message perhaps that we need to develop a more loving way with ourselves. These understandings are not yet part of the standard approach to healthcare and medicine - but that does not mean they are not true nor valid. I have come to know the truth of them myself by living them and applying them in my life as well as appreciating and understanding their philosophical foundations. In addition, they are supported by certain scientific understandings that are showing that how we live our lives has a great impact on our health and such choices fundamentally emerge from our beliefs about who we are as human beings and how we feel about ourselves. I am certain as time progresses that science will continue to uncover findings that support what we can already know and feel with the body by living in a way that is truly loving. 

We have not as yet got to writing prescriptions for love – give to self 3 times daily - or indeed give to self all day, every day! Yet love is the elixir of life – love is the true physician that knows all and heals all.

A great article Eunice. What

A great article Eunice. What you have presented is something that definitely requires further consideration within the realms of health care. I love the idea of a prescription for love.

Does Love Heal?

Love this Eunice. It should be prescribed reading on the first day of medical school . . . indeed on the first day of kindergarden! If everyone heard this, embraced this and started to Iive this how different would this world be. Thank you for the simple but powerful message.
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