I came to homeopathy because I was searching for another way to help my sick child. Conventional medicine was not working and I longed to understand the “why”. What began as a personal quest became a professional passion and then a vocation. In the journey I found that not only did homeopathy offer permanent, safe and gentle treatments but it also paved a way for me to look at the healing process from a completely different perspective.
In The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, a book that teaches lessons that can be learned in dying to the living, there is a story that beautifully defines what could quite possibly be the most profound gift that we can offer to our patients as homeopaths.
The author, Sogyal Rinpoche, writes about a friend, who had just graduated from a famous medical school and started work at one of the larger London hospitals. On her first day on the ward, four or five people died. It was a terrible shock for her and nothing in her training had equipped her to deal with it. One old man was lying in his bed, staring at the wall. He was alone with no family or friends to visit him and desperate for someone to talk to.
She went over to him. His eyes filled with tears and his voice trembled as he asked her the last question she expected to hear: “Do you think that God will ever forgive me for my sins?” My friend had no idea how to respond: her training had left her completely unprepared for any spiritual questions. She had nothing to say; all she had to hide behind was her professional status as a doctor. There was no chaplain close by. She stood there paralyzed and unable to answer her patient’s desperate call for help and reassurance about the meaning of life.
The young doctor asked, in her own pain and bewilderment: “What would you have done?” The author said that he would have sat by his patient’s side, held his hand, and let him talk.
“I have been amazed again and again by how, if you just let people talk, giving them your complete and compassionate attention, they will say things of surprising spiritual depth, even when don’t think they have any spiritual beliefs. Everyone has his or her own life wisdom, and when you let a person talk, you allow this life wisdom to emerge. You can help people to help themselves by helping them to discover their own truth — a truth whose richness, sweetness, and profundity they may never suspected. The sources of healing and awareness are deep within each of us, and our task is never under any circumstances to impose our beliefs — but to enable others to find these within themselves,” writes Rinpoche.
This story taught me as a practitioner (mother/wife/friend/neighbour) that the greatest gift I could offer would be through the simple yet profound act of providing a quiet and safe space for my patients to listen and reflect and find their own wisdom/truth. Perhaps this is why patients often say that they feel better and why they appear somehow lighter after the initial consultation – before a single remedy is prescribed. They have begun their own healing process through the simple yet profound act of awareness and reflection.
Through this reflection begins the healing process which is where complementary medicines and therapies recognize the mind/body connection. That is why I love homeopathy – it truly is the only complete medicine.