patterns in healing

Forgiveness and Exceptional

This is a guest post by Victoria Ellis. She's a student at Lesley University and is interning with me this semester. She's writing a guest blog post for my newsletter each week.  The power of being exceptional and being able to forgive is colossal.  The word exceptional is explained very well in the book “Love, Medicine, & Miracles” by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.  He wrote an entire book of different cases of ‘exceptional patients’ that he treated who were able to heal themselves (according to my definition of healing in the previous post).   Dr. Siegel has noticed many trends or patterns in healing.  “Exceptional patients manifest the will to live in its most potent form” (Siegel 3).  The people who found meaning in their illness and were able to cope with it were able to truly heal.  The book is filled with examples of exceptional patients and I highly recommend reading it.  It is very moving.

Today I got the opportunity to see Kim Phuc speak.  She is the little girl in the photo below that blew the publics minds.  Kim used this photo as the platform for the rest of her life.  This act changed her life so much and leads her to help so many more people that have been affected by war, like her.  It has been about forty-one years since this picture was taken and she still does not forget the burning sensation of napalm on her skin.  This pain was the motivation for her to start The Kim Foundation International Healing Children of War.


This photo single handedly changed the way a lot of people viewed war and patriotism in America, not to mention what the bomb did to Kim and her family.  Napalm is similar to gasoline and is very flammable.  It is so wrong that American soldiers dropped four napalm bombs on Kim Phuc’s hometown in Vietnam and killed all of her relatives who are running along side her in the photo.  Kim suffered tremendously from this until she realized that she needed to forgive.  How could Kim ever begin to forgive?  The pain deep in her soul was so strong that it was taking over her life.  She needed to release it and that meant forgiving.

Kim is a prime example of an exceptional patient.  Although she was a burn victim, not suffering from an illness like cancer, like most in Dr. Siegel’s book, she is still an exceptional patient.  That little girl in the picture manifested her destiny in order to live in the most potent form and I think Dr. Siegel would agree with me.  She was able to determine what she needed to do to be HEALED and she made it happen.  Kim is a very inspiring woman.

Siegel, Bernie S. Love, Medicine & Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-healing from a Surgeon's Experience with Exceptional Patients. New York: HarperPerennial, 1990. Print.