Dr. Jeffrey Rediger | The magnificence of you and the higher possibilities within you.
I want to talk with you today about the magnificence of you, and the higher possibilities within you. I just returned from giving a plenary in Tulsa at the Zarrow 21st Annual Mental Health Symposium. It was a fabulous conference, well-designed, and oriented towards what it takes to create a meaningful and flourishing life. People said that a movement needs to be started from the ideas spoken about, and I agree.
I was impressed once again by the fact that we are living at a very exciting time. In spite of the fear that dominates the news cycles, the current period of time will be regarded by the annals of history as a renaissance. All institutions and nations are slowly being brought under the democratizing influence of the central idea that each individual brings something of infinite value and goodness into the world.
Everywhere, all over the world, people long for an approach to medicine, psychology and spirituality that is rooted in what’s right about us. Patients, doctors, and all manner of clinicians are feeling the burden of a healthcare system that isn’t quite getting it right or giving us the kind of healthcare system that we really need and want at this point in history. We all are ready for something new, whether we call it a Science of Health rather than a Science of Disease, Positive Medicine, or a Medicine of Health and Possibility.
I have been taking care of both medical and psychiatric patients for years, and also listening to patients who have recovered from illnesses after they were told that their illness was fatal and that they were going to die. I now see how illnesses are more rooted in our hearts and minds than our current healthcare system understands.
What I am learning from normal patients, and from those with remarkable recoveries, is that we all suffer to the exact extent that we don’t get it about the unrepeatable magnificence and dignity of what we bring into the world. It’s just easier to believe the bad stuff. Or to believe what parents or others who didn’t know about what was great about them taught you about yourself, which is that you are not good enough. No one can teach you what they don’t know about themselves.
In this blog, we will examine this central misunderstanding, and how it is this that so dramatically undermines health, vitality and success. And how the reversal of this heals lives, sometimes even physically and to a shocking degree.
Rachael Donalds – a grad student in Harvard’s School of Public Health who researches resilience – told me that the central insight at the core of remarkable recoveries – that we all suffer to the exact extent that we don’t get it about the unrepeatable magnificence of us – should be called the “Rediger Remission Ratio.” I’m not so sure about that exact language, but I do know that we need a simple and clear way to highlight the one issue which lies at the unacknowledged core of so much human illness and suffering. We all get better and feel better – sometimes to a degree that is astonishing – when we feel seen and loved for what’s great about us, and can halt the otherwise unceasing internal flow of criticism and self-criticism. We do not need more “shoulds” in the world.
This ratio, Rachael suggested, provides a way to potentially measure the connection and outcomes between the physical, mental and higher aspects of our being. I know that this is the future of medicine. It is the doorway to a medicine of hope and possibility.
It is to the understanding of this central idea that this blog is dedicated. In the next blog, I will discuss how a recent patient’s heart disease was connected to deep personal loss, and also how a remarkable individual unexpectedly recovered from pancreatic cancer. Thank you for participating.