Hospital Care and the Power of Reflection

by Doug Valentine, Peebles, Scotland

Last week I needed to attend hospital for what I call an operation, but what the doctors call ‘a couple of procedures’. This got me thinking about the care we receive in hospitals and whether there may be some truth in the recent press reports of people receiving levels of care in UK hospitals that have been described as disgraceful, with staff being reported as displaying indifference and contempt for patients. These reports were opposite to what I have experienced in hospital. Over the past year I have attended two local hospitals and have found that the doctors and nurses have shown me amazing care and support.

Therefore, in light of all the bad press that hospital care has been receiving, I decided to be very observant of all the staff who were looking after me during my recent visit. The only sign I received that things might have changed was the fact that after four hours of having tissue ablated (destroyed, in plain language) on the inside of my heart between 9 am and 1 pm, I would have been sent home at 6 pm if the wound in my leg, the keyhole, had healed as expected.

I was extremely grateful that my wound didn’t heal fast enough, so I had an unexpected night in hospital to recover before travelling home. I literally felt as if a bus had hit me, and that someone had decided to remove my heart and play 90 minutes of football with it before stuffing it back in my chest. I believe all of this was absolutely normal after the procedures they had carried out.

During my 24-hour stay, around eight different nursing staff, many from other parts of the world for whom English was a second language, supported me, along with a further team of six to eight specialists in theatre. I could feel that every single one of them was dedicated to their job and loved doing it – I couldn’t have asked for a higher level of care.

So ok, there are bound to be variations in different parts of the country, and for sure there will be a few people who shouldn’t be doing the jobs that they are doing, but I haven’t ever come across one. Not a single one. So why all the reports about how ‘disgraceful’ hospitals are?

I got to thinking about whether the care that we receive is possibly a reflection of how we are with the hospital staff: after all, no matter how dedicated they are, they are still human beings, and human beings relate to people depending on how each person is with them.

I discussed this with an old friend, who related a story to me about two of his friends, let’s call them ‘Brian’ and ‘John’. Both of these friends had gone to the same hospital in the past few months for the same (or similar) operation to deal with an aortic aneurysm. John reported afterwards that it had been a breeze, all the doctors and nurses were amazing, very caring and had done a great job. He felt wonderful and would recommend all his friends to use this hospital.

Brian, on the other hand, reported that the operation had been screwed up by the doctors who had put him back together in the wrong order (apparently they had all his organs out on a tray during the operation!), and all the staff had been awful and couldn’t care less. He felt that there had been no true care for him whatsoever, and the doctors had caused major new problems for him that he hadn’t had before he had his operation. He would caution anyone against being a patient in that hospital.

Now since it was the same operation, chances are that John and Brian were both cared for by the SAME staff or near enough, so what could account for the huge difference in care? Now as it happens, I had met Brian about 30 years ago, but I had never met John. When I met Brian, although he was a relatively young man, he felt about 20 years older than he was, and he filled the room up with misery to such an extent that I remember wanting to escape from his presence.

I told my friend this and asked him what John was like to be around. It turns out that John is a positive and cheerful person who gets along with everyone; a room feels brighter when he comes into it.

Could it therefore be that the me that we take to any situation makes a huge difference? That how the nurses and doctors are with us depends on how we are with them? Certainly for me, I know this to be the case. If I really meet people and make eye contact, I am allowing them to be themselves, whereas if I am contracted and avoid eye contact, they will most likely be defensive with me.

My thanks to Serge Benhayon for teaching me that whatever I reflect to others will be reflected back to me. I prove the truth of this to myself every single day.

512 thoughts on “Hospital Care and the Power of Reflection

  1. Brilliant Doug – and well asked/considered. It is true, what we bring to wherever we go will influence and allows the situations that will follow. This is because we live on and from an energy – and that the more true life foundations you have (connection with yourself and others) the deeper the healing in surgery can go and everything in and around it. As you made the commitment to heal and the support will follow. Note: that everyone has their own karma. It also makes sense that when we are not putting any effort in our own healing process we are left with poor response and or consequences for health. So we must look first within before looking out to blame another. So honesty is key.

  2. I think you “hit the nail on the head” when you said that “the care that we receive is possibly a reflection of how we are with the hospital staff:” When I used to work as a salesman I never had any issues with customers and I got confused when my colleagues complained about them in ways I couldn’t relate to. If you just meet people for who they are and let them be themselves they will usually be the same way back.

  3. The level of love and care prescribed and administered by others can only be reflected by the love and care we are open to prescribing, administering and accepting ourselves.

  4. I love this blog Doug and the simple reminder of the power of reflection – being loving and open with everyone provides the space for us to truly connect.

  5. You have hit the nail on the head Doug . . . as Buddha has been known to have said ” With our thoughts we make our world.”

  6. Although not the main point of this blog, (which I agree with by the way) I’d like to go back to the way some operations are labelled as procedures. It seems to me this is a way to reduce the strain on the need for hospital beds and already overstretched staff. So by calling an operation a procedure, it somehow tries to manage the expectations of the patient to the level of care they will receive and also to the affect on the body and it’s recovery time. I had a varicose vein ‘procedure’ which I was informed would cause minimal discomfort and I would be back at work that afternoon. The reality was I was bound from hip to ankle with bandages and surgical stockings that had to stay on for 2 weeks, I could barely walk afterwards and was in a great deal of pain for several days. If I had been fully aware of the extent of the ‘procedure’ I could have been far better prepared. I’m not blaming anyone – more just exposing what we as a society have come to accept as ‘minor’ when it comes to our body and any treatment it needs. Even a so-called ‘routine’ cervical smear test can be a major thing for some women, so it’s really important we don’t dismiss any medical procedure as being something so small as to not warrant our deep care and nurturing of ourselves.

    1. Beautifully said Lucy, the word procedure demeans the seriousness of the treatment and its consequences and I feel that the pressure on hospital beds is at the root of why many are sent home the same day after what may have been quite traumatic for their body.

  7. There is so much that can be reflected back to us when we are in these situations, and we can either learn the lessons or not ( hmmmm am I listening to myself?? !!! ☺ )

  8. Great question Doug. “Could it therefore be that the me that we take to any situation makes a huge difference?” In my experience it makes a huge difference so therefore it all comes down to responsibility – and that responsibility is mine!

  9. Very clear what you bring here Doug. And it is not just how we are on that moment to the doctors but also how we were living before. We bring that in that moment. As all we live is felt by all. And also our karma plays a part here. As sometimes we have to experience our past lived choices from this or other lives.

  10. There is no doubt in my mind that how I approach a situation or interaction with another – or group of others – has a very profound affect on that interaction. A very simple example is using a persons name when being served by them in a shop. You know in many places staff wear badges now with their names on and I find, when someone takes a moment to speak to them in person using their name, there is a different level of interaction that happens. What could life be like it we live with the intention of honouring the people we interact with rather than find fault? Is it possible that those who have a tendency to find fault in another are in truth reflecting a level of discontent within themselves? Certainly seems to be the case to me.

  11. There is not enough said about the amazing and beautiful work that goes on in so many hospitals so it is great to have it expressed here. I am reminded of the night my father passed away. He was in hospital and I was blown away by the love and care he was shown. My experience of hospital and NHS care in the UK over recent years has been very positive. There is room for a lot more appreciation of the wonderful work that goes on.

    1. Absolutely Richard, I could not agree with you more. The work of the staff of the NHS gets very little praise and appreciation. It would lift us all to look at the positive side and appreciate what we have got, there are far too much harming negative sentiments expressed.

  12. The more I take the time to notice all the reflections that are on offer around me, 24/7, the more I appreciate how amazing they are and how every moment, every interaction, teaches us something about ourselves. Life can be amazing, when we open up to it and choose the joy over the misery.

  13. It’s very interesting in that both Brian and John now have their own versions of ‘truth’ coming from their respectable experience, and they are contradictory. I know for myself that I have sometimes had an expectation to be treated with certain level of care and respect at hospitals, or even at restaurants or shops, as if that was my entitlement, and felt upset if that was not met. I wanted others to be love first no matter what. What I have learnt now is that love is not a one way street, I have to choose it to begin with for it to flow naturally in any interaction.

    1. Beautiful and true Fumiyo. There is so little love in the world that if we play the I am going to wait to receive it before I offer it game, we will be disappointed for a very long time. If on the other hand we are willing to have a go at being the love that we naturally are, this will inevitably inspire others to do the same and this is how the world starts to change from the cesspit that we have all created.

  14. Doug what you share so beautifully is how it starts with us and how we are in every situation, from there our experiences can differ wildly, if we approach life and come with anger and frustration then life reflects back to us how we are – yet there is always those reflections that also show us we don’t need to live that way. When it comes to hospital how is it that two or many people can have such different experiences? Perhaps we have to look at us first, seeing that we have an equal responsibility to be loving to those that care for us as they do to us.

  15. Absolutely MA, living with responsibility is vitally important to us all although sadly many or most avoid this at all costs. What we put out is what comes back to us by reflection and this is God’s loving and ever patient way of teaching us how to live, to bring us back from this gross waywardness we have chosen as a race of beings.

  16. It strikes me as ironic that the blame laid at hospital staff’s feet for people who are not receiving the care they need actually stems from our lack of responsibility in society for managing our own health as best we can. How many of the people going through the overcrowded hospital systems really accepted long before they arrived at that point, the need to do all they can to keep themselves well. And we all know what it takes to live well, there is plenty of support out there if the willingness is there to search. And so the hospital staff get it double, they get the system where they have to rush through seeing as many patients as they can, working to not be too anxious while being overworked, then they get hit again with the criticism for things not being perfect and having to deal with patients within an overstressed environment. As always the blame is neatly deflected away from those who really stuffed up healthcare by not caring for their own health, or not raising questions of politicians when the hospitals are underfunded or not managed as well as they could be.

    1. I was listening to an interview with an experienced mental health nurse yesterday. What stood out was the double weight of responsibility that health professionals can take on. As you have said, most people do not take responsibility for their health and healing and load this onto the professionals. However what was profound in this interview was that this nurse realised after 20 years of work and a mini meltdown, that she believed that she was responsible for fixing the choices that people had made throughout their lives. Unfortunately this is a common subconscious belief in many health professionals, and can lead to exhaustion and burnout.

  17. Yes at the expense of people taking responsibility for their own health we have allowed a look for someone to blame culture. One day we will realise that this is no substitute for responsibility, but rather a road to decay and collapse.

  18. It is great to hear from a patient that you could feel that the nurses and doctors loved their job. I read a research study just yesterday that confirmed that nurses don’t have any regrets about entering the profession. As a nurse I can feel this in other nurses. The love and original intention is always there.

  19. Hospitals are definitely one place where we can have a very quick insight into the law of karma in that… What we put out most certainly comes back to us… And in this case very quickly the reflection is there.

  20. Beautiful Doug. Could our experience also be related to the level of responsibility we are willing to take for our own health or if we dump that on the hospital staff? I have met seriously ill people who do not take care of their own health and who get frustrated when the hospital system is not able to fix everything for them. When you are not willing to take responsibility for something that can only be your responsibility, it’s bound to be a not so good experience.

  21. Great examples of how things play out differently for different people, depending on what we put out in the first instance. I have at times wondered whether some people actually deliberately look out for trouble, problems and strife, as though they need their world view confirmed all the time. In such an instance, the worse it gets, the ‘better’ for them as they perceive such incidents as a validation and justification for their personal misery.

  22. Thank you Doug for sharing your experience, it is interesting how two people having the same operation and going to the same hospital can have such a different experience. It goes to show that what we put out we certainly get back. If we are loving and caring with ourselves we will reflect this out to others, who in turn respond to the love offered with much better care.

  23. It really is extraordinary how we can carry and project arrogance the “I deserve it so give it to me’ complex and are surprised when this is simply reflected back to us, deepening the spiral of disconnection and separation. It is most definitely time for all of us to take stock and start to heal the old hurts and really “get real”.

  24. Our vibration paves the way to what comes our way. Hence, when we are told bad stories about something, we have always to be careful and feel into the person who is telling it. He/she may well have attracted it.

  25. “Could it therefore be that the me that we take to any situation makes a huge difference?” You have answered this question beautifully Doug with a resounding yes; the quality of our presence in any situation makes a huge difference. Thank you for highlighting this fact.

  26. Should it be a truth that we receive from others what we reflect out, this is a great example of the power we have in creating the life we want. This takes the blame out of what happens to us if we play a part in it and highlights the responsibility we should contemplate in our choices.

  27. I think doctors, nurses and allied healthcare workers do often get ‘dumped on’ so to speak by people who just don’t want to take any responsibility for their own health and expect someone else to do it all for them. We have seen there are those who do not have a patient’s best interests at heart but in the main I certainly think the majority of the profession genuinely care and want to do the best they can for people.

    1. That is true but the best care that they can do is limited by how much they the profession, take care of themselves. This factor or equation is not really understood in the NHS.

  28. Very beautiful Doug, to express how much care you received and also the wonderful reflection that all of the healthcare professionals received also from caring for you in that process.

  29. Returning to this article, it brings so much awareness to us. How we are, how we live and how we be with others is the one common denominator in the way we experience life, bar none.

  30. The play of energy in life is something that as humans we have very little awareness of. Serge Benhayon and the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom offer us a way to develop our sense and understanding of energy.

  31. A person who fills a room up with misery to such an extent that you want to escape from their presence as opposed to a cheerful person who gets along with everyone and makes a room feel brighter when they come into it are going to have a very different understandings, reactions and responses to the world around them – fabulous analogy Doug. Great blog.

    1. I see this every week in a hospital ward that I visit. Most of the patients are in their 90s and generally not in a good place health wise yet most of them have a smile on their faces and tons of appreciation for all that the staff are doing for them. There are however always a few that have chosen to be miserable and take this out on the staff and other patients and visitors sometimes having to be moved into an isolation room because they are upsetting all the other patients. When we choose to be miserable we are pulling everyone down with us and we all know that this is the case yet there is little to no energetic responsibility being taken.

  32. Wise words Doug “human beings relate to people depending on how each person is with them.” The care you receive is how much self-care you personally act on with yourself – same with love.

  33. If we approach our relationships with openness and transparency, we are more likely to be met with experiences that reflect that level of respect and connection from others, living from an open heart is true medicine and healing for all.

  34. Not taking away from the article but as far as the current state of our press I wouldn’t believe a word they say considering how many times they consistently misrepresent a story. As is said that aside the relationship we have with the world around us is very important and does dictate in a way what comes back to us or what we receive. It’s not about ticking boxes in order for us to have a better life or in this case better care. It’s about living life from feeling, living life from not just getting the physical part to look good but truly taking care of every step and every breath we take. By choosing this dedication what comes back to you equals that same quality. It goes back to a saying, ‘you only get out what you put it’ and when this is applied with a true quality you see what sits in front of your face is drawn to you from how you are and no matter how good we make it look we can’t deny the feeling.

      1. It maybe a tough or as some say ‘a bitter pill to swallow’ but why look at things from a perspective of it always being painful or things being an inconvenience as there is a blessing and a strong key message here. It means that the quality you are, the quality you move in dictates what comes back to you, or more so the movements you make either are in flow with everything or out of that same flow. This is more important then it sounds given that this relationship with movement can only be supported in two ways and you are either supported by the natural true flow like birds in flight or you are not which would put you out of flow and more likely to bump into things. So the next time something ‘happens’ deal with whatever is needed and then ponder on how you moved to that point, this awareness alone will bring a change. The world of feeling or the world of energy is in and all around us and yet we place all of our eggs in the physical.

  35. “Could it therefore be that the me that we take to any situation makes a huge difference? This is a great question and worth pondering on. We get fed back what we put out into the world.

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