CHOCOLATE OR HEAVEN?

 

 

All these years, for me,

Chocolate was heaven;

My go-to;

My comfort; My friend.

I travelled miles

In distance and money

To have it.

I told myself it was love

A “Fuck you world

I don’t need you!

I have my friend,

She wont hurt me.”

 

The tingle on my tongue

As I took a bite,

A sigh of relief:

There was something good in my life.

 

Did it bring me wealth

Or success?

No

Did it bring me a home?

Love?

Self worth?

No. No…No

Did it make all my dreams come true?

No.

 

In fact, my need for it

Added to my shame.

I chose it before company,

Friends, health…

In fact, it lied to me.

It didn’t bring me joy at all.

It just gave me a fix,

A place to hide.

 

That’s Addiction** for you:

It drives your life.

You wake looking for the next fix.

You lie and cheat for it,

To yourself and others

It prevents you from finding

What’s real.

It will drag you to hell,

Everytime you inject your heart

With whatever your fix is.

It becomes the God

You worship,

As it slyly pulls you down

Its slippery slope,

Heavy chains weighing down your soul.

 

So, if you want to fly upwards

Makes sense, it will have to go.

You’ll need to leave its weight behind,

Resist its pull.

Keep you eyes on the blue skies

Beyond the clouds,

Where we choose something

Truer and greater.

 

Jonathan Seagull* knew this.

He flew higher and higher,

Believing in something greater.

He found himself in his flights,

Discovered there were

No limits,

But his choices.

 

He needed nothing but the

Desire for three things:

Truth,

All he could become,

And what or who created him.

Eventually, he flew close to the light

Of the Greatest One,

And found heaven.

 

The rewards of heaven

Were beyond anything earth had offered.

Far, far outweighing the desperate lives

Of his brothers and sisters:

Their belief in stasis; tradition;

Playing safe; fighting for survival,

Craving scraps; getting their fix

In repetition, need and numbness.

Just as I’ve done.

 

A life led by the next fix:

Clouding my vision;

Shrinking my heart;

Hiding my soul:

The real me.

 

Jonathan Seagull moved my heart,

Confronted my beliefs,

Gave a taste of heaven,

Where I can glow in the light

Of the Greatest One.

It’s now my choice

And yours.

 

Chocolate is just one of many things

To leave behind

In the name of finding so much more.

What will it be

Addiction or Love?

Truth or Lies?

Chocolate or Heaven?

 

@Maxine Bell 2019

I gave up chocolate this week. I have done so before, but have always said, “oh well it won’t be forever.” But in the end I have replaced it with something else or gone back to it because I have felt what I am using the chocolate for. There is a great clip in the 2014 assistance group where Mary tells a story how she made some cacao balls to bring to the group until she realised she was using them to avoid her fear. When she realised this she didn’t want the cacao. An exchange occurs between Jesus and Mary and a participant who’s anxiety that she may never have chocolate again was so vivid. How many of us feel like that? Never have chocolate again? What!!? The world would agree with us too- why would give up such pleasure?

I realised, we’re missing the point. If we never have chocolate again so what? There is a bigger picture here – the potential of a beautiful eternal life, as described in the Robert James Lee Trilogy and as Jesus and Mary are teaching. That’s what Mary understood – that the cacao didn’t matter and it wasn’t loving to avoid her emotions. The loving action was to feel her fear, let her soul expand with e-motion.

So this time I gave up chocolate with the thought that I may never have it again and that was okay.  I have lots of other addictions to deal with too, but this was a tangible one to experiment with. Besides, if I was a heroin addict, I wouldn’t be telling myself, “oh you’ll be alright to have some in a few months – you just need a break.” Or others, wouldn’t be telling me to not give up the pleasure of it – why deprive yourself.

We live in a world full of people with quite a small vision for themselves. But it seems God has a much larger one for us. So its, instant gratification vs eternal benefits.

*                   *                    *                    *

*Jonathan Seagull refers to the story by Richard Bach called Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It is an amazing story, an analogy of the life of Jesus, is my intepretation of it: vision, love and tremendous courage. If you read it, make sure you get the complete edition with the rediscovered Part Four.

**When I talk about addiction I mean any physical or emotional thing we do that helps us avoid emotions. It can range from things like chocolate, which can seem quite harmless, through to co-dependency in relationships where we barter. eg If you make me feel safe, I will cook your dinner every night. The thing is no addiction is harmless – it involves a huge compromise of ourself, our values, morals and ethics. We harm ourselves and others. You can recognise addiction in youself, just by your reaction when you don’t get it – you get irritated, angry, demanding because addiction is a feeling of desperately needing something or someone. It is selfish. We all have many many addicitions. We can’t have addictions and Love. We will in the end have to choose.

DRIVING

cruella-deville-crazy-driving

(Image from 101 Dalmations – Cruella da Ville) 

I am taking more notice of my life these days and I have discovered that the truth is in the everyday things we do and how we live. For instance, driving: something most of us do most days.

I started to pay attention to what kind of driver I am and my emotional reactions to it and to other drivers. It told me quite a lot about myself and I don’t think I have discovered all of the truth its revealed yet or even assessed it all correctly, but I am attempting to.

A few weeks ago, I had a minor car accident, when someone drove into the front left of my car as I pulled out of my drive way. She was driving too fast, but if I rewind to how I felt that morning I see that I got into my car, ungrounded and pushing down emotions I didn’t want to feel. I had woken up really not wanting to go to work: I have been struggling with work since I got back from Australia (my trip to Australia shone a light on my life and nothing I thought was real has felt real). I felt very tired and upset and really had to force myself to get ready. I was a bit late and I did that very English thing (maybe not just English) of “pulling myself together” and got into the car, pulled forward, looked left quickly, didn’t see any oncoming car, pulled further out and then there was this big bang, a jolt, everything went into slow motion and then I was sat there motionless, stunned, with bits of my car and the other drivers car on the road.

I’m not certain, but I think it happened to show me I wasn’t paying attention to how I was feeling: I was “shoulding” myself, pushing myself, telling myself to be responsible and go to work. (My facade is SO pushy, a bully). It was nothing about the truth. It was all about the lies that made me do something I really didn’t want to do and avoid what I felt: sadness, fear, pain, frustration, powerless. It was also a few days after a disgreement with my mother, where she didn’t like what I said; where she wanted me to maintain a facade of myself that she wants me to be to suit her view of herself as a good mother. The car was written off and it was a car she had bought for me – a first financial gift from her that I had infact accepted insincerely, feeling it was owed to me. I ignored my conscience and led with my fear ( my old car was not in a good state) and anger at the time.

Before the accident, I had started paying more attention my driving, because sometimes I am really shitty to other drivers: impatient, judgemental, critical, pushy, nasty even. A lot of these things are how I am with myself at times, but why am I like that with other drivers? Either way it’s very unloving.

So everytime I started to get angry, judgmental, condescending ( all parts of my facade)  even I started to ask why? What was going on under that? Being angry meant I wanted an addiction met. Wanting an addiction met meant I had a fear or other emotion I didn’t want to feel.

A few examples:

“Come on drive faster! Should you be out on the road? Do you need your eyes testing, you keep putting your brakes on?” 

ie you should drive the way I think you should drive! I want to be in control or I’m afraid you’ll cause a crash.

This happens when I am late for work or something else and there are a number of different emotions and layers of emotions going on, depending on the situation. I may be judging myself for being late or angry with myself or angry that I even have to be at the place I am meant too. Then under that I am afraid of what others may think of me or I may be “found out” in someway. I am often also avoiding some sadness and pain over areas of my life and how limited it is. The layers can go on, into my lack of self love or worth.

“Arsehole, you cut in front of me and it’s my fault!?” ( as a man makes rude sign and swears at me)

I don’t like the anger being projected at me, but rather than feel the fear and sadness, I project back at him. I deny how it really made me feel because I don’t want to feel powerless and terrified.

There are many other examples, but I hope you get the drift of it. Looking just at my driving is showing me how unloving I can be; how much my facade controls everything; how I want it that way because I am afraid and/or unwilling to feel the other emotions that I judge as weaker, or wrong or I am just so used to suppressing. I believe this to be normal and in fact observe it around me in so many others. I deny there is another way to be, push aside my hurt child and deny any chance of the real me being present.

But it has been so useful too of course. The truth of my unlovingness isn’t good to feel, but it is the truth and I find if the anger starts to come or it just happens, I catch it quicker, breathe and ask myself, “What’s really going on Maxine? What don’t you want to feel?” This sometimes lead to me feeling some of the fear or some sadness ( tiny amounts at the moment). Or sometimes I have a really good scream and rant in the car, but not at others.

So two main points here:

We have a choice: to be unloving or to love (ourselves, others, our environment)

Truth is revealed in the everyday things – what annoys us, irritates us, how we react to minor events, other people etc.

God doesn’t keep secrets – he’s telling us all the time: we just need to pay attention – desire to know, see, hear, feel. Have the courage to see the truth of our life: we can’t change what we deny, ignore, minimise or judge.