BADGER CULLING: HOW DO YOU FEEL?

badgers

This post is a bit different from my normal posts, but it is still about love. This time it is about my love for animals and specifically a protected species that is being mindlessly killed by the thousands here in the UK: Badgers. I have decided I want to stop the badger culling that is happening. To save them, but also to pay back something to the animal kingdom as I used to be a meat eater and I can now feel how awful that is and for me helping the badgers is a step to atone for that unloving action.

To give a bit of background, I became a vegetarian back in 2001, but didn’t do it very well and became malnourished and ate fish again for a about 2 years or so. I obviously still had some emotions about food and eating to work through. Since my son was born in 1994 I had gradually gone off different types of meat, the last thing being chicken. Bit by bit I suddenly saw and felt the “meat” as a living breathing animal. I couldn’t disassociate anymore and then eventually the same happened for fish. I have now been vegan since the end of 2015, though I was hardly eating much dairy by then. I did it for health reasons and then watched the film “Cowspiracy”  which not just talked about the animals, but also the impact on the environment of the meat and dairy industry, and that completed the transition.

Since I have become vegan I have over time found it harder to understand why people eat meat. I know it is not nutritionally necessary, but I guess there has been an emotional shift in me that now it seems very odd when I see people buying and eating meat and even at times, if I am honest, I am repulsed by it. I “see” the animals and I sometimes hear their cries.

Then lately, I have the feeling I want to atone for the sin of eating meat. This is not a judgement on those that do, but just how I feel within myself. The badger culling has upset me since I first heard about it and I signed a petition, but now I am wanting to do more if I can so I hope I can contribute some awareness to start with.

The reason for badger culling, so the government say, is to reduce the incidence of bovine TB, which has devastating effects on the farming industry and their families. (Of course if we didn’t eat meat or dairy this wouldn’t even be an issue as farming would be plant-based).

Here are the facts:  (source the Badger Action Network and Wildlife Trust)

  • This year 19,274 badgers were culled ( and this doesn’t include the number in West Somerset or West Gloucestershire)
  • Next year 33,841 are targeted
  • A scientific study was done between 1998 and 2006 where Lord Krebs concluded, ” badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain” and “Culling is not a viable policy option.”
  • The primary cause of the spreading of Bovine TB has been shown to be cattle to cattle.
  • In fact, Bovine TB exists in the countryside and has been found in everything from soil, earthworms, cats, sheep pigs and more.
  • Badgers were protected by the Protection of Badger Act in 1992 and the Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats because they are a crucial part of an ecosystem. When one badger is killed the number of foxes doubled.
  • The badger cull has no support from the British Veterinary Association, the public or any wildlife charities.
  • There is  no evidence that culling has changed the level of bovine TB. In fact prolonged culling has been shown to increase bovine TB levels because it affects badger behaviour and the location of badger setts.
  • Badger Culling is more expensive than vaccination. Between 2012-14 £16.8 million was spent on the culling of 2,476 badgers which works out at £6785 per badger. Vaccinations cost £293 per badger
  • Most scientists and wildlife experts believe that vaccination is more effective as it does not  disrupt badger behaviour.
  • More research also needs to be done on biosecurity to prevent cattle to cattle spreading of the disease.
  • Here is a short film by some leading wildlife experts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhojkHMyaJg

So it all seems very clear and we can take actions: sign petitions, join local groups and write to MPs and much of that has been done. In fact, there has been a huge public outcry about this so why isn’t it changing? Why are the government ignoring experts and its voters and continuing with this illogical and awful killing?

I believe it is the same reasons, people still eat meat. We have become hugely disassociated from our emotions about animals and nature in general. We look upon our survival as dependent on us and our actions. We don’t accept emotionally simple facts, such as without trees, we won’t have oxygen; without flies, we would have piles of bodily waste products sitting on the planet. We don’t FEEL how much we need nature and in fact because of our development how we are the custodians of this planet and all the creatures in it and that possibly this beautiful place is ours to enjoy without the need to destroy it or the any living being who lives here with us. We still have very arrogant and maybe have religious justifications for “lording it over” animals, thinking we have a right to their meat, to their reproduction. Therefore, we don’t feel all our fears that underlie this: our fears about our own survival, for instance.

In the video, one expert stated he understood the farmers angry emotions about the impact of bovine TB on their lives and that because of this they wanted someone to pay. How awful, that it is now the badgers that are paying for the fact that farmers feel helpless, don’t want to feel helpless and want something to make them feel better: so let’s kill badgers and despite the evidence to the contrary. To be a farmer, you must have to become emotionally detached from animals and their suffering to varying degrees, whether it is sending them for the slaughter; putting newborn calves in tiny pens the same day as ripping from their mothers; killing hundreds of thousands of male chicks or forcing cows to produce gallons of milk time and time again after forcibly inseminating them.

But none of us are innocent in this. We demand dairy products, we love our cheese, we want our steaks and we want someone else to provide it for us, to kill the animal for us, to take the baby calf away so that we can drink it’s milk. We want that. So despite the fact than many of us are up in arms about badger culling, and we want animals to be recognised as sentient beings we actually are hypocritical every time we put on our leather shoes, or cut into our Christmas turkey. We won’t look at our real emotions – the un-lovingness in each of us that allows these things to occur and asks another person, a farmer to kill on our behalf.

We can not change things we are lying about. We can only change things when we face the truth, emotionally, of what is  happening. If you really want to stop this awful culling, you can take some peaceful actions, but you can also ask yourself about how you really feel about animals. Watch things that will trigger emotions, such films as “Earthlings,” and don’t cover your eyes or press pause. Face the truth, feel it. If thinking was the answer all the scientific evidence would have changed things. It hasn’t. For some reason the culling is continuing so this means we are not recognising something we need to.

To not eat meat again I have had an emotional shift, over time that deepens over time. There are many who become vegan for lots of reasons and it is currently quite fashionable, but if the shift isn’t in your heart you will feel “tempted” to eat meat again, you will find it difficult or you will become anaemic because of your fears around plant-based diets.

We need to do the same for all our treatment of animals. Stop disconnecting, face the truth and chose Love. We ignore what is staring us in the face because it is not convenient, it challenges our “comfortable” lives and addictions. Ironically, that is the  point, to change everything, we have to challenge and question all the ways we are doing things and seek the loving solution and the real truth. We will make mistakes, but the seeking of the truth is a very good first step. It is the that step which created this blog in the first place: an experiment, a searching and seeking for change.

I want to save the badgers. I want to learn what love is. But other times I am still very angry, in pain, wanting addictions and presenting a face to the world that isn’t me. That is the truth: a battle of my soul, a seeking and searching, making mistake after mistake and getting a few things right. But I would rather try than do nothing. As Roosevelt said:

“The best thing to do is the right thing. The next best thing to do is the wrong thing. The worst thing to do is nothing.”

Prayers for the badgers and all the beautiful creatures that share this world with me.

@2017 Maxine Bell

 

 

 

 

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FOLLOWING DESIRE

Following-Your-Dreams-300x194

How much do I desire what is in my heart?

I have been looking more into the truth of what I desire and experimenting with observing what I create every day from my desire.  I have also been becoming more sensitive to how it feels when I do and when I don’t follow a desire. The following notes are from that experimentation and from the Divine Truth teachings. I will put a reference to the talks that have helped me the most with this at the end.

The evidence of my desire for a particular thing or a things, is in my actions every day: the amount of time I think about it, feel about it, read about it, investigate it, experiment with it, act on it. If I am not doing this then there are some emotions in the way: fear; fear of change; fear of who I may become; fear of failure and how terrible that may feel. We may think we want to become that new person, that we want the change, but an emotion in our soul is in disagreement with that thought because it is our soul which is actually the true driving force of how we act on our desires or not. Our soul tells us the truth, whereas our mind can manufacture thoughts that are not true and often distracting. It is just our mind, but we are our soul.

Our soul contains all of our emotions and our beliefs – many error based from our childhood environment. Our soul also contains our passions, desires, intentions, memories. But it cannot contain both the truth on a subject and the error on the same subject. To know the truth we have to release error.

So if my parents have told me all my life I am incapable, or a failure, a disappointment – we are terribly afraid that what they said or projected at us may be true and if we hold onto that fear it prevents us taking action on our desire. We don’t challenge that belief we will stay stuck in it. If we don’t challenge our fear we cannot follow our desires.

I live in my fear, my fear creates all sort of excuses for not following that desire: I don’t have enough time; I can’t afford it; what will my partner think; my children need me. I also create many addictions to distract me from the fear – that keep me busy and “comfortable.” I stay stagnant or even get in a worse state as our soul shrinks when we deny it, when we don’t feel, and when we don’t follow our desires.

Jesus teaches that fear is the biggest block to desire. The more we live in our fear we have the less desire we have, the less we know what our desires even are. Instead, if we act on a desire, however small, and we let ourselves feel our fear, but not let it stop us, we will release some fear and then there is room for more desire in our soul.

I have felt how it has felt lately when I have followed a desire even when I was very afraid. I recently did a performance for the solo autobiographical theatre I started this year (to get out my comfort zone) and I deliberately included in it two things I was terrified of doing in public: dancing and singing. ( There are also two things I love doing). For a week before I felt shaky inside, woke up in the night with fear, felt sick, couldn’t think straight at times because all I could feel was this fear pulsing through me. But, I did it anyway, and goodness it was so freeing. I learnt that my fear didn’t kill me, that it is just a feeling. It may sound silly, but I have had a fear of fear – that it would overwhelm me to the point of death. I am not saying that has gone fully, but this one step has given me some faith that fear will not kill me. I also felt my soul expanded. I feel braver and more willing.

These feelings are in stark contrast to what I have been feeling for a long time: restricted, oppressed, small, lost, despairing – like where is the real me? I have felt so disconnected from my own soul and as time goes on it becomes more painful to not be me, to live in facade, to live in fear.

So what does my heart really desire? I just need to look at my day what I create every day: I create what I desire. So if I truly, sincerely want change it will happen and I won’t let anything stop me. If change doesn’t happen then the truth is my soul is actually saying, “I am too afraid of change” or “I don’t feel worthy” – feelings like that. So be honest.  If we keep deceiving ourselves that we want something and getting frustrated that it isn’t happening, blaming outside forces, or making excuses we will remain stagnant.

God wants us to discover and follow our passionate desires. It is the most loving thing you can do for ourselves: to discover our worth, our real self in the process.

I starting to have some faith and some belief that it is okay for me to follow my desires. I am the at the beginning of that path and ironically maybe, just stepping out of my comfort zone a bit has also highlighted how much grief I have yet to process over my lack of self-worth. But that’s okay, as I have been pretending for a while I was feeling much better about myself than I actually do.  The denial was doing me much more harm than the truth I am now feeling. What is now occurring is a deeper shift that feels long-lasting. Baby steps – but like a baby the more I walk the steadier I will get and the then the faster I will get.

So being honest about our desires, about our fears, about our excuses and blocks will create movement. Taking action is a must. It means we are not living in our fear and it will automatically trigger the emotions we need to release.

Imagine living in your passion – what will that feel like? Oh just to feel it, to experience it. Look at those that are doing this. They don’t go to work, they go to play.

I am very curious about my potential and I am curious about yours.

What do we desire? But more than that, what are we doing about it?

Maxine Bell@2017

References/more information – 

The Law of Desire:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XIUzc8CULA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6qaXczC-d4

How the human soul functions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuxJN2sLbxI&list=PLE-RF2VTnr9h_dfiaZT_qkY9C1M86P5o4

 

 

 

 

SURVIVING AIN’T LIVING

fight-or-flight-uncertainty

I had a realisation in early November that I had spent a lot of my life in survival mode. In fact it has become a recognisable bed I was lying in, but not a very safe one. The last 3-4 years have been particularly bad and my external life had reflected that financially, in my home situation, physically via the cancer and emotionally just feeling numb and being okay about having so little.

Living in survival mode means you are always living in fear: fear of death, fear of destruction, fear that the few things you have in life will crumble away and you will fall into the abyss.  That is how I have felt for as long as I can remember. This terrible fear led to becoming a control freak – trying to manage aspects of my life – money, relationships, day to day living, and my son – so as to feel “safe.”  Living in the fear, but pretending to yourself you are not; “its okay you’ve got it all under control Maxine.”

But the fact is in all those aspects of my life, I may have controlled them or felt I did, but they weren’t natural or loving and none were being done very well. Control does not allow for love to flow and controlling addictively to avoid fear is unloving. Avoiding fear, living in fear is unloving, restrictive and self-denying as well as unloving to others as to avoid feeling vulnerable you try to control those around you, sometimes heavily disguised as “taking care” of them, but still controlling them.

Being in survival mode is really bad for your health too. When we are in flight or fright mode we produce adrenalin by the pint and all this adrenalin constantly pumping around our system isn’t good. In the end it creates a toxic environment and it is exhausting. Now that I have started to pay attention to my fear, I have become aware that daily I do so many things to avoid feeling unsafe physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I have become an expert in batting back, ducking, avoiding, distracting myself from feeling fear. In the process I have created a facade that is dull and hard and uncreative. I have lost more and more of myself.

However, compassionately, there are some deep causal events and emotions that started this whole survival mode. John Bradshaw, in his book Homecoming, says “a witness to violence is a victim to violence.” I had a father who was violent, a step father who was even more so both, physically and mentally to my mother. I sat on the stairs or behind my bedroom door many times listening to the shouting and violence going on near me. I even have a memory of standing in my cot and feeling this big dark red cloud coming into the room. It was rage – I think it was my father’s rage, at my mother, I don’t have the details, but I feel panicky and scared…and there is still much I haven’t remembered yet.

Then there is the other violence, of being shouted at, clipped round the ear, blamed and shamed in one way or another as my parents, unable to cope with their own emotions, sent them my way. The terror that comes when you think your mother has killed herself – again and again and again: all these things and so many more.  I wish my experience was unusual, but it isn’t or am I minimizing it? As a small child, all these things shake you to the core and it has left me with the constant feeling that my world will end at any moment, that there is no solid foundation to exist from and at times no real love to be found.

When I hit the wall in November, my body aching from doing a job that was too demanding and pushing myself to the limits with it, and only months after major surgery and cancer and then coming home to live in a place I really don’t like, reduced down to living pretty much in one room with no space to get the things I love out – my art materials and writing materials and no money to buy new clothes when I need to or enjoy things I love, counting every penny and struggling to pay off some debts.

So I started to feel some emotions about it – yes mostly effect emotions – sadness, and some frustration, but mostly sadness, at the situation I was in, and created by my unhealed emotions, my choice to keep suppressing them. A painful realisation, but to be frank to feel something was a good thing and it created some small shifts in me, about what God wants for me and it not this – this small life.

In relation to this, for the last 2-3 of years I have also become aware that I have attracted a large group of spirits who do not want what is best for me, but only want to control my life, zap my energy and keep me small and at times completely destroy me. They have been with me for a good while I feel. By not feeling my emotions I allow that attraction to continue. It has been tough dealing with this. I feel them sitting on my shoulders, at times suffocating and crowded. It has kept me awake at night the last few months and I have felt I have no privacy whatsoever. Every time I try to take a step forward I feel they come for me. It has felt like a real battle for my soul. So I am in the process of feeling more truth about this, bit by bit.

I am letting myself feel that facade, I am returning to long-ignored passions that connect with my real self and I am doing a few things to come outside of my “comfort” zone/prison. They are a few small steps, but I am feeling a shift in some areas. I still have much to learn and feel and discover, but letting that control addiction go is tricky, but I really am beginning to dislike it. It doesn’t feel like me, just like a strange creature that has taken over. Plan A: to turn from rock to river!

I wanted to share this, to help those of you who may be doing the same as I have been. It is so important to be honest with ourselves, to look at our lives and see what it is showing us about our unhealed emotions, our self worth and our denial. We do have the power to change all this and we have much greater power to change all this if we include God in the process.  Step one, for me, is working through blocks to receiving God’s love. (which would so help me soften to emotions).

The blocks I think I have identified about God are (constantly up for review!):

  • Anger that God has made this so difficult (I feel it is very difficult).
  • Fear I will never receive God’s love/lack of faith
  • False beliefs about God judging me and deciding I don’t deserve Love ( parental stuff)
  • An addictive demand that God should give me love despite my lack of desire/fears about receiving or when I am being unloving.
  • Lack of faith that God is good and that her Love will make me happy.
  • I have more faith in my addictions
  • Lack of self worth prevents the openness to receiving.
  • A fear of emotional overwhelm/losing control if I receive God’s love; what will happen?

 

These realisations have created some changes. A week after my meltdown a new job came up and I got it and I am working in a more loving environment – though still having to watch my own self care in it, and with that my finances have improved and I am looking for somewhere new to live, and I am writing more and have joined something called solo autobiographical theatre which is triggering memories and emotions and pulling me out of a comfort zone and challenging me to do it despite fears that come up.

The Divine truth teachings are never far from my mind and heart. The God blocks are still there, but by listening to the videos by Jesus and Mary, I learn about God’s truth and re-educate myself about Love and Truth and error and as always nature is one of my greatest teachers about God and her Love. Also, books like the Robert James Lee trilogy (see the extras page) give such hope and wonder and curiosity to keep searching and investigating the truth about God, and Love and life. I am blessed to have this knowledge and experience at my fingertips and I do not want to walk away from it until I start to really walk it and keep walking it, with no turning back and no fear.

This year is about my moving out of survival mode, of really finding out what being me is about, what loving myself is really about: to move from the pretend love that feeding my addictions gives me and finding out what God’s love really feels like.  To create a blunt analogy I feel I have been clinging to a pile of hard crap that I have convinced myself was a soft cushion: comfortable, but sticky and not allowing me to move much. Clinging because I felt there was this deep bottomless pit below, a drop into the unknown, to a point of meaninglessness and death, very related to childhood fears and flight/fright mode.  Now it is time to let go of clinging to this crap, falling into the abyss…whatever it may. My feeling is instead of nothingness or danger , I will find God’s hands there ready to catch me and lift me up to greater heights, even with wings to fly – just has he planned. I can see even see that knowing smile…… Yes my child, here YOU are… here you truly are…

Oh goodness, now won’t that be wonderful…

Maxine

Warts and All

I think this has been one of the most difficult posts for me to do and it happened almost accidentally. About two weeks ago, some emotions came up ( hurray!) and some realisations about my cancer, the surgery and most importantly my facade and my addictions: the part of me that exists to avoid feeling the fear, sadness, grief and other emotions: it does not want the hurt self to express itself. It is also about how incredibly good we are at self deception – how good I have been and how resistive we can be even when faced with a life-threatening disease. Crazy hey? Maybe, but true, especially when fear is your God, like it has been for me, for a very long time.

We all have a Facade Self (see my blog about this called “In Search of the Real Self: Cracking the Shell” from December 1, 2014) . It is initially caused by our parents, when they shut down our real self, by suppressing our emotions in some way and it continues to develop every time we don’t feel an emotion. As a child the Facade can play the role of protector, as we create a persona our parents are happy with and where we can avoid punishment or harm. We have created many facades to deal with many situations. As an adult we don’t need to continue with this but we do.  The truth is it is not a very nice creature: it is untruthful, arrogant, condescending, arrogant, addictive, insensitive, unemotional, irresponsible,  resistive and so forth. ( Jesus gives a great talk on this – I will put a link below).

So I had some realisations and I tried to journal them. I journal a lot. I always have done since I was a child, but now I do it more often and it helps me keep track of what I am learning, truths and untruths, memorable events and I now even jot down points from the talks I listen to that are very relevant to me. It can also be cathartic and enlightening because as you write you can discover things you didn’t realise before or express emotions through writing. I have written a few “letters” to God and others this way.

But that night, I could write – my hand froze, but I wanted to express myself, I wanted to talk. So I switched on my PC and made a video. It was just for me at the time, though as you will see I address to an unknown audience too. I even forget to mention my name until the very end! It is very raw and very rough. If you choose to watch it you will need you volume up maximum as I was only talking into the laptop microphone. Also, hang on in there past the first 10 minutes or so as I waffle, but I find my way a bit more as I go on. There was no plan, or no structure at the time, just feelings and thoughts. I have sat with it for the last two weeks to make sure I didn’t want to publish this in an emotional addiction of some sort. I don’t think I am, but I have been wrong about that before. But that is part of the journey – being prepared to be wrong and feeling fears, but not living in them and this is also what publishing this video is about. (It is an hour long )

The good thing is, these last few weeks have been a turning point for me and this video and what was going on for me at the time is part of it. Watching the video back has also been a useful tool and I hope it will help you as well – that is my intention in posting it. I know some of you who read my blog have been listening to Divine Truth for a few years like I have, and have been stuck and resistive to personal truth like I have. I believe my soul darkened during this time and now I finally have a desire to stop this, to choose love and to start to switch from fear as my God to the God that loves me and wants the real me to really live and be happy. So I have started doing a number of things to develop my will to love and to live more truthfully. It is a tiny start, but a start – but that is another blog, another time.

With love, Maxine.