We live in a world where we say “there are plenty more fish in the sea;” where we console ourselves over lost love by imagining another person is out there and that our perfect mate is our choice. We just have to find the “right” one and often these days we have a list of requirements: tall, slim, happy, positive, makes me laugh, kindness, takes care of me, nice eyes, long legs, large breasts, intelligent, sexy, a good cook and so the list goes on.
In the process of looking for a good match, we make mistakes and kiss many “frogs” before we find out prince or princess. This is the same whether straight or gay. We keep looking for that other half to fulfil our lives, that person who will make us happy and whom we can share our lives with and yet we don’t want to admit there is maybe just one other half. The truth is we are told there is not just one special person, that there are many who we could match with and we just look for that best match. A few people believe in finding “The One”, but are often mocked about this. Our ideas about love and relationships is very confused and contradictory.
In the western world, at least, our ears are constantly filled with songs of broken hearts and lost love. The other side of the coin is the number of programmes about dating, finding dates, and even weddings. We are certainly looking, but in fact many of us are pretty confused about the whole thing. I recently watched a few episodes of a programme in the in the UK called first dates. I felt it was a bit of escapism, but I also think inside I am also trying to work out this love/relationship stuff, just like the rest of you. Before the dates they are the participants what they are looking for and in so many people I notice the first things people list are physical, even down the type of teeth, the next most common thing is “fun,” “make me laugh” and “be positive and happy.” ( to me this indicates how afraid we are of each other’s sadness) .For women the other frequent request is be a gentleman and be big/strong; keep me safe and take care of me. There is very little mentioned about personality, qualities, ethics, morals, or much of any real depth. It may possibly be there, but they don’t say it.
Between the lines there is a lot of disappointment, confusion and hurt about love and relationships as well as a huge amount of fears about not being loved and accepted and safe. I too have these emotions, but what I have realised lately is that I have never felt truly seen or loved for myself. I always had this feeling that any mistake I made I would be punished and rejected. My belief is that to be loved I had to be perfect.
Then it hit me that the other side of this was that I had never allowed myself to be truly seen and that I didn’t even love or know myself so how could expect anyone else to love the real me. I don’t even know the real me, myself yet. I learnt early on in my childhood, like many of us, that to receive “love” I had to become the person that was acceptable to my parents and other adults around me. I had to be “good girl” or “helper” or “servant” or any other role that fitted their beliefs about me. I don’t remember my mother ever asking what dreams I had or what I would like to be. I just remember if I showed an emotion she didn’t like or expressed something she didn’t understand or want to hear or was too busy to listen too I was shut down, screamed at or ignored. So to not get punished or yelled at or ignored or rejected by my parents I became what they wanted and the feeling I have now is that “I” fragmented across the universe somewhere; went into hiding and quickly formed a facade that helped me survive, but in the long-term was and is deeply painful and got the point until recently where I really believe my facade is me.
This is the truth for most of us in one form or another and so we grow into adulthood with roles. For men is could be provider; strong; capable; husband; lover ( who knows what he’s doing) or “DIY-er, for example. For women there are many roles: carer; mother; nurturer; helper; virgin; sexy; sister; friend; multi-tasker and these days we are often expected to be able to and expected to be all of them plus have a career. It is pretty exhausting. But which one or any of them is us, the real us?
We can’t find love, I haven’t found love because I haven’t found me, and I haven’t found love because I haven’t even understood love. When I watched that dating programme I saw clearly, what Jesus has been teaching, that most relationships are based on co-dependency and we think that is love. We think that someone who fulfils all our needs or more truthfully, the “holes” in us is someone who loves us and we love someone if we fulfil all their needs: it is an emotionally addictive bartering system.The trouble with having a list of wants is that we are often never satisfied and is based on someone or both people sacrificing themselves or parts of themselves.
I can look back on all my relationships and see in each one I became who they wanted me to be. I fitted into their life, rather than discover what I wanted and when their were times I started to seek something for myself the relationship would start to break down: the bartering system started to shatter. In this process, I compromised myself in so many ways: self-love, sexually, ethically and morally. Over time, my disappointments and hurts and pain got deeper and my demands to them got greater. I tried to have control over everything and I got angry and more in addiction. My fear and sadness got greater and the things I did and the things I wanted partners to do to stop me feeling my sadness and fear got darker.
Co-dependency is a sticky, thick, ugly thing. It is all about facade and it may feel “comfortable” or “safe” because it helps us avoid painful emotions, but is does not lead us to love. How can we be intimate when we are not being our true selves? We are being a lie and living a lie. I feel very sad about the lie I have lived for so long and because it has been lived for so long there is a lot of lies/facade to break down and a lot of unlovingness to myself and others to face.
So how to do we change it? How do I change it? For me, apart from a lot of self-reflection and increasing my longing to understand and know the truth I have also been trying to learn about love; the real truth about love – God’s truth about love. It isn’t easy and I find myself confused at times, fighting between old belief systems, the world’s belief systems, versus what Jesus and Mary are teaching. The facts are there though – look at the world – if we knew love, it would not be as it is. If we knew about love, we would not be so obsessed with our version of romantic love that seems to go wrong constantly. We are not being honest that we just don’t know. The fact is I think we just have to start again – look at the whole thing again.
Something else has hit me in recent years and listening to Divine Truth is the idea that I have a soulmate – THE other half of my soul: the perfect partner for me, created for me by God. Yep, despite free will, it seems that we don’t have a choice in who our soulmate is! That is pretty confronting if you compare it with the world’s view. We can of course reject our soulmate and try to defy what God created for us, but for me it is a fact I can’t ignore. I am not sure if I have accepted it 100%, but I do know that I can’t just look at any man anymore. As those of you who have followed my blog you will know I have suspicion who my soul mate is, but because of all my emotional injuries I really don’t know for sure and to be honest, not even sure how I could have attracted him into my life even temporarily. I have some deep emotions to heal around gender and sexuality and other things.
But, logically, it makes sense that to know the other half of me, I need to start knowing who I am. If I want to be intimate with my other half, I have to find that intimacy with myself: fearlessly and I have to start challenging my beliefs about love because they sure haven’t worked so far. The “love” I have known has been conditional and in God’s eyes that isn’t love. Jesus teaches, love is a gift: unconditionally and in my heart I don’t know that yet.
I have been reading a book called “Loveability: how to love and to be loved” by Robert Holden and he talks about our deep fear that we are unloveable and it has led to our obsession with falling in love. This obsession is about being loved rather than being loving, indicating that fear of unloveablity. He says we need to stop falling and start thinking what real love is. This is what Jesus has been saying for 2000 years – what is real love and indicating that real love is demonstrated constantly by God in so many ways in our lives.
In the book, unconditional love is summarised and is very similar to what Jesus teaches so I like what was written:
- “Love is not an act… not an audition.” Jesus says that love and truth go hand in hand so you can not love or be loved if you are in facade.
- “Love is not a bargain.. it is not a currency you buy things with…Love does not make deals. Love does not say, ‘I will give you love, but first you must give me something else.” This is the bartering system I was talking about and most of us are in these type of relationships ( any type of relationship). I love this quote by Hafiz, “Even after all this time, The sun never says to the earth: “you owe me!”
- “Love is not idolatry… when you don’t feel equal you give yourself away and take on a role.. they block intimacy. They conceal dishonesty.” I have done this many times – made myself smaller, less important than the other. If you make someone else higher than you, you live in fear and suffering: this is not love. It is a lack of self-love at the very least.
- “Love is not special…. such as, “I’ve been saving all my love for you.” You are making someone into your “holy cow,” Robert Holden says, and use them to “milk as much love as possible.” Love is not exclusive for one person, the goal is to love everyone. When you love you can love anyone ( though of course soulmate love or love with God with is different – though I will admit I am struggling with this one).
- “Love is not selfish..Love is full of desire. You are intent on knowing the whole person… drop the mask and stop hiding. ” This makes me feel that Love is brave and open: it flies and dances. I have felt lust and infatuation – both feel addictive and selfish – it is all about what you can get.
I think hearing that Love is a gift has been one of the most important things I have heard. It really made me think about my demands, my fears and truly how loving or not I have been over the years. From this point, I can ask myself: do I really love this person freely, without condition? Am I willing to gift my love without expectation or demand? Then if I feel any demand or expectation I know in that moment I am not loving them.
Also, do I really want to know them? Do I really want them to know me? Am I prepared to be vulnerable and open and humble to the errors and fears in me? This is intimacy – being prepared to be completely vulnerable and it scares the crap out of me and yet I am also curious. I have tried the other way and it has brought me much unhappiness, and suffering.
We need to be prepared to see the mountain of evidence that we know little about love and that’s okay. Just be honest about where we are at and build a desire to know the truth. When I was a child I had this feeling, among all the chaos around me, that if they just loved more things would be better: that love would be the answer. When we are kids we do know much more than the adults around us often. I grew up sadly, feeling my heart had been very badly battered and bruised – but it wasn’t and isn’t love that does that. It is not-love that does that. So to find love, to know love, we need to look at the not-love in the world: the not-love in ourselves, our false beliefs, our neediness, our fear, our grief.
We can’t change things we are lying about – because a lie isn’t a reality: it is a lie. Only the truth can create change, because it is truth and logically truth is real. For me, my personal truth is too impacted by emotional baggage at the moments so I look for a greater truth – a higher truth and only God has that. That is what makes God, God – she knows more than us – about love and about what is true. Jesus says to learn about love we have to learn about Love from someone who obviously knows more about love than us. Weirdly, we often try to learn from others around us who know as little or less than we do: we all scramble around in the dark together. So stop scrambling and look for someone who carries the torch. Only they can show us the way: the ones who carry the light: there are a few on earth, but a more guaranteed source in God. Praying for the faith to really know that in my heart – what a day that will be!
@2017 Maxine x
If I surrender,
The world may cave in.
If I surrender,
I may crash and fall and stumble.
If I surrender,
People may think I’ve gone mad,
I’m too deep,
If I surrender,
I may feel aloneness so deep, it will be like sitting
In a dark void where nothing and no one exists.
If I surrender,
I may get bashed or smashed or broken
Or beaten or bruised.
If I surrender,
I may have to let go of the fragile foundations I have built
And am convinced are safe; not happy, but safe.
The unknown will come knocking on my door
And scream in my face, “I’m HERE!”
But if I surrender,
I may discover all that I thought was true,
All the terrible hopeless things I thought, are false.
If I surrender,
I may tingle with the feeling of shedding a skin,
Unpacking my rucksack.
If I surrender,
I might finally cry all the unshed tears
And create oceans whose tides allow me to step on new shores.
If I surrender,
I might find I can dance
With a lightness I never knew before.
If I surrender,
I might discover what no tension feels like
The tension of having to be ‘strong’ and capable
And responsible and ‘alright.’
Instead if I surrender,
I might just feel and feel and feel and feel
And let my heart beat again.
If I surrender,
I might discover who I am really
And as I let go and allow the mud on me
To soften and melt.
If I surrender,
I might set myself free
To love again and to be loved.
If I surrender,
I will know that surrendering was not terrifying
And dangerous, but instead is
Beautiful and raw and tender and deep.
If I surrender,
I might find me.
Maxine Bell @2017
This is a topic I have been thinking and feeling about for a few weeks and I had a big fear about writing it and being “wrong” and there is still some fear there, but in the process of feeling about the topic of Robby, so to speak, I have come to some new awareness. Robby and I are currently apart. We have not lived together for over a year now. During that year we been apart, and then drifted back together, tried to make a go of it, but it has not worked. It has been very confusing, sad, scary and at times frustrating. By October, Robby had had enough of the to-ing and fro-ing – and over the next few weeks it became apparent that we were not resolving anything and going round in circles, nothing was clear except that and so we are now just friends. However, for me, in my own pondering and feeling about all this, no matter what seems to happen, and unlike other relationships I have been in, there is something about Robby that I cannot shake off. When we are apart, I never feel quite separate from him …there is a pull in my heart in his direction that in many ways makes no sense when I look at what our relationship has been so far. So what is this strange and curious journey we have been on and in some ways are still on?
In the ‘About Me’ section of my blog I talk a little about my relationship with Robby and the feeling that we may be soulmates, but also that we don’t know that because we both have a large amount of emotional injuries that impacted our relationship and in fact any relationship we may try to have still. We have been on a roller coaster over the last 4 years a bit of good, but a fair bit of bad and ugly too. Robby has given me permission to talk openly about our relationship and he has a strong belief in the power of my writing to help others and discover my true self along the way.
The issue of soulmates, sexuality and gender wounds is a massive one for all of us and it impacts our world greatly. Jesus and Mary teach about soulmates, but they have also experienced their journey together and so talk very much from personal experience. I will give a brief explanation of soulmates, as taught by Jesus and Mary, before talking more about Robby and I. I highly recommend listening to the Soulmate Relationship talks from 2010 on the Divine Truth website (or go to the Divine Truth YouTube channel and search under soul mate) for a fuller understanding of what I write. I also found the talks on Sex and Sexuality very helpful. There are also shorter talks on Partnerships on the Divine Truth FAQ channel.
Jesus teaches that God created billions of souls (her children), who before they incarnate on earth are not conscious of themselves as individuals and it is the incarnation process that allows us to discover our individuation. Each soul has a unique personality and quality that is a gift to our life. When the time is right to incarnate a soul is drawn to a parent in a law of attraction for the parents so that they can progress in love: the child reflecting back unhealed emotions, (that is the current situation in our state of error). Before it incarnates a soul splits in half and one half incarnates first to one set of parents. The second half incarnates sometime after, anytime from a short time up to about 20 years after.
God, our parent, has both male and female qualities. Each whole soul can have a mixture of male and female qualities to a varying degree. Most souls are fairly even so that one half will be born into a male body and one half into a female body (heterosexual). Some complete souls will be predominantly male and will split into two males bodies (homosexual) and some will be predominantly female and will split into two female bodies (lesbian).
Our soul represents the true us, containing such things as our personality, emotions, memories, intentions, passions and desires. Incarnation is the time we individualise and learn about love. When we incarnate we gain two bodies: a physical body and a spirit body that exist at the same time and are encompassed by our half of the soul. Currently, when we “die” our physical body dies, but we continue to live in our spirit body and we continue to live our lives as we have, making choices, experiencing and living. Spirit world contains many spheres, from the lowest to the celestials. We move up the spheres by progressing in love: some through the natural love path, reaching the sixth sphere – the highest sphere attainable through that path. Others choose the Divine Love Path and can pass into the celestial spheres, of which, there are currently 36, but development there is infinite so there may be more in the future.
During our life on earth we can all meet and be with our soulmate. However, because our current soul condition on the earth is nearly all equivalent to the first sphere because we have so many emotional injuries we may never meet our soulmate whilst on earth, or we do and don’t recognise them and/or reject them or sometimes we could be married to them and not know they are our soulmate and in fact still have a very co-dependent addictive relationship: so we are in a relationship with them, but it is a damaging one, on a soul level and is not really a soulmate relationship. As I understand it, being in a soulmate relationship requires the main qualities needed on the Divine Love Path (also called The Way of God’s Love): truth, love and humility from God’s perspective as well as desire to progress in love from each half of the soul. In the end, if one half of a soul progresses to a high state of love the other half will automatically be drawn to them.
Currently, on earth, we are not taught about soulmates or it is told incorrectly as it was to me through the Twin Flame teachings, so we grow up not even aware we have one soulmate, one perfectly made mate, just for us: one of God’s gifts to us. Our soulmate will have similar personality traits and in their progression the same main desires and passions. If the soulmate halves choose the Divine Love Path and get beyond the 7th sphere they can continue to progress to the 36th sphere and join again in Soul Union. This is what Mary and Jesus have done and is the only state that allowed them to choose to reincarnate. I don’t think words can convey the state of bliss that must be and it is not something I feel qualified to comment on. The Robert James Lee books and the Padgett messages give some idea of what it is like in the celestial spheres as well as the power of the soulmate relationship. (See the ‘Extra’ section on my website).
So where am I? I can only give the perspective from my current viewpoint, but I do feel that all the information given by Jesus and Mary is correct. It just makes sense to me. It is clear and loving. God created us to innately seek two things: God and our soulmate so we all have this ember burning in us somewhere and many of us have memories of feeling this longing, for the One. These days it is often decorated in Hollywood and Mills & Boon ideas of romance: we meet, we know, we seek, we find and once we really decide then that’s it – happiness with little or no problems: remember that final screen kiss which silently promises all? But we all know from experience it is not that simple and in fact there are more songs and more movies about the loss of relationship than about successful true love. I have come to the truth that with my experience of “love” from my environment as a child, I do not know much, if anything, about real love: love that is unconditionally without demands or expectations, that just exists and lives regardless. We believe we have it for our children, but as a parent, I do not always unconditionally love my son. When I am tired, angry, afraid I do not love him regardless. I do not have that level of development. I want to, but I do not and I know I have little, if any memory, so far of being unconditionally loved as a child, so what do I know of it?
I decided it is better to start from the truth I know so little and try to discover the truth, because the reason I currently struggle to love or to receive love is because the “love “ I have experienced has been very conditional. This is true for many of us, including Robby. He does not remember being loved at all. His father was strict and emotionally distant and his mother was so wrapped up in her own woes and anger at men she could not love as a mother should. They provided a secure physical home and food and clothes, but no affection, only rules and regulations and harshness.
My mother’s emotional injuries mean that she was such a wounded child she could not give us love, but in fact demanded through projections that we love her, make her feel better and provide her with things that no child should have to. As the eldest, I particularly felt this: my mother’s neediness and instability. I felt like her emotional husband and carer/parent. My father left when I was about 4 or 5 and I had two stepfathers all of whom I felt rejected by in various ways. There was domestic violence, alcoholism and day to day drama. Where were lessons in love in any of this?
During my adult life I had relationships of course. The first serious one was just like my father: irresponsible, chauvinistic and at times frightening. After that I has boyfriend the complete opposite: passive, but still wanting looking after and I did it because I had looked after my mother and I knew nothing else. I had a few brief affairs that were painful and finally a more caring relationship, but we were more friends than lovers. Following this was a “big connection” that was just a highly addictive and damaging relationship. (Not coincidental during my interest in New Age ideas that encourage and feed this “I just felt this amazing connection” stuff). By the time Robby had come into my life I really did not want a relationship. In fact I told God I would wait as many years as it needed until I found my soulmate, as that was the only one I wanted. I had the desire, but it was a desire, coming from pain and disappointment and fear of more pain and disappointment, though I don’t think I knew that at the time.
I was working as a healer and doing readings in Glastonbury when Robby and I met. I had just come across Divine Truth, but was still uncertain and still trying to understand why the “big connection” had come crashing round my ears and was still working as healer/ card reader. Robby came thundering into my little room asking for a reading and I remember this feeling of feeling slightly knocked sideways by his presence. I composed myself enough to do a reading and found him to be unusually honest about himself. For him, he had a relationship at the time that was coming to an end, and he had had a feeling, and told her so, that his soulmate was nearby, without having a clue what he was saying. But over the next few weeks, he used to pop in to say hi and we became friends.
During that summer we bumped into each other sometimes and one day he came on a trip with a Dutch friend down to Tintagel. Robby is Flemish so they could chat in Dutch. We had a great day with her and my son and I was touched by Robby’s playfulness. I ran into the sea and Robby joined me and I remember this point when he came towards me, didn’t touch me, but I felt something. Only I was aware of it, but it frightened me and I pushed it aside. There had been other times before that when he would text me, intuitively knowing when something was up and when I saw him, he began to disturb my equilibrium, which I kept trying to ignore and I still like his company.
Then one day I had been to see a friend at the Ashram and afterwards I had a strong urge to go to the orchard behind Glastonbury Tor. All the way there, I kept hearing Robby’s name, “Robby, Robby, Robby,” again and again. Unbeknownst to me he was sitting in that orchard telling God he was ready for his soulmate. A few minutes later I suddenly appeared. He didn’t tell me at that time about his prayer, but we sat together. I did not feel relaxed, (my equilibrium blown again) and he touched my shoulders at one point and it made me really nervous. Nothing was said between us, but I could not shake the feeling that something was going on.
As friends, we had made a deal of honesty right from the start, so after a couple of days of feeling this, I decided I needed to be honest and confront what I felt was happening. I knocked on the door of the caravan where he was staying and asked him if he felt something was happening. He honestly said he didn’t know. However, something did change and we arranged to meet for a coffee the next day before I drove off to a friend’s wedding for a few days. By that time, Robby was often sensing me and he knew before I arrived back a few days later that I was about to appear and I did. This sort of thing continues until today.
For two weeks we had a wonderful time and then he lost his accommodation. Without a doubt I suggested he move in. Not normally what I do, but it felt right. We were big into “signs “ then and numerology and we took the he “sign” of a rainbow and the number 2222 appearing, as well as a love song on the radio as signs this was the right thing. Robby moved in and I think we had another couple weeks of a honeymoon period and then the shit started to hit the fan, so to speak.
Robby’s anger and the issues from his previous relationship with an alcoholic, my sexual issues from my previous relationship – both related to deeper causal emotions. Lots of things got triggered. We made attempts to understand, feel it, but we weren’t very good at the feeling part – still aren’t. We were both heavily suppressed as children and so allowing too much emotion terrifies us. Over time we settled into a pattern, which actually became a heavily co-dependent relationship. So regardless of being soulmates, or not, we not really loving each other. Co-dependence is a bartering system and is never loving and in fact degrades our soul. If we are soulmates, that of course, impacts our whole soul.
One of our big co-dependent emotions was Robby wanted to be rescued and I was addicted to rescuing. Robby’s desire to be rescued created neediness in him, and was part of low self worth and not feeling loved. It meant he often projected a lot of fear. My rescuing was something I have been doing since a child to my own detriment, but I would say in later years has also become part of my horrible control addiction. For me, control feels like security, but it is an unloving and ugly addiction, creating a lot of angry projections.
As you can imagine, this is not the making of an open and passionate relationship. We also, like most, have many gender wounds: layers of anger and hurt. There was and still is so much “Stuff” in the way it is a miracle we are still even friends. But we are and when we decided to try and break that co-dependence things improved individually. Robby learnt to stand on his own two feet more and I felt less drained and demanded of. We have been at least trying to feel what is really loving in some areas.
The other thing we do trigger some deep emotions in each other. For instance, I trigger a lot of Robby’s injuries about his mother. He struggles to see me emotional and I have let him shut me down many times (something I am also used to letting happen and choose to). His mother was constantly sad and crying. He triggers lots of things in me: anger at men, hurt over being used for what I can give rather than whom I am and many things. These triggers are a gift if we have humility – the willingness to feel all of our emotions, but I have not been good at that, though I am getting better in some areas.
But all I know is right now, I look at Robby and I have such compassion for his injuries. I see and feel his struggles – sometimes more than I feel my own. I see both of us blundering along and have compassion and understanding that right now to be intimate is almost impossible until we heal more, but mostly until we have a real desire to be humble in relationships, a real desire for complete truth and a real desire to learn about love, to love and be loved. John Bradshaw, in his book, Homecoming, talks about when we have unmet needs as a child, when we are not validated and accepted and loved for who we truly are, we lose our authentic self, we create a facade and become what our parents and others want us to be. We do it to survive as a child and by the time we are adults we forget and continue with our facade, which grows ever stronger as we continue to live in our hurt. So how can we be intimate, be our true selves with someone when we don’t have a clue who that is. He says it is impossible to be intimate if we have no sense of self. That makes sense in my life and my relationships. Neither Robby nor I have much sense of self.
For me, the other big emotion is abandonment. When Robby recently said he felt open to a relationship with someone else so that he could experience something more loving, I felt numb. I am disassociated, but when I let some feeling come, inside I felt “Well I expect it, they all leave; I will never be the one to be the one that wows them – I am just not enough. I don’t blame them, I am just not lovable. No one will love me forever and I am not surprised.” My wounded child is so hurt she believes it, I believe – emotionally. That is the grief that I am afraid off – it seems so overwhelming still. But there it is.
Normally, through all the difficulties I would have totally given up and not been too bothered about seeing that partner again. But with Robby it is different. The truth is I have some big emotions, a huge amount of fear that is even preventing any desire for a relationship – until I think about Robby. I don’t feel I want to go back to what we had – there was much wrong in how we were doing things. And sometimes, I look at other men, and I find them attractive and I know Robby has felt the same with women. Yet now even, when I do, I often think, “oh but that’s not Robby.” I know I have a ton of stuff to heal and a lot to learn about being loving in a relationship and still a lot of anger, fear and sadness about men to release. That will remain as such, until it doesn’t, but if I try to truly imagine being with someone else, I can’t. I also, don’t know how it could work with Robby, but I can’t break this feeling that he is somehow part of me.
Only time and my willingness to heal my emotions will reveal the truth of him being my soulmate or not, but in the meantime here is the punch line….
Quite separately, Robby got offered a new job and took it. I applied for a new job and took it. It turns out we are now working for the SAME team and work together every day! It is proving hard to get rid of each other… lol!
So watch this space….
I AM WRITING
I am writing because I love to
I am writing words on a page,
And run on paper.
Words that calm,
Excite, enthuse and trigger.
Words that have magic
When strung together,
In rhythm, or wild and free.
Words unique to me,
To my expression,
Words that warm the heart,
Or break it.
Shattering the world
To tears and deep blue sadness,
To gut wrenching fear
And the fiery gate of anger.
Words to ignite,
To aid our flight
Awaken our soul, alive.
And words that
Feel too small to tell the truth
But, words it is and words they are,
That help me
Speak and feel
And learn and create
And feed a passion
I write because I long to write
It’s simple really
There black and white.
To write, to write, to write.
When I was young I was a very good reader and had read all the set books by the time I was 7 and so became a “free reader:” a pupil who was able to read anything at all on the shelves. I don’t remember all the books, but I do remember visiting the book shelves time and time again. At home, we hardly had any books. I remember one of my grandmothers’s buying me a whole set of Enid Blyton books one year and I read them again and again. I read anything, even my brother’s “Fantastic Four” annuals or my mother’s Catherine Cookson.
I loved reading and escaping into worlds other than my own, enjoying adventures and imaginary places, away from harsh realities. When I was older, I read a lot of Jane Austen, which were one of many I read out loud in order to hear myself speak differently and experiment with how it felt to talk as they did in the 19th Century. This is something I still like to do. I am fascinated with words and language: how they sound, feel and what they can express. But words are not limitless and I feel there are many things where words are not enough, but words can and do express a whole realm of wonder, information and imagination.
At some point during my childhood and certainly by the time I was 12 I started to write a diary or journal and to this day I continue to do so. It has never really been a daily event and there have been long periods where I wrote nothing at all. When I look back at my diaries aged 12, 13, 14 or 15 I cringe at some of the topics; boys, what my friends are doing, that kind of thing. But in between the normal sort of teenage stuff are painful entries of insecurity, fear, anger, frustration and sadness.
Then as a teenager some of that expression started to form into poetry and is still a form I love as it can be uninhibited by form, structure or grammar. It can flow in any direction, made from three words or three hundred. When I was teaching English for a while, I told the students that everyone is a poet (which I still believe) and then I proceeded to read a short, but powerful seven-word poem by my son. After their exclamations of approval I would tell them Ben has Down’s syndrome and could hardly write when he thought of that poem. All he did was tell his teacher what he saw and felt.
For me, it is that simple, poetry is about your physical senses and most importantly your feelings. What can you see, hear, taste, smell, touch and feel? What colours are in that butterfly? What happens in your heart when you watch her flitter around your face? How do you feel when you see scenes of war on the TV? Or hear that teenagers are lazy? It is human nature to respond to everything around us. We can try to shut it down and do successfully at times, but never completely: there is always a feeling their somewhere.
I recently watched a great documentary on the BBC called “We are Poets” about the Leeds Young Authors. These are a group of 13-19 year old who are taught how writing can help them find their voice and expression and even discover who they are and want to be. It helps many young people deal with difficult life circumstances and take them away from negative life choices. They performed their poetry, sometimes called Slam Poetry and what impressed me the most was the passion with which they wrote, the passion with which they spoke and also that they never shied away from difficult subject matter. They said it – as it is for them and thanks to the project they have discovered all this at a young age.
For myself, I am nearing 50 and it was only about 5-6 years ago that I started to tell others I liked to write and that maybe I would like to do this more and maybe I had something to write about. It wasn’t easy to say. I felt others would laugh at such a dream or read something I had written and confirm what I felt inside that maybe I couldn’t really write and like a tone deaf singer I didn’t know how terrible my voice truly was. Starting this blog over two and half years ago was a big step and a big statement. It was the moment when I decided I had to stop worrying less about what others thought and just do what I love.
Robby and I had been to a talk about six months earlier, when Jesus had given an example of a friend who had followed his passion to make music, sing and play his guitar. He had started off just playing for himself, just because of his love for it and over time as he worked through emotions and grew his desire he was now getting paid to do what he loved. The story stayed with me and so the blog started. Since then, I have cried tears over all the years I didn’t follow my passions and dreams and having cancer really put into perspective the time I had wasted in not writing, not painting and not doing what I love and even discovering other new loves.
A creeping apathy had overtaken my life, a slowly creeping ivy where I had focused more on my son than myself, where I had found it easier to avoid feeling fear and live in it; avoid my feelings of self worth, therefore stifling and strangling my creativity. Suppressing sadness, fear, anger also suppressed joy, creativity, spontaneity and wonder. I had become addicted to struggle and made myself so grey, so small, I was barely there at all. I had sinned against myself, by denying a huge and vital part of who I am and who God designed me to be: creative, colourful, wondrous.
Writing this blog was the beginning of something – a place where I have explored my emotions, uncovered lies, truth and facade. It has been a journey of self doubt and self discovery, but most importantly it has been a place of growing confidence in my own expression. I have made mistakes, ones which devastated me at times, because I have an injury to always get things right, but which over time have taught me to be softer in these mistakes and just enjoy the process of writing. And I have enjoyed it all and in the last few months my passion to write has grown, along with my confidence.
I have taken the first steps on this yellow brick road and I am loving it! I started writing the other day and a character grew from it, a character with a story. I found and edited a children’s story I wrote six years ago. I continue to write my journal and my poems and I am planning to go back through the boxes now with all the odd bits of paper in them of ideas and bits of writing in them and see what’s there. I have also signed up to a writing magazine and I sent a little article to a local one.
God has heard me and many Law of Attractions are happening to confirm my desire. A book appeared called “Freeing the Writer Within;” I was given a free ticket to a poetry and storytelling event; someone else has offered me a free place on a storytelling and performance workshop; I went to a cafe and got chatting to a lady opposite me and she turned out to be Marcia Willets, who has written 28 successful novels and then I met an amazing group of people who work for and with artists who are migrants or refuges and with the aim to portray a different message and challenge perceptions via music, writing, performance and film. Amazing hey?!
We were made to be passionate about what we love, to be passionate about life and all it can offer us if we allow ourselves to feel all the things that have stopped our passion in the first place and taking action will cause this. Writing and my deepening desire to write more is triggering issues of self worth, also reflected in the work I currently do to survive, rather than do work I love. Every day I feel the pain of this in some way, but also feeling more will to keep writing and expressing and dancing with words and see where it takes me and what it creates in my life.
So in celebration of this dance here is a little poem I jotted down after watching “We are Poets.” Thank you to the Leeds Young Authors for the inspiration and for showing me how to slam it, and to Jesus and Mary for helping me know it is good to do what I love and demonstrating to me the joy in doing do. If I could perform this poem it would not be meekly said.
I wrote when my heart was Breaking
and I was Aching for more.
I wrote when my world was crazy
and the in- fighting
I wrote to make sense
of the times when nothing did.
I wrote to soothe my pain
Or scream insane
When they did, what they did
To hurt me, ignore me,
confuse me and taught me
to hate me.
Words were my only friends
The only honesty
In the lies that burned into
By the ones who were
meant to love the most.
But instead broke
In words I found my strength,
my dance, my ‘I’ again.
I am me.
Maxine Bell @2016
Much of who I am has been lost much of my life.
Many of you may feel this, I do.
It doesn’t mean we have done nothing with our life, but it can mean much of what we have done in life, work and love has occurred more because of the belief systems we were brought up in: what others made us believe about ourselves and who we are. With this understanding I wonder how many of us actually follow our true desires and passions? Or are we following what others expect of us or what we feel is responsible, sensible? Or even what reflects our own lack of self worth or an inability to break away from cultural and social expectations? In fact there can be a huge self deception or denial that this has happened: we are so used to be “other” me we forget to even question who we are. I started writing this weeks ago and it has taken time for me to feel what it is I actually want to write as I have a myriad of emotions attached to these thoughts and the journey of self discovery continues.
I have known for years I wasn’t who I really am, but have felt lost in the search, apathetic and despairing at times as I listened to voices in my head saying I wasn’t worth the effort. Thank God in between these moments were gifts of clarity and a fighting spirit that told me there was something else and to keep searching. I prayed and then I was gifted a wonderful law of attraction when this picture popped up on Facebook a while ago: it grabbed my attention and I never did read any of the words that came with it, as just looking at it, feeling what it meant for me was enough. It sent me into hours of feeling grief: a deep sadness that I didn’t know who I was. I stared at the beautiful lady, an artist’s creation, but asleep and unaware that she was a work in progress. She was alive, but not living. Yet the artist continued to paint, to bring her more alive: maybe one day she would notice and wake from her dreams to dance across the canvas. Maybe one day I will, I thought.
But first I needed to feel, to feel the incredible sadness I felt that at 47 I still couldn’t identify fully which bits of myself were really me, the true me: not wounded me, not facade me, not the me everyone else thought or expected I should be. I have searched before, but now I realised I had been looking with my mind too much: positive thinking, doing, doing, doing, change your thoughts, but all without really feeling so a temporary change followed by denial and frustration with myself. So logically if my mind hadn’t worked it out enough to make a permanent change I needed to experiment with another way. I have been listening to Divine truth talks for just over two years now, but it has taken time to get past some of the confronting emotions they bring up in me. On a soul level I recognised that I had found something beyond what I had known before and that it wouldn’t leave me. I had been asking passionately for truth a year before and I wasn’t going to throw it out when it finally came. In the talks, Jesus constantly says we need to develop humility: a willingness to feel all of our feelings. God made us emotional beings and yet we live in a world of fear: one where the biggest fear is feeling. In fact I think we have a terror of it, so convinced are we that emotions that overwhelm us, might kill us. However, I believe, it is suppressing what we truly feels is what kills us.
So I have and continue to feel what has brought me to this point of not knowing myself and even though I have a good way to go some of the clouds have started to lift. First thing, was at least intellectually accepting first until I feel it, that I am not what those voices have told me. I am not a piece of crap, a worthless person: I am not the only one God can’t save. The voices after all are just the voices of other adults in my childhood and human in spirit form that have similiar beliefs to my parents who join in the emotional abuse: the voices are just other wounded humans, who because they are not willing to feel their own feeling project at children, like I was, and that I/ we carry through to adulthood. Until now I have not known how to quiet the voices. Of course when you see why they are still wounded and still needing to hurt others ( consciously or unconsciously) there is the clue: I NEED TO FEEL MY FEELINGS not to stay like them. I also need to believe GOD’S TRUTH ABOUT ME: I am unconditionally loved and loveable – a wonderful creation. I chose to at least accept these two things intellectually at first, and as I allow my emotions to be felt I have started to feel these truths more in my soul: a tiny bit right now, but its a start.
So what emotions? Well we will all have our own journey with this, but for me the first part was a life time of suppressed anger. I have for two years been making excuses about feeling my childhood anger: on we haven’t got enough space, what about the neighbours etc etc . However, the truth is I have been so terrified of punishment, of not being seen as a good girl, I chose not to feel and release it. Now I go in my bedroom and beat the crap out of my bed and look I am still alive! AND no one punished me! AND a couple of times it has led me to tears of sadness. Step by step , layer by layer : anger, fear, grief. Praying for God’s help and God’s love. I have stubbornly been very self reliant all of my life ( it felt safer) , but now I am finally surrendering to the idea I want and need help. And if I want help why not go to the top guy/girl. Always better to ask help from someone more loving, more knowing, more truthful than yourself. Stuff self reliance, giving God reliance a go!
This surrender is now uncovering joy I haven’t felt for years, love I didn’t know existed and a gentle blossoming and feeling I matter and I might even have something to contribute. I am allowed to follow my passions and desires! When I was younger I was made to feel I had to be responsible for others, I became a carer of my mother many times , as she struggled with life, unhappy in her own unfulfilled dreams. The projections and expectations were so high I believed I had to care for others, except myself: in fact anything I did for myself was just selfish. Sadly, many of us believe this and the world is full of those who believe they need to self sacrifice themselves versus those who have a deep sense of real self-entitlement. Both are wounded states, from deep insecurities and self- doubt. I shrank in these false beliefs, I got lost, and in recent years have left my shattered dreams at the bottom of an ocean of despair.
There have been times when I pursued dreams and I remember the feeling of aliveness and passion: sheer joy. Yet they didn’t seem to lead anywhere because at the end of them ( like the degree I did when I was 30) I was lost again. My sense of self has been too fragile and I believed I would never be good enough, not matter what I did. I was also filled with an overdeveloped sense of responsiblity to my son and others: it was easier to help others than myself: huge amounts of guilt. If I truly decided to help myself I would need to face the truth of what happened to me as a child, I would need to feel how unloved and unaccepted I felt: that was too painful. Like many of us, I didn’t want to feel that.
Now I do! But now I can feel it ( work in progress!) , not deny it. If I feel it , it moves and it eventually moves out of me: e-motion. The more I experiment with this, the more I feel the benefits. This really does work. I am healing my relationship with myself ( which includes my soul mate) and with my creator, my parent: God. I still have a huge amount to discover, but like any good scientist, I now realise, things change because you don’t give up just because you have a bad day. I feel like a I am crawling out of my chrysalis and God is holding my hand. Still scared, but not trying not to live in my fear.
Every day I grab more moments to find myself. The other day I had to shop for new clothes and as I tried on clothes I went on quite a journey working out what clothes were really me, tuning into feelings of expectations from others, my fears of what others would think and my small wounded self. Interesting how a shopping trip can become a new trip: finding me. Feeling my way round I found some great clothes.
So now I am an artist of myself and God provides the canvas……….. layer by layer, brushstroke by brushstroke……. here I come…..
With love to my brothers and sisters,