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

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THE GREAT SEAMTRESS

embroidery_by_hrfleur

Once upon a time there was the Great Seamstress. She lived in a place far, far, away, but with the eyesight that could see far and wide, and yet could also thread the thinnest cotton through the tiniest eye of the smallest needle. This Great Seamstress had always existed and only she knew the secret of her existence. For many, many years she had been gathering threads of every colour, making needles of every size and printed fabrics of every design she could think of. She had a plan, a most incredible plan that would change her life forever.  For a long time now, the Great Seamstress had been sewing alone and had created many beautiful things in the first stages of her plan.

She had stitched a huge black fabric, and weaved into it circles and spirals of colours, and small sparkles of gold and silver that created light against the dark. Amongst the dark, were also many wonderful circular planets of different shades and colours and one particularly special circle that stood out among the rest, because of its vibrancy.

On this planet, which she called earth, she had stitched many blue and green fabrics in swirls and waves to make the sea; she had sewed white and violet clouds into the sky, as well as a yellow circle, she called sun that was so bright it lit up everything around it. Her needle had gone up and down millions of times creating tiny delicate flowers in many colours into the grass, which had been made from thousands of stitches in greens and browns. From there, sprouted small and large trees made in rougher fabrics and tiny leaves in many different, intricate patterns and shapes for the Great Seamstress loved variety.

As the patterns grew, grey, red and brown rocks appeared in solid, thick fabrics with translucent blue rivers running over and around them. Some were big enough to create magnificent mountains. In other parts the land shapes were in yellows and ochre, soft hills of sand. As she sewed the Great Seamstress was pleased with her work and was having great fun in her creating. She began to add more and more shapes, more stitching, more hues so that more and more plant shapes were formed, more landscapes of every variety made. Her work was good, very good indeed.

She looked at her design. Here was a place to live. But who was to live there? One of the secrets of the Great Seamstress was her heart. It was a heart that spanned time and space, that grew infinitely and was so full and overflowing with love that she wanted to share this love with others; others that would be creators like her, others that could enjoy the playground she had so lovingly made, stitch by stitch. She formed a plan and she looked inside herself, for the Great Seamstress held another secret and that secret was that she was also a Great Tailor. She possessed the qualities of the imagination and skill of a Seamstress as well as the practical and mathematical skills of a tailor.

She now knew who she would like to share her love with: she would make many, many little seamstresses and tailors, who could learn how to sew, and in time become as good as she was at creating and together create a great and magnificent tapestry. She knew that as they grew, that through her magic, more threads and fabrics would be created and she would put no limits on their potential, as long as they worked with love, as she did. She grew very excited and in no time at all the first little seamstresses and tailors were born. The purpose of their life would be to learn about the greatest of all things, love and to discover their individuality, for each seamstress and tailor was capable of making their own unique part of the tapestry.

And because the Great Seamstress knew the love of her own Great Tailor, she made it so that each individual was half of one picture and when they found the other half of the image they were to make, it would bring them an even more blissful and wondrous life as one work of art. Each work of art would be one piece of the Great Tapestry of life so that she could share her love and the spark of life and existence with all of them and as they became more and more skilled in their making, the tapestry would become more and more beautiful.

However, the Great Seamstress was also very, very wise as well as loving and she knew that to truly allow her little seamstresses and tailors real creativity and growth they would need to complete freedom to experiment and discover the wisest and most beautiful ways to stitch. She also knew that would make mistakes and some may even want to destroy what they making, not being able to see the potential of what could be and that they would even forget the Great Seamstress herself.

Before they came into being, to start stitching, she had already anticipated the mistakes that would be made and she had used her magic and her love to make laws that would allow her little ones to see their mistakes and encourage them try a new stitch, or a different stitch, one that would lead them back to her love and to their own potential. Those little seamstresses and tailors that progressed would learn over time about these magic laws and know how to follow them and they would not be afraid to ask the Great Seamstress for her love and help. Some of the little Ones would, however, take a bit longer to learn, would refuse her help, and would make more mistakes, before they realised the right and better way to sew their life into the beauty she had planned for them.

But the Great Seamstress was in no hurry. She would wait for eons, for all her little seamstresses and little tailors. She would rejoice in their triumphs and wait patiently during their mistakes, quietly and gently guiding them back onto the right path. For she loved her little Ones greatly, and wanted them to all to find a blissful life where they could truly express and create their uniqueness, where the stitches that made, fabrics that they used, would make a beautiful, sparkling, everlasting tapestry together, that they all could enjoy.

And so whether you are a little seamstress or a little tailor, please know that even if you think you have forgotten to sew, you never truly can. It is in your very beingness that the Great Seamstress created you to sew, to find your other half and to find the Great Seamstress herself. Sometimes she may seem unreachable, but that is just our own insecurity, because she is always there, always waiting and always loving you very, very much. So do not give up hope, but know that you are a very, very important co-creator of your uniqueness and part of the Great Tapestry of Love, so keep sewing, one stitch at a time; one stitch closer to your Self and one stitch closer to the great Love of the Great Seamstress herself.

@Maxine Bell 2017

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE

goldfish

“You use your strength to separate yourself from everyone, but it’s thrilling when your defences are down.”

This is a line said by Harry (Jack Nicholson) to Erica (Diane Keaton) in the film “Something’s gotta give.” I am not writing a film review, but I watched it because having never heard of it before it came into my view twice in 12 hours   – firstly, it was mentioned at dinner with friends and then the next day I wondered into a charity shop so see if I could find a film to watch and there it was standing out among the DVD’s on display. I felt I was being guided to watch it and so I bought it.

It came under the guise of a romantic comedy, about two people, who in their own way had shut down the idea of the possibility of a deep love and connection, both for different reasons. They were thrown into the path of each other and despite a tricky start they fell quickly and deeply in love. However, fear came up and one of them pulls back. I won’t say too much in case you want to watch it. It is funny and touching and I waited to see what it had to offer me.

On one hand it is obvious, I am terrified of giving myself to love and I struggle to receive love. I am very suspicious of someone saying they love me, because love has meant departure, manipulation, feeling used, disappointment, confusion and pain. In truth none of that IS love. I know this intellectually and I have a small feeling deep down there is something much more special that is truly love, but my emotional wounds, my parent’s/ environment version of love, like many of us, was wrong, is wrong and now I am attempting to understand what love is, but I am scared. Scared by previous experiences and my emotional knowledge of love. Yet to keep saying this is also an excuse and an addiction and re-educating myself about love is within my own power and choice.

Then on the other hand is this issue of strength. When this line was said it struck me – it was me. I use my “strength” to separate myself from everyone. I have noticed that I call my mother the bounce back queen. Despite all her own lack of self love, the damage she has done to herself and to others, how she has treated her body, she still survives, she still keeps going. She has a chronic illness- temporal arthritis which requires horrible medication, including lots of steroids. Because of this her bones are fragile and the smallest fall she breaks a bone. This year she fell and smashed 6 ribs, had a metal plate put in to fix them. She was home within 3 days. Last week, she discovered she had 2 fractures in her neck, that had gone undetected for a week and she still got on a plane to Spain for a week. Many will read this and think, wow she is strong. But is it being strong or is it being self-reliant and avoiding her vulnerability?

Last week at work, someone asked me some questions about myself, which I answered honestly and their comment was, “you are one strong lady.” It was said in a way, that I should be proud of myself, proud of my strength. It has been said to me before a number of times. But right now I don’t want to be strong. What does it really mean? I am addicted to it. I am addicted to “being strong:” to surviving through many things, to getting back up, to pushing on, to keep going. I am addicted it, but I am sick of it because it is as Harry says my strength has become the space I use to stay separate, to avoid relationships, to avoid love, and to avoid feeling. It also involves appalling self care at times because I ignore so much of my pain.

I can feel the damage it is doing to me, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I have pain in some part of my body daily and I don’t take analgesia. I haven’t for long time and I used to consider myself to have a high pain threshold. I do, but this is not a good thing, this is shut down of feelings. And there are many of you out there who do the same thing.

There is no judgement is this because we live in society, that celebrates this kind of strength, this way of coping. I am English and we have had a long tradition of stoicism, that “stiff upper lip” nonsense: “chin up!” In other words, pretend it doesn’t hurt, don’t be emotional, just grin and bear it. The words that aren’t said here are “don’t be emotional because that will trigger all my emotions which will make me and everyone else around me upset and we don’t want to be upset because we don’t want to feel our emotions either. Avoidance, facade and all of us meeting each other’s emotional addictions.

What I feel now, is that this is incredibly sad. It is incredibly sad that we are so locked up, that I am, because when I lock up my negative emotions I also lock up my positive ones. So I can not experience my joy and happiness as I should. It is the way our soul works – suppress one emotion and we suppress another and it builds up to the state of numbness and de-tunement many of us live in.

I am not happy being like this and I am sick of being “strong.” It means I am overly self-reliant and I don’t let others in and I don’t let them help me. Then I feel alone and then I feel upset and angry that no on will care for me: a vicious cycle. Compassionately, I have reasons why I became “strong:” it was a survival technique and in fact I was taught to be this way, to support my mother and to care for my brothers and I certainly wasn’t encouraged, like many, to feel or acknowledge my own needs. I may be “strong” to the world as it currently is, but the truth is I am weak in knowing myself, and allowing myself the real strength and courage to feel all of my emotions.

There is small part of me that wants to be vulnerable and the times I have allowed that have been the most amazing times and I have felt almost beautiful. After the crying, we often feel more peaceful, especially when it is a causal emotion. I long for that peace and yet I must have a greater desire not to feel at the moment, to hold on and if I really want to progress more quickly something’s gotta give.

Being vulnerable is something I don’t emotionally understand properly. I feel inside it is weakness, as many do. Most of freak out when too much emotion hits the room. We can cope with a bit, but if it goes on too long, either with ourselves or others we judge it, we get fidgity, distract ourselves, talk ourselves out of it, eat ourselves out of it, drink ourselves out it; anything to lessen the “drama” of a roomful of emotions.

But emotions are E – motions. They are meant to move in and out, like a river. Often, instead , they sit in us like a rock and despite on some level we feel the weight of stuck emotions we have become experts in pretending they are not there. It is similar to being very overweight, we keep buying bigger clothes, bigger chairs and bed, put elastic in our belts so we don’t have feel too uncomfortable and aware of that extra flesh.

Being vulnerable would be to put on those trousers we can’t fit into, feel how uncomfortable they are now, walk out in them, feel exposed and allow all the feelings of that to come. So for me this acts as a key to accessing my vulnerability – getting out my comfort zone.

In November I did a four day workshop called Solo Autobiographical theatre. I had 4 days of being outside my comfort and it was transforming in the sense that I faced fears, didn’t live in them, felt emotions, felt exposed and at the end felt empowered discovering bits of myself I hadn’t before. So now I am signed up for 2 terms of this and I keep looking for ways to get out of my comfort zone. Actually, I think I will call it my addiction zone, because I would say most, if not all, of my so-called comfort zone is full of emotional and physical addictions. It is pretend safe zone, but truly an avoidance zone and the truth is, the reality is this addiction zone may give me some sense of gratification, but it has not brought me real happiness, love or joy. So, on an experimental basis I would say that experiment has failed and it is time for  new experiment. No real love in our life is no real life at all: it is living life in the greyscale, instead of vibrant colour.

I have so much to learn about vulnerability and blocks to work through to allow it more in myself. Then I feel, I will also learn more about being strong in the true sense, strong enough, courageous enough to feel, to feel my emotions, to feel my Self and awaken all my senses, and start waking up to truly living again. It is in there, because God made us that way. She didn’t create robots after all, she created living, breathing, dancing, singing, creating, thinking and most of all, uniquely of all, emotional beings: all that makes us human.

The ability, the desire to feel all of our emotions all of the time is humility. Humility allows vulnerability to be present and allows us to move those negative emotions out of us and let in the new, more joyful ones in. Our current definition of strong for me is rigidity and denial: a painful holding on: the inhale. Vulnerability is softening, allowing, surrender: the doorway to more truth, joy and freedom: the exhale. Sighing…

“You’ve got to learn how to fall, before you can learn how to fly.” (from the film).

@Maxine Bell 2017

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT…ROBBY

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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).

soulmate

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….

Positive Benefits

Note to self, but also a sharing for those of you interested and curious about why the Divine Love Path ( The Way) is so amazing. Written by Eloisa, who is more progressed in Love than I am ( this is no judgement on self – just the truth) and so is writing from her own experience all the big pluses of being building a relationship with God…

DEAR GOD...

dscn6368

I notice that Jesus & Mary always help us to see and understand the benefits of applying Principle’s of God’s Truth to our lives and I am seeing how this helps to inspire personal desire to try stuff in my own life.

This blog is just to share how awesome I feel it is when I do have a go at applying Principle’s of God’s Truth to my life, or even have an intention to do so! (I am presently going through an excited patch of discovery, smile).

A few of the benefits I have discovered of experimenting with honouring God’s Truth, having an intention to live in harmony with God’s Laws and aspiring to Love as God Loves are as follows:

You learn HEAPS about yourself (your whole soul – as you open up to it), others, children, God; actually as much and about as many subjects as you…

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WORDSMITH

I AM WRITING

I am writing because I love to

I am writing words on a page,

That dance,

And skip,

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,

My history,

My emotions.

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

Of wonder.

But, words it is and words they are,

That help me

Speak and feel

And learn and create

And feed a passion

Of mine.

 

I write because I long to write

It’s simple really

There black and white.

To write, to write, to write.

sharpen-snoopy-writing

 

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

I wrote when my heart was Breaking 

and I was Aching for more.

I wrote when my world was crazy 

and the in- fighting

Never stopped.

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

my heart

By the ones who were 

meant to love the most. 

But instead broke

me.

In words I found my strength,

my dance, my ‘I’ again.

In poetry 

I am me. 

 

Maxine Bell @2016

THERE IS ALWAYS A GIFT OF LOVE

gift-box

This summer has been extremely busy for me. I have been working and selling and packing up my bits to move to a smaller – and more importantly cheaper place to live. But mostly, I have had the task of helping my son set up his new life following his graduation from college where he achieved an NVQ in Hospitality as well as a number of other qualifications and certificates. He has worked hard for three years at the most progressive college in the UK, as far as I can see: Foxes Academy.

I drove round hundreds of miles to check out different colleges, but nothing stood out like Foxes and when we visited I got that feeling right in my gut that lets me know: this is it! This is the place! (Or the person or the thing to do) When it comes to my gut feelings about Ben it has always worked out.  I have fought many a professional, found my voice on behalf of him many, many times and followed my gut, listened to my heart, had faith and quietened the fears created by professional opinion and “realism.”

I have spoken up on his behalf much better than I have for myself. I have discovered a strong assertiveness and determination with regards to helping him create a meaningful and happy life more than I have for myself.  On reflection, this is an error, as in God’s eyes I am no less important than Ben; in God’s eye’s I am equally loved and equally have the right to a happy and meaningful life. Intellectually I get that; emotionally I have yet to. But that will come – when the error is released.

In the meantime, Ben has not had the ability to speak up as he would have needed to or access to the right information or understanding to fight for his own needs because Ben has Down’s syndrome.  He has had to grow and learn and experience in a body and brain messed up by an extra chromosome – well that is the physical cause.  The emotional and soul based cause is multi-generational, including myself and his father: error based emotions eventually impacting the physical world so much as to “disable” a potential healthy human body, which in turn impacts the soul. Of course we have the potential to help our children to heal by correcting the emotional error and false beliefs in ourselves.

However, I did want to talk too much about Ben’s dis-ability, but rather his capability. I am not trying to brush over the struggles and pains of having a disability or of being a parent, but this summer, I have just felt the beauty in Ben, the silver lining, the way God uses every situation to Love –  and I wanted to share it. I may have been Ben’s voice many times; I may have drudged my way through a ton of paperwork, phone calls and meetings to get basic rights for him whilst ignoring the doctor’s so-called predictions of what he wouldn’t be able to do, but in the end it has been Ben who has done it.

The truth is Ben has proven them wrong many times: crashing through their thinly disguised pessimism. The truth is Ben has a soul based knowing at times uninhibited by fears of looking silly or sounding ridiculous. The truth is he like many people with learning disabilities, smash through our complicated thinking with a simple, heart-felt answer to the big questions about life and love. The truth is I may have helped Ben at times, but he has helped me and others in deeper, more meaningful ways ten-fold over.

What I find amazing is that even though it is human error and arrogance that has caused these problems, a gift has been created for us and in this gift is another demonstration of Love – the love of God: pure, simple and powerful.  This is what I want to demonstrate today.

For my son it is not an easy at times: he is frustrated he cannot speak clearly and be understood easily. He has limits on his intelligence that mean he cannot just go out in the world independently – he has to rely on the help of others. His dreams are restricted compared to others of the same age.  For instant, he cannot just hop on a plane to Japan if he wishes; he cannot go to the bank and sort out a mortgage.

In our materialistic, economy-based Western world he is unlikely to be seen as a success because he is unable to earn lots of money to plough back into the money market, or become a celebrity, or get a degree in Astro-physics and design a rocket to Mars. We have encountered people who ask what a person like Ben can contribute to society. Are they just not a drain on the economy? (This included a cardiologist we once met in a famous London hospital!).

There are two reasons this is both arrogant and ignorant. Firstly, Ben did not choose this. He did not choose to be born in this body; he did not choose to have a learning disability or a heart defect or poor eyesight or poor speech.  It is not his fault. Ben has to try to survive against the odds in many ways and has no choice, but to need help. He is part of the most vulnerable in society – not by choice, not by harming himself or others, but just by being born as he is.

Secondly, not realising what Ben and people like contribute is to really lose touch with what being human is or created to be.  To value only the material, the physical, the monetary is empty: a house built on sand.  Ben demonstrates every day his humanity, his love, his openness, his free spirit. He is as capable of being inhibited by external forces; including me of course as any person is, but mostly, I have tried to allow him to just be him: loving, cheeky, fun, kind and brave.

Ben demonstrates to me how to let love flow through you, he reminded me how to be silly again. He taught me spontaneity, living in the moment, how to be free in that moment. I let go a bit with him. I happily would sing out loud on my way down and around the shops with him in his buggy. We would make up songs and rhymes to teach him colours, numbers, shapes, animals. I sang “Chitty, chitty, bang, bang” for hours and hours.

He gave me a chance to love freely. My heart skipped a beat to watch him sleep, to wonder at this miracle of life that lay before me. When he was born, it was traumatic – discovering he had Down’s syndrome. It was traumatic that first year before the holes in his heart were repaired.  But I always loved him from the womb all the way through. My heart ached, not knowing what he or we were going to go through, but I knew he was innocent and he needed care. I was a single parent, for most of the first ten years. It was tough at times: I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know how to love myself, so loving someone else wasn’t always possible.

I would struggle, but then the magic would happen. A trip to the supermarket became a dance down the aisles or me running about picking up clothes he was trying to remove. Nothing was “normal” and yet it felt more alive than normal. He walked three years earlier than they predicted: he was out of nappies three years earlier than they predicted. He loved to dance and sing. We had our own secret sign for music. He walked further than they said he would. He was incredibly fit following his surgery; he never got fat and he never had mucus and the hearing loss they predicted.

He was and is a near- fearless climber, loves to free-run, break dance and can drum for hours.  He learns the drums by listening to music over and over, repeating it many times until he knows it. He can recognise a song from the first two notes. He is a romantic and loves feeling “in love.”  He wants to marry one day. He is a stronger and braver swimmer than I and a good athlete.  He is incredibly perceptive about people and his reaction to someone says a lot.

Music, sports and food are his loves. When he eats he does not talk and will not talk with you. Instead, he sits and tastes passionately every mouthful. If he goes out for the day, the first thing he will tell you is what he had to eat.

At college he was challenged to go beyond any previous pre-conceptions of what an adult with a learning disability can do.  For years, post 16/18 education has been much the same old thing: life skills, gardening, craft and animal care, possibly a bit of catering. There was no particular goal except to teach some life skills and give them something to do for 3-5 years. Foxes have a different view: they are getting them ready to have a life – to live as independently as possible, to find meaningful work and interests and relationships, including love and sex relationships. Foxes are all about outcomes.

Since he left for college 3 years ago, I went on quite a journey within myself: a grieving and a lot of facing some harsh truths about my parenting.  I tried to be the parent I didn’t receive myself, but not having a clue I have made many mistakes.   When he left for college I spent a day sorting through the 5 boxes of paperwork from his years in education and the health system. It took over 3 hours to burn it and I cried over most of the papers I read through. I told myself I was letting go, but it took a bit longer than that and in truth, is ongoing.

The first two terms Ben did well, settled in, enjoyed his work and social life, but he also had some problems with a girlfriend who was controlling and bossy and was easily influenced by others. He came home for the holidays and we had some sticky moments. It took a while for the penny to drop, but I started to see that I was micro-managing too much – in fact trying to control his choices, as well as project demands at him.  At times he was aggressive with me and/or himself.  I was doing too much for him and expecting him to fulfil emotional “holes” I needed to fill myself. I started to see I was harming him and what I was calling love wasn’t.

Over the next few months I focused on “un-hooking”, watching out for my addictions with him and try to own the feelings and fears. It wasn’t all perfect, but goodness a change happened in him. At college, the penny dropped that he was there for himself, for his own aspirations and dreams. He started to do much better and cope much better with the challenges that came. Last year he was second outstanding learner and he has come out more mature, more confident and capable. He is bold and decisive and chose a new life, living with a friend, away from me, with support workers to help him. He was fully involved in interviewing and choosing his support workers and we are currently settling him into his new life.

I still have to watch myself, to step back. I encourage Ben to tell me when I am being to bossy or interfering, when he wants me to not be around or not to help. We are really working on a more honest relationship and he is speaking up more clearly and assertively. His courage is incredible and I am honoured to see this young man grow. He has such character, such a sense of fun and incredible love in him. He also shows a perception about life and talks about wanting to teach others how to have an open heart.

I feel stiff next to him. I can feel the walls around my heart built up from my injuries – from my childhood and what has happened since.  Yet I have this son – well God’s son, this soul in my guardianship demonstrating to me that opening is the way forward. He is lighter and freer than I and I long to feel that.

As parents of children with disabilities, the trauma of discovering your child is not quite what you thought, what you may have been through with them – through illness, or schools or other care needs creates a strong protectiveness.  We can feel them so vulnerable that our fears and unshed tears drive our actions, which we may think of as love, but isn’t always, especially as emerging adults. We can feel an internal pressure to make them feel okay, to feel better because we don’t want to feel vulnerable about them ourselves – somewhere inside we may know unconsciously we have some responsibility for what has happened. Whatever our feelings, and for their sakes, we need to own our emotions – our fears, our grief, our anger, feeling overwhelmed, exhausted –  we need to be brave and honest and unselfish.  Like any adult, they need room to breathe, to explore and to experiment. They need room to make mistakes and learn how to cope with that and to learn to live in a world they probably don’t really get, but one they can benefit from given the right help balanced with the right freedom to choose and live.

We must not patronise them, they are great teachers:

Ben’s bravery shows me I need to be braver.

Ben’s openness shows me the freedom in breaking down those walls around my heart.

Ben’s spontaneity and joy is there for my inner child to awaken again.

Ben’s pleasure in simple, everyday things demonstrates an unspoken gratitude and acceptance.

Ben is happy in his own skin, happy to say he is handsome, he is a dude, and he is a good dancer. He is not obsessed in judging his body as I have mine. He is just “this is me and this is okay.”

For Ben, life is now, in this moment – whether it is eating something delicious, doing a cartwheel, drumming to Muse, or singing along to Lazy Town. He is not wasting energy mentally fretting over yesterday or tomorrow. The only real time for him is now and therefore he gains more from the moment than I do.

Ben has compassion. He is not happy to see a man sleeping in a doorway, or a child screaming or a dog yelping. He “feels it in his heart” that something is not okay and he wants to change it – with Love and kindness.

Because of all this, Ben is closer to God than I at the moment. These qualities he demonstrates are qualities and attributes of God.  There is the gift: God appears in many ways, through many people and the way they live their lives. Even in what can seem a tragedy to many, God finds ways to express and demonstrate Love, to help us see where we can improve, where we can be more honest and reflective, to create change.

I don’t believe we have to have a world with people with Down’s syndrome or other disabilities to demonstrate all these qualities or to bring out these qualities in ourselves. This is unloving as having a disability is not easy and I have seen grief and confusion in Ben at being “different,” but until we learn we have a choice in all these things, until we turn to God more and our own spirituality and soul, we can be good guardians to these brothers and sisters, whose worth is equal to our own. They often help us open our heart, have more compassion and understanding.

They can give us a taste of our Father, a doorway to heaven, by their own demonstration of love, fun and kindness, but also by what they bring out in us: patience, tolerance, humour, love, compassion and kindness.

In many ways, Ben is a man and in many ways he is Peter Pan – never growing up.  But I sense none of us really understand what being grown up is. We live in a world of injured souls, whose need to control their environment and “manage” life is seen as being an adult.  So in this way, Ben helps me question my own “adulthood”, my addiction to control, to avoid fear, what true responsibility is.

Maybe the Peter Pan’s of this world remind us of what Jesus said,   “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

(Matthew 19:14)

So thank you Ben, and all the “Ben’s” out there. In adversity, you shine, with no self-pity. In a controlled world obsessed with what others think, you dance and sing, no matter what; you are freer. In a world full of competitiveness and hierarchy you only see equality; no man lesser than yourself. And most importantly, in a harsh world – you love.

love Maxine “mum”

mj-ben

THIS TRUTH

Events, reflections, feelings and then…. a poem on a subject I am “in utero” on…. in so trying to imagine the true greatness of Divine Truth is beyond me as yet…. but still.. partly felt, partly imagined.. it’s a start…

GoldenHeart

 

A Gift more precious than Gold, from God

A Love greater than we can imagine

A flower as strong and beautiful as an orchid

Outstanding when seen, experienced.

A treasure beyond our understanding

To be held close to our hearts

Away from the dust; a mirror to our errors. ..

This Truth is.

 

Not a joke, or way to boost our morale..

Not a thing to help us avoid our pain,

Our low self worth; our hopelessness.

Not a tool to build up our value above

And beyond our brothers and sisters,

Or ride on the facade wave of intellect

And self importance.

Not this .. this Truth.

 

An eternal light,

Shining in darkness,

Capable of banishing it all.

An honour to discover; to seek; to find.

A reflection of the glory of its Creator.

Permeating all Creation,

Holding hands with True Love,

This Truth it is.

 

Not to be abused or used,

But to be ever sought.

Not to be taken lightly

In the measure of its worth.

Nor misinterpreted by egoic self absorption.

But held as a torch for the narrow path,

To God and Love

This truth.

 

Eternal, unchanging,

A song of Love and adoration

An education

From the Father of All

A Way: The Way

To know Him, Her, Our God..

With this Truth…

 

Beautiful, light, bright,shining…

Absolute…

Divine Truth.

 

Maxine Bell 2016

 

 

 

IMAGINE…

I live in the UK and two days ago our government voted to bring back the Trident missile. I felt so incredibly sad. A few facts:

It could cost up to £97bn – in a time of so-called austerity.

Each of the submarines can carry up to 16 Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), with each missile capable of carrying up to 12independently targetable nuclear warheads.

Each Trident missile has a range of up to 7,500 miles (12,000km) and is accurate to within a few feet.

Their destructive power is estimated as the equivalent of eight Hiroshimas. The Hiroshima bomb killed 140,000 people and damaged countless others.

The UK deploys 16 Trident missiles on each of its four Vanguard-class submarines, of which one is on patrol at all times.

The Scottish branch of CND estimate that if Trident was used to bomb Moscow that 3 million would die, including 750,000 children. This figure does not include secondary problems because of the pollution of water supplies, destruction of homes and general devastation would result in secondary problems with disease, as well as the possible effect on the world climate. These bombs can be nothing less than genocidal.

As a teenager in the 1980’s the cold war was at its height and we very much felt that it was possible someone would press that button. We talked about it at break-times at school: what would we do if we had just three minutes left? Who would we want to be with? What would be our last action, thought or feeling? We talked about in it our lessons and it there were programmes on a possible post holocaust world.

We were told how many would survive, and if they did what kind of life it would be, how the world would be full of dust and that we would need to stay below ground for a long period and then even if we did survive the chance of cancer, genital defects, infertility, starvation were high. But the truth was most would die in the blast, because it was felt that if one person pressed that button, then the other country  would press their’s in retaliation.

What a pointless exercise and very clearly demonstrated in the 1983 film “War Games,” where a teenage computer whizz-kid accidentally taps into the government supercomputer WOPR (War Operation Plan Response): originally programmed to predict the outcome of a nuclear war. The teenager ( Matthew Broderick) simulates a nuclear war believing it to be a computer game, but because the computer is now connected to nuclear warheads it is hard to know if it is a simulation or reality. The government, the people who run the computer do not know for sure if world war three has been started and so starts a very serious situation. In the end the teenager finds the inventor of the computer and within seconds of an actual real launch of a nuclear warhead they realise the computer is just calculating all possible outcomes. It is a great film and what was the computer’s discovery: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A WINNABLE WAR!

We know this to be true: centuries of war have demonstrated that no one truly wins. How can a war ever be good, when so many lives are lost, so much damage done and even those that survive are left with huge emotional scars. Violence begets violence. Gandhi said, ” An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” So true. We supposedly won World War One and Two, but at what cost? Millions of young men shot down in their prime; millions of others dead, tortured; millions of women, children, families suffering incredible loss and pain, a changed world, heavy with grief. I know the reason is we had to stop the madness of Hitler, but maybe we should ask what created Hitler? What part did we all play that he could and did rise to power, despite his seemingly mental and emotional instability and injuries?

My grandfather was a young soldier in the World War One. Like many, he lied about his age to serve his country and was thrown into the horrors of the battlefields of northern France and the Netherlands. He did not speak about it. He only showed me a scar on his leg from shrapnel, but never told me what he experienced there. They were in fact told not to tell people what happened there in case it disturbed the masses, so to speak. I discovered more about that when I read Pat Barker’s fictional ( though based in certain facts) trilogy of novels about the psychological damage/shell shock when I did an English degree. It was shocking and sad how soldiers were treated and silenced. Again, how did we get to the point of creating a world war? Any war?

For me, the issue is about not creating those conditions for war in the first place. War has and will always sadden me hugely. It all seems pointless. In 1982, my cousin, aged only about 20, was sent to fight for the Falklands: a tiny island thousands of  miles away from the UK, with not much going on there from what we saw. It was nearer to Argentina and Argentina wanted it back. My cousin  lost friends there and we all lived in fear in case we lost him. When he came back, they were going to send him to Northern Ireland. He left, he had seen enough violence.

Thank goodness, in the 1980s there were many who were also sick of war and most definitely felt that sitting around waiting for a nuclear button to be pressed was not the way to go. There were many movements, such as the CND who fought for nuclear disarmament. It has originally started in the 1950’s when shocked by what had happened in Japan at the end of WW2, a real fear of nuclear war, caused many to call for peace and disarmament. It had a resurgence in the 1980s. I remember watching the Greenham Common Women on the news chaining themselves to the fence around a US airforce base in the UK which had Cruise missiles.

The building of nuclear weapons has never completely stopped, but to see it so emphatically agreed upon by the UK parliament this week felt like a huge step backwards, especially after the awful wars we have had this millennium. War has never created long-lasting real peace. We may not have had a world war, but we have had many, many wars since from Vietnam to the Iraq to Syria. It doesn’t move us forward. Isn’t it time we tried something different? The conservative and many of the labour MP’s used the war on terror as an excuse for Trident. A “war on terror” – so sadly we ARE still at war, so sadly we are still living in fear and prejudice and separation. And we are all responsible.

Our seemingly small and daily lives are full of fear and anger, expectations, demands, inequality and prejudices. In our hearts, we are so full of fear, we will fight tooth and nail to do what we feel we have to survive. Our recent Brexit decision was based on this emotion and blaming others for the “state of our country.” Continually blaming and admonishing responsibility is not going to help either.

We need to look into the dark places in our own hearts, to feel that sickening fear that rules our lives and to desire to change it. But we also need to look at the human race as one family, as each person we meet as a brother or sister. I believe we are that: all children of God.(though I still have some emotions to work through on accepting that emotionally) But even, if you are unsure of that, imagine how the world would change if we saw it as one world and one family. Each member, an equal; each of us with pain to heal, but with a willingness to be truthful with ourselves and heal within first before we blame or hurt others. My ex-partner, my son’s father, summed it up the other day in saying it is time we stopped just seeing things as Britain, or our country; stopped seeing “them vs us” all the time, but started to think globally about making things better.

I heard one MP saying we need to be realistic and face the fact that Trident was needed in our “war against terror” and that idealism was nice, but not realistic. Well I like idealism! I like the fact that some have had a dream of a different world and had the guts to be a ripple in the pond, from Jesus to Gandhi to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Thank God for the dreamers, the ones who had a feeling to change things, to be bold enough to be different, feel different and create different experiences. As John Lennon said:

“You may say I’m a dreamer..But I’m not the only one.

I hope one day you will join us and the world will live as One.”

I will end with a youtube clip from Australia’s Got Talent where one young man sings that very song and the more poignant because he is a  victim of the Iraq War who was left to die with his brother,by his parents, probably because of the birth defects they were born with. His name is Immanuel – which means ” God with us.”

 

Maxine

 

 

 

 

 

My interview with Peter on Divine Truth Podcast

Here is an interview I did with Peter last week where I talk about my experiences with New Age Beliefs, Cancer and Taking Action.

Episode #03: Maxine Bell – New Age Beliefs, Cancer & Taking Action – 21.06.2016