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

Warts and All

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

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

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

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

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

With love, Maxine.

 

 

 

The Emotional Truth About Cancer

heavy-burden

“I have come to believe that cancer is the physical metaphor for the extreme need to grow [in  love] ”

 Dr Lewis Thomasgk . My add in is in brackets.

I have found this the most difficult blog to write so far. I have written and re-written and re-written a number of times. The reason is, I am writing about having cancer and it has brought up fears just in the idea of writing. Others do this everyday, but in my fears, I over analyse sometimes (sometimes? Alot!), but also I am trying to discover the truth in everything I do so I have been feeling a number of things about why I have struggled to write this particular post:

  1. I am afraid of other’s peoples emotions about me having cancer.
  2. I am afraid of other people’s judgement about me writing about my cancer.
  3. I am judging my own desire to write – that it may be narcissistic, self-absorbed.
  4. I am afraid of exposing myself too much, the stuff I view as “bad” as I have an emotional addiction to being a “good girl” and a false belief that if I am not perfect I will not be loved.
  5. I am afraid of the opinions and feelings of two people I hugely respect, Mary and Jesus, thinking bad of me in some way. I know intellectually they do not judge me, but love me and it is my injured self that projects my “parent” stuff at them – creating a huge fear of disapproval, judgement and punishment. I don’t even know if they read my blog anyway.

The truth is I can not guarantee it isn’t self absorbed or addictive in some way. I still have a lot of error in me in understanding what the truth is. However, there is also the desire to share to help others ( which could also be an addiction, by the way). But whatever is going on, because of the fear I decided to write and just feel those emotions. especially as fear is an emotion I struggle hugely with.

When I first started to write ideas for this blog a few weeks ago, I started going into lots of detail about what I was doing for myself, physically, to heal my cancer and also explain the positive and negatives of different medical approaches: conventional vs alternative or mix of both. I then stuck a bit about emotions on the end, but as time has gone on I realise this is not the information I need to share. There is a ton of stuff in books, videos and websites on treatments for cancer: I have accessed a number myself, but what there is hardly anything about is the true cause of cancer and what the most important thing we need to do, to heal. This also applies to any illness, not just cancer.

Before, I came across Divine truth teaching I already had the view that emotions are the cause of our illnesses and I tested this out when I had an issues with my kidneys in 2010. I used more of a technique, that Brandon Bay used and wrote about in her book “The Journey.” A friend helped me “talk” to my kidney to find the cause, which of course was an emotion, which I attempted to feel. Somehow I did enough and I recovered and didn’t need to go back to the hospital again. Though I still feel there is much more to feel in that area. I had tried Louise Hay, but even though I thought some of the causes made sense I didn’t feel the affirmations were enough. I just didn’t resonate with talking myself out of my disease.

So, when I heard Jesus say that there is an emotional cause for every illness and every accident I accepted that and so I accept that my cancer has an emotional cause. However, I am also aware I haven’t always treat my body lovingly, in fact terribly at times, and I have had food addictions since I was about 10. They are not as acute or harsh as they were years ago, but they are still there. I still use food to suppress my emotions. I also, feel that I have some disassociation with my physical body through various traumas and I notice that I refer to my body parts as “she”, as though I am not part of them. For instance, my reaction to my diagnosis included feelings towards my cervix and uterus – I felt sorry for what she had been and was going through. I was diagnosed at the beginning of September with cervical cancer and it took me three months to realise what I was doing and the day I changed the words to, “I have been through a lot,” did I feel grief come up. From that, came the desire to be as loving to my body as I can be through this process.

After a bit of research I decided to treat my cancer naturally. The conventional treatment was a radical hysterectomy where they even remove the top of your vagina. I am in the earlier stages of the disease and to me this seemed – well radical! I also took advice from intergrative medical practitioners, so as not to be irresponsible and it does include nutrition and other therapies. What I now realise is that my reasons for not wanting surgery are very mixed. Yes, I knew there was an emotional cause, but for someone, like myself who is so suppressed and terrified of most my emotions, not having surgery certainly seemed risky. But, I thought I could at least give myself some time to try. I also, had fears in me about handing myself over to the mercy of the doctors – well-meaning as they may be, I didn’t want to be powerlessness. This is a particular fear in myself, and many women. I have experienced that many times in my life, as a woman and had some very negative sexual experiences, including being raped when my drink was spiked. So maybe saying a fear is underplaying what I feel is really there – terror. From wanting to avoid feeling powerlessness, I wanted control, but this also led to a feeling of rebelliousness: “You can’t have me!” So I know many have said I am very brave to not have conventional treatment, but I don’t feel it is necessarily brave what I am doing, but driven by other emotions – some of which I have identified, some I have not.

At the start, I did have a lot of fear and I even had to feel that maybe I wanted to die. I have felt despair a lot in my life and I noticed a part of me really felt that maybe going to spirit world would be easier. Fortunately, through Divine Truth teaching, I know that that is madness and we do not escape what we need to heal by passing to spirit world and in fact if we pass in a poor condition, with lots of addictions, it is very challenging. God does not allow us to run away from the truth, even when we refuse to acknowledge it. He is always trying to bring us home to Love. So I looked at my life and I felt some sadness that I had not as yet truly lived because of the emotional damage I am still holding onto. Enough damage to have caused cancer, to threaten my life. My parents were the original cause, but boy oh boy I have piled huge amounts on top of that with my own choices that haven’t been loving. I have treated myself very, very badly and hurt many others from my wounded state. It is difficult for us to admit what we have done that hurt others and we are not aware that we are doing most of it, as our view of love is so twisted and incorrect.

When I first heard Jesus use the word ‘sin’ I recoiled as it triggered my experiences with religion. I belonged to a baptist church when I was 17/18 years old and they preached what sinners we were and hell and damnation and God being angry with us. This so connected in what I received from my parents: anger, disapproval, not feeling good enough, being a really bad person that in the end I couldn’t stand the church any more. I was already in a state of no self worth and self punishment so felt I didn’t need anymore. Having recognised what triggered me, in the end, I understand that we do sin – we do make unloving choices, action and thoughts all the time. It doesn’t define us though and that is where Jesus’ true teachings, that he is sharing again now, differ. He encourages us to face the truth of our sin – to awaken to it – but we need to do this without judgement, to really feel the truth and feel sorry for what we have done ( repentance). But he also teaches that we are all God’s children, deeply loved, are the pinnacle of God’s creation and we have the power to change things in every moment. So I am less afraid of the word sin now and less afraid to look at my own sins. How can we change things we don’t even admit are there. The truth will set us free.

But that is a whole big topic, told better, by Jesus and Mary, than myself. Not long after my diagnosis I wrote to Jesus and Mary for some feedback and they kindly sent me some information about cancer they had put together ready for some FAQs they are making about physical illness. The first day I read it and shoved it under a book – didn’t want to hear it. A week later, I picked it up again and tried to absorb what they had said. When I opened to it I could feel what they said was the truth. However, I went into a complete shut down about the specific emotions for about 2 months or so. I had become temporarily homeless, as Robby and I decided to not live together and my finances were terrible. It all happened at once and became my excuse to avoid those emotions. I felt a few other things, but I basically went into survival mode. I did the physical things I needed to do, was kindly offered a room to stay in, but just tried to survive.

I realise now, that is how I have lived a lot of my life and always afraid that my whole world was going to crumble. This is what I learnt from my childhood: survival, but not living. It was the chaos and uncertainity of my childhood that leads to my huge addiction to control everything in my life, especially my emotions. Survival mode helped when I was a child, but has created a large amount of pain in my adult life. Noticing this has increased my desire to live now – to really live, to learn what that means and what really loving means. When I felt this I decided I needed help to unlock myself. I was praying to God sometimes, but my will to feel was not and is not strong enough because of my fears. Once I admitted I needed help I was looked for a therapist who had experience with trauma and I found one really quickly then. So finally, I was beginning to be ready to deal with some emotions in a currently patchy way. I only hit the surface a lot of the time, but I have experienced some deeper feelings – often in the middle of night – when I am alone and not distracted by anything else. ( Distraction is a big addiction of mine).

I have since re-read a number of times what Jesus and Mary wrote to me explaining that those of us with cancer are very blocked to personal truth. To block that we create many addictions and we want those addictions met. We do not understand that to create cancer it means that over a long period of time we have been very out of harmony with God’s Laws of Love: love of self and love of others. We also, often continue in those unloving ways which means we are not taking responsibility for the cancer in us. In fact, we are willing to create a self-attacking life threatening illness in order to get our addictions met – which indicates a lot of anger in the adult with cancer. We have a lot of demands that everyone else responds to those demands and the our cancer. We give to others often to get something back, but can continue to believe we are altruistic when we are not. Also, we do not understand that spirits are heavily involved in the disease due to our co-dependent demands and addictions with others.

Depending on your own response to these words, you may feel a bit like I did when I read them it is pretty harsh. The truth is that sometimes the truth can feel harsh. But the truth is the truth whether we like that truth or not and Jesus and Mary have been dealing with truth for 2000yrs: I have not. They know about real Love and I do not. They are more progressed in love than I am and so I need to listen. I mentioned above, how unlovingly I have treated my body for instance and that is just one group of unloving actions in me. What I haven’t wanted to know, until lately, is how my actions and thoughts have affected others. I have acted out of my hurt and hurt others, I have done a million things to avoid feeling emotions of anger, fear, terror. Even that is unloving to myself and to others because I am not being truthful. I am wearing a facade of “being ok,” of “being good” or whatever: we wear a thousand masks I sometimes feel. The cause stems from my childhood, but I have continued to make unloving choices. I have ignored, feelings inside that helped me know what was wrong and I have put so much energy in trying to control everything in order to “feel safe” and avoid my fears.

Inside I am terrified I am unlovable, that everyone will abandon me, that I am as terrible a person as I was told by my mother. But when those feelings start to surface the fear of how big they are leads me to do anything not to feel them and these become addictions and facades. Things like distracting myself with everyday tasks, eating, facebook, calling a friend – these are the easy ones to name. They are addictions every time I use them to avoid what I really feel, every time I lie to myself and others. This suppression shrinks my soul; when my soul is full of error and negative feelings there is not enough room for the good feelings – not the pretend I am happy feelings – I mean truly happy from deep within. My control addiction is massive – I try to control my environment, my  home, myself and those around me. I am demanding all sorts of things in my addictive, suppressed state: “save me, save me;” “Please make me feel loved, valuable, worthy etc;””I don’t want to feel my fear, stop me feeling my fear” – and many more. And if someone doesn’t meet that demand then I get angry. We all get angry when an addiction isn’t met – whether it’s a physical or emotional addiction and that is very unloving. So over the years I have suppressed and suppressed and done everything in power to maintain this control over my emotions so I didn’t have to feel afraid and vulnerable and sad. In the process I have created a lot of damage to myself and to others and it now culminates in cancer. Our body is our last wake up call. There have been many wake up calls – God sends them out all the time through our law of attraction – either a good law of attraction letting us know we healed the error in us or a law of attraction letting us know we still have something to heal. The damage seeps from our soul, to our spirit body and then to our physical body. And that is what my cancer is a massive wake up call or as the quote above states… “physical metaphor for the extreme need to grow [in  love]. “

Cervical cancer is caused by low sexual self worth. Jesus says it is suppressed anger with the male’s desire for sexual intimacy without emotional intimacy, or your own demand for emotional intimacy without sexual intimacy. It includes the willingness to sacrifice self by pandering to men sexually or emotionally rather than emotionally resolve the situation internally. It also includes an emotional unwillingness to engage sexually, but still physically engaging in order to avoid men’s disapproval or to obtain your own sexual satisfaction.

I am  not sure at what age my sexual injuries started. I remember something strange when I was a girl – it a feeling I had that something that just happened wasn’t okay and my mother’s views on sex and the body did not help. As I said above, I experienced some very unpleasant things sexually and I handed my will over, like many women do, so many times. I had sex when I didn’t want to, with people I didn’t want to and I got forced into things I didn’t want to and I did things I didn’t want to – to avoid the man’s disapproval and anger and because I didn’t have enough worth to say no. So from that I agree with everything Jesus has said: I wanted emotional intimacy when it wasn’t really available and I let men have sex with me without emotional intimacy and yes over time that made me mad and very sad. I did sacrifice myself and my true values in order to gain validation and approval and avoid anger and disapproval. I was also a hypocrite, demanding emotional intimacy when I was unwilling to give it myself. So I agree that I developed an angry demand that a partner should make me happy sexually, when I could not do that myself; that he be emotionally intimate while I was a closed book. I feel angry about the way women are treated as objects and bodies and I have a lot of shame about the things I have done and a lot of sadness about losing my innocence, and my self.

It is the anger that creates the cancer. If you look at how cancer tumours look, they are knotted, tight tissue, red, inflamed and nasty looking – in a way an image of anger. The underlying fear and grief is there too – the cause, but it is feeling and releasing of this anger that will heal my cancer. I do not find this easy AT ALL. I judge my anger as a bad emotion – so I hold it in. When I do try to express it, it can often whittle away again. I have managed some of it and when it happened I went straight into some grief which is good. But there is  more, I can feel that as I write. I am the Queen of Holding On so learning to let go, to jump from the plane, as Mary once described in her blog ( a great article on fear ) is part of my journey right now.

What I feel would help me most is to receive some of God’s Love – the most powerful healing force in the universe. So looking at why I block Her Love, why I prefer my addictions to Her Love and increasing my will to love are all required. I have been talking the talk of Divine Love for a while – looking at that narrow way and thinking that sure looks good, it makes sense, I can feel it in my soul, but looking is not moving and I need to move. The fact that I had to get cancer to start being more truthful is crazy really, but that is where I am at and I can’t say if I can do this or not. God knows I can and growing my faith in the Laws she made to help us is essential and having faith in myself, and for me my biggest block is my terror of overwhelming feelings.

But what I have learnt on this path is that sometimes you can think you know something, but when you do get to feel it, you were wrong. So some of what I write today may be true for me, but when I do progress I may discover I missed a lot of crap. But I am okay with that right now. I know very little, but what I do know is that intellectually I accept that releasing my emotions will help me and in fact I have some evidence in the few times I have hit something I feel so much better. But I am aware I like to hold onto my anger – it makes me feel strong and I don’t like feeling weak – or what I perceive as weakness. I am just afraid of letting go. The irony is when I soften I feel so much lighter and so much less tense: the rock becomes the river. This just goes to show it can take a while to re-educate our hurt selves, to build faith.

For me I carry a rucksack of heavily suppressed emotions, piled on top with addictions and then the accompanying spirits who are in co-dependence with me. It is pretty yuk! But I have a little faith that can change: a tiny seed, but a seed no less. One thing I never doubt is the truth in the spiritual path I have found. So yes, being honest about our emotions will start the cure for cancer and feeling them fully ( without hurting anyone) will cure it. If we remove the toxic emotions from our soul – it will seep through to our bodies and allow our physical body to rebalance and detoxify and heal itself – just as God designed.

At my recent check up, things were looking a little better. But if these events – these effects bring me closer to God, to my self and to my soul mate then that is what matters most. It truly does as they all lead to life, and love and joy. When I truly feel this I will feel anything, any time and any place and learn what to be fully human really is in all our softness.

With huge gratitude to Mary, Jesus and all those who take part in the videos that inspire me, challenge me, give me hope and keep me going.

With love

Maxine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PRESENT MOMENT’S TRUTH

sibling-child-abuse

“Traumatic events, by definition, overwhelm our ability to cope. When the mind becomes flooded with emotion, a circuit breaker is thrown that allows us to survive the experience fairly intact, that is, without becoming psychotic or frying out one of the brain centers. The cost of this blown circuit is emotion frozen within the body. In other words, we often unconsciously stop feeling our trauma partway into it, like a movie that is still going after the sound has been turned off. We cannot heal until we move fully through that trauma, including all the feelings of the event.”
Susan Pease Banitt, The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out

The trauma stuff is difficult… very difficult.

Lately, I have been examining all areas of my life. God’s Law of Attraction has been powerfully indicating to me how very out of harmony with love and truth I have been living. My old habit and still only fading habit is to look at myself judgementally in this – but I am gradually encouraging myself in more compassion for myself. It is very gradual, but I want to alter the harshness and pointless judgement of everything I say and do: that old, old voice that whatever I do isn’t good enough. This voice goes way back to a very young age and runs very deep, but it does not mean it is the truth. It is only what I was led to believe and I constantly have to remind myself that God does not believe this of me, in fact she believes I am able to do so much and waits patiently while I re-educate myself in her truth that I am ” the most wondrous of her creations.” *  Besides, self-judgement and self blame is actually a way to avoid how powerless we feel, it cons us into thinking it is just a matter of control, of getting it “right”, then we won’t feel so bad. I notice that if I don’t judge myself, blame or shame myself I am left with a  gap of “What do I do now?”

I have a long way to go before I know this in my heart, God’s truth about myself, but I feel lately I resist this truth a bit less, letting it creep very slowly into my soul. I have made mistakes, I have completely misunderstood love and what is right or wrong. Lately, I find myself without a home, little money and a body that is suffering. When are bodies are sick, we have to know that we have been missing all the other signs that our lives, our souls are misaligned and lacking in love: love for ourselves and for others. We are disconnected from our real selves, living in darkness to a certain extent, denial of our own denial, suppressed, suffering, lacking in joy, identity and love. Maybe, this is too frank for some of you, but getting frank and honest with myself, I realise is the only way forward and some of it ain’t pretty and some of it is incredibly sad.

I feel I have nothing and yet I have everything. It is strange, surreal place to be and yet a place of some fear,but also wonder. When are arms are empty, they are ready to be filled. Yet to say my cup is empty is wrong, actually as lately, I have been blessed with incredible kindness from friends and strangers. I realised a few weeks ago that I keep everyone at a very long arm’s length. I walk around with a warning sign flashing “don’t come to too close, keep back, stop!” At the same time I get angry when other’s don’t seem to care, I project my frustrations out in a unspoken demand of ” make me feel better, come on, make me feel better – NOW!” This projected anger helps me avoid the fears and terror and grief that no-one, not one soul, not even God loves me: that I am totally alone, abandoned, hung out to dry, irredeemable and unloved. It helps me avoid that feeling of powerlessness again: I can’t control people or how they feel and I want to on some level so I feel safe. Over the years, I have done so many things to avoid feeling unloved and unsafe, created many physical and emotional addictions. I have been seething with anger, frozen with fear and all hidden ( or I would like to think so) behind my “nice girl” mask. This mask is about control, not letting rip, not expressing my anger – even when alone, not feeling my fear, not breaking into a the million pieces of grief that I sometimes feel rising in my throat.

So I have created a panic button which freezes me when I feel someone is getting too close. I don’t know how to receive love because my beliefs about love are that it is conditional and that if someone “loves” me they will want something from me, take from me, use or abuse me. But, not allowing myself to express my anger, means I just fire it out silently to those who get in the firing line: damaging myself and them. It’s yukky stuff. I have tried to rant or shout or scream when alone, but it doesn’t last long so I always gave up. Now I realise, I am just going to have to practice it, same with the other emotions, practice, desire, desire, desire. And don’t live in the fear! So I have been letting people in a little and received kindness and unexpected love. Instead of ducking out of that tea with a friend, I just go and try to deal with whatever comes up for me and have a desire to be more loving, less demanding.

With all this observing of myself and my habits, my constant freezing in certain situations and sometimes flight/fright reactions I realise what a state of stress and struggle I am constantly in: no wonder my body is sick right now. So now I have to admit, that I have a lot of trauma to release from myself and I need help. I pray to God, I talk to him, I try to talk more and more to him, but still have blocks. I am looking for a trauma therapist too and a dear friend has sent me a little online trauma course. I can feel my resistance. My intellect knows I need this, a bit of my heart is crying out for it, but my fear and resistance in going there still exists. Just writing about it causes my throat to constrict a little and some desire to run a million miles away.

However, I have been doing that for far too long. I am currently blessed to be staying with new friends in a cosy home, where I have a little room and shower room. I gave some of my furniture to a charity and the rest of my stuff is in storage. But I am in a new location, in a beautiful Devon town, surrounded by green hills, currently changing into the golds and reds  of autumn. I can walk out my door and be in the countryside within minutes, I can buy wonderful organic food and enjoy this friendly town, which is softer and gentler than where I was living only 2 weeks ago. To me this is a sign of my desire to be softer and gentler, to find God in this “green and pleasant land.”  For a while, I will nestle here and learn more about love: loving myself, loving others and loving God…trying to get to know the truth. I pray I can truly start to heal, to stop resisting, to stop being strong and trying to control everything.

I hope I can start to peel the layers of the onion to get to that trauma place. I can feel there are dark places I don’t want to go, memories I am afraid of, truth about my family that is difficult to bear, and truth about how in my own denial, my own survival techniques, I myself have been much more unloving that I have ever liked to admit. I may have been damaged as a child, but I have continued to damage myself dreadfully over the years in every area. I currently have a huge wake up call, God is knocking loudly on my door and for that I am grateful.

The root meaning of crisis is opportunity so for me my current crisis is an opportunity: a great act of love calling me to love more in every area. I can’t say I am aware of the purity/impurity of what I write: I just write, in the hope that we all stop denying what our lives are reflecting back at us. If we are in struggle, we are not facing the truth about something, we are not allowing our feelings to be present: it means we are resistant and fearful, not trusting what God is trying to show us.

How we get so afraid to feel? It is what makes us human, our ability to feel all range of emotions, to dance in the fire and swim in the waters of our feelings. We were meant to be a river and we became rocks. The rock may be long lasting, strong, tough, solid, but it can not create water. Whereas,  water can shape and alter the rock in shape and form. A rock is static, rarely moving from one place, restricted. Yet water, can move over any place, it can permeate and move through tiny places, or gush through huge ravines. It connects everything and so much life exists in it. Indeed, the human body is 70-80 percent water. Water is free, ever-changing, sparkling. I love water, whether it’s a hot shower, a wild river or the vast ocean, so it seems mad that I have chosen to be a rock for so long! A stubborn, self reliant rock! I thought it was the only way to be, the only way to survive, but all I chose was an existence, not a life, not living. So can I join the gushing river? I hope so, though my fears make me step into a gentle brook first, dipping my toes in.

God knows I could dive in, I just have to believe it myself.

I do believe that being more compassionate with myself will help me soften to the emotions I need to feel, including those layers of trauma. One of the first things in the online course I am asked to do is to sit everyday for a short period and feel my body. That is become of aware of the feelings and sensations in my body. When we have had trauma we disassociate from ourselves so much. I have lived with various physical pains for years and just become used to it, almost numb. When I did the body exercise yesterday, I became aware of hip pain, knew pain, discomfort in my lower back, thoracic spine and an awful pain in my shoulders and neck: a feeling of someone pulling down my shoulders, but it being so rigid in my neck it was very uncomfortable and stiff, then from that pains in my head. Also, I realised I wasn’t breathing  a lot of the time. So I am doing a lot of holding on and the pain in my body represents suppressed emotional pain. Reconnecting with my physical body and it’s pain may be the first step and I can see the logic in it so I shall persevere.

But what I realised too it is easy to be distracted by trying to solve things externally. Yes, I can eat healthily, I can go for walks, I can receive other treatments, but it is my willingness to “dive in” that will produce results. And in fact, I do want to do this with God, not on my own. My self reliance is like a cancer in my soul and it needs a lot of work: it needs humility, a whole ton of it. In biology, cancer cells are very good at tricking the bodies inflammatory responses so that the normal immune responses don’t attack the cancer cells. Well my self reliance is the same – it is very good at tricking me and telling me there is no other way, but to help yourself: it is arrogant and rigid and I need to remind myself that it is a very good trickest and I must desire to know the real damage that is being done and to want to change it, by becoming more God reliant and more self responsible. Self responsibility is not self reliance, by the way, it is more humble and willing to face truth. Self reliance will accept anything, including lies, in order to maintain being “right.”

When I was younger, this self reliance, this toughness, probably helped me survive, and so well that I have a belief that I can not do without it. At the moment, this feels like one of my biggest battles, my biggest belief system to break down, the biggest shell to crack. But if I do, then I feel I will allow myself to feel those terrors and traumas and stop putting on the “strong” facade. May the ice queen melt! May she find a space and scream and shout and shiver and cry! Self reliance is nothing more than a big, ugly rock that needs smashing into a thousand pieces!

I know I have jumped around a bit today – trauma to tantrums, rocks to water, self reliance to surrender. It kind of symbolises my own unravelling, and that’s ok.

The quote from above about being the “most wondrous of your creations” is from the prayer that Jesus wrote. It was changed into the biblical from of the Lord’s prayer, but this is the full, unedited version ( As on the divinetruth.com website). I love it. Some of the words challenged me when I first read it, but now I love it , even when my emotions struggle with it, it reveals much and it has the power to express everything I can’t always find the words for:

My Father, Who is in Heaven , I recognise that You are All Holy and Loving and Merciful, and that I am Your child, and not the subservient, sinful, and depraved creature that false teachers would have me believe.

I know that I am the greatest of Your creations, and the most wonderful of all Your Handiworks, and the object of Your Great Soul’s Love and Tenderest Care.

I know that Your Will is that I become at-one with You and partake of Your Great Love which You have bestowed upon me through Your Mercy and Desire that I become, in truth, Your child through Love, and not through the sacrifice and death of any of Your Creatures.

I pray that You will open up my soul to the inflowing of Your Love, and that then will come to me Your Holy Spirit to bring into my soul this, Your Divine Love, in great abundance, until my soul is transformed into the very essence of Yourself; and that there will come to me faith – such faith as will cause me to realize that I truly am your child and one with You in very substance, and not in image only.

Let me have such faith, as will cause me to know that You are my Father, and the bestower of every good and perfect gift, and that, only I myself, can prevent Your Love from changing me from the mortal to the immortal.

Let me never cease to realise that Your Love is waiting for each and all of us, and, that when I come to You, in faith and earnest aspiration, Your Love will never be withheld from me.

Keep me in the shadow of Your Love every hour and moment of my life, and help me to overcome all the temptations of the flesh, and the influence of the powers of the evil ones who so constantly surround me and endeavour to turn my thoughts away from You to the pleasures and allurements of this world.

I thank you for Your Love and the privilege of receiving it, and I believe that You are my Father – the Loving Father who smiles upon me in my weakness, and is always ready to help me and take me into Your Arms of Love.

I pray this with all the earnestness and sincere longings of my soul, and, trusting in Your Love, give You all the glory and honour and love that my finite soul can give.

AMEN

AMEN!

with love

Maxine

Challenge the Lies: Find the Truth

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That is how it goes: when we let go of a lie, a falsehood, a false belief, an error on a certain subject our soul can then know the truth about that same subject. Jesus teaches that a truth and an error, on a particular subject, can not exist together in our soul. If we have an error, the truth can not exist: if we have the truth then an error can not exist – and there are thousands, probably more, different subjects we either know the truth or the error about. And this is not an intellectual recognition ( that’s the easy part, from my point of view); it has to be accepted emotionally: discovering the truth and accepting error is an emotional process. One expands our soul: one shrinks it. ( Human Soul Series: Divine Truth FAQ YouTube Channel)

I was just re-looking at my blog: examining the bit “About Us” and realising that when I wrote that I felt I knew the truth of a lot of things especially about Robby and I’s relationship. I knew so little, if anything! I wrote what I wanted to believe: that we were soulmates, without actually being a hundred percent sure, emotionally. How deep our self deception and self denial goes because we don’t want to accept we don’t know. That is more arrogant than being humble enough to really tune in to our true emotions. In this case, for me, it is being afraid of NOT knowing who my soulmate is – avoiding all those feelings of grief about my soulmate and not being able to connect with him, avoiding all the emotions I have around the opposite sex and my own gender: the dozens of reasons I don’t yet know in my soul who my soulmate is for sure. I have had moments of thinking I knew Robby was: but moments aren’t certainty. Moments are whispers in the wind, not the strong gales of truth. He may be, he may not, the truth is I do not know yet and he will agree neither does he about me.

But it is not soulmates I want to write about, it is about discovering truth and that was what this blog was about in the first place. I am in the process of unlearning lots of things I thought were true and finding out the real truth. This year, I have been struggling with my progress. I have confused unloving actions for loving ones, been in denial and resistance. What happens is that we find this path, this Divine Truth and we think, “Wow, this is great stuff.” It hits something in our soul that changes the way we look at things, but it also challenges many things, if not all, we thought we knew. So we start trying to feel our emotions, to get to know God. Then we discover, that feeling all our emotions all of the time is difficult: we’re not used to it. Then we discover, we don’t actually want to know God, in fact we pretty cross at him for making it so hard (our perception). We have to constantly re-look at things, poking and digging around in long forgotten dark places we wanted to forget. We keep trying, as we get intellectually, that what Jesus/AJ is teaching makes sense: it’s logical. Then there is the Jesus stuff to work through. Did we ever imagine Jesus would actually return? Could actually return? And when he did, he would be an Aussie with a large variety of T-shirts?? So we look at our expectations and fears around that, but we keep listening to this guy and he seems so loving, so truthful we feel we know he is Jesus. Because we keep listening, we discover more truths, intellectually and a few on a soul level. The trouble with listening to truth is upsets the error and the false beliefs ( which we actually feel are true) so much it scares the living daylights out of us and because of our fear, we keep resisting, denying, letting a little emotion be felt, then misunderstand how much truth we actually know. We keep going, and these new truths, this feeling of some emotions, opens up Pandora’s box: all those emotions we have suppressed are being stirred and more fear appears. These are some of the deeper emotions we have been doing a million things for years trying to avoid or pretend they are not there: all that childhood stuff and anything we have piled on top is shaken up. At this point, many leave the Divine Love Path. Even then they don’t often know why, they don’t realise their fear is shouting. So rather than know the truth, they blame Jesus, God, others, “The Path.” They go off looking for something that makes them feel they are trying to change, but is less uncomfortable or they return to their addictions and the life they had before. Sadly, people leave just at the point they may be about to hit some life-changing emotions.

This year, I feel this happened to me. I didn’t want to leave following these teachings, I didn’t want to stop trying, but have been in huge resistance in feeling, particularly fear. So I have blamed and closed off at times. There has been some progress in following my desires, such as my art, but emotionally I have been stubborn and hard-hearted, addicted to trying to control still. But God is ever-loving, and behind all that I still prayed sometimes, with feelings. I often haven’t even found the words. But because I haven’t been feeling my emotions, my body has been in pain, everyday. What I used to be proud of to call my high pain tolerance, I have now realised is just my ability to control and not allow myself to feel. The pain is the suppression of my emotions.

As a child, expressing my emotions led to judgement, punishment and shame so little me created a strong me that became very good at holding it all in: this is turn created “good girl” facade. The facade that “protected” me from harm – and that is just one facade. We all create many facades, which we learnt to pull up in different situations – sometimes to be liked, sometimes to avoid the threat of harm, to act the way we think we are expected: whatever the reason, it has come from a childhood hurt and an avoidance of feeling mostly fear and grief, but also anger/rage. We are so used to living this way, we don’t even know we are. The real us is squashed under our hurt self, who is squashed by our facade. Our facade wants to avoid feeling our true feeling so much it creates dozens of emotional addictions and some physical. We get into addictions with ourselves and with others, creating co-dependent relationships, that can appear happy ( because we get addictions met).

Understanding all this has helped me start to see and feel the damage my addictions and facade have done. I feel that I don’t know where or who the real me is; I feel I have been much more unloving at times that I want to admit, to others and very much to myself. My facade may have kept me “safe”, but I have been very unhappy and unfulfilled. In the Australian Assistance Groups, ( see the divine truth website) Mary and Jesus talked about breaking down our facade and addictions as the toughest thing we will ever do. I have to agree; I am finding it very, very tough and I am going to need to push myself further, and desire to know myself and God more.  So why go on? Why not try something else?

I can only give this analogy. When you first find Divine Truth, hear about God’s Love, it is like a number of us going on a honeymoon in Spain: the sun is shining, the sea is warm, everything feels new and fresh. As you liked it so much, you decide you want to travel further, to see the world. So you jump on trains and planes, but your journey is not as romantic as you thought: there are delays, bad accommodation, dangerous drives up mountains on the edge of dirt tracks – it is exhausting and disheartening. You try a few journeys, but it just doesn’t seem to be going your way and you can no longer see the point, even when there are promises of seeing paradise, you decide you have had enough and you are going home to a warm bed, a hot shower and a cup of tea. You leave.

But not everyone goes, a few persist, despite the setbacks, they journey on, ever curious to see more. They start to experience the highs of climbing that mountain, swimming in that lake. As they learn to survive without all their creature comforts, they discover pleasures in new things they didn’t even imagine. The journey starts to take them to incredible places, vast blue oceans, tropical jungles, vast plains with exotic animals and the most glorious beaches. They start to look forward to the tropical island they have been promised at the end of their trip and when they arrive it is beyond anything they ever imagined – so beautiful it takes their breath away: it is paradise and now they really feel the honeymoon is about to begin… and this one, this one lasts forever.

I have always been a seeker, always looking for answers and experiences of some kind and I sense my seeking has brought me on a journey like no other now. To quote Jesus from the first century:

” Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to him who knocks.” (Matthew ch 7 v7-8)

So this is why I am still here, even when I am not doing so well. I have some faith in God’s vision for us and a feeling in my heart paradise exists. I want that honeymoon, where love abounds, for always.

with love
Maxine

Why is humility so hard?

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“It is pride that turned angels into devils;

It is humility that makes men as angels.”

Saint Augustine

Jesus describes humility as “the passionate desire to feel ALL of our emotions.” That is every single emotion in every single moment. It is the process of tuning in, becoming sensitive, to how we feel ALL of the time, to listening and acknowledging what is going on in our soul. Our feelings are part of our soul and if felt properly tell us the truth of what is going on, what is going wrong and what is going right. Humility is an essential part of healing, our self-growth and realisation, our growth in love and truth, and if we so desire, our journey to to become at one with God by receiving his love.

So why is it so hard? I have been pondering this question tonight and see that is not the real question. The real question is:

Why am I not more humble? Why do I resist feeling all of my emotions? So why do I resist truth and keep myself from love?

It makes no sense and I have always prided myself on my common sense. I am creative, but I love logic too. I look around at the world and see so much illogical thought and action and wonder why so many don’t see it too. So logically, it makes sense to have humility, to feel, to release the error and discover truth and mostly to choose love, for myself and for others. Logically, humility is obvious, simple and powerful.

So what does humility feel like? For me, in the times when I let myself feel true emotions: rage, fear, grief; afterwards it feels soft, but strong: beautiful, and real. The harsh edges have melted, the armour dropped away. I gain a small sense of the real me. It is surrender and surrender is freeing: wings unclipped, effortless. It is as though I can rest: I don’t have to “try”, or be strong, or keep going, or pushing or pulling one way and another. Even if I am in tears, there is a huge relief, of not have to keep trying to be what others or I expect of me. The is no “should” just I am. It is amazing and yet I resist. Why?

So if I am not humble, if I am not letting myself feel my emotions, what am I doing instead? Instead, I am in a facade and I am used to the facade; I like it; I am used to it. I created it when I was young to protect me, to help me survive. My parents may have encouraged the facade, because the facade rarely upsets the status quo. The one where we are all pretending to be alive, to function, to be a family, to live some kind of life. The one where being too emotional is seen as weakness or drama, where emotions are suppressed, from the first moment our mother says, “don’t cry sweetie, ” we are told not to feel. Feelings frighten us, the truth frightens us. We fear being overwhelmed and create a desire to control and manage our life and our emotions. So this is what I have done, and so have you.

From conception, I inherited emotional injuries from my parents, and so it continued as their injuries spilled out into their parenting and my childhood. This cycle of damage perpetuates the pain and builds the facade. To make it worse, if we want to scream or cry because we feel emotional pain, we are told to be quiet, to not cry, to not express: we ingest our parents and environments beliefs about emotions. So we build more facade. This cycle shrinks us and we become masters of control: I became a master of control.

The facade is our survival technique, but the longer we hold onto it, the more damage is done. But we are in it so utterly, that we will do anything to keep it. We create emotional and physical addictions to numb the pain, to not feel too much: we drink, we eat, we take drugs, we demand to be rescued, to be saved, to look for someone to care for us, to keep us feeling good. We will do anything to feel good and avoid our pain. Over a lifetime we create thousands of addictions, so many, so ingrained we don’t even notice.

So here I am, like many of you, living in a facade to protect my heart, to keep the lid on my Pandora’s box of emotions from my childhood. I am so used to living this way, that even though I have experienced a little of the wonder of humility, my desire to NOT feel outweighs my desire to feel. Inside, I am terrified to feel overwhelmed. So many overwhelming things happened when I was a child: tsunami’s came my way and I couldn’t swim. The constant flight and fright mode, left me fighting for control, amid the chaos. And I got it, I got how to control what I could, whether it was food, feelings, my environment or people: anything to NOT feel the terror of what was going on. And I am still there, afraid of the terror and the grief inside.

So now I sit with feet in both camps. I know, intellectually, that to have humility will change everything for me. I understand it is the way to the real me, to knowing myself and my soulmate, to knowing my real Parent and yet, I stubbornly hang on to my facade and addictions: clinging to the rock face; not wanting to jump and yet knowing I must. Because without humilty I can’t progress, I can’t love or be loved and that makes me sad. I see how in my facade, I defend my point of view, I deny what I really feel to my own detriment and to the detriment of the other half of my soul. My facade hurts me and it hurts others. It is harsh, yukky, unattractive. It pushes away my soulmate, that beautiful man.It keeps me away from God and her love and from real joy.

I don’t like my facade. It has become like an old item of clothing: once a favourite – familiar and safe and yet if you really look at it, it if full of mothballs, scruffy and musty. I really need to throw it out, “thanks for you help mate, but it’s time for you to go.” It’s time for me to feel.

So it’s not humility that is hard. Being emotional is how God created us. It’s our resistance to feel,and the deep hold we let our facade and addictions have in our life. In the end we have the choice to change it, as we do with everything in life. It is our desire, our will to make it happen that creates the change. So far, I feel my desire has been half-hearted. I have made fear my God and fear weaves a web of denial and lack. Fear keeps me from love.

I am sorry, to all those who offer me love and I keep it at bay through my fear. I am sorry I do that to you and I am sorry I do it to myself. My facade has a firm hold and it cares not about Love, but about maintaining itself – at all costs. But I don’t want to give in to it: chip by chip; brick by brick; wall by wall it will come down if I really want it to.  I believe in Love – not the love the world has shown me , but a love my soul understands exists somewhere. I believe in a life with so many more possibilities than the facade can ever offer us.

Humility isn’t hard, my facade is. Humility offers freedom, fear a prison. Humility takes us to truth and to love, not to pain and suffering. Humility is one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves. It is the biggest gift I can give to myself: all of me.

Maxine Bell