THOUGHTS ON LOVE

love-is-a-gift

We live in a world where we say “there are plenty more fish in the sea;” where we console ourselves over lost love by imagining another person is out there and that our perfect mate is our choice. We just have to find the “right” one and often these days we have a list of requirements: tall, slim, happy, positive, makes me laugh, kindness, takes care of me, nice eyes, long legs, large breasts, intelligent, sexy, a good cook and so the list goes on.

In the process of looking for a good match, we make mistakes and kiss many “frogs” before we find out prince or princess. This is the same whether straight or gay. We keep looking for that other half to fulfil our lives, that person who will make us happy and whom we can share our lives with and yet we don’t want to admit there is maybe just one other half. The truth is we are told there is not just one special person, that there are many who we could match with and we just look for that best match. A few people believe in finding “The One”, but are often mocked about this. Our ideas about love and relationships is very confused and contradictory.

In the western world, at least, our ears are constantly filled with songs of broken hearts and lost love. The other side of the coin is the number of programmes about dating, finding dates, and even weddings. We are certainly looking, but in fact many of us are pretty confused about the whole thing. I recently watched a few episodes of a programme in the in the UK called first dates. I felt it was a bit of escapism, but I also think inside I am also trying to work out this love/relationship stuff, just like the rest of you. Before the dates they are the participants what they are looking for and in so many people I notice the first things people list are physical, even down the type of teeth, the next most common thing is “fun,” “make me laugh” and “be positive and happy.” ( to me this indicates how afraid we are of each other’s sadness) .For women the other frequent request is be a gentleman and be big/strong;  keep me safe and take care of me. There is very little mentioned about personality, qualities, ethics, morals, or much of any real depth. It may possibly be there, but they don’t say it.

Between the lines there is a lot of disappointment, confusion and hurt about love and relationships as well as a huge amount of fears about not being loved and accepted and safe. I too have these emotions, but what I have realised lately is that I have never felt truly seen or loved for myself. I always had this feeling that any mistake I made I would be punished and rejected. My belief is that to be loved I had to be perfect.

Then it hit me that the other side of this was that I had never allowed myself to be truly seen and that I didn’t even love or know myself so how could expect anyone else to love the real me. I don’t even know the real me, myself yet. I learnt early on in my childhood, like many of us, that to receive “love” I had to become the person that was acceptable to my parents and other adults around me. I had to be “good girl” or “helper” or “servant” or any other role that fitted their beliefs about me. I don’t remember my mother ever asking what dreams I had or what I would like to be. I just remember if I showed an emotion she didn’t like or expressed something she didn’t understand or want to hear or was too busy to listen too I was shut down, screamed at or ignored. So to not get punished or yelled at or ignored or rejected by my parents I became what they wanted and the feeling I have now is that “I” fragmented across the universe somewhere; went into hiding and quickly formed a facade that helped me survive, but in the long-term was and is deeply painful and got the point until recently where I really believe my facade is me.

This is the truth for most of us in one form or another and so we grow into adulthood with roles. For men is could be provider; strong; capable; husband; lover ( who knows what he’s doing)  or “DIY-er, for example. For women there are  many roles: carer; mother; nurturer; helper; virgin; sexy; sister; friend; multi-tasker and these days we are often expected to be able to and expected to be all of them plus have a career. It is pretty exhausting. But which one or any of them is us, the real us?

We can’t find love, I haven’t found love because I haven’t found me, and I haven’t found love because I haven’t even understood love. When I watched that dating programme I saw clearly, what Jesus has been teaching, that most relationships are based on co-dependency and we think that is love. We think that someone who fulfils all our needs or more truthfully, the “holes” in us is someone who loves us and we love someone if we fulfil all their needs: it is an emotionally addictive bartering system.The trouble with having a list of wants is that we are often never satisfied and is based on someone or both people sacrificing themselves or parts of themselves.

I can look back on all my relationships and see in each one I became who they wanted me to be. I fitted into their life, rather than discover what I wanted and when their were times I started to seek something for myself the relationship would start to break down: the bartering system started to shatter. In this process, I compromised myself in so many ways: self-love, sexually, ethically and morally. Over time, my disappointments and  hurts and pain got deeper and my demands to them got greater. I tried to have control over everything and I got angry and more in addiction. My fear and sadness got greater and the things I did and the things I wanted partners to do to stop me feeling my sadness and fear got darker.

Co-dependency is a sticky, thick, ugly thing. It is all about facade and it may feel “comfortable” or “safe” because it helps us avoid painful emotions, but is does not lead us to love. How can we be intimate when we are not being our true selves? We are being a lie and living a lie. I feel very sad about the lie I have lived for so long and because it has been lived for so long there is a lot of lies/facade to break down and a lot of unlovingness to myself and others to face.

So how to do we change it? How do I change it? For me, apart from a lot of self-reflection and increasing my longing to understand and know the truth I have also been trying to learn about love; the real truth about love – God’s truth about love. It isn’t easy and I find myself confused at times, fighting between old belief systems, the world’s belief systems, versus what Jesus and Mary are teaching. The facts are there though – look at the world – if we knew love, it would  not be as it is. If we knew about love, we would not be so obsessed with our version of romantic love that seems to go wrong constantly. We are not being honest that we just don’t know. The fact is I think we just have to start again – look at the whole thing again.

Something else has hit me in recent years and listening to Divine Truth is the idea that I have a soulmate – THE other half of my soul: the perfect partner for me, created for me by God. Yep, despite free will, it seems that we don’t have a choice in who our soulmate is! That is pretty confronting if you compare it with the world’s view. We can of course reject our soulmate and try to defy what God created for us, but for me it is a fact I can’t ignore. I am not sure if I have accepted it 100%, but I do know that I can’t just look at any man anymore. As those of you who have followed my blog you will know I have suspicion who my soul mate is, but because of all my emotional injuries I really don’t know for sure and to be honest, not even sure how I could have attracted him into my life even temporarily. I have some deep emotions to heal around gender and sexuality and other things.

But, logically, it makes sense that to know the other half of me, I need to start knowing who I am. If I want to be intimate with my other half, I have to find that intimacy with myself: fearlessly and I have to start challenging my beliefs about love because they sure haven’t worked so far.  The “love” I have known has been conditional and in God’s eyes that isn’t love. Jesus teaches, love is a gift: unconditionally and in my heart I don’t know that yet.

I have been reading a book called “Loveability: how to love and to be loved” by Robert Holden and he talks about our deep fear that we are unloveable and it has led to our obsession with falling in love. This obsession is about being loved rather than being loving, indicating that fear of unloveablity. He says we need to stop falling and start thinking what real love is. This is what Jesus has been saying for 2000 years – what is real love and indicating that real love is demonstrated constantly by God in so many ways in our lives.

In the book, unconditional love is summarised and is very similar to what Jesus teaches so I like what was written:

  • “Love is not an act… not an audition.”  Jesus says that love and truth go hand in hand so you can not love or be loved if you are in facade.
  • “Love is not  a bargain.. it is not a currency you buy things with…Love does not make deals. Love does not say, ‘I will give you love, but first you must give me something else.” This is the bartering system I was talking about and most of us are in these type of relationships ( any type of relationship).  I love this quote by Hafiz, “Even after all this time, The sun never says to the earth: “you owe me!”
  • “Love is not idolatry… when you don’t feel equal you give yourself away and take on a role.. they block intimacy. They conceal dishonesty.” I have done this many times – made myself smaller, less important than the other. If you make someone else higher than you, you live in fear and suffering: this is not love. It is a lack of self-love at the very least.
  • “Love is not special…. such as, “I’ve been saving all my love for you.” You are making someone into your “holy cow,”  Robert Holden says, and use them to “milk as much love as possible.” Love is not exclusive for one person, the goal is to love everyone. When you love you can love anyone ( though of course soulmate love or love with God with is different – though I will admit I am struggling with this one).
  • “Love is not selfish..Love is full of desire. You are intent on knowing the whole person… drop the mask and stop hiding. ” This makes me feel that Love is brave and open: it flies and dances. I have felt lust and infatuation – both feel addictive and selfish – it is all about what you can get.

I think hearing that Love is a gift has been one of the most important things I have heard. It really made me think about my demands, my fears and truly how loving or not I have been over the years. From this point, I can ask myself: do I really love this person freely, without condition? Am I willing to gift my love without expectation or demand? Then if I feel any demand or expectation I know in that moment I am not loving them.

Also, do I really want to know them? Do I really want them to know me? Am I prepared to be vulnerable and open and humble to the errors and fears in me? This is intimacy – being prepared to be completely vulnerable and it scares the crap out of me and yet I am also curious. I have tried the other way and it has brought me much unhappiness, and suffering.

We need to be prepared to see the mountain of evidence that we know little about love and that’s okay. Just be honest about where we are at and build a desire to know the truth. When I was a child I had this feeling, among all the chaos around me,  that if they just loved more things would be better: that love would be the answer. When we are kids we do know much more than the adults around us often. I grew up sadly, feeling my heart had been very badly battered and bruised  – but it wasn’t and isn’t love that does that. It is not-love that does that. So to find love, to know love, we need to look at the not-love in the world: the not-love in ourselves, our false beliefs, our neediness, our fear, our grief.

We can’t change things we are lying about – because a lie isn’t a reality: it is a lie. Only the truth can create change, because it is truth and logically truth is real. For me, my personal truth is too impacted by emotional baggage at the moments so I look for a greater truth – a higher truth and only God has that. That is what makes God, God – she knows more than us – about love and about what is true. Jesus says to learn about love we have to learn about Love from someone who obviously knows more about love than us. Weirdly, we often try to learn from others around us who know as little or less than we do: we all scramble around in the dark together. So stop scrambling and look for someone who carries the torch. Only they can show us the way: the ones who carry the light: there are a few on earth, but a more guaranteed source in God. Praying for the faith to really know that in my heart – what a day that will be!

@2017 Maxine x

 

 

 

 

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BADGER CULLING: HOW DO YOU FEEL?

badgers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@2017 Maxine Bell

 

 

 

 

The Difference Divine Truth Has Made To My Life

I haven’t written for a while as there are some changes happening and I am re-evaluating my blog – well my life actually. I have been taking some actions to help myself follow my desires, find work I love, find out more of who I am. I have been very busy and struggling at times with my 9-5, Monday to Friday job. Also, the last 15 months have been intense with things I have had to do for my son, who is an adult with Down’s syndrome. That story is a whole new post, but needless to say it has impacted life greatly and I have to look at my law of attraction and what it is really saying to me – not what I think it is saying.

I don’t find that easy, but the fact is I haven’t created much time to think about God or the Divine Truth teachings. I haven’t been able to help with the transcribing or watch many videos. What I have been doing is to keep challenging some comfort zones and have done a course to help me discover my desires and give me some tools for that. It has been really good. I have done some performance poetry, which I have loved and wrote to people I never would have done before. There has been fear and battles with apathy and/or addictions, but I keep finding a step to take and it feels good.

I am also connecting with people again and boy that brings you lots to learn about yourself, your fears, your addictions and your fears. Much more effective than hiding away – which I was doing for a few years.

I haven’t found time for everything and certainly still not spending enough time on things I love, and still emotionally resistance to feeling the deep stuff. I have discovered how important being present in my body is to feeling and realised how long I have been escaping out of  my body to avoid feeling so now have some spinal work to see if that will help me unlock some emotions and of course I have to be willing.

I haven’t heard my guides for a while ( I don’t feel worthy a lot/resistance or in addiction, which prevents them helping me), but today I was sitting knitting ( a new hobby) and it stops me thinking  and opens up another part of me and I started to write what I was “hearing” and got reminded that in all my busyness, my doing and trying, my intellectual working out of my issues, that I am still avoiding the big one: my relationship with God. Every time I have tried to do it, I stop as soon as I hit something, so my guides said that I need to prioritise above all else my relationship to God and all the things I am trying to and weighed down by will become clearer and easier. God’s love above all else will help me change my life. To feel my lack of faith, my blocks to God’s love are the biggest thing to focus on.

I have listened to this so many times from the DT talks, but like many, I keep going for the easier stuff ( or so it seems) as I don’t really know or have faith in the power of God’s love and I am afraid of it too. My guides gave me 4 pages of advice about this and then this is how it works. The law of attraction brought me a conversation with a friend, it triggered some emotions about men. I immediately went out for a walk, found a quiet country lane and stomped along swearing and ranting at God – so pissed at Him. I was rambling on like a mad woman until I actually ended up talking to my human father and crying about him and the feeling of never being good enough to be loved: touching the side of that deep fear that I am not lovable.

The funny thing is, I think of Divine Truth every day in some way and I wanted to write about the difference it has made in my life and I am not even on the Way yet, not properly. I haven’t opened to God’s love and I have lacked humility so many times. Yet, it has impacted my life hugely. What will it do when I really let God in?

Mary and Jesus visit 2012

So I thought I would write a list of how I feel Divine Truth teachings have helped me and changed my life already.   For those of you who are curious maybe this will make you more curious. What I do want to do is acknowledge what it has done, with gratitude to Mary and Jesus (That’s me in 2013 – yellow top, just behind Mary and Jesus) for sharing what they know, with so much patience and compassion and for God, for creating such a system, that doesn’t let us get away with anything, but takes us to a place, a path, to our real, amazing selves. I am getting an inkling of me, a twinkling out of the corner of my eye, enough to make me look further. There are others such as Jesus and Mary, and the people like Aphraar ( see Robert James Lee trilogy on the extras page) who know more than me so do look there. In the meantime, here is what the DT teachings have done for me:

  • Understand that I have a soul, a spirit body and physical body and that I am a soul and how that works
  • That I am created to be emotional and that my soul is the power, not my mind.
  • Some understanding of how the universe works, who God is and His Laws
  • The difference between God’s love and truth and human understanding of love and how little we/I know of real love.
  • To start to see the truth of my life and my soul condition, my emotional injuries and the sin ( things out of harmony with love) in me.
  • How my suppressed emotions impact the world negatively
  • How fear has been my God for a long time
  • That God is interested in me, the real me, the “pinnacle of his creation.” and not the facade me
  • That I matter.
  • That there are absolute Truths
  • Information and understanding of the spirit world and spirits.
  • Understanding of spirit influence in my life and how I can change that.
  • That what I think and what I feel can be very different and it is always the emotions in me that guide my life
  • Some understanding of soulmates – that God designed a perfect mate for me and why I we currently don’t know that because of our emotional injuries.
  • That I have spent much of my life in a facade, which has grown as I have grown, due to my fears and addictions to avoid my emotions
  • To have compassion with  myself
  • That following my desires and passions is important. That my unique gifts make a difference to my soul and to everyone else around me.
  • That there is a difference between natural human love and God’s love and they create two different ways of healing and growing and the potential of the second is far greater.
  • That all the information I have learnt ( as above) has given me hope and empowered me. I had thought that life was meaningless, empty, but that it isn’t and that my younger feelings that Love guided everything is true and that I if I grow faith in this and God’s love for me, everything in my life can change.
  • I am becoming a better person because I can examine and feel more truthfully about when I am sinning. I have stopped denying I have these ugly emotions in me.
  • My desire to experience these emotions (without harming anyone) will set me free. I have the choice.
  • To seek for my real self, to seek beyond what I thought I knew.
  • To be truthful and that love and truth hold hands and one can’t exist without the other.
  • Without knowing some of the Divine Truth teachings I would not have coped with the cancer as well; I would not have understood it’s root and causes, I would not have found a reason to keep living.

Many of these statements are just intellectual understandings for me at the moment, some are hopes that they may be true and a few have really hit home. When I first listened to Secrets of the Universe back in 2012 it really hit my soul that truth I had been seeking was here. I didn’t anticipate how much it would rock my world and uproot every belief and everything I thought I knew. Until recently, I built any self worth I had on my intellect and then to learn that my intellect meant so little and in fact I honestly had to admit my intellect alone had not found the answers or healing I was seeking. I have been and continue to be confronted with my own unlovingness, my own lies and self-delusion: in fact most of the things I have known have been shown to be wrong and boy do I resist the change, the challenge to my belief structures and hold onto fears and anger:  anything to feel safe.

BUT I have not been happy in my so-called “safe” zones. I have been a shrivelled mask of my self, disconnected and disassociated from real love and life. With Divine truth I have seen things differently, experimented with new ways and admitted truths to myself and it has made me now think more carefully about my choices and my behaviour: asking what is really loving in this moment? What would Love do? What is God’s truth?

It turns out that God’s truth is that we are all very, very important; very, very loved and with a ton of potential to be amazing ten times over, once we choose to seek true Love. Divine truth has and is changing my life and this is with only small steps on my part. I observe others doing better on the path than me and so the changes in their lives are greater and for some reason I can never and do not want to let it go. There is nothing like these truths. This is not meant arrogantly: I have tried many other things and beliefs and nothing sparkles in my soul like this.

It has gifted me so much already and I don’t think I know it fully yet, but it has. My outlook on life has changed and now my actions are starting to follow in certain areas, at least. What we are seeking is already here. I hope in the next few years I can demonstrate more, and be walking my talk more than I am now. But whatever I do, you can choose to check it out for yourself and if you do I hope some of the things on these pages help you.

In gratitude,

Maxine

 

Jesus promise

 

 

 

DIVINE TRUTH VOLUNTEER TRAINING PROGRAMME: LOVE IN ACTION

Hi everyone,

I am really excited to share an amazing video today made by Nicky Primetica, who has a website called http://www.divinetruthhub.com. Nicky has been experimenting with Divine Truth and God’s way of love for about 3 years and along with my friend Courtney and others were invited to participate in a Volunteer Programme over in Australia for about 9 weeks. The Volunteer Programme is based on God’s Way of Love. It is the Divine Truth teachings in action and may help you understand my enthusiasm for these teachings and the impact I believe they can have in the world if we follow them and the example of those who are walking The Way.

The video, also ties in very nicely, with the previous blog I published by Peter Lytton -Hitchins, about land recovery. God’s Way of Love, of course, includes caring for our environment and it’s creatures and this video shows some of the method’s being used by Jesus and others to improve, re-nourish and enliven the land, and to live in harmony with it.

For me personally, this video is also feeding my own desire to attend the Volunteer Induction Programme. My desire is growing every day and is even there in my sleep state. The induction programme is a little different to the Volunteer Training Programme in this video. The training programme is for those who have already shown a sincere desire to serve, where at the Induction Programme is a trial to see if you have a true desire to serve and a willingness to be humble and seek God. There is a specific criteria for attending that Mary has published so please read this first if you have an interest in the programme: https://mary.divinetruth.com/2017/02/07/volunteer-induction-programme/

The video is nearly 2 hours long, but it well worth watching and if you have been interested or trying to understand why I feel the Divine Truth teachings are the answer to the all our problems and can create long-lasting change, then this will give you a small taste.

Nicky has listed some useful websites in the comment box after the video if you want to know more.

Please enjoy and thank you so much for making the film Nicky…and to all those who took part in it. Wonderful stuff!

 

If there is any issue with the link – please go to youtube and put in the search bar “The Divine Truth Volunteer Training Programme.

with  love

Maxine

 

 

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

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

me and robby edit 2

 

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….

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

PRECIOUS MOMENTS

flower in crack

There are precious moments in some of my days when I feel I can touch the edges of heaven. Moments that come unexpectedly. I close my eyes and breath in these moments and hold onto them, breath them in.Sometimes it is words I have read or heard, a movie I have watched, music I have heard or the beauty of the natural world, that grasp my hand and heart and drift into my soul where the echo of knowing that these things truly are. It’s not easy to put feelings into words, but there is a longing, a yearning and yet a faint memory from sleep state and dreams of other places: beautiful places, familiar and waiting. Greater hopes and the building blocks of faith start here, and my heart sighs with wonder and relief that these things are, these places exist and most of all that the Universe we live in beats with the pulse of Love in all that is created.

I used to remember these places more clearly in my sleep state and now it is rare, sadly, but there are other sources of information that allow me to dream and know.  what I can see clearly, as what I have experienced seems so small compared to the expanse indicated. There has been a more consistent shift in me to really feel the truth of life that goes beyond the grave, the infinite possibilities of such a life, the infinite possibility of a life I can have,even here on earth . This awareness helps me pull myself out of false beliefs and negative influence a bit quicker to search for God’s truth on the matter. I have been wondering about the truth of God, looking for evidence, that He is good, loving, kind and steadfast.  I have been remembering those places that I can see sometimes in my third eye. I have been reading wonderful books that reveal more of God, more of the full story of life, of love. Funny things like making a poster to tell me that God’s truth is I am “the most wondrous of his creations.” Some of you may think this is a comfort blanket, but for me it is important. I have believed so much bad of myself, so much of what I was told I have believed to be true – that I am unimportant, bad, never good enough. I have believed it so much it has become destructive addictions that have made my life a painful existence instead of a fully vibrant life of discovery, joy and love. I have believed what my injured parents told me, when they only spoke through injury not truth. And living in these false beliefs, especially as addictions, is just a way to avoid the truth that maybe God sees me as wonderful and a tender child of His. It helps me avoid the grief I need to feel about all those projections, all the fears I have that it may have been true. 

I need to re-educate my hurt self and to discover truth beyond what this wounded world shows me. The funny thing is the evidence is all around me, under the dust and dirt of this world. It is like when I walk on paving stones and then discover a small flower growing through the cracks: strong, vulnerable beauty pushing up to be seen. I wonder at it’s little power, it continual effort to exist and remind me of what is real. Only love can create that; the light in the darkness.

I am on my second reading of the Robert James Lee Trilogy of channelled books. Lee channels a spirit called Aphraar (Frederick Winterleigh whilst on earth). Aphraar has a passion to share the truth about the spirit world and earth with the world and tells the story of his passing and his existence and experiences in the spirit world, in order for us to have a greater understanding of what life and all it’s wondrous possibilities is about and tell the truth about God. I find reading them just breathtaking at times. The truths shared, the images created, the love revealed behind what he experiences and observes in spirit world just wonderful. Even in the darkest corners of hell Love acts, waits and hopes. For me, these books, reach into my heart and my imagination of what is possible and what is already existing for many. I also, know that my understanding of what he is telling is minimal to the true wonder of it all.

And why should I believe these books? Many would dismiss them as having no evidence in fact. But what arrogance do we speak from? What gods so we believe ourselves to be in that because we have not seen it ourselves or touched it, it is not real. We can’t see air, but it exists. I can’t see the world is round so I have to trust that the photos I have seen, what others have seen make be true. There are many things I have not experienced myself, but I know to be true through other people’s evidence. All I know is I have a feeling about the books that let me believe what I read. My soul is touched by the love demonstrated, but also by the sense and logic in the tales of the different lives of different spirits- from those earthbound to those living in the heavens. I have also spoken to spirits through mediumship so my experience has given me evidence of their existence, of life beyond the grave.

new earth x

We are just afraid often by things we don’t understand and we live in it. Yet, there is so much to discover and I am grateful for these moments, these precious moments. One of my favourite chapters in the first book – “Through the Mists,” is the chapter about a poetess. It is a poetess that Aphraar was inspired by in his earth life and now gets to meet in spirit world. She demonstrated great faith in her poetry and helped his own faith in times when he felt very alone in his pursuits. In this chapter, Aphraar describes her home “like a realised dream in which some weary painter, musician or poet  had sought – and found – rest.” He describes the gardens:

“Here, Color had wooed, won, and lived in sweet fidelity with Music. Before me lay the natal bowers of Beauty, Enchantment, Harmony, Grace and Rhythm, each of whom held court in one or other of the hundred odorous halls of grove, or hill or mountain.Echo and Song chanted roundelay upon the heights for which the lake rippled its approbation in silvern tones; birds of dreamlike plummage warbled their anthems of evergreen luxuriance..the heavens unrolled their canopy of atmospheric tones and tints which have no names or counterparts on earth.” This is not the Nature of earth – it is beyond that in beauty and grace. As a painter and a lover of nature, I tried to imagine this place. It was like one of those photo-shop images I have seen: more vibrant, more alive, more harmonious. The ones I have posted and others have groaned “oh that’s been photo-shopped.” A groan of despair that such a place could ever truly exist. But why not? Why stay stuck believing “What the eye can’t see…” What would a blind man say to that?

As I read this description for the second and then third time I felt my breath, my eyes close to “see” such a place. I remembered my sleep state experiences where I have visited, in the past, different places, but two in particular stand out as places I have been to many times. One,  I sit by a river, with huge stones in it, the water dancing over them. There is small green bridge. The grass on either bank is a dark, but vivid, lush green: a thick warm rug underneath me. I am sitting by an old tree, looking out and up to beautiful mountains in the distance; the sky is blue and the light bright. I feel peaceful here and sometimes animals come and visit.it is so alive! In the background I can hear children’s laughter. Flowers grow among the grass, and happiness is a regular companion.

The other place is a small, sandy beach surrounded by tropical plants and forests. There is wooden hut there, with beautiful hangings. Again I am surrounded by beautiful mountains too, which rise up around and beyond the water. The sand is warm and dolphins greet me, playfully from the sea, which is deep and wide, light dancing off it’s surface. I often sit just letting sand trickle through my fingers, reflecting, breathing, resting. I haven’t been there for a while.

In the previous chapter, Aphraar has discovered that when we sleep on earth, our spirit bodies do travel and do have real experiences and he has just be reacquainted with many friends, many people who he helped when he was on earth. He has remembered all of  his sleep state and so is now meeting those he knew then. The poet is one of them. Her poems had “been almost my only companions in the solitude of earth life. She seemed to understand life, as I knew it, with its deep soul longings and unalleviated heartaches, like an almost kindred soul, but she had conquered and found a calm for which I vainly searched.” He discovered after her death that her upbringing had been “an education in the ministry of love,” as her father’s faith was deep. She related her own growing faith and closeness to God in her poetry and she inspired Aphraar to have faith as “she glided heavenward she sang- told all her deep experiences, reflected back again the sunlight which fell upon her soul, thus her voice came with wonderfully soothing influence upon the storms and troubles which encompassed me.” And now here he was on the same level – both passed from earth and experiencing the spirit life and he shares his wonderful experience meeting her again and learning what she had to teach.

She shares that despite her faith when she passed she had to realise the error of some of her beliefs that she would travel straight to God, to the highest heavens. She describes her experience of learning that we must climb step by step carefully and embrace each step, waiting for God to know when it is right for us to climb higher. There is a portion of a beautiful poem called “Waiting.” (p189). It ends in the book: ( though this is not the full poem)

“Oh, the vision would o’er power us,/ If it suddenly were given/ So we wait in preparation/ In the vestibule of heaven.” Aphraar was memorized and thrilled by her reading of her poetry, done with such longing and passion. He describes “Her recital was a calm confession of trust in God…she lingered over each recurring ‘waiting’ as if she drew from its deep spring the full sweetness of the assurance that ‘they too serve who only stand and wait,’ and was reluctant to turn away from the refreshing draught. She had forgotten me – everything save her God…” He was speechless for a while, in the presence of her ecstasy.

When they converse again, she shares her knowledge of the many stages of progression to God, that they may be infinite. She lives in a beautiful home already, but knows she can not even fully comprehend the beauty that is to come as she grows closer to God, even though some of her friends have tried to describe it. He asks, “When you think of such a consummation, do you not wish for the intervening stages to hasten by that you may obtain it?”

“Yes; and yet, no!” she answers. “That is the absolute ideal of every true soul, which, in common with them, I am anxious to reach. But at present I have not the capacity to appreciate and enjoy it, so the gift would be too overpowering and would only crush, instead of elevate me. You must remember that one who has been successfully operated on for blindness can only, be initiated into the light by degrees. We have all been blind, and God’s light will only come as we are able to bear it.”

She has learnt “every step I take towards Him becomes another messenger to me, bearing some fresh revelation of His love, every halting-place becomes another unfoldment, and every message quietly expands my soul into a closer likeness of Himself.”

Their whole conversation is full of treasures, full of information about God and God’s workings. It lifts my spirit, my gratitude and my curiosity to find out more. It encourages me to be patient, to let myself experience the steps on this journey, even the “halting-places” – of which, I have many right now. It also helps me feel God has a home waiting for me too and to have faith in that, based on what I discover, will help me never give up.

It’s tough a lot of the time still as I still resist and avoid, when I should surrender and trust. Books like this, words like this, information like all help me, nourish and feed my soul, educate me about love ( for which I am not even at kindergarten level). Many of us think we know about God – what He is or isn’t through our indoctrination or our complete denial He exists, but often we haven’t even investigated or questioned our beliefs, haven’t looked around at our world and searched for the answers ourself. What I have found as my desire increases, more books, films, music and teachings cross my path. I notice them and they are the jewels that are thrown on the rocky path I still choose a lot of the time right now: they are the precious moments that make my soul sing and for those brief minutes allow me to feel the possibilities open to me, the gifts God has waiting for me… when I am ready to receive them. I am the horse, God is the water… He will not force me to drink, but will long for me to thirst so that I may taste the pure waters of truth, the divine sup of Love.

So I start to see beyond my small, small world. Open the door a little and see the crack of brilliant light beyond. The door is heavy, but I really I am weak. I have a feeling this door is only as heavy as I believe it to be.

Maxine

WAITING

Waiting now upon the threshold,

Just within the porch of life;

Safe from all the storms and tempests,-

Hushed the discord and the strife;

Stilled the heart of its wild beatings,

Calmed the hot and fevered brain

Waiting now, and resting sweetly,

‘Til the Master comes again.

Waiting, where the rippling wavelets

Of life’s river lave my feet;

Washing off the stains of travel,

Ere the Master I may greet;

Till the voice is full and mellow,

And I learn the sweet, new song;

Till the discord is forgotten,

That disturbed my peace so long.

Waiting, till the wedding garment,

And the bridal wreath is here;

Till our Father’s feast is ready,

And the bridegroom shall appear

Till the seeds of life have blossomed,

And the harvest-home we sing.

Gathering up my life’s long labours

For my bridal offering.

Oh! ’tis not as men would teach us- 

Just one step from earth to God;

Passing through the death-vale to Him,

In the garb that earth we trod;

Called to praise Him while aweary,

Or to sing, while yet the voice

With love’s farewell sob is broken,

Could we, fitly, thus rejoice?

No! we wait to learn the music,

Wait, to rest our weary feet;

Wait to learn to sweep the harp-strings

Ere the Master shall we meet;

Wait to tune our new-found voices

To the sweet seraphic song;

Wait to learn the time and measure,

But the time will not be long.

Wait to understand the glory

That will shortly be revealed

Till our eyes can bear the brightness

When the book shall be unsealed.

Oh! the vision would o’er power us,

If it suddenly were given

So we wait in preparation,

In the vestibule of heaven…. 

(By the Poetess, Chapter XVII, Through the Mists by Robert James Lee)