by Amanda Woodmansey, Melbourne, Australia
I can remember feeling unwell all of my life, and when I was old enough, searching for answers to my physical and mental anguish. I had followed a religion as faithfully as I could, believing at the time that it was my shortcomings that were the cause of my woes, and not the impossible quest to be good within an extremely misogynous organisation.
I did everything; joined charity groups, practised yoga, married, had kids, built a house, worked, made peace between family members, kept quiet, went to the doctors, was part of a wide community, was very exhausted and extremely depressed. My doctor prescribed anti-depressants and visits to a psychologist, and I worked on all sorts of strategies suggested by them. When I was 28, I discovered the amazing lightness of not eating dairy or gluten and many of my ills went away, but not the depression or exhaustion. I gave up searching for answers for wellness, and discovered that alcohol made everything feel fine. My friends had all found the same path to happiness and everything went along nicely at socially acceptable levels. I had no obvious terrible traumas. My husband and family were lovely. My childhood had been happy.
The women around me practised the impossible notion of being all things to all people and I joined them. In fact, I had been trained to join them all my life.
In 2002 my family moved to Byron Bay and had a lovely time. I went back on anti-depressants, and when I wasn’t on those I was drinking alcohol. I had a market stall and studied Visual Arts at university. I was the best managed version of myself.
In 2005 I was introduced to Serge Benhayon. All of the things he said made sense, and so much had already been my experience. I had just never trusted that my own experience and my own body were messages for me. In a way I was annoyed to hear someone who made it clear that personal responsibility was the key to good health. I had been counting on genetics after measuring the odds and looking at relatives who had lived recklessly and had appeared to get away with it.
Serge speaks of harmony in the body. He speaks of having found the way to live in a true livingness that belongs to all of us and is found within all of us. He speaks of personal responsibility and of loving ourselves. He speaks of the joy that is possible and constant if we let it into our lives. He teaches that all is energy and so, all is because of energy. Serge also lives exactly what he teaches and so do his family, and he is inspirational in his way of life.
After years of the absence of love in the way I treated myself, the full realisation of where I had led myself was obvious and hard to take. It would be a great fantasy to think that someone else could take it all away, but that is not the case, and Serge has explained that quite clearly. I realised how much I needed to change my life and how far my ‘idea of well’ had strayed from true wellness.
In 2007 I discovered I had thyroid cancer with some complications which recurred in 2008. I was able to clearly see the path that led to that, and I was also able to take an active role in my own healing. I was operated on several times and underwent radiation treatment twice. At no stage was it ever suggested by Serge or the team at Universal Medicine that I should not do as medical science suggested in the treatment of this disease. Serge and the practitioners at Universal Medicine were extremely supportive throughout that time and beyond, and I chose to have healing sessions with them to support my healing at the same time as following the course of action prescribed by the medical specialists. It also certainly improved my prospects to have been living a much healthier, alcohol and drug free life for the two years before this event.
Not at any stage in the courses and talks or in private sessions, have I heard the claim that Serge or Universal Medicine offers a cure for cancer and I did not expect one. What I found was the support to change my life in all the loving ways needed, with the support of people who had themselves changed their lives, to live with the greatest integrity.
It was also fortunate that my partner of 32 years was in tune with the truth of the way of living that we had found through the inspiration of Serge and his family. Our relationship was so enriched by the true love, joy and playfulness we found in ourselves.
We are all free to choose our own way of life and sometimes this causes upheavals. The important thing is to make a choice.
It is interesting that there are more objections to one choosing a gentle, healthy way of life than there is when one makes all the worst ones. Perhaps there is less challenge to the way we are living when we see lousy choices in those around us.
Serge Benhayon has shown us that joy and love are possible without compromise. He’s shown us that these things are possible within a busy working and family life. We can choose to live the way we are naturally made to live in this modern world, and when we choose love it gives those around us the opportunity to see that perhaps there is another way.
Recently my partner and I moved back to Melbourne to be closer to our families. If we were part of a cult, this would not be possible. We still live with the joy we have within us. We live as part of the world and not separate from it. There is no perfection and we face challenges every day, but the difference is that we deal with stuff as it happens and we don’t numb ourselves or check out.
I am far more gentle with myself and don’t beat myself with recriminations. I do not suffer depression ever, and am sometimes tired but never exhausted. There is a joy in my life and a willingness to allow others to choose their own way.
I am very grateful to Serge Benhayon for inspiring me to trust my own feelings and for encouraging my voice to be heard.