by Lucy, Sydney, Australia
For many years I made it all about ‘Serge said’. I used to go away to this place ‘up north’, where it was quiet and there was only me to look after. There were lots of people around but none of them were physically asking me to do anything for them. I would come back and have all these grand plans to change lots of things that in my opinion had contributed to my overwhelm, and all of these changes were to be ‘implemented’ as quickly as possible. Yet the moment I walked though the door I would be faced with all that I had left behind. The way it usually ran was that I would have a major dummy-spit by the morning of day one – and usually before anyone had even left the house!I never really liked confrontation so my mind would work overtime to see how I could get my own way without being the bad guy – without standing out too much as being the person who was calling for change. I had done this from young: I would often say to my sister, “Dad told me to say you weren’t allowed to be nasty to me in front of your friends at school any more”, or some other thing I wanted to have happen. The key was to make sure that the person you said it to was unlikely to check with the person you said it about. I did the same here with Serge Benhayon and my husband and kids.
Never before had I felt something I had learnt to be true so strongly – I had felt this stillness in my body and I had lived it for two days. All of a sudden there was an alternative to the way I had been living, and in that space that I had connected to in me, I didn’t feel any overwhelm. It felt unfamiliar, but it came from me – I did it, it was me. So I had to ask… why couldn’t I do it at home…?
I don’t do things by halves and I wanted to feel like that again as soon as possible, so somehow I had to get these other people who lived in my house ‘on my side’ (I know it reads really bad but that is how it was!). I was feeling huge amounts of overwhelm and needed a way out. However… and this is a big however… I did not put it into practice myself – I instructed everyone else how to do it and then did a version of it myself. I created a picture of what I thought it looked like to live this way, trying all the while to re-create what I had felt during the courses. I think I lived like this, spouting must-dos from my courses, for about the first three or four years.
I had to ask… Why did I live with this ‘Serge said to’ mentality when he NEVER DID?! Serge actually said quite the opposite! He always said not to take his word for it and to feel it for ourselves – what felt right and what didn’t. He shared simple ways for us to connect to our bodies by doing a gentle breath meditation, then shared how important it was to take that into everything that we did – so it did not become a practice of doing one thing over here, and another the moment you get up. He said to discern if it feels right – give it a go, get to know your body; in other words, look after it by not ignoring it. Most of all he said try it for yourself BEFORE you share it. Well, that was the bit I chose not to hear.
I was a practitioner at this point, and I had made my identity about fixing everyone else, so I didn’t hear Serge Benhayon say work with yourself first. I have asked myself why so many times. All I can come back with is that I didn’t want to see that how I lived affected everything I did. The choice to look at myself and what I was choosing day-to-day was harder (or at least I perceived it to be much harder) than looking at my family and blaming them for my overwhelm and for how we were living. Besides, I could be one person in the treatment room with my clients, and then relax at home… couldn’t I?
We lived like this for years – everyone building up resentment towards Serge. My mental, ‘how-to’ approach to our life really frustrated my husband who was very outspoken about it. My kids had much less choice – I pulled the adult, ‘I know better’ card. I can only say that it became such a familiar pattern that in the end I didn’t even know I was doing it. I would hear Serge talk about it – people who lived from the knowledge yet didn’t apply it to their way of living, and thought ‘well that is not me, because we are clearly living it’. And we were… to a point. The picture looked good, but underneath there was such resentment about it that it was yet another situation in my life where it looked good on the surface, but was a mess if you looked any deeper.
One day my kids were old enough to point out the dual standards that I lived with and presented to different people, depending on my level of respect for them. The trigger for this comment came from what they had observed when people came to stay. The house would be cleaned to a different standard, what I deemed to be bad or rude behaviour was out, conversations changed. I did the ‘swan routine’ – all good on the surface but underneath my feet were going ten to the dozen to keep it all afloat. It was different depending on who came as well, so depending on how comfortable I was with what they saw; this was directly reflected in the level of anxiety and the picture to be upheld.
Apparently I was much nicer to our guests than to my children. Much more caring… I was dumbfounded – what did they mean? I broke my back for them every day; how could they be so ungrateful? Oh, there it is again, the martyr who finds herself in deep overwhelm. So this was the moment that created an opening for me to have a look.
It all came tumbling down. I could see that I valued some more than others, and treated them accordingly. In fact there was a direct correlation between the level of fear of being found out and the level of smokescreen put up. I didn’t want to be found out, I didn’t want anyone to know it was just surface because I didn’t know where to start if I had to look. In those years – and I suspect they are more than three – I not only irritated the pants off my husband and kids, but alienated many friends who I am sure felt judged by me. What a gift that my kids spoke up; what a gift they found the words that I could hear.
I shared with them that I was writing this and asked what it had been like for them. One of them said that it was really hard to listen to me because it all sounded like ‘blah blah blah’… another said that she learnt that other people’s opinions are more important than her own. Just writing this piece has meant we are able to talk about how harming what I did was.
My husband met Serge on a number of occasions and every time he was the same, they got on really well. Serge met him as he did everyone else – it didn’t matter that he didn’t go to courses and had no intention of going. It didn’t even matter that when my husband met Serge he was carrying this frustration that ‘Serge was telling us all what to do’, because the moment my husband met Serge, it was clear Serge wasn’t asking us to do anything – never had and never would! It was all my re-interpretation. It was the same when he met the rest of Serge’s family. What I know to be true is that if my husband hadn’t met Serge and his family and spent time talking with them, we probably would not be together now. I did a great disservice to all that Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon stand for, I alienated my family from a way of living that is simply about love, and made my marriage so complicated. Where was the love that I had been living?!
My husband and children put up with way more than I would have! They showed me in the months and years that followed what love was. They are very willing to change some of the raciness of our day-to-day, and enjoy having me less distracted and therefore less irritable. The mothering (or smothering as I like to call it) has reduced and we are developing a much more supportive relationship. We often have conversations about situations we are all experiencing, and between us, we share. My daughter’s lack of trust in herself is a reflection for me as mine is for her, and we have installed a large radar – which if it were physical would definitely need planning permission – which is on the hunt for any hint of the old way of talking from my head!
I watch for it every day, but now the pressure is off and having been ‘outed’, there is no need to share, to teach or to save. I just enjoy getting to know myself and seeing what consequences that has on my stress levels and in the house. It took a little getting used to – no-one asked for my opinion or advice for ages, and it wobbled me… but I just kept bringing myself back to remembering that I must do it for me. If I don’t, then I have learnt nothing, and that is not the case. The patience and love that my husband, children, friends, Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine showed me has inspired me to remember who I am, to choose to feel it all, and only speak from experience without a hint of “Serge said”!
I asked my daughter if she found life different now… She didn’t answer, just reached over and changed the track on the CD I was playing to get to ‘Claiming It’, looked at me… and smiled.