by Natalie Hawthorne, London, UK
My life is and always will be forever developing, and I’d like to share just two examples of where I started to look at it and say “hey, maybe there is another way”. Such as when I started to play with the idea of Self-Love and things stuck out like a sore thumb…
I was living the ‘normal life’ as a general manager of an extremely busy restaurant/bar; I started to realise that the way I was choosing to live wasn’t loving, nor did it feel right. I would take the deliveries, and as you can imagine, it’s with large quantities of stock involved with the beverage side of things… back then to me moving the kegs of beer and carrying all the bottles of wine to the storeroom to prove that I didn’t need any help and I was strong! (This being part of my Kiwi upbringing: girls can do anything – even play rugby!) I was ignoring any signs that I felt when I was straining myself, as it was good for me and making me strong!
Then, after attending a Universal Medicine course and pondering on what Serge Benhayon presented, I started to play with a few things. I questioned if actually I really had to roll the kegs and hoist them up, if that was something that I really needed to be doing. So when the delivery guys would come I would ask them to give me a hand, and they were very happy to do so. It was hard for me to do this, because from my early teens, if not earlier, I would have to do things on my own, to prove that I was capable, strong and independent. So yeah, it was a bit odd. The funny thing I found was, the men were pleased that I had asked, and that they could help – I thought they would be “luv we’re too busy for that”, and maybe the odd one did – but most were super keen to give me a hand. This is just one example of where I started to even look at my life and say “maybe it doesn’t need to be like this”.
The other main one for me was drinking alcohol and yep, how could a person running a restaurant/bar not drink?! It was hard – only because again, I would have started drinking on the weekends as a teenager around 15, then slowly as the years rolled on it became a regular, if not daily, habit. Many a time after a night out drinking I would be wrapped around the toilet seat throwing up the poison that I had put in! Working in the industry I would normally be working so I wouldn’t have that many nights out, but every night I would have at least one, if not two, glasses of wine…
So after a long go on that road, and after at least four years of attending Serge Benhayon’s presentations, I started to play with that one. It was hard being around it, but actually it was very easy at the same time, as I was starting to see it for what it truly was… I had of course seen it a long time before then but chosen not to see it. Alcohol is pretty full on … just watching it and seeing how people change from being who they are to these different people – I mean completely different people to who they really are – and it didn’t take loads of drinks for this to happen: for some it would be on the first drink, but for most at least by the end of their second one; they weren’t there. The main things that I observed were that people got louder and more excited, aggressive and started arguments – especially if you’re the one saying sorry, no more alcohol at the end of the night! Or even to the extreme that they would start a fight – these were the angry people that couldn’t keep the lid on it – the alcohol was the perfect place for it to show its face! People that were super lovely became really nasty; shy and quiet people became really confident and the joker, whereas some got all teary and upset. You name it, every emotion under the sun was heightened ten-fold. I even experienced a grown man thinking that the corner of the room was a toilet!
There were so many times I saw women that were drunk and not knowing what they were doing, head off with a stranger; and women trying to keep up with the blokes or even out-do them with their intake. (This had also been my domain, but I didn’t really do it very well; there were times when I had complete black-outs and could not remember where I had been or how I got to where I was… this was full-on and the anxiety and sadness that I would go into afterwards was huge!) Then they would be back out the next week, if not sooner, doing the same thing… just like it was for me, when I did it. It was fun, and I enjoyed it and don’t get me started on the wines and the fancy talk, but as I got to realise, it was my way of escaping and numbing my hurt and undealt with pain that I really enjoyed – because when you’re intoxicated that isn’t in your face to look at – there was a little part of me that knew there were things that made me sad, deep down where I had buried them so I could get on with life… and this meant I didn’t have to feel it.
To see this and realise that it actually didn’t make sense, and that I could socialise without a drink made me go, ‘well, ok, if this is what it’s all about I’m gonna give it a go – not drinking’. That was back in 2007, and I had the odd drink here and there for a while, but then I felt soooo bad after those ones I just didn’t want to do it anymore. The last one was on holiday with a boyfriend at the time, he really wanted a bottle of wine – every other couple in the restaurant was drinking, so he did; I said ‘yeah, I’ll have a glass’, and I had two sips and I seriously couldn’t bring myself to drink it! Just like it was when I first tried it when I was young but I forced myself to enjoy it. This was a long process for me, but today I can say that I feel AMAZING and I would never have a drop of alcohol again. Waking up every day clear headed and vital was a refreshing change.
Being inspired by Universal Medicine has given me the opportunity to see that some things that I was choosing to do were possibly not great for me; to play with it and discover it for myself. To be a woman who is becoming more and more gentle, self loving and honouring to herself: is this not beneficial for all then, not just me?
The thing is, I knew how I was living wasn’t great; I didn’t feel vital, calm and at ease with myself, but I was stuck in it. It only took the first workshop when I went to see what this guy Serge Benhayon was presenting and it all made complete sense – it was like I knew it already, he was just up front saying it!
It was a no brainer for me, to start to look at my ways and get honest (that hasn’t been very easy, sometimes) and to say “ok, let’s try another way” – what have I got to lose, OR, what have I got to gain?!