Opening my heart to love again
Opening my heart to love again
I am a 60-year-old married man with 5 children and 3 grandchildren living on the northern coast of NSW, looking back on my life from where I stand today and writing about this for others who may choose to read this story.
I find it unreal to see the way I have lived in the past to where I live now; in fact if anyone had said: "This is how you could live if you were willing to change what you think you value and instead appreciate what you truly value and the results would be a miraculous way of living that flowed through not just my body but my life" . . . well they did say it – not those words, they are mine. They were spoken by Serge Benhayon, and all he said on my first encounter (or our first meeting) has come to fruition.
My early years
I grew up in Sydney's northern beaches for the first part of my life with a hard-working mother and father, desperate to move away from how they had grown up to make a mark for themselves and offer my younger brother and I some opportunities that they weren't offered.
My mother Shirley was beautiful and young and I always looked forward to being with her; she wouldn't talk about others, i.e. gossip, and she would not allow it around her. She would sing and dance while doing work around the house and looking back I never took time to openly love and appreciate that as a son, I seemed to take that for granted – actually I expected it.
My father John was admired by all – he was athletic, good looking, always the one who stood out at social gatherings with lots of friends. I, however, never felt comfortable around him; there was a tension that we were from different worlds with different values. I can't remember being hugged by him, but the qualities of protector and provider were very strong.
John died suddenly in front of me from a heart condition at the age of 28 when I was eight. I have asked those who knew him what he was like, maybe seeking confirmation of what I knew and all said the same: he pushed himself to the max in work and played hard and didn't back down to anyone.
After John's death my mother couldn't cope and for a time found it hard just to walk, let alone look after us. I felt alone and responsible for my brother and heard and saw how hypocritically many people lived. For some reason people will talk about someone, even though their young son is present, as if we don't see how things affect young people, as though they're not that intelligent. How far they are away from truth... children clock everything.
So I became the man of the house and my childhood was put on hold. I had not only lost my father but the joy and life in my mother had been extinguished and she just did her best for us as a mother, but her heart was not in it.
When I was 12 my mother, seeking security, remarried Bernie. By this time I had trust issues with the world at large and Bernie was no exception and the outplay was a lot of conflict, sometimes quite violent: as a family it was very dysfunctional, as was the way I was living. What was first, the chicken or the egg – my own dysfunction or the family's?
School was difficult. I was labelled as slow, and dyslexia was something that challenged me and so I had the feeling of always holding back, never wanting to be put on the spot, but I held very strong opinions and felt I had more clarity than most but would only express these views where I felt safe from ridicule.
My new father sent me to an expensive grammar school. The first day I was ridiculed in front of the whole school by the deputy headmaster, a doctor in psychology and music, who said that I was "nothing but a ruddy panel beater's son and that's all (I) would be". And I had an ongoing relationship in this vein with this man, who would warn me not to ever think I could be with his daughter because I would always be unworthy of his daughter, even though I had no intentions of ever wanting to be with this woman: so all of this kept on going until he made us sit for IQ tests where his results said I was much closer to being a genius than a retard.
He then sought to ask me the question: Why? And out of this new relationship I learnt he was a very hurt man, our relationship softened and I was no longer sitting in the headmaster's office explaining why I thought it was OK to openly laugh at the deputy headmaster in front of the class.
From school to . . . ?
I was accepted to study law in Sydney but I chose to walk away from this opportunity; I lacked the self-confidence that I would be accepted by others and that I could achieve what was asked of me.
Instead I got labouring jobs and finally took an apprentice panel beating/spray painting job with my father, who explained he had tried to give me every opportunity to do something I chose to do.
At grammar school my mates were all from wealthy families and were being brought up to be professionals, CEOs, judges, etc, the very lifestyles that had not allowed them to connect with their fathers, and lots went into competition with their fathers so that they would do it better and achieve more.
My new life was a real eye opener. I met some amazing tradesmen, their precision and detail were more like surgeons, but with the culture came drugs, drink and crime and corruption. We traded in favours and this trade was with everyone across the board, from the law to organised crime, from charities to businesses, from union heads to the average bloke that just needed to cash in on his insurance.
I would call it corruption and it comes about when people see all the systems are corrupt, that there is no fair go, then the question from any criminal is then: Why can't I do it my way? I know it's not right but everyone else is doing it, and so it becomes a norm. The truth is, why add more effluent to an already polluted way to live and if we make it the norm, what is next year's norm, because the goalposts will always shift downward when you leave truth behind.
Corruption is an easy game to play and the rewards are high and you get to feel needed, with many friends and crazy exciting times. I was playing along, which is what I thought was a reasonable thing to do after seeing the state of corruption . . . then I was put on the spot and offered the world and couldn't say yes. There was one thing that really stood out: everyone I was playing with was constantly looking over their shoulder at what they were afraid was coming from the game they were playing – they all knew the consequences and so did I.
The lie always caught up, whether by the law, someone wanting what you had, disease of the body, injury or death.
So I decided while I could, that I would leave that world behind with all its glamour and rewards.
Moving to Byron Bay
I bought a house near Byron Bay with my partner and raised 3 beautiful girls. By my mid 30's my partner and I had 2 shops and were retailing handcrafted furniture we made, as well as selling antiques and homewares. We were doing very well with business but lousily with our home life, although outwardly others thought we had it all together, which always amazed me. The tension in the house was palpable and I could see it outplaying on these beautiful young women I had brought into this world: my partner and I stayed together in the belief of family and the hope that with success, something would change.
It didn't and it imploded with a bang: I had this devastating feeling that I had lost everything – my life, my family and I was alone. Of course this was far from the truth.
Two years on I met my now wife, Anne. On meeting Anne I was immediately knowing this was the woman I wanted to share my life with, and the feeling was mutual from Anne. However, be in no illusion, we had our work cut out for both of us if what we knew was truth. My 3 girls were largely grown up and there was something in me that said, "you're finished this thing of bringing up kids". Which is a lie. It's never just about kids, but more about being responsible and reflecting truth to the people who are around you, equally so to all. At that time I was not aware of that.
Anne had a 4-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. I had said yes to Anne in a big way but to start again with the father thing was daunting and the kids felt all the stuff that I came with and accordingly responded – as anyone would who felt they were not being met as an equal or loved for who they are. I brought many many images of the way that family should look and none of them came to fruition.
Again another dysfunctional family and me living very much as a dysfunctional person, holding back from people and life, not willing to get over feeling hurt for what I saw as life and people having rejected me, so I set about demeaning them.
The heart of it all
This stupidity went on for 6 years then that was it – no more. My heart went into fibrillation and got worse very quickly and I found myself in a cardiac emergency ward being told I could die today, but I was in the best place if that happened and they were arranging surgery to rectify the many problems my vascular system was experiencing.
As I was lying there I could feel what I could only describe as a small ball of warmth in the centre of my chest which, after a time laying with this sensation and having nowhere to go, I realised this ball was actually me and it was love – the same love I had seen my children born with. I cried as I knew I had not been living as me in this love, nor had I met the people I said I loved in this love that was me, and all I could think of was that I was not ready to die, as I had not truly loved those I said I loved.
As it turned out, right or wrong, I never went through with the surgery and chose instead to make some massive changes in my life.
I had listened to my doctor and apart from surgery there was very little they could do. I had studied naturopathy for 4 years when I had my first daughter, so I put into practice all I knew. All this was not going to get me any further than to alleviate some of the symptoms, but not even that really. I was alive, but still very ill.
Meeting Serge Benhayon
My wife had asked me some time before to make a return visit to her friend Serge Benhayon. I had nowhere else to go, otherwise it was back to hospital for major surgery. I had met Serge some time ago and had found him a very warm-hearted man who I felt at ease with, but I had been at odds with following any spiritual path, as I had been let down by all that I had invested in before.
I was not disappointed by my meeting with Serge. I had entered his clinic a beaten man and left empowered with a confirmation that there was much more to life than just the physical, and knowing it was about energy and in essence I was love and had lived this as a young boy; a warm yumminess that he reminded me of and there was absolutely no reason that could not be lived throughout my whole life.
I didn't know what this looked like but I knew what to do and with the support of Universal Medicine and its healing modalities and books, my journey of The Way of The Livingness began.
The practical tools for life
Thank God, or thanks Serge, this was all very practical and I was given all the tools to apply it to life. This was something I had been looking for since my teens and had never come across before. A do-it-yourself how to live.
I was determined that everything I did from sleep, food, movement, relationships – it took some time to get back to work but the same there – everything had to confirm a warm yummy feeling in me and that feeling I began to express to those around me. I was living love and people could feel and see the difference in me – my wife, my kids, my friends, my work family i.e. customers and employees.
I must say this was not overnight and I put in lots of work as a student of life, love and light.
There were many foods I realised in time were not honouring me that I started to drop; even though they might have been my staple or favourite they were not going to be at the expense of my body. Sleep was something I began to treasure instead of something I avoided.
Through my discussion with Serge I had realised life was about people and I had forgotten this and my vascular system reflected that I had hardened as a man and held back the great love I have for people and life and wanting to feel the love I had always been held in. In truth I had held back expressing love and had stopped feeling and receiving the love that was and always had been there for me.
The more I opened up and dealt with all the excuses I had made for shutting down, the more life had become all about love.
After 4 years my doctor showed me the latest scans and tests compared to when I was first admitted into hospital. He stated that he saw it as a miracle but as he was a doctor and atheist he couldn't say that. It was too late; he already had.
My heart valve was no longer leaking blood, my heart was no longer inflamed, the chambers were now normal in size and the walls were no longer swollen, my heartbeat was in beautiful rhythm and my blood pressure was also normal.
I had reason to celebrate, but the question that he and I talked about the next day at my shop was how far could I go with this and what was next on this incredible journey.
I already knew the answer: I had met a man that lived my future. I now regard Serge Benhayon as a great friend and I watch him evolve, never settling for anything less than what's next, setting the standard for all of us by living the future.
And I in my far from perfect way ask the same question and sometimes I plateau and sit in comfort, but my body has other connections as it is made from the universe, from the stars and evolves with the universe and it hurts to stop and I see that nothing stands still; nothing has a beginning and an end but an eternal expansion of awareness and passion to live life in its fullness as love.
Today my wife and I live a very full yet simple life, making it all about people and the love we all are, not giving any power to anything in the way of that truth, not resting on some image of 'we've made it' but always supporting each other to take it to the next level and taking that out to our workplaces, our friends, and our family, which is not bound by blood or belief.