The price of being the berry on the blancmange

Healing relationships through greater awareness of anxiety caused by needy mothering.

The price of being the berry on the blancmange

An insightful and revealing discovery of the levels of protection we can manifest to ensure that the pain of our past hurtful experiences does not occur in our current relationships.

In the early sixties I was a ball boy at the South Australian Pro Tennis Championships. I loved tennis right then and part of the reward for chasing down balls was some post-tournament coaching sessions. The designated coach seemed quite ‘old school’ and asked us all to line up like soldiers – prior to marching off to the courts. At just fifteen or so I reacted strongly to this instruction and stated I was leaving and I then proceeded to walk away from something I really wanted to experience (leaving everyone else aghast) . . . only to feel loss and confusion.

What led me to this impulse to forsake something I valued highly? How many of us have made poor decisions impulsed by underlying experiences that we are not yet aware of?

In my life I have observed that my relationships have at times been characterised by strong reactions to even the slightest sense of being ‘controlled’ or being made to conform, down to a hint of such in a tone of voice. I have come to understand that this aversion developed as a reaction to my mother’s relentless pressure for me to somehow fill the lack in her life. To survive as ‘me’ it seemed I needed to feel separate and so I learnt to go on the attack or spurn anyone who brought a perceived ‘controlling’ demand.

My mother had a lot of issues or hurts that I saw her grapple with all her eighty-plus years. Anxiety, constant worrying, a focus on what other people might think and in particular a need for other people’s recognition and approval. All understandable from the perspective that she was an only child, born outside a conventional marriage, was subject to ‘unofficial’ adoption by her own father, then had to face his suicide at the age of fourteen alongside constant ‘disapproval of her existence’ from her wider family.

This all occurred in the first decades of the twentieth century and such social stigmatisation was harsh in an era where young men went to war and the shores of Gallipoli without demur. No chants on Australian streets like “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is going to win” back then.

As her youngest and ‘favourite’ child – out of four – she invested a lot of emotional need in me. Even being the designated ‘favourite’ carried its own burden.

As part of my own evolution this life I have done a lot of work, both psychologically and energetically, to heal my ‘mother’ issues – for can we truly be a man and relate to a woman (or another man) in a mature and whole way if our ‘mother’ (or father) is unseen, ever-present and still calling the tune? When caught by such an internal, maternal, energetic configuration it takes everything at times to not react, to simply stop and get a sense that a string is being tugged. “This is not me, these are not my reactions, I am being ‘run’ here”.

This process has been an ongoing ‘de-layering’ or shedding and just yesterday during a session with an esoteric psychologist (a regular commitment I have – as a couple's session with my wife), further clarity arrived.

What fell away, or dissolved, was a cloak of individuality, a chunk of ‘me-ness’ that I can best describe as a need to be separate, to be different, to not conform, to be the ‘berry’ on top of the blancmange, not the blancmange itself. ‘I had decided’ that some point of difference was essential to my life.

My identity was defined by this core accretion – and it was all a reaction to my mother’s smothering – as the young me struggled with being shaped by emotional demands that were too much too soon. I needed to be ‘different’, to be the ‘berry’ to survive.

It is very healing and confirming when this occurs because it is you speaking truth to yourself, or in other words your ‘Soul’ is delivering an energetic communication into the spaciousness (space) created by your willingness (alignment with Will). What it is you are creating to protect yourself from feeling the pain of past hurts is starkly revealed as not you.

This is familiar to us all if we care to feel enough, but again to feel this requires being ‘stringless’ – even for an instant.

When the intensely personal is transformed in the way described here into a foundational ‘freeing up’, this gives the possibility of living beyond such self-imposed ‘boundaries’ and concerns. Living for ‘the whole’ then presents as an opportunity to be embraced.

Esoteric Psychology is one of a number of modalities inspired and informed by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. Serge Benhayon lives the love he points to – a love we all are innately. This is my actual, unadorned and expanding experience and that of so many others whose lives are written about and shared on this website.

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  • By Alan Johnston, Photographer

    I have studied Social Documentary Photography. Lots of life experience throughout which I have kept a keen sense of humour.

  • Photography: Cameron Martin, Video and Photography