by Jane Keep, UK
Long before I met Serge Benhayon I was the sort of person who worked in large organisations, headed up a large team, and often presented at large national and international conferences. I had a large group of friends and was, to the outside world, very ‘sociable’. I also kept in touch dutifully with my family.
However, I was grumpy around people. I was irritable if my next door neighbours wanted to ‘make friends’ (I used to think I just didn’t have time to be sociable with neighbours or members of my local community). I used to get irritated when it was that time of the week or month when I felt I ought to visit my relatives, and there were times when I just simply didn’t feel like meeting up with my friends. When I went shopping I completely ignored the people working in those shops. Also, if anyone should so much as try and start a conversation with me on a bus or train, well I was very grumpy, indeed indignant – how dare they talk with me, can’t they see I’m busy?
So there was a façade: to many I was very outwardly sociable, extrovert, and able to handle large groups of people, and present to big audiences. However, as I went about my daily life, I was actually quite introspective, introverted, and downright grumpy about having to have any human interaction. At the time I just put my grumpiness down to tiredness, and the fact that I spent so much time with people during my working days that I needed ‘time off’ from people. What I realise looking back is that my grumpiness and irritability around people was for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was so busy all of the time I never ever gave myself time to rest properly, and I never gave myself time to reflect, or listen to myself; I would constantly over-ride my own feelings, and my relationship with myself was full of disdain, so when it came down to relationships with others I treated them with that same disdain. Secondly, I never gave myself time to do the things that I felt were important for me – whether it was booking my dental appointment or getting to the dry cleaners, as I put my needs after the needs of others. This may sound odd to think that I was putting their needs first, given I was grumpy and antisocial when I was with them, but I realised I was like that because I was raised with the belief that I had to be good, and part of that was making myself available to others, so my relationships at that time were based on duty, ‘ought to’s’ and ‘should haves’, and not on simply enjoying another’s company.
During the last eight years in which I have been consistently inspired by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, something changed within me in regards to how I interact with the outside world. Serge presented the importance of taking care of self, and shared this in very practical ways. I also observed Serge and Universal Medicine practitioners take time to rest and to self-care, which was deeply inspiring.
I am now (a work in progress) developing a much deeper relationship with myself, getting to know myself, if you will. I have realised that in the past I simply didn’t give myself enough time in the day to rest, pause, or ponder. I also realised that I had never put my own self-care first, in part because of my beliefs in being a ‘good girl’. So, over a few years I experimented with allowing myself more time during each day for moments to rest, or ponder. This felt really supportive and increased my levels of vitality, not only to do what was needed during my day, but to engage with others too. I also experimented with self-care, starting with the little things, like booking my dental appointments and committing to them, and allowing myself the time to go to the dry cleaners, or the tailors, or the shoe repair shop; and giving myself time to do the things that supported me each week – such as food shopping. As basic as these were, I noticed a change in myself fairly quickly. These things were very important to me, and they meant that my working week ran smoothly, and that I felt much more prepared for the week. In allowing myself the time to do these simple things, over time I gradually noticed that I felt less hassled, less grumpy, and more open to talking with people in my daily life, as well as being more lighthearted with my friends and family.
From this, my life has changed tenfold as regards my relationships with the outside world… to the degree that when I am at work in a large hospital I love talking with everyone I meet, I love sharing moments with people by the water cooler, and I love connecting with people on trains and buses. My relationship with my family is different, particularly my mother – I adore seeing her, spending time with her, and no longer feel the grumpiness I used to… or that sense of obligation that I ought to see her. As for my neighbours; well, for the first time in my life I actually attended a street party (for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in May 2012) and sat down with all of my neighbours, which was absolutely unheard of for me – in all the years I have had neighbours I have never ever done that. My shopping trips are very different now as I like to talk with the shop assistants, engage with the people working on the cash desks, talk with the teller at the bank, and I have so much more fun when I am out and about.
What am I saying here? Before I met Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine the social world was a drag for me, and I found it quite stressful needing to interact with anyone over and above a few of my friends or work colleagues… I would purposefully isolate myself. But now, since I have learned to deepen my relationship with myself by taking time to rest, and time to take care of me and my daily needs, I absolutely love being with people and meeting people. It makes my day. These days I couldn’t imagine a day without human interaction in the way it is for me now. I have come to this place because of the inspiration I found by meeting Serge Benhayon and other Universal Medicine Practitioners, and for that I am grateful. I simply love people…