by Joseph Barker, Graphic Designer, Melbourne, Australia.
Have you ever felt scared of other people? I grew up being scared of my parents, particularly my Dad. When they used to fight and he got angry, it felt like I was being torn inside. When I spoke up it only seemed to make things worse, so I ran and hid in my room.
I’m 35, and recently I’ve realised I’ve spent my life still hiding in this room. True, I moved country (to the other side of the world!), but essentially I’ve always reacted the same way. When things get challenging, I run back to my safety zone: my work, my computer, my home. I say I am open to others, but I only let people see a bit of me, only get ‘so’ close.
This ‘beautiful isolation’ has not been beautiful at all. There has always been a deep sense of loneliness, of feeling ugly, and that I was unacceptable.
Three years ago I met a woman who was different. She was warm, honest, funny and direct. But it was the way she tenderly folded my jumper one day and placed it on my bed that touched me in a way I can’t explain. When she introduced me to the presentations of Serge Benhayon and the possibility that:
‘everything is energy – therefore everything is because of energy’
it simply made so much sense. It confirmed the feelings I had been having all my life – and explained the care I felt in the way she lived.
When I attended a Universal Medicine event for the first time my immediate impression was one of equality and unbelievable safety. Here were all these people, and yet I felt so safe and warm! Through the simple presentations and healing work I have been part of since then, I have come to recognise that the monster I have been running away from all these years actually does not exist. All I am running away from is life itself.
Seeing I have a choice to stay present no matter what occurs has been incredibly powerful. We often hear that to be an adult you need to harden up, to take life on the chin. My experience is the opposite. I have discovered that when I let myself really feel what’s going on, with me and other people, I have the opportunity to make an informed choice, to take responsibility. If I choose to leave I can do it knowingly – not from fear or a perceived hurt. In short, I no longer have to run away from life, or run away from me.
I am not perfect. I’m learning to do this and communicate. 30+ years in a small dark room will tend to cramp your style! Through the friendships I am letting into my life, and old connections I am nourishing, a new trust is being built. Again and again the theme is of simplicity, and that we are all the same. Today my Dad and I are able to talk as equals, and I know and understand he’s actually always been underneath, a tender and gentle man, just like me. Although we’re not together anymore, I walk every week with the lady I mentioned above. We have developed an honest and open friendship which continues to grow and enrich my life.
Yesterday I returned home from a simple barbecue – a few people in the sun talking and having fun being together. Nothing earth shattering happened. No miracles or lightning struck. But when I returned to my old safety zone, my home, I felt well, warm, vital and alive. And I realised… it’s people: I love being with people. All people, all sizes, shapes and kinds. Yes, it can be challenging at times, but it’s why I feel I am here. To share and joke and laugh and hug. To question and contemplate. Yes, people get angry and frustrated, but now I see that is not something to be scared of, but to understand. We all have much to learn. It’s like I am finally returning to my younger self in that room and giving him a big hug. We have a world and soon he sees that the world is an awesome place to be. Besides he’s 6ft 3” and way too big for such a small room anymore!
At last, I am making room in the world for me.