by Michelle Sheldrake, Brisbane
I have a photo of myself on my bedside table that has travelled with me ever since I first left home at 17. It is a photo of me as a baby, taken when I was about 10 months old. I’m lying on my tummy, arms outstretched, eyes wide with wonder (I guess fascinated by the camera). When I look at this picture I see a beautiful little being, full of wonder and innocence, ready to embrace life. But the clearest reflection for me has always been the feeling of love and joy that I see, especially in my eyes, which just seem to sparkle with some inner knowing.
Through the years I’ve often looked at this photo and asked myself “Where has she gone? What’s happened to that beautiful little girl with the sparkle in her eyes? Why don’t I feel that sense of joy and wonder anymore?” I recently looked at some photos of myself taken when I was at school at about 5 and 6, and I recognised the same joyful innocence, but by about age 8 could feel a change.
As I have been reflecting on this recently I realised that the inner knowing has always been there and for many years it’s been telling me loud and clear that something was missing. Something (well, in fact many things) did happen to that little girl and the way she used to be in the world. So I’ve spent many years searching for that missing thing, trying to find experiences and people that could recreate those feelings – travelling and living overseas, going to university, playing music, trying any number of different new age practices and healing therapies – only to still feel a sense of loss and emptiness. It wasn’t until just over 5 years ago when a friend suggested I see an esoteric healing practitioner that I felt something different. As my body became still I could feel my heart expand, and a sense of warmth, beauty and joy filled my body. There was a deep sense of re-connecting with a part of myself that I hadn’t felt for a very long time, and a knowing that this was true.
I know this now to be the love that has always been there, the very essence of me. It was never truly missing; it just got deeply buried under layers of hurt and protection, self-loathing, and beliefs and ideals about who I should be and what I should do in this world. I’ve spent most of my life being the good daughter, good student, good friend, and most recently the good mother… and judging myself harshly against these standards. All of this was reflected as a hardness in my body, a protection against the world, but also a feeling that it was a shield designed to not allow me to feel the self-abuse I was inflicting upon myself.
I continued having esoteric healing sessions, gradually building my connection back to me. I introduced gentleness and self-love into my life on a daily basis, learning to listen to my body and honour what it needed. I started developing an ability to be very honest about how I was feeling and the choices I’d made.
Not long after starting the esoteric healing sessions, my friend (who had told me about Esoteric Healing) told me about Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. I began reading Serge Benhayon’s books, all of which made sense to me and confirmed many things I’d often felt. Again, I realised that that inner knowing has always been with me. I then started attended workshops and healing courses which have only further confirmed my sense of ‘there must be more to life than this’. Of course there is, and it’s not about the things we can have in life, it’s actually in each of us. I remember at the end of my first session with Serge Benhayon being deeply connected to my body, to my inner heart, and I felt myself resting in a beautiful warmth that was emanating from within me. Over time and through my association with Universal Medicine I have developed a clear understanding of how I have made choices throughout my life that have led me away from what is naturally within me – love, joy, stillness, gentleness, harmony.
I’ll admit that for me living love and gentleness on a daily basis can still be a challenge, after all I’m not perfect, (and I no longer strive to be perfect!) but I know that the connection to me is only a gentle breath away and I can again feel the warmth and stillness of love in my body. But best of all, I can now look in the mirror and see the sparkle of joy, love and beauty in my eyes – I have found my way back to me.
A heartfelt thank you to Serge Benhayon and the other wonderful esoteric practitioners associated with Universal Medicine I have seen and continue to see. Each of you provides a truly loving support in my return to me.