As a child I was brought up in the Anglican religion. My mother was quite ‘religious’ – she prayed a lot and went to church whenever she could. We lived in the country and it was not easy for her to get to church. I was sent to an Anglican Girls Grammar School but the religion taught there was so ‘dead’: it was simply a set of rules of things one should not do, some moral values which were worth living by, but that was all.
Although I believed that Jesus had told his disciples to be loving there did not seem to be love anywhere, just fear that one would not be ‘good’ enough. Church services were something we had to attend and I cannot remember one ‘sermon’ inspiring me in any way. I do remember the gossip after the service, which was all about what ‘Mrs So-and-So’ was wearing, or some scandal or other; I could feel this was all very unloving.
I continued to attend church irregularly once I left school and also got married in one. In Montreal, Canada in 1955 there were no civil marriages and one could only be married in a church! I had my children baptised but left their confirmation up to them and did not send them to schools that taught religion. As you can see I did not have any bad experiences but I didn’t have any inspiring ones either.
I lived my life as best I could with integrity and truth, but there was always a feeling of lack there. I believed that I did not truly know what love was and how to be truly loving towards others; I looked for answers in many places along the way – the ‘New Age’ seemed to hold some interesting ones – but when explored further seemed as empty as religion had been.
It was not until I was in my sixties when I began to listen to Serge Benhayon and go to the presentations he gave through Universal Medicine that I began to realise there was another way to live one’s life. This was called The Way of The Livingness, and I realised it had the answers to so many of the questions I had been asking myself for many years. Here was a way to live that was truly loving, a way to learn to love oneself, to nurture oneself and from there to love and nurture others.
If religion is a way of life then my religion is The Way of The Livingness. This is not a set of rules one should live by or a list of things one should not do – it is a way of evolving back to where we came from. It is a way of living that is full of love – towards ourselves, our bodies and towards others. It is a way of returning to the love and joy we felt as children before we became overwhelmed by life.
This does require us to be absolutely honest with ourselves and at first this can be confronting. However, once we look at our perceived ‘faults’ or ‘failings’ we see them as being nothing other than our own creations from which we can choose to rid ourselves very easily, or not… it is always our choice. Our lives are made up of our choices along the way as are the lives of others, and thus we can never judge or feel different from another as we are all travelling along the same road, making our choices every day.
I simply choose to have joy and love as my way of being which for me is now living a truly religious life, The Way of The Livingness.
By Rowena Parkes, Age 84