From the time I was a young boy, I knew my gentle and caring nature. I was also drawn to the beauty and divinity, and could really feel the beautiful essence, of women. I loved the deeply nurturing aspects of women and found that I could connect easily with them and started to develop relationships that were based on a foundation of just being together, without need or imposition. Women felt at ease around me too, and I with them. At school, I often opted to spend time playing with the girls in recess breaks at school, over the rough games that were being played by the boys.
Just as I was entering into being a teenager, things started to change. At home the tension was building between my parents, leading to them separating. At the time, I felt devastated. Yes, there was the anger and hurt around my parents separating, but also I had forgotten the beautiful connection that I had with myself. I started desperately seeking connection outside myself to try to fill this huge void I was feeling inside. I soon discovered there were many ways I could do this – from alcohol and drugs, to food and sex. The way I was using these substances was purely abusive; they were my band-aids to keep everything together to be able to function with some normality in life. They offered a numbing effect for me to forget the pain, but only for so long.
I also found comfort in being with women now as it offered a distraction from what I would otherwise have to feel. These relationships became ones based on a need from where I would want to connect with women to find that nurturing essence I felt was missing in my life. These relationships never felt satisfying for me, yet there was always a yearning to be in a relationship when I wasn’t in one; and when I was in one, I always thought it wasn’t the right one, and so would be constantly on the lookout for something I perceived as being better. I thought it would be the one thing, to find the perfect relationship that would fix everything I was feeling.
This deep dissatisfaction went on for many years and I always felt I was in a cycle of seeking fulfilment in relationships but never finding it.
Years later, after repeating this cycle many times and faced now with a marriage divorce of my own to deal with, realising that the vices I had used to patch things up were no longer working, I felt the opportunity to really have a good look at what was going on here. This was a crossroads, as I knew I couldn’t go back to the ways of the past as that had just created a misery time and time again. But where to now?
At this time I met Serge Benhayon and the practitioners from Universal Medicine. What was presented here was the possibility that I could re-develop a loving relationship with myself; that by listening and by being truly with me, this relationship with myself could be the foundation for the way I live and love.
This in the beginning was something that felt foreign to me as it had been some time since I had felt this connection, but at the same time, I had an inkling of something deep down that felt familiar. For so long I had not taken care of myself, even to the level of neglecting basic self-care. I started with small things such as the way I made my bed and how I got dressed in the morning. By starting to feel everything I was doing, I began to really feel me again. Even though I hadn’t felt this way for a long time, it started to feel familiar again. I started to feel that I was building a relationship with myself that was true. There weren’t the highs and lows of other relationships I had been in, but a more constant connection, as long as I chose to be open and make the choice to be present in this relationship with myself. From the subtle beginnings of feeling and making the smaller choices in my life, I found I was inspired to build on and to expand them into other areas of my life.
I now feel the loving commitment of the ever-developing relationship with myself… not perfect, sometimes a little wobbly as I let go of old patterns and behaviours, but a lot more honest than it’s ever been. This re-connection – a returning to my true essence – has multiple effects, one being that other relationships, such as in intimate relationships, relationships with friends, workmates and the wider community are also changing. I’m feeling more engaged in the world, being able to bring so much more of me to relationships with everyone I meet and in all I do. I feel that with the depth of intimacy lived with myself in my own life, I feel more equipped to not just cope with life, but to be able to live with joy and harmony and take these lived qualities of true relationship with me in all I do.
By Chris Vale, Bunbury, Western Australia