by Richard Mills, UK
Over the past two years I have been involved with Universal Medicine – attending courses, workshops, private sessions, listening to recordings and reading books. There have been changes in my life as a consequence, such as to my sleep rhythms and diet, but if I were to identify the most significant impact there has been it would be in my relationships.
It may not sound very exciting, but to experience what it truly means to ‘meet’ another person is really quite stunning. We are accustomed to the term ‘meeting someone’ to mean saying hello, or shaking hands and maybe exchanging a few pleasantries. To truly meet another is so much greater than this.
It seems the first thing we must do is ‘meet ourselves’. This is about connecting within, or more accurately, reconnecting within. So many of our relationships have been built upon mutual needs – we are seeking something from the other, maybe approval, maybe recognition, maybe acceptance. Why though, do we need anything from them? My experience is that we are trying to compensate for a deep sense of emptiness inside us. I’ve tried lots of ways of healing that emptiness and must conclude that none of them have truly worked, not long term. What has worked though is to reconnect to who I truly am within. Could it be therefore, that the emptiness so many people feel is the result of being disconnected from their true being?
Universal Medicine has presented me with many ways of reconnecting with my true being; for example, practising the Gentle Breath meditation, a very simple breathing technique. Having used this meditation for about 18 months now, I have felt myself redevelop that connection with my innermost self, and this ‘meeting with me’, has had an amazing effect on my meetings with others. When we have ‘met ourselves’ we remove the neediness from our relationships with others, replacing the ‘neediness’ with a deeper level of respect and an openness to truly be with another. It is then possible to allow the other to be who they are (whether they realise it or not), and to truly meet them without any other agendas. To relate to others in this way is simply joy-full.
A few years ago in my work capacity I attended a presentation by a man described as a ‘Learning Disability Champion’. He had a disability himself, and he presented some statistics about a survey done in America about support for those with Learning Disabilities. The service users were asked “how many of you feel you have been met by your support workers?” The outcome… only 4% said yes, that they felt they had been met. What I observe in my work is that the staff who are truly able to meet others create very different relationships with the people they support, and they rarely encounter what in the business we call ‘challenging behaviour’. I am certain this is because they meet that person’s fundamental need to be truly connected with. However, as the survey reflects, not many people are meeting others this way as a matter of course.
In my opinion, this aspect of what Universal Medicine teaches is crucial. We must all learn to reconnect with ourselves first and yes, love ourselves. Only then can we begin healing our relationships with others and creating harmony and true well-being in our lives.