by Lucy Dahill, Sydney, Australia
Most things in my life have happened quickly, always at a pace… I would become frustrated by having to wait or go slowly and I would never stop and do nothing. I got pregnant three months after I started dating my husband. That meant we didn’t have much time to get to know each other as man and woman before my growing baby and I became the centre of his world. I was working full-time and studying to complete an aromatherapy diploma. This carried on into the pregnancy of my second child a year later. We moved to the country, I left my office job and took up both voluntary work and practitioner work and we had our third child. All the way through this I distinctly remember the feeling that something was welling up inside me that needed to be squashed. Was it a scream… a wave… a huge roar?
I spoke about it a little with the midwife after my son was born and she suggested I do something I had loved when I was younger, before children. I went back to tennis and made it my saviour. I tried to pretend the wave that I could feel building into a tsunami was not inside me. But I felt like I had two faces and was wearing many ‘hats’, and this is when I started having a recurring dream… I kept dreaming of passing out in the local supermarket – aka home number two – and just lying there, watching all the fuss around me. I was dreaming about being in a coma and I just wanted everyone to go away and let me sleep. In the dream I appreciated everyone’s care and concern but actually I didn’t want anyone’s attention, I just wanted to sleep. Worryingly, I loved having that dream.
No one would have known about all this. To everyone else I was the picture of happiness – I had a gorgeous and very supportive husband, three beautifully behaved children, and I was helpful and supportive to everyone in my family. I was a healing practitioner and to all intents and purposes I was healthy – I did not have cancer, diabetes, depression or any other label… so really, was there any need to change?
But what happens when no one notices how bad it is? What happens when no one sees what is going on? How bad do you let it get? In fact, you get to be a really good actress. I fooled everyone, including my husband. Where, I now ask, was my love for him if I couldn’t share with him how I was feeling and what was really going on?
Around this time I went to a talk by Serge Benhayon. He was visiting the UK and my friend Janet asked if I would like to come along and listen. Something he presented was different. He wasn’t trying to be charismatic and he wasn’t attempting to get me to do anything. He just spoke sense. He talked about food a little bit and it just clicked with what I had experienced during my three pregnancies; the intolerance, the tiredness and the bloating. He spoke about how tired we all are and how alcohol can give us the sugar to get through to bed time… He pretty much described my routine. He talked about the major epidemic of exhaustion. He named my disease.
I knew something had to change, so where to start? I went for the jugular – I took away the alcohol. I was most concerned about what would happen at ‘bed-time’… how angry might I get if I wasn’t obeyed when I had nothing left to give and they all just needed to go to sleep!? What would happen to the rage I was squashing?
However, I had needed to start somewhere. I was tired, angry, resentful and at a loss, and all this became apparent the moment I stopped my medicinal drink. To be honest it would have been simpler to tell my friends and family that I was a recovering alcoholic rather than I was giving alcohol up to get to feel how tired I was. They thought it was the complete opposite of logical.
I then stopped sugar – that took seven years! I was desperate for a fix and with no alcohol to give me my pick-up the sugar was my ‘go to’! I had monstrous moods to start off with and my friends and family just looked on with horror – “but there was nothing wrong with you Lucy, why are you being so dramatic?!” “Too late”, I said, “I can feel something changing in me, I cannot go back”.
I decided to make multi-tasking a rude word, teaching myself to do things one at a time. I was slower, but I can see now that I do things much better, in a much more focussed way… and still get things done. I found I could say “no” and do less. After a year or so – and this was HUGE – I dreamt less about being in a coma.
I was still aware of something nagging but this time I didn’t ignore it. We had moved to Australia by now, and someone suggested I have an Esoteric Breast Massage (EBM). I met a practitioner who was so tender with me, who talked to me, who helped me see past the fact that my chest was like a washboard. I felt something underneath that was tender and beautiful and not at all ‘weak and pathetic’ as I had imagined those words to mean. I continued with these EBMs and just kept getting to know myself more and more and was finding things in my past that needed letting go of – old hurts, resentments and expectations. All the while the nagging voice got quieter.
A while later, Natalie Benhayon began hosting women’s presentations… Here was a young woman and she was sharing experiences of her connection within herself and how she celebrates herself as a woman. This was an extraordinary leap. ‘Celebrate myself?’ I had to start smaller. What if I took time to be gentle with myself, to take care of myself, to be tender with myself, what would that feel like? Well, it felt very odd and very selfish; it also brought up that so much of what I had done to date had been about getting myself away from the exhaustion, but now that I had chosen to really start to ‘love myself’ I had to go back and start at the beginning again. However, what had felt selfish then, feels very normal and lovely now, and what came to feel odd and not very nice was when I went back to the old way of putting my clothes on, getting up and going to bed, or rushing through my day. Why would I go back to that? Why would I settle for that? It was only when I opened up to there possibly being another way to see myself, to actually stop and feel without judging myself, that I realised I had not really been seeing myself at all, instead feeling all the overwhelm and therefore, as a result, hating myself for what I looked like. It hurt me to finally see how little I liked myself, and feel how little confidence I had in truly being able to do anything.
I couldn’t close my eyes again to what I was now seeing and feeling in my body – it wasn’t just my old patterns and behaviours that poisoned me, the thoughts were right up there too. For example, I felt that I simply had to let go of trying to control everything and everyone. To let go of the picture of what I wanted it all to look like and how I wanted us to get there. Because when I looked at that ideal picture, I could see it was totally skewed by what I saw in society; and when I realised what is ‘normal’ to others could suppress what I actually felt for myself, I had to look afresh and make a change. Make the change I wanted to see in the world, and give my children a different role model.
How am I emotionally? Well, I have got progressively more steady since having the Esoteric Breast Massages, attending the Esoteric Women’s Presentation, sharing time with the beautiful women around me and having more honest conversations about how we are all feeling.
My husband shared recently that he has noticed huge changes (mostly because my last period had brought up many of my old patterns – the severe five-day headache, the grump-pants, the growl, the snappy comments, the control). We now take time in our days to connect with each other by the little things, with our eyes and with little touches here and there. We cuddle, kiss, dance in the kitchen and we are more playful with each other. We have a tenderness that has not been there before. The kids groan, roll their eyes and pretend they are embarrassed by all this love – not cool at school – but all too often they come and join in our dance or hug and the kitchen turns into ‘Love Central’.
I can say with absolute certainty that I cannot be with another more than I am with myself. That means I can’t love them more and I can’t look after them better, I have to do it for me first. I notice it in my kids and husband too – when they don’t look after themselves they have less respect for me and less respect for the house; but I celebrate it because I know it is a reflection for me to feel what it is like to be on the receiving end of what I offered them for so many years. It isn’t so pleasant. I am learning to let them be, to be less judgmental and expect them to ‘get it’ less. Letting go of control is an ongoing process, which I have found to be about building trust in myself. Knowing that whatever happens, if I wobble, I won’t go back to dreaming about being in a coma. It is like I have built myself a little platform from all the small things I lovingly do for myself that it is now so solid it feels like the foundations of a house. It is my foundation that will support me – whatever comes my way. I know now with every cell in my body that control hurts – it feels like it squeezes me back into a box that stops me breathing, and that is the start of illness for me.
Who would have thought all this would come from someone who was, to all intents and purposes, the picture of happiness and health? My extended family and friends found it hard to understand why I had made so many changes, why I had changed. They missed the old Lucy and blamed Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, but it was my fault really, I hadn’t told them how bad things really were for me or what was underneath that Lucy they saw on the outside. I wonder now sometimes if we find it easier to see these things as ‘normal’ rather than call it out for what it really is – totally NOT normal!
Things are not easy sometimes, but it always comes back to me making a simple choice – to be Love or to not be Love. ‘Lady Overwhelm’ pops in for a catch-up every so often, but my good friend Honesty heads her off pretty quickly now. And ‘Lady Overwhelm’ doesn’t complain; “So much to do – so little time”.