by Janine Whitling, Dip App Sci – Naturopathy, Masters in Contemporary Art, Brisbane Australia
I am a regular woman, and person really, not much different to you. I grew up in a household which had difficulty expressing love: dad hid behind his work and was often sullen and quiet, mum tried like crazy to stay the dutiful wife, working and caring for the home. Both were so wrapped up in their own stuff that they often forgot about us, forgot how to spend time with us. Nothing new here – I know dozens of people who grew up like this.
At school I was teased… lots of kids were. I hated my looks (so did lots of other kids too) and I struggled to find a place in the world, trying so hard to fit in. I moulded myself to be whatever I needed to be so I wouldn’t be different, so that people would like me; anything to get an okay. Then, in my teens I started drinking, because that’s what ‘cool’ kids did. And in my twenties I started doing drugs, because that’s what ‘cool’ people did. And all at the same time I slept with whoever I could, just for some kind of attention and to feel popular.
This went on in various shades for over a decade; sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It felt glamorous at the time – I thought I was ‘cool’. However, at rock bottom I was a drug addicted, alcoholic, bulimic, anorexic stripper. And I used to tell myself that I ‘rocked’ because I was popular and skinny and hung out at the cool clubs. There was a price to pay though – I was never as depressed, paranoid, insecure and suicidal as I was then. The voices in my head were relentless, the self-doubt was ongoing. I struggled through the days knowing that this was just all wrong but not knowing how to stop it.
In my thirties I met a man, a wonderful man who I married, who never judged me and who let me just be. In that seemingly small act I was able to feel safe enough to start to question things. That reflection of love started the wheels rolling on my path. I started to eat better, I started to go to clubs less, my drinking reduced dramatically and so did the drugs. I found myself pulling away from unhealthy relationships and treating myself with more regard. However, the self-doubt still plagued me and I was still over-concerned with what people thought of me, so instead I just started to hide away, becoming a recluse in my home, not knowing what I could trust, or who would be kind to me.
I started to see an esoteric healer called Belinda Hodgson, who was my point of light that I could always trust and count on. She was always there to show me the truth in things, to help me open my eyes and trust my heart. It was a slow process… a very, very slow process, but I was okay with that. I always understood that self-responsibility would require real work and that there were no shortcuts.
In time, I gave up alcohol and drugs completely – I just could not stomach them anymore and got sick of the depression that would always follow. One day, when I knew I needed to make some radical changes, I came across the work of Universal Medicine. I heard about a retreat they were running and decided to go and see if this might help me. Holy cow, what an introduction! Five days of absolute self-responsibility, truth and love. It was amazing and an absolute turning point for me: I knew at that time that there was no turning back. I was committed to staying on this path and continuing no matter how hard or challenging it might be.
And slowly I began to venture back into the world. The horrible self-doubt gremlins began to become quieter and quieter, and I made wonderful friends. As I started to understand who I really was, my relationship with my husband began to blossom. He also started going to the Universal Medicine workshops, and he too started to blossom – into the gorgeous, graceful man that I now know.
And here I am today, healthy, in my mid-forties, so full of wonder and blown away by the love that has been shown to me, both within myself and in others around me. I know it has been all due to my own work, but I would not be here had it not been for the tireless loving reflections of Belinda Hodgson, Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.
Yes, I am a regular person, just like you. And today, I choose Love.