In the past I can honestly say that I had little to no genuine appreciation for men.
I used to see men more for the roles they played, or what they could do for me, or for their family. Sometimes I was aware that some men should be avoided as they gave me unwanted looks or attention that made me feel uncomfortable. At other times I gave my power away to men as I thought they knew more than me or they were forceful and imposing with the way they delivered their knowledge.
To add to this I also had very little appreciation for myself, and women in general too. I liked what I saw in each gender and thought some things were nice or pleasing but when I reflect on the level of appreciation I now have for myself and others, I can see that in the past there was very little true appreciation.
It is only because of Serge Benhayon and all that he presents and lives, along with his unending care towards people, that I have become aware of this. With the support of Universal Medicine practitioners, the amazing reflection of all the caring and vital men and women that make up the students of The Way of The Livingness, as well as my willingness to deepen, unfold and change old patterns, I have connected to and can appreciate the deeply loving person I am and can also see and feel others to be.
In this past year I have been fortunate enough to meet two amazing new male friends who have inspired me. If I had met these men in the past, I am sure I would have been oblivious to their amazingness and/or I probably would have found it confronting to be met with such care and in such an engaging way, let alone appreciate them for it. I have met many people over the last year but these men stood out for their very genuine qualities.
One man is a painter who I was recommended to use. He has a high level of integrity and an amazing work ethic and consideration for his clients. The other man is retired and volunteers a lot of his time; I see him when my husband and I walk our dog near the beach. He has a beautiful way about him that includes everybody around him. He always gives his full undivided attention to the people he speaks with, and he lifts people up by simply smiling and saying a joyful hello. Both men have integrity, are very respectful and value relationships with other people and have a beautiful way of connecting with people.
Whenever I am around each of them I feel met and cared for because each of them takes the time to stop, really listen and hold a very caring level of eye contact throughout the conversation.
I simply feel how amazing it is that these men – who just go about their day – work hard doing what they do (whether they are paid for it or not), are living life to the full and yet have held on to the beautiful tenderness and self-connection they would have had as young boys. Today they share that in the interactions they have with others. They are not shut down or dismissive, racy, forceful or imposing; instead they are patient, open, engaging, humble, gentle and genuinely caring. These are men to admire, who definitely have qualities worth appreciating.
I love that I can see these amazing qualities in others and myself. I now know what true connection feels like and I can have it with other people in my everyday activities.
By Johanna Smith, Bachelor of Education