Recently I found myself playing a familiar yet not so comfortable game during the Universal Medicine UK Retreat Celebration Party. Because of the clarity I had gained from attending the Retreat, I was able to quickly and very clearly recognise an old pattern, one that I have been going into for as long as I can remember. This old pattern is one of withdrawal, guardedness and isolation, which has me distancing and separating myself from others, and this is not at all like the playful, light hearted, down-to-earth, sparkly person I normally am.
As I observed everyone else having fun, being open and playful with each other, engaging deeply in conversation and enjoying each other’s company, I was choosing to retract back into my shell and it felt horrible.
This is what I called ‘being shy’ in the old days, but now I see that it felt horrible because I was refusing to shine, I was hiding away, not wanting to be seen, and I was also making it ‘all about me.’ Though it was hard to face this truth, I welcomed it, as I saw I was not a victim but I had the simple choice to change, and that choice could be made in a moment.
Reflecting in this way about this experience I realised:
- Life is not just about me
- Life cannot be lived in isolation from each other
- Life reflects back to me where I am and I can’t blame others for my feeling lonely
- It is a choice to withdraw.
Then I asked myself, “Why do I withdraw?” Could it be that I am not honouring my own unique form of expression? Comparing myself to others, and thinking that I should be more like them, more open, more fun, more engaging – more liked by others. Could that be it?… That I am choosing to withdraw because I am dishonouring my own unique expression by trying to be like others!
The wanting to be liked by others, or the desire to feel special, comes from a lack of love for myself, and this also is a choice. As I looked deeper, the realisation came that this all comes from jealousy of and comparing myself to others, and a lack of appreciation for myself. However, all of this is NOT ME, not the true me.
How did I pull myself out of it? Quite simple. As I was standing on the dance floor like a wallflower, a beautiful woman came up behind me and put her arm around me. We walked around like this for a while and I started to feel myself coming back to me. We gently parted and I then found someone else to connect with, then another and another. I realised then that I had come back to feeling more of my essence. I felt more open and joyful, more connected to everyone, and even if I was dancing on my own, I had that connection to myself and the loneliness had gone.
Through the support of others, I had come back to the connection with myself, where no one is ever alone. There is no need to try to connect to others, it is the connection with ourselves that is felt by others. This is true connection and no performing or trying is necessary to feel this.
What I learnt from this is that it is okay to be yourself. We are all unique in our expression, and by comparing ourselves to others we are giving ourselves away and not honouring ourselves in full as equal human beings. I have learned through the teachings of The Ageless Wisdom presented by Universal Medicine, that we are all equal in the eyes of God, so it doesn’t make sense to judge another or compare as we are on this path together – the path of return to who we truly are.
My shyness is not going to magically disappear overnight, but now I can acknowledge my shyness and work on that connection to myself and my connection with others, remain honest and open and allow myself to shine in my own unique way.
I shall endeavour to play this ‘hide and seek’ game no longer because I know who the true me is. I know what my essence feels like, and it is the real and true me, and I owe it to myself and others to honour the fragility and beauty of that.
With deep gratitude to Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon and the reflection of the Universal Medicine Student Body, for without this reflection I would probably still be playing the old game.
By Sandra Henden, Administration Assistant, Norfolk, England
The Strength and Power of Connection
Do we choose loneliness?
Why and how do we have loneliness in relationships?
Thank you Sandra, it is wonderful to gain an awareness of ourselves by seeing a pattern of behaviour and then make the choice to simply and lovingly change. This was a great line for me “There is no need to try to connect to others, it is the connection with ourselves that is felt by others. This is true connection and no performing or trying is necessary to feel this.” That is ultimately what we miss the most, our own connection and the feeling of our essence, and enjoying our responsibility to bring that to others instead of needing something in return in relationships, to fill the void of the absence of our own inner connection.
it is great to see our patterns for what they are and start to make our choices more loving.
How lovely that you were in a community that was open to supporting and nurturing you in your journey of reconnection to yourself.
it is crazy the games we play, exposure of our habits and behaviours can be painful but always worth it if we want to truly evolve.
Sandra, thank you for writing this article, I can feel how many of us may have these feelings but may not want to be honest about them or talk about them; ‘the realisation came that this all comes from jealousy of and comparing myself to others, and a lack of appreciation for myself’, I love how you have been so open and honest in what you are sharing in this article, it is really helpful and supportive as this shyness and comparison is something that I have felt on many occasions, it is great to have it exposed and to be discussing this.
“Through the support of others, I had come back to the connection with myself, where no one is ever alone. There is no need to try to connect to others, it is the connection with ourselves that is felt by others. This is true connection and no performing or trying is necessary to feel this.” I love what you have shared Sandra, I too have been into the hiding game, but I am learning that little by little as I connect more deeply to myself, I am much more open and honest with others.
Withdrawal from life is a pandemic that has people hiding away from friends and family, and instead spending all their time with TV.
“Through the support of others, I had come back to the connection with myself, where no one is ever alone. There is no need to try to connect to others, it is the connection with ourselves that is felt by others. This is true connection and no performing or trying is necessary to feel this.”
its such a game changer when we start to appreciate how much the connection can come from within and how sustaining it is- naturally. then the behaviours so many of us go into to seek connection or attention from others can be arrested right there, and we all get the joy of more love and contentment either within us or reflected to us- a true win/win!
Withdrawing is holding back our unique expression often in fear of allowing others to see how grand we all truly are. To fall into the comfort of holding back is a way in which we are choosing to not be truly responsible for why we are here and what we are to reflect. Expression= RESPONSIBILITY no matter how big or small. It all counts.
I find it amazing how it can be truly loving when I move myself out of the way, which basically means to release myself from the issues that I can hold on to which keeps people out or at bay from knowing who I really am. It is loving because when there is the truth of me, there is only love to be expressed for the other person or people, it is as simple as this.
There are so many games we can play and the illusion in these games is that it makes us think it is serving us in one way or another when they are actually not serving us at all to be our selves. For example we think being shy helps to hold the attention away from us which might feel safe thus ‘serving us’ but in fact we are not being truly ourselves so it is not serving us at all. It is really important with these games to ask who we are serving with our behaviour.
During Universal Medicine Retreats we can really get a true sense of what its like being ourselves in full and live it in a very supportive environment. This can be challenging because we are so used to living with our patterns that we may not always be aware of them. But stand out they do during retreats because it is so obvious where we are not choosing our truth and we are not allowing ourselves to stand in the glory of who we are. We can very easily sabotage this. It is totally awesome that this pattern was recognised as a pattern and that it was not acknowledged as being who you are. There is much to appreciate even in this – choosing you over a pattern – now that’s worth celebrating.
I often find myself isolating myself from others. I am better at catching myself at it these days, and when I do I remind myself to simply open to connection with the next person who is in front of me. Without connection I can go into self-loathing and find myself in a dark hole. As soon as I connect with someone I am reminded how beautiful and awesome I am. It is a huge difference. It is definitely worth the effort to open up.
I have been inspired by Universal Medicine for the last 13 years and I have really started to feel and understand the importance to keeping our connection with the qualities that we are.
Sometimes we are like a dog that has not been cared for, we have lost our trust with humans and need some time and consistent care and love to be reminded of our own love.
This old pattern is one of withdrawal, guardedness and isolation, which has me distancing and separating myself from others, and this is not at all like the playful, light hearted, down-to-earth, sparkly person I normally am. This sounds so familiar to me. I have let this happen in social situations time and time again and always thought it was me. Now I know I have a choice here, to stay tender, open and joy full in these moments of ‘take-over’ from an outside energy source, entering me. I don’t need to allow this energy in. I can choose to stay as the playful, light hearted, down-to-earth, sparkly person I normally am.
I really appreciate Oops moments, they are such a wonderful opportunity to learn, move forward and kick out the fear of making a mistake. Thank you Sandra for your honesty and openness.
It is so liberating seeing behaviours as patterns rather than who we are. Once you identify with a pattern, as ‘that’s me’, it can lock you into thinking that’s who you are and it will never change. Seeing it as an energetic pattern creates room to question if that behaviour is coming from the real you or just a familiar game we have been playing for years/lifetimes.
Yes Fiona, could this simply be an old momentum that we have the opportunity to reconsider and change?
By all we can no longer judge or be critical in any way shape or form. And so whenever we have chosen a pathway that had no truth or love, we can only say oops nominate it and move on in the truth and love we know to be. As without our choice and commitment to be a student of life – we dwell in an energy of evil that is not us at all.
We are all part of a big play we played thus far and it is up to us when we step out of the game.
All the delay we choose will have an effect on us all, bigger than we think.
I used to believe I was not a people’s person. But since interacting with Universal Medicine and the student body I have learnt that I am a huge people’s person! So much so that it hurts when I choose to stay away from others under a cover of hurt, mistrust, fear or withdrawal. It’s painful to keep myself isolated and any thoughts that try to justify this are simply not true as when connected to my essence I can’t but love to be with others.
Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon offer so much insight into how we can and do play small, keep separate from humanity, shutting down our lovely essence and our divine connection to the All in the Universe. The more I understand and appreciate this truth, and choose to live this for myself the more I clearly see playing small and keeping safe is no trade off for living the fullness we are in truth.
Everyone has something to offer the world yet it is when we know this to be true and hold back we are opening ourselves to the behaviours that have been shared so honestly in the blog. We just have to observe the movements in ourselves as human beings to see and feel that the connection we are all looking for comes from one another and that there are many pieces that make the whole.
Choosing to bring forth your piece in the puzzle is what bring the vitality to each moment and encourages another through our reflection to bring their pieces as well.
Before Universal Medicine I didn’t have quite the grasp I do now on the idea of patterns of behaviour. But essentially I can see now many aspects of my life where I repeat certain ways of living that are not supportive or really reflective of the person I can be. It is great to clock such things, just as Sandra has written about here, and allows us to stop behaviour that is not how we want to behave and be.
“the realisation came that this all comes from jealousy of and comparing myself to others, and a lack of appreciation for myself. However, all of this is NOT ME, not the true me.” This is an absolutely stunning realisation and requires great honesty to perceive and acknowledge. Letting go of the identification of negative behaviours as actually being the behaviour is a massive step in healing as it enables one to be objective, to see the behaviour for what it is and then to address it.
Thank you Sandra, I really appreciated your openness and vulnerability in sharing your experience. I have also recently noticed how I spark up and feel a reconnection to my essence just by being with people.
This blog highlights how important it is to connect to others and how devastatingly lonely it can be to be isolated. Even though the author was in a crowed room it shows that it is a choice and takes some effort on our part to engage with others, or shut them out.
This reminds me of the many lonely elderly we have sitting in their homes day and night without any company or connection with the outside world, many just waiting for the half hour for when the carer arrives, who is often rushed and already thinking about the next appointment – it is not a good situation.
Yes great point Samantha, it is far more empowering to understand shyness as an end-point of choosing to retract, rather than the starting point in which we take on ownership of ‘being shy’. We are not inherently shy as adults, but we can choose that as an expression and all that comes with it, as you describe so beautifully Sandra. Not accepting this as who we are, but as a chosen expression gives far more to work with than the other way around.
Its amazing that under the disguise of being ‘shy’ we can convince ourselves we are not worth it and pretend to play small. Thank you for exposing shyness for what it truly is Sandra.
Its amazing that under the disguise of being ‘shy’ we can convince ourselves we are not worth it and pretend to play small. Thank you for exposing shyness for what it truly is Sandra.
I’m not pretending that I don’t go back into my old habits now and then… of course I do, I’m not perfect, but rather than dwell on a way of behaviour that is not true and knowing that retreating into my shell is showing a lack of responsibility in as much as I am then holding back the reflection of how amazing I am, I can begin to take steps to bring myself back. The choice is mine and no-one can do it for me. We are always reflecting to the world whether we ‘think’ we can hide or not.
I have felt like this too Sandra in big gatherings, but what I am learning is, like you, it is about not accepting me and who I am and therefore trying to comparing myself with everyone else. I remember in the past feeling rejected if I wasn’t where the action was, thinking there was something wrong with me and feeling like a spare part. The more I understand this the more I am able to stop and just enjoy being me in these situations. I certainly haven’t mastered it yet and part of this is calling out to myself what is happening at the time and then lovingly tell myself that I am absolutely fine being me.
I can feel the ridiculousness of how we hide and isolate ourselves from each other when all we yearn for is to connect and bring back that feeling of belonging to the all. We are all playing the same game here, so thank goodness for people like Serge Benhayon who reflects to us how truly grand and amazing we are otherwise, God only knows how long we would continue to play the game.
You wouldn’t angrily berate a child if they got something wrong (well, I have to a admit that I definitely have – but you get my point!) so how come we are so often, so hard on ourselves? Why is a two year old allowed to stuff up, but a forty-two year old isn’t? I am gradually re-learning to parent myself with the love and patience and grace and lack of judgement that most of us would aspire to when parenting children.
Great comment Otto, and very supportive. I am very hard on myself at times, but I can see how this is in fact self defeating, not very gentle and certainly not loving. How can we expect to evolve if we constantly berate ourselves for not behaving like we ‘think’ we should without appreciating that we have the awareness to deal with stuff that comes up in the first place.
“Shyness” is a fascinating one to me and can come in many guises. If you met me, you definitely wouldn’t consider me shy. But do I allow the all of me to be seen, am I entirely open to everyone that I meet, do I present a guard of protection…? The answer to all of these is ‘no’…however we name it, present it, describe it..almost all of us are holding back in allowing the world to see all of us…and thus allowing ourselves to see all of the world. So I would say that most of us are ‘shy’
You have a very good point there Otto ‘So I would say that most of us are ‘shy”… otherwise we would all be living in the fullness of who we truly are. I suppose there are different levels of ‘shyness’… some of us are prepared to let ourselves be seen and some of us are still holding onto our hurts and wanting to protect ourselves from being hurt, and therefore hiding. The daft thing is that once we connect to our essence and live this is full, there is nothing to be afraid of, so it appears to me that we are living under the greatest of illusions due to the fact that we are afraid of our own power.
If I think how many times I revert to an old behaviour – it’s so many times. But we’re all learning so it’s understandable that we slip up and make mistakes, the key is how we deal with it from there. I love the title of your blog “Oops I did it again”, because if we live with the understanding that we are not perfect and we don’t hold ourselves to our imperfections, and simply work on them but never let them define us – that’s a great approach to life.
Having a knowingness of how amazing we all are is pretty awesome isn’t it and there is much to be appreciated in that, so having an understanding of why we go into old behaviours allows us to gently pull ourselves out, and you are right, if we define ourselves by our behaviours we are lost.
This is a game I have played a lot in my life Sandra, and it’s as mad and surreal as any sport that you can watch on TV. Take one beautifully formed multi-dimensional being, then have them look at another, get upset and run for the hills thinking that they are ‘not enough’. Crazy! What your words remind me is how oddly we behave when we live forgetting our beauty inside – and invariably, the first step back towards this for me is showing myself some kindness.
Today I am beginning to realise just how awesome it is to have the awareness that we are playing a game. Not so long ago I thought that life as I knew it was ‘it’, and although I had an inkling that there must be more I constantly looked for answers outside of myself, but now I know that all I will ever need is right inside of me, and has always been there and will always be there, just waiting for me to give myself permission to re-connect to it. And I agree, kindness towards oneself is a great place to start.
I have to say that the oops moments often come with the richest of learnings. When I am not afraid to get it wrong, or make a mistake, I give myself so much more permission to gain more awareness, knowing that there will always be another opportunity to try again.
Be open to the ooopps and they can only be celebrated. It is when we close ourselves to evolution that the downward spiral of judgement and criticism kicks in – all of which is, in truth, an illusion to enable us not to take responsibility and step up to the plate of evolution.
You are soooo right Otto, if we allow ourselves to get caught in the downward spiral, it only leads to one thing, more of the same! Recognising that the ooopps moments can be a point of evolution is then an opportunity to lovingly take steps, through our movements, to change. In fact, it’s not a matter of changing ourselves, it is a matter of allowing our true selves to come forth.
This is the beauty of karma, it gives us the opportunity to evaluate and take stock of our behaviours and indeed, try again… and again and again, until we return to who we truly are, which is a never ending, forever journey of unfoldment. At the present moment in time my mind cannot grasp this concept, but somewhere in my being I know it to be true, so this is something I can truly begin to appreciate.
I recognise this old pattern of withdrawing: as soon as I feel uncomfortable I want to walk away. I used to do it by eating, numbing myself so the feelings went away, but more recently, since I have considerably refined my diet, that has been less readily available as an option. So I have walked away, gone silent, avoided people – all the same thing. It feels even more uncomfortable than the original discomfort so now I am learning to take a deep breath and return to the situation or person and explain what I have felt, letting go of any judgment and taking full responsibility for my reaction and my emotions.
Love the honesty. The behavioural details may change but very often the actual root cause hasn’t been dealt with. We have to continue and continue to be super honest.
I also recognise this Carmel, I get super uncomfortable, anxious and just do not want to deal with whatever the situation is, especially when I have to be honest about something. But it is becoming more obvious that numbing these feelings with food is not the answer, and actually dealing with things is.
Playing the game of “hide and seek” is so horribly exhausting and totally futile. It harms not only us as we are holding back who we truly are, but it also harms others as they are being deprived of the reflection of the amazing person we are. Being this amazing person is actually totally natural and this is what is urgently needed in this very messed up world.
I love the playfulness in Oops I did it again; as in I did something not quite right, I acknowledge it, I am aware of it and I am prepared to move on, learning from it without beating myself up about it.
Hear Hear Sandra – I am with you in full with this appreciation of Serge Benhayon and the student body for the constant inspiration to make supportive changes in my life and let go of the old game.
“With deep gratitude to Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon and the reflection of the Universal Medicine Student Body, for without this reflection I would probably still be playing the old game”.
Yes Stephanie I am with you and Sandra. It was gorgeous reading how all it took to support Sandra to come back to herself was the brief interaction when another person who was expressing that: “As I was standing on the dance floor like a wallflower, a beautiful woman came up behind me and put her arm around me. We walked around like this for a while and I started to feel myself coming back to me. We gently parted and I then found someone else to connect with, then another and another.” It is so simple. Expressing and reflecting our true essence is an invaluable gift to everyone.