Friday, July 22, 2011

An Open Heart

Hi friends,

I wrote the following post while on the road somewhere this year; just about the time we thought the media was going to start their coverage of us. In the end I think the coverage began later and I didn’t ever get to publish this post. I found it today and thought it may be worth popping up. I am so happy to say that much of the emotion that was so raw at the time of writing these words is much softer now.

The experience with the media campaign about us really, REALLY assisted me to work through some big stuff. I actually feel liberated in a way I haven’t felt for a long time! Of course now I am in the thick of some other major emotions but rereading this post renewed yet again my faith in this process and overwhelmed me with gratitude for God. Truly, staying humble to whatever process God has presented for you to feel and heal through right in this moment, creates the space for alchemy to begin to work in your life. Staying humble through the media stuff was difficult for me. I totally absented my body at times, it was stressful and I saw whole areas of myself that are still vastly wounded. It humbled me to recognise my limits to loving. But recognising them and grieving them has changed me. More change has to come before I am anywhere near as loving as my mate (he was so incredibly inspiring in his capacity to love during this time) but experiencing all this definitely increased my faith in that possibility.

And also – how relieving that I don’t have to figure out how to let people know about my identity in awkward conversation anymore – thank-you channel 9 – the ultimate ice breaker! 

Love to you all,
Image Courtesy of:

Living With an Open Heart (& Shedding the Straight-Jacket of Cynicism)

This Easter, on Easter Sunday, no less, we were interviewed for the final time by the ‘cult investigator’, David. He originally approached us in December, stating that he wanted to include something about these teachings in a book. Initially, he told me that he thought we were not exploiting others and that he wanted only to do a fairly innocuous piece about us. Over the course of months the writing turned into filming and ultimately channel 7 became involved and film crews and sensation began to shroud this process.

Throughout it all I hadn’t ever been so naïve as to think that (especially as David is a Christian Minister) his assessment of us would be in agreement with these teachings or our beliefs about who we are. I did however have the hope that he would find us to be honest and sincere (as I know we are). He certainly maintained this impression i.e. one of respect of us as people and disbelief at our claims. That is until Sunday. In his final interview with us David revealed how he really feels – that I am a manipulated mouse and that AJ is a dangerous tyrant preying on others.

I respect that David is able to form his own opinions of us and even to present these on national TV (although I can’t lie - the latter bit hurts badly). What I found to be the hardest thing though was the juxtaposition of treatment of us off camera, friendly, conversational and seemingly respectful, to on camera, condescending and belittling and attacking. I respect a person who is open and transparent. This was my aim throughout the entire process. That David was not, was and is distressing for me. In the end I do feel naïve. I feel betrayed. I feel my open heart was used and manipulated. I also know that these are my feelings and I placed no demand on David or his crew to act differently. I gave them the opportunity to be honest and loving – not to agree – but to at least portray as we are. They did not take this opportunity.

My deepest distress was the way in which David treated AJ. His assertions that AJ, not only has manipulated me into believing I am Mary Magdalene, but also that he lords it over others and induces everyone around him into believing that they have been abused in their childhoods, felt so attacking and unjust. I watch AJ give constantly and see him strive with deep humility to clear his remaining errors. He loves in the most pure way I have ever witnessed and living with him I can certainly testify to how much respect and care he has for everyone we encounter.

The truth is I have long been a cynic in the ways of the world. In fact when we were first approached by David (and two other TV stations) I did not want to have anything to do with cameras and interviews.

I decided though to challenge some of my old beliefs, to change, and to engage with some members of the media. I realised that to live this path would be to approach this process with an open heart, an open mind and with a vulnerable sharing of who I am. I decided not to hide behind cynicism and fear. For what are my beliefs if they only exist in a darkened cupboard? If I am ready to relinquish them in fear as soon as someone shines a light in and says ‘What is it you are doing in there?’ were they really there in the first place?

And how strong is my faith if I cannot realise that as long as I stay humble God is teaching me lessons of Love in every moment? And that, while it may seem dark and confusing everywhere around me, that God’s Truth and Love can be a beacon to follow, even if I don’t see a destination.

And if I refuse to give a journalist am opportunity to act lovingly and fairly in his or her dealings with me – aren’t I then simply judgemental myself?

So it is going to be painful to feel mis-portrayed, sensationalised and idiotic. I really am just a simple girl. I am so terrified of upsetting so many Christians and inciting fear and drama in the lives of others. But let me tell you of a quiet gift I am being given. While none of this went as I had hoped, while they will likely choose to vilify us instead of document our lives, I can rest in the knowledge that I made a different choice. I didn’t hide myself in fear and judgement of them. I chose to live with an open heart, the heart that allows choice in others, the heart that allows for hope. And while my open heart hurts right now, there is a new awakening in me. The ugly brace of cynicism, that has held me restricted like a vice for so long, cannot increase its hold while I stay feeling. If I stay breathing and grieving and feeling I can keep my heart open to whatever awaits. (And when God is in the picture something beautiful always awaits us). This is like a new dawning for me – feeling the hurt is worthwhile because (some may say ironically) through feeling the pain I am liberated from my awful, cynical world view. When we allow ourselves to grieve we also nurture our capacity to one day hope. It was my shutting down of this process that led me into my straight- jacket of cynicism and worldliness.

I am so afraid of attack, and unworthy of attention. I am so sad at my family’s rejection. But feeling all of these things keeps me in connection with God and others and prevents me curling up into a tiny ball and cocooning myself away from life.

The show goes to air on Sunday and until then I just have to remember to keep breathing, to keep feeling.

And to remember that most often when our belief systems are confronted we do get angry. I should know! I was so angry with AJ in the first year of our relationship I left him three times. The second year wasn’t much better – I fought and refuted, I questioned and doubted, I tried to control and limit his passion and his voice (if you want proof of this just watch a old DVD – there are many tell-tale signs!!). So how can I judge others if the very same thing that angered me also angers them? Isn’t it a quality of love to allow others to feel whatever it is they feel? When we step into the process of change, very often our first emotions are anger and bewilderment. As we deal with these emotions, many times without even realising it, we have already begun the process of growth. I don’t advocate anger, but I would be a hypocrite to judge those who have it and I would be forgetful if I didn’t recognise it as a stepping stone along my own journey.

The fact that we opened our home to these people, that David and his producer stayed in our very beds and ate our (vegan) meals, was only ever a product of our love. I never hid who I was or how I felt. Although we both knew that events may lead in this sensational and critical direction (and that scared me) I recognised that if I were to truly love I would be both open and vulnerable, without expectation. We both even made a point of noting to others in our company that their attempts to convert David and Tim to our beliefs were unloving and did not respect their free will.

On Sunday a very many people are going to see a highly edited version of my life. They are going to hear from people around the world, most of whom we have never even met, but who are extremely angry with us because of the behaviour of their family members who purport to follow this path. They may even interview my own brother.

I cannot hide that this is a time of intense fear and sorrow for myself. It may challenge you as well. My only prayer is that you let this process refine your relationship, not with us, but with God. All of our noise and talk is only ever with the intent that you may truly come to know God and to experience His Love. If this next phase we are stepping into makes you doubt us that’s truly OK with me. I pray that it won’t lead you away from God.

So as Sunday looms and I feel about so many people seeing me on TV – finding myself in a place I never thought I would EVER be – I keep reminding myself of these things:
-       Trust God
-       Keep Breathing
-       Remember Love & Compassion for others – especially those who attack
(stay humble to my own feelings and I won’t become rigid or defensive, if I love myself enough to stay connected to myself I will be able to love others more, while I hold onto grief I hold onto the pain that can be inflicted through attack, when I allow myself to grieve I create space to love ALL others)
-       Don’t expect myself to be perfect

During this process of interviews that has lasted three months and triggered me on so many levels I have forgotten those four things many, many times. I am not perfect and I am very afraid. My heart aches from a deep rocky hollow within me. I have a cavern in my chest that cries out at a life without my family and a life of Truth that challenges so very many. But amidst all of this also these grows a new hope, a vision of a life without fear of how others will view me, and that place would be liberating indeed.

‘God, please help me welcome this pain so that I may know you as my true parent.
Help me to remember that my relationship with You is the one that will teach me love and that the opinions and judgements of the world around me mean little if they take me away from you.’

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Its Worth It

Hey everyone,

I was given guidance some time ago that it would be worthwhile to document my spiritual and emotional progress on this Path, to demonstrate my grappling and hopefully eventually succeeding to again master this beautiful Way to know and connect to God. This blog is a part of my efforts to do that. So far, its been a great experience, to say the least! As I've shared at other times I'm fairly addicted to people thinking well of me and so sometimes all the blog honesty gets a little challenging for me. I hit the publish button and go into melt-down. (Think here - 'oh my God, how can anyone ever want to even know me after they read this and know how unloving, selfish, un-evolved, slow to get it etc, I am')

And there are the times when I receive not so lovely comments, yes sometimes even very nasty ones. Almost 100% of the comments that are cruel and lack any real respectful question or considered comment are anonymous. I feel that the internet is too often used as a way to distance ourselves from our own words, feelings. So in the case of the nasty comments I just feel my way through what they bring up. I refrain from posting hateful words when there are so many other places in cyberspace where people are able to do so.

One commenter recently told me I was self-involved, which stung, but hey as the big purple letters at the top of the page say it is 'My Story' so if this site wasn't full of me what would be the point?  But seriously, I do have a big ol' false belief that 'If I be myself, especially my sad and hurting self, noone will love me', so naturally there are times here (and elsewhere) where God gives me the opportunity to grieve that belief and replace it with a more Truthful newby.

I really do want to thank so many of you who have been supportive of me! Time and again I am overwhelmed and touched by each and every one of you who receive my broken, messed-up self with compassion and acceptance. Often you meet my vulnerability with your own, you encourage me, you challenge yourselves through these teachings. Truly, you inspire me and I love you all. Thank-you for helping me challenge that big ol' false belief in a loving way. 

As time goes on I'm really challenging myself to more and more authentic and vulnerable in this space. I do want to speak more of my identity, what remembering my first century and spirit life is like and tell you the story of my life, all of it. That thought is still uber-scary but I'm feeling more and more ready to share this deeply personal part of life and feelings. Stay tuned if you are interested.

Anyway I have digressed.. My point is that I know at times, with all my sharing of the tough stuff, it probably feels a bit heavy here which is why I wanted to share with you today how awesome I feel!

Today, after a week of big time processing to feel as I do, even just a little more liberated from my fears, is so beautiful.

Just over a week ago I was hit between the eyes with a big blunt truth about still wanting rebellion and even finding rebellious boys sexy. It hurt, big time. But by simply stepping down, through all the layers, I unlocked childhood grief and shame, first century memories, and now I sitting with these terrors of loving my man truly, madly and deeply. Even as I simply own these fears, in my body, I feel softer. It feels, dare I say it, liberating in a way that makes it all worth it. That smell of a sweeter, lasting freedom is wafting my way.

So I just wanted to let you know - Its Worth It!

And even more than that - You Are Worth It!

I have the words of this blog post printed at the front of my prayer folder. I read them everyday. I thank The Kindness Girl who wrote them and I thought perhaps you might like to read them as well.

Wishing you an awesome day filled with God's Love,

Your sister,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Reflections on 'Lawlessness', Confessions of a Rebel

Well its been quiet around here I know. There hasn't been much time for words on a screen. Life has been happening thick and fast and it feels to me that in the past two months a light bulb has gone on behind a kaleidoscope of emotional baggage, fears, anger, pain, resistance, unresolved addiction and projections still very much within me. And when I say kaleidoscope I'm not really visioning one with pretty colours! To be honest it feels murky and so very, very humbling. I've realised how hard I still try to present an image of myself that is more developed than what I truly am. I desperately seek to have 'gotten it' before I'm humble to feeling it, all of it. There is a desperation to not feel humiliated, less than, or alone that keeps me clinging to addictions.

I have had to admit that in my desire to keep avoiding all of these feelings, I am not truly loving or living this path as fully as I would like to tell myself I am. For if I did embrace it, I would realise, I would know, that there is only to simply feel these feelings completely, and that love and liberation waits patiently on the other side. That I do not do this (this feeling bit) nearly as often as you may imagine, only spells out to me how much my faith is still lacking in what I speak to you all so passionately about i.e. God's process designed to bring us home to Her.

On our trip home from Greece I was confronted with another truth about myself that adds to my resistance to God's Way. I realised how much a spirit of rebellion, and an attraction to 'lawlessness' and defiance has been a part of my life, indeed a part of my character that I have taken pride in. I used to be the kind of girl who would show up at a family gathering with a twinkle in her eye and convince everyone (including Nanna) that doing a tequila shot and dancing on the coffee table was the most fun we could ever have. I could always be relied on to start the dancing or the drinking or the tree climbing or the daring act that was just that little bit out of everyone's comfort zone. For a while there in my 20's I was the life of the party.  

I became a 'humanitarian'. I wore op-shop clothes, watched foreign films and went to folk festivals. I could (briefly) hold intelligent discussion on Middle Eastern politics, I could deliver to you (possibly over your delicious dinner in your comfortable home) lectures on international arms trade, infant mortality in Africa or the treatment of cattle in feedlots. I could even tell you who was to blame for it all - McDonald's & Starbucks, Imperialism & Nationalism, foreign policy, the ignorant western masses, Bush, Blair & Howard. In my smug state of being 'aware' and 'informed' I bought fair trade products, and wanted to meet more and more interesting people (read - similar rebellious spirits who shared or had only a slightly different take on my own philosophies) and I planned to spend my entire life traveling the world and helping refugees and having 'experiences'. I didn't want connection, I wanted to live. And if I had any sense of sincere self reflection back then I would have had to question why I thought the two were mutually exclusive.

I was a post-modernist girl with no clear take on spirituality or life. In short, the truth is - I was angry. I couldn't figure life out, but I felt I had to, in fact I felt driven to. I felt oppressed by my family's emotional demands, inside I felt worthless and I didn't want to feel either of those things, I didn't really know how. So  I simply found a lifestyle that provided a sort of 'socially acceptable' way to live in my anger, the kind of rebellion that my Dad approved of. To add to that I got to feel pretty cool and worldly about it all (read - shove that silly girl who feels like she doesn't fit in further down into a dark corner, keep her out of sight). I was feeding an image of myself that was illogical and unloving, believing it to be conscious, enlightened and educated. I was angry and lashing out in ways I didn't even understand. I thought I desired to love and heal the world but I was full of judgement towards 'wrong-doers' and condescension towards basically everyone who didn't share my views.

More than that, I found rebellion sexy. I believed that rebellion meant freedom and, wow, do I want freedom. A man whose own emotional condition validates and expresses my state of rage with the world; a man who lives in the state I have craved, i.e. the perceived freedom of no attachment, no emotional engagement, no pressure on me to give (which really means not that interested in connecting with me), well that kind of man has been my ideal.

Its been a big deal for me to admit how much these emotions are still driving my life, my attitude to relationships and most especially my connection with my soulmate, Yeshua. He, who is gentle and kind and patient with me, I push away because I still want to guard my heart. I want to demand that he live in rebellion with me so that I never have to face and feel how emotionally demanding my parents always were. I feel that my entire role in life was to make them feel whole and happy. And in the end, because this damaging role stifled the development of my own sense of self, I began to rely on them to make me feel happy and whole. It created a horrible dynamic in which I felt oppressed and smothered but also bound to them to reassure me that I was OK and loveable. So now, when AJ loves and longs for me I just want to keep the walls up. I'm terribly afraid that instead of giving me love he will be taking from me in the same way my parents did. The sad irony of such a state is that I become the person always taking reassurance and never giving anything. 

I have really understood now why all of my previous relationships have been with guys who weren't desperately in love with me... it feels like a scary place.. 

I know that the way to heal this resistance to loving and allowing myself to be loved is to place the hurt and oppression where it belongs (in my childhood) and to feel it. Until I do, I keep expecting everyone to be like my parents, i.e. needy and emotionally demanding. When in fact I see rationally, that no-one in my life, and especially not my mate, is really like them. This is the damaging power of unhealed emotions.

I see more and more the resistance that I, and our entire society has, to just acknowledging where the true hurt has come from. I believe it is because we fear the anger and rejection from the people who we have always wanted to love us the most (our parents) when we finally feel the truth of what they did in the name of 'love'. So instead, we live in the anger and, if you are like me, we find a way to blame God and blame society for oppressing us, instead of taking the hurt home, to the space where the real grief of oppression lives; to the little girl who doubts her own worth and feels exhausted from providing to her parents.


My soulmate once said (slightly famously) that we should seek to 'be in the world but not of it'

I believe he meant that while we may exist here, in this realm, that is largely dictated by fear and vengeance, we have the choice to walk as gentle ambassadors of God's Peace and Promise here on earth; that we may be surefooted in His Grace; not full of the pain and punishment of the world but most certainly present amidst it, loving and forgiving it all.

I have felt in the past week that I don't even want to be in the world. I don't want to feel the hurt and potential for harm. I don't want my heart to open wide to love and share and long and create because I refuse to be humble to the pain that is already there within it. I don't feel that I can be free amongst the projections and rejections, the expectations and demands of the world... or do I mean... my family? Instead I want rebellion, I want to hold onto the belief that I can only be liberated while I hold my heart back. I fear being depleted by the hooks I have, the sensitivity I feel; only I do not let myself feel it is the depletion of the past that I still carry that burdens me.

It is somewhat energizing (amongst the shame and sadness) to simply recognize and own how much I want freedom. My soul literally cries out for it. In my haste to 'grow up' and 'know it all' I have believed that the sweet smell of this exotic animal, has wafted towards me as a danced on a table or smoking pot on a balcony in a far off city. Slowly I am coming to see that this scent of 'freedom' was merely a cheap perfume, that left me with a rash of shame and a pit of unresolved anger in my belly bordering on hatred. I have yearned to be 'lawless' in an attempt to break the chains that lie not only on the globe around me, but the ones concreted into deep places in my heart. I have learned that no matter how much I rebel, how much I run, or how much I mold myself into the kind of rebel that even Mummy and Daddy would 'love', I still feel confined, I still feel smothered and unable to embrace my true desires, lest I loose the approval of those around me. I raced out into the world to find my 'freedom', only to discover that I carried within me terrible feelings I could not escape. No matter how much I have tried to act out my rebellion there has remained in me the feeling that I am not free. My desire to be 'lawless' is bound up with wanting my daddy's love, while at the same time I  desperately attempt to escape the burden of caring for and sharing in his emotions.

I am yet to embrace again in my heart the knowledge that true, and lasting, beautiful and ever-expanding freedom comes from becoming a child who loves Law. I believe that there is a distant memory of this place stored within my soul. A feeling, a remembering of joining and creativity with my mate, of a capacity to love and give that was only made possible through a willingness to be humble and respect the Laws that a loving Parent had set in place. This kind of freedom is sexy - its sexy in an alive, vibrant, and engaged way. There is a voraciousness for life and loving of your mate that sustains itself because every part of you desires to move in harmony with Love and Law and to express and share your own self with that other part of you.

My guides say it best:

'Sister, you must come again to the emotional acknowledgement of God's infinite Love, Wisdom and Justice in designing the laws that govern our existence. You did not always find such acknowledgment weak! On the contrary you found this reassuring, safe, you took joy in honouring and acknowledging God's Greatness and Goodness and your own pleasure was heightened at your capacity to grow and develop in the fastest, most expansive and loving way when you recognised and obeyed His Laws. Your soulmate has remembered such Truths and experience. There is great strength in that and it is only your links to D's emotions of rebellion and 'tantrum', his complete lack of desire to take any responsibility for his life or actions that you absorbed and observed as a role model that keeps you bound to your judgements of 'lawfulness'. 

You do not trust that your true Father is good beyond measure and would not set in place laws that keep you small, weak-minded, weak or stifle your uniqueness. You have not yet come to acknowledge again that abiding by God Laws actually enhances and promotes your unique expression and passions. They, by their very nature, encourage and support you to discover the unique, magnificent, creature God created each of us to be.'