by Anonymous, Australia
As a kid I was totally confused. I grew up in a religious family and we always attended mass. I listened to many sermons that spoke about respect, love, compassion, solidarity, faith and how to treat others. These sermons were conducted by a priest who most of the kids found pretty scary, the words he shared were clearly not what he lived, yet no-one questioned this. My parents were very well respected in the parish community. Everyone told me I had wonderful parents because they helped out and did a lot for the church and were very nice. What I struggled with as a child was that all of these things were spoken about in church yet in day-to-day life people weren’t living loving relationships.
My parents were good people but they had no idea how to show any affection or true love. My mum had a very abusive childhood and was holding these issues which then impacted on all her relationships. She wasn’t coping with her past and so was not able to really connect or have deep relationships with anyone in her adult life. It was saddening to watch how her relationships with her siblings were in constant turmoil and how the family started to break down and family members who were once close refused to have anything to do with each other. As a child I would question her about this and ask why she wasn’t speaking to her sisters. I would question why in church we were told to love our family yet they wouldn’t even speak to each other. She was never able to answer that.
I then grew up with similar issues that I took into adulthood. I didn’t trust anyone and therefore I didn’t develop close relationships with people. If I was hurt, I too would also shut people out of my life and not deal with the issue. I got by and developed a successful career and just accepted that this was how life was to be. That was until I started to have sessions at the Universal Medicine clinic. These sessions supported me to become aware of how I was carrying all my undealt with emotions in everything I did and in all of my interactions. I started to feel how much I was shutting people out and how underneath that I actually did want to connect with people and have loving and supportive relationships. Despite growing up with a strong religious background I had never experienced loving and supportive relationships until this point in my life. The sessions at the Universal Medicine clinic supported me to address issues I had been avoiding and carrying my whole life. I had grown up believing that there was something wrong with me because my mum wasn’t able to love me so I developed many issues from this. With the support of the Universal Medicine practitioners I got to see that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. But I now needed to take responsibility for the choices I had made and I was now in a position to choose what the quality of my life and relationships would be. I now have an amazing life and very deep and loving relationships. I am now able to love my parents and family members in a way that they were never able to show me. At times they find this challenging as they are still holding issues that prevent them from really connecting with others and allowing loving relationships.
My parents are now more heavily involved in the church and are still considered very respected members of the community. They often go on overseas missionary trips to help out in underprivileged countries. However they still continue to struggle in their personal relationships and marriage. These missionary trips to help others can be used to mask their own issues for a while but when they return the ‘good’ feeling from helping others doesn’t last and they are quickly planning their next trip to avoid feeling their own pain and hurt that they carry. In the moments when my mum does stop, she will ask what I am doing differently and she expresses that she does want contact with her family. She has shared that she doesn’t want to face how she has been with them so for now she continues to use other ways to not deal with this. I do ponder on what is the real quality of what she is doing in these other countries, if she is not able to love herself and those she lives with, then how can love be expressed in what she does? This is not a judgment on her, I love her but I also see the pain she carries daily and how her religious faith has allowed this to stay as long as she is seen to be doing good.