by Jane Keep, UK
Some years ago, I believed that getting ill was a sign of weakness, and that going to the doctor was not necessary. I was strongly independent, and pushed hard to keep going, feeling that if I got ill, or used my local health services, that meant I had done something wrong, and that others might judge me. I also went through a phase where I didn’t want to use any pharmaceutical medicines, as I wanted to avoid putting ‘toxins’ into my body. There were times when I had an infection or an ache or a pain and I would struggle through, trying to find some natural remedy, which usually didn’t work. I prided myself when I spoke to colleagues and friends that I rarely saw my doctor and, looking back this was rather odd, as I have worked in the National Health Service (NHS) for 33 years, in many forms of care environments, yet I never actually considered that I myself may need support or care from the NHS or my local doctor (General Practitioner /GP) at any time.
Thirteen years ago, I was very sick, with a number of illnesses – all of which I had consistently ignored until the day when I woke up and I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt so ill that I realised that I had no option but to seek some form of support. I didn’t want support from my local health services, and sought the support of a herbalist. I realised I needed to get time off work as I could hardly sit, yet stand, so working was out of the question. I went to my local doctor and asked for some sick leave, which she agreed to on the proviso I checked in with her fortnightly. She asked that I had some blood tests, but I refused all her offers except for the certificate to take time off work. Over a number of months of bed rest, and support from a herbalist I did actually improve, though looking back, I got back to a level of function, though I wasn’t really well, and I wasn’t able to get back to physical exercise for 2 years, and had to work part time for a year. I still didn’t consult my doctor any further than getting a sick note.
A few years later I went to a workshop presented by Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine, and for the first time in my life, I realised that there was something about the way I was living that was not at all right, but until that moment I hadn’t been willing to look at my own life and daily living choices. I didn’t smoke, rarely drank alcohol, had never taken drugs, didn’t take pharmaceuticals, ate organic food, and was back to being fully functional. I had prided myself at being stoic, seemingly well, and so why would I need to look at my life, let alone the way I was living? However, at this workshop, and a number of subsequent workshops presented by Serge Benhayon, I felt as though a mist was lifting and that I was starting to truly feel how un-well I actually was. I could feel somewhere deep inside me that what Serge Benhayon was presenting, whether it was about considering food choices, or the natural rhythms of our body, (for example, going to bed by 9 pm) made sense. At the same time, I could also feel my own resistance to truly feeling how I was living, and, that the way I was living was running me ragged. Never once did Serge Benhayon tell me or anyone else to follow what he presented, he merely shared his own experiences, and it was always up to me to discern whether what he shared made sense or not.
One day, after having attended a number of workshops, I became aware of how constantly tired, depleted, and exhausted I was, how sad I felt, and, how I did actually have some health problems that I had just taken for granted, as ‘part of being human’, and I hadn’t ever wondered why those health problems consistently blighted my life. I had endometriosis (for 20 years), with excruciatingly painful periods, I had eczema, asthma, food allergies, regular bouts of rhinitis, and constipation to name a few, but I just managed them, struggled through and thought they were just part of ‘the deal’ of daily living. So, on this particular day I asked myself – what if there was a different way of looking at this? What if there was more that I could do to support myself in my daily life? That day I decided to have a go at looking at how I was living; after all, it couldn’t make my life any worse, and it may just support me if I took time to look at how I was caring for myself. And that was a day that began to change my life.
From there on, I started bit by bit to look at how I was living, from my food choices, to whether I was adequately hydrated, to how much rest I allowed, to giving it a go to go to bed earlier, and to taking more care and attention in the way I planned and prepared for my busy working days. Over a number of years, I started to feel different, and, what I would call ‘well’ for the first time that I could remember. My eczema, asthma, rhinitis dissipated, and I slowly started to feel less depleted. During this time I undertook a PhD study on self care at work (selfcare at work part 1 and part 2 ), as I also realised from observing my work colleagues, that I was not alone, and many others I worked with didn’t seem to pay attention to the way they lived or their daily work choices. I also realised that some of the things that I changed, such as going to bed by 9 pm ( as I have written about on this blog) felt really natural, and that my body had always wanted me to go to bed at this time. It really was beneficial, and now I absolutely cherish going to bed by 9pm as a deeply self-caring way to live.
Some months ago, I was feeling tired, and for the first time in a long time I was drawn to go along to see my local doctor. As I arrived at the surgery I could for the first time feel how supportive and self-caring it was to go to my doctor. I spoke to her about my tiredness, that I was going into menopause, and that something just didn’t feel right in my body. We agreed that I would have a whole battery of blood tests, and other tests, to get a fuller understanding of what was going on in my body. The doctor was very supportive, and took time to organise these tests for me. As I left the surgery I cried, as I realised how many times I had ignored my impulse to go to the doctor for support, and how going to my doctor is actually deeply self-regarding. A week later my GP phoned me to tell me that there was something in my bloods and suggested a way forward, which again for the first time I agreed to proceed with (as I usually discounted much of what any doctors in the past had said to me). Actually I was relieved to realise that there had been something that needed my deeper attention and that with the help of the GP I was able to take care of it. Some months later during a presentation at Universal Medicine I then realised that it is actually natural that the physical body does get sick, or does need medical attention, and, I could for myself feel just how normal that was – that at times, just as in my experience with my bloods, my body had got sick, and did need support, not just from me, but from others e.g. my doctor.
Where am I going to with this? I had a deeply ingrained view that medicine was for others, and that being ill was weak. At the same time I didn’t really take care of myself on a daily basis in a way that supported my body. Serge Benhayon by his presentations, but more so by the inspiration he offered in the way he lives, and in the way he is when he presents, offered me an opportunity to realise that I too could change the way I was living if I was prepared to take a look at my daily living choices. In choosing to look at my daily living choices over a few years, I got to understand deeply how many things in life are self loving, and one of these was that it is actually deeply self caring to go to my doctor and get support when I need to, and, that getting sick was my body’s way of alerting me that something about the way I was living was not working. The combined effects of attending Universal Medicine workshops, and, choosing to take care of myself on a daily basis enabled me to realise the importance of recognising when I was unwell, and also that asking my local GP for support was a very loving choice, and a natural part of taking care of myself. During these last few months I also now enjoy my regular visits to my local dentist, the dental hygienist, as well as my local optician, and I can honestly say I feel very supported in my life. Esoteric Medicine has a role to play in our health and wellbeing as does Western Medicine. Together as I am experiencing they are a very powerful combination.