By Rachel Mascord BDS (Hons), Dentist, Five Dock, Sydney.
For most of my life health was something that I pursued, thinking that I did not have it, and that if I did have it, my life would be nothing short of amazing and I would be able to sit back and cruise through anything, free from all worry and care.
From the time of being a very little child I was sick, almost all of the time. I had bad croup as a baby that developed into very bad asthma as a 4 year old. This caused a lot of alarm in my family. My mother wanted so much for me to be healthy, that health started to feel like that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – a prize somehow beyond reach.
What did I think health was? What did I imagine it would bring me? Somewhere along the way I had developed a sense that it meant I would be very robust and tough, able to withstand anything that life threw at me – a sort of Superwoman-like capacity to handle life and its physical challenges.
As I got older and able to fund my own pursuit of that elusive health notion, I entered a rambling journey that had me engaging with many and various doctors, and when that failed, through the strange world of alternative therapists. I ate bizarre foods, juiced undrinkable concoctions, grew my own wheat grass and supplemented myself, took on eccentric practices…yet health eluded me and I became sicker and sicker. In my version of what health was, my body became my enemy, a dysfunctional mass of tissues, deeply flawed and wrong at its most fundamental level. In pursuing this notion of health I entered into a war against myself.
In 2007 I came across the work of Serge Benhayon, and the school Universal Medicine. Battle weary and with the body carrying the scars of a hundred alternative pursuits and the deep wounds of self loathing, I listened to the words of Serge Benhayon, and it was as though a light, long forgotten, ignited inside of me.
Over the years the teachings of this man started to break down the ideal of health that I had constructed – the mass of lies that had kept me running anxiously in an endless round of pursuits; a mouse, exhausted on a wheel that takes it nowhere, no matter how hard it runs. And more than the teachings that he delivered in word, were the teachings he delivered through the way he lived, the way he moved, the relationships he had with other people, the way he put on gloves and warm scarf in cool weather with such tenderness and such a deep level of care for himself…and the way he was always present with himself, knowing himself to be so deeply worthy of that.
The other aspect of Serge that inspired and continues to inspire me is his capacity for service to humanity, the like of which is beyond anything I have ever seen in another human being. What I started to feel was the quality of a life lived from the innermost essence – its beauty, grace and absolute commitment.
Is that the meaning of health, I started to wonder? Not an endpoint marked with an invincibility that makes us rough and careless with ourselves, but found in a deep level of commitment to ourselves, and our bodies, and consequently to all other people?
This is something I have started to explore for myself, and gosh has it been a slow process to scrub away the notion of physical perfection that I believed health to be. But how much simpler and more honest is it to allow the body to be as it is? To allow it to speak to us through its illnesses and diseases and aches and pains that let us know exactly the way we are treating it and consequently the way we are living. This new understanding of health has called for a far greater level of awareness and care and far greater acceptance of how I am feeling, free from judgment and the aspiration to a “greater” state. My sicknesses have become a blessing, not to be judged, eliminated so that I can just get on with it, or indulged for attention. I go to the doctor, get the tests that are needed and take the necessary medications or have the procedures carried out as needed. But I also see those sicknesses as signposts to the choices that have taken me away from who I truly am – the real illness.
So what then is health? Is it as simple as living all of who I am, from my essence, with no perfection, just love, acceptance and the deepening commitment to that?
My life is the exploration of this possibility, no more a mouse on a wheel, but a human being willing to look within, to the divine spark that was re-ignited that first day of meeting Serge Benhayon – the day I came home.