I grew up with parents who were divorced and in no way amicable by the time I was 5 years old and so this was my first introduction to relationships. Subsequent observations of couples, including my family, the media and surrounding community, left me similarly disillusioned and uninspired. Granted, I did see the loving elements within the pairings, but overall I was underwhelmed by the not so subtle undertones of frustration, tolerance and comfort that seemed to morph and dilute most relationships into convenient arrangements.
Despite this awareness, however, during my teenage years I began to dabble with the prospect of a partner. I found many deeply sweet companions, yet I was always left wanting for a missing, indefinable spark, so the duration of most encounters was a mere three months or so, thereby avoiding the momentum of dull normalcy and the inadvertent repetition of habitual and mundane behaviours to pass the time.
Inside I had the yearning for something more than the sense of security provided by finding a comfortable accomplice with whom to watch films, eat food and carve out a life.
As a young adult I was introduced to the philosopher and presenter Serge Benhayon. When we talked I felt a deep care, friendship and support I had never before experienced. Feeling this quality, I began to make changes in my behaviour and alter my daily repetitive choices. The results were a drastic reduction in my acne, the loss of over ten kilograms and the complete dissipation of an underlying depression that tormented silently while invisible to most others. Through developing self love, gradually I stopped consuming alcohol, began to refine my diet to omit sugar, salt, gluten and dairy, worked on long held issues of lack of self worth and began to speak out and express more of myself in the world. No longer was I confined by notions of ‘normalcy’ of what it meant to be a young Australian woman from the beachside party, tourist and consumer driven Gold Coast.
Temporally aware of how these choices were at odds with the dominant Australian culture, I resigned myself to the life of a single woman. I shared this ‘capping’ choice with Serge once: he seemed completely unpersuaded, looking me in the eye and said with an absolute and exact knowing conviction that I would be in a relationship. By this time I had observed all of Serge’s sharings come to pass and be proven true. Yet I looked at him doubtfully and thought to myself, “Well, he can’t get it all right,” and dismissively moseyed out of the session completely unconvinced and unfazed.
It was only with hindsight I saw that this lack of real openness to a relationship was due to my protection of old hurts and long held ideals about what a relationship was and how a man should be. Prior to questioning my own perceptions around relationships, I was convinced I needed a burley, bald, muscly Bruce Willis type. Yet closer inspection revealed this was only to avoid feeling and thereby masking how bloated, unfeminine and protected I felt. Thankfully with time I let go of these limiting criteria and instead chose to deal with my negative self-perceptions in place of seeking a partner who wouldn’t bring up my issues.
Fast-forward some time into the future and Jonathan Baldwin enters the scene: a sweet, unassuming, observant and resolute young man attending his first retreat held by Universal Medicine. We got along well and developed a close friendship that lasted years. We enjoyed the openness and depth of conversation possible through our joint interest in Serge’s presentations, creating a level of intimacy in communication that I had not yet experienced. We discussed everything in depth, with a resolve to develop a united understanding of life, our development and the overall splendour the world offers by reflection. With this richness in appreciation and expression, our everyday interactions took on an unprecedented fullness. The mundanity was replaced by an exquisite contentment. There was so much pleasure to be had in walking together, cooking together, watching a film or shopping.
This friendship prospered and was nourished by observing the gorgeous reflections of relationships around us as inspiration. The deep love, care and celebration of Serge and Miranda Benhayon was unmatched in all the world and stood as a testament to what was possible: their consistency never wavering and their livingness always so resolute.
Through the direct support of everything that has thus far been initiated by Serge Benhayon, Jonathan and I express everything we feel without fear of rejection or reprisal. We build ourselves to forever deepening levels of love and true responsibility. We share the most precious friendship and quite frankly, cherish and appreciate each other like crazy. We need neither space from one another nor distance as every moment offers so much.
I can say unassailably, that from Serge Benhayon’s friendship, support and lived reflection, I am able to enjoy the most profound and solid relationship with a gorgeously articulate wise and committed, slim gentleman with a full head of hair. There is no question that otherwise this would be nowhere near as deep or fulfilling.