The Constitution of the United States of Being
Just for the record, I’m not a highly enlightened guru-type individual. I’m about as far from ‘perfect’ as anyone can get and I’ve done plenty of things in my life that I’m not proud of; things that have caused me to feel great pain, shame and loss, and I know I’ve caused others pain in the process too. Still, I’ve always considered myself to be a good person, though I have (and still can) get out-of-control, frustrated and stressed at times. So, before you dive into this book with me, you should know a little about my background and personality, just so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
I’m a recovering compulsive overeater with an addiction to sugar and white flour products. My addiction is no different to that of an alcoholic or a drug addict. For me, there is no such thing as being able to have just one biscuit or just one ice cream, or just one extra helping at dinner. Compulsive overeating, binging, and food addiction is real and it’s deadly. My favourite food is chocolate, so as you can imagine, it kills me that I can’t eat it, but I know it will kill me if I do. Life sucks sometimes.
I’m compulsive in other ways too. I jump into anything I feel good about without always taking stock of the possible consequences. I’m fiery and passionate, and that gets me into hot water at times too. When I give my heart, I give it completely and up until recently I’ve usually given it to the people who are least likely to love me back. I’m menopausal now, but those who’ve known me for more than a few years would probably swear I’d been born hormonal and that the condition is a constant and permanent one! Sometimes I’d agree with them.
Depression is something I’ve suffered with since childhood, though it wasn’t really diagnosed until I was in my late 20’s. The worst times of depression were through my school years when I was bullied relentlessly and lived a life filled with fear so great that years later I can still feel the utter terror when I think of it.
I attempted suicide when I was seventeen and have seriously contemplated it a number of times since but I only feel that way when I’m very depressed. These days, I don’t consider suicide to be a viable option for me. 99% of the time I love my life, and I want to live to become one of those feisty, eccentric old ladies in a big old house with cats perched on the window sills and a rose garden for holding soirees on Sunday afternoons, surrounded by music and interesting creative folk. I intend to eat chocolate on my eightieth birthday.
In my late 20’s when I terminated a pregnancy, the depression and overeating hit really badly. It was a frightening and disorienting spiral that drove me close to insanity. I went on anti-depressants for a while but they made me feel numb and I wandered through those many months feeling like a zombie. I live on either end of the emotional spectrum and I’d rather feel really depressed sometimes than feel nothing at all. So, for better or worse, I gave anti-depressants the flick.
Post-natal depression felt like drowning. That was in my late 30’s when my beautiful son was born, and it lasted several years. I was in the throes of my food addiction, my relationship with my son’s father had broken down, and I felt completely out of control, helpless and alone.
In the past few years, deep depression hit me again when I suffered a business disaster and found myself deeply in debt and on the brink of bankruptcy. I was lucky. By that stage I had begun to discover the truth about my eating issues and had found help to address them. I stopped overeating, stopped consuming sugar and flour products and had more control over my behaviour and emotions. Though still deeply in debt as I write this, I am free of the crippling depression and compulsive overeating that ruled me for so many years, and I feel excited and positive about the next chapter of my life.
I’m a fairly ‘matter-of-fact’ person in some ways, but I’m a hopeless (hopeful?) dreamer and idealist in many others. I sometimes drive myself (and those around me) crazy, but all in all, I do feel that I’ve come a long way. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m proud to be able to say that at least consciously, and perhaps even subconsciously, I’m becoming fearless.
I love wholeheartedly and without reservation. If I love you, it will be forever and I will give you anything you want if it is within my power. My heart rules me. I often wish my head had more of a say but it often loses the argument. Such is my life. Actually, with all the ups and downs, I wouldn’t change any of it now. My experiences have created me as I am today – and I like who I’ve become and who I’m becoming. I’m not afraid of the future anymore.
I like the person I see in the mirror. I’m strong and resilient, and finally, after years of hating myself, I can now admire the survivor I see each morning as I’m applying my makeup. I can frown over a new line developing on my forehead and then smile as I appreciate my perfect imperfection.
There are many great teachers I’ve learned from along the way but the greatest of these have been the ones closest to me; my parents, my sister, my beautiful beloved friends and even the bullies and abusers over the years, have taught me how to love myself and treat myself and others in a compassionate, respectful and honourable way. I’m still evolving – and I expect that I always will, because that is the very nature of Being-ness. In the meantime, all these experiences have shaped me into a loving mother to my son, an inspiring and motivating coach and mentor to my clients and a capable and positive person to be around. Even if I do say so myself!
So, this is me in a nutshell; loving, passionate, creative and occasionally crazy.
You’ve been warned. 🙂
I’ve been a ‘Writer’, in one form or another, since I could hold a pen. In my early teens I wrote poetry as a release, an escape from the hideous life of fear and bullying. I always loved music so I learned how to play chords on the piano and started writing songs when I was fifteen or sixteen. Writing soothed me through every challenge that life threw at me and through every roadblock I threw up in front of myself. It still does.
In 1998, I was inspired to write a piece I called ‘Guidelines for a Successful Life’. I just sat down one day and the words tumbled out like they were being dictated to me. It took twenty minutes to write it – and that included a basic manual edit for spelling, punctuation and grammar. It was a magical experience.
Writing the ‘Guidelines’ felt like receiving a gift from Spirit. Here was a sort of ‘code of conduct’, not ‘Rules’ but statements of profound truth that offered me a path to become a better person. They inspired me to follow my dreams, encouraged me to accept and appreciate the way I interact with myself and others, and regardless of challenges and situations that arise, remain true to myself. I only wish I had done more than merely view the Guidelines with awed wonder back then. Perhaps, if I’d really studied them and worked harder at living according to the advice they gave, I wouldn’t have had to go through the pain and self-destruction that I continued to create for myself for many more years.
‘Guidelines for a Successful Life’ was published in a small New Age magazine in my home town in 1998 and received a nice response, but nothing ever really came of it. I’ve always liked the premise of it though, so ten years later, in 2008, I shared it with the publishing company I was with at that time, but again, nothing came of it. I’m so glad the Universe/God/All That Is saw a greater vision for the Guidelines.
I was never really happy with the title, and I knew there was more I needed to do but not knowing what that was, I decided to release it to Universal Energy and move on with other things. God doesn’t pull any punches with me so I figured that when It was ready to reveal the answer, I’d get the message pretty quickly – and I did – four years later, and fourteen years after I wrote the thing. In 2012, in the space of a few hours and with three separate and unrelated incidents, I was given the answer.
3pm: Waiting for my son to come out of school. I was sitting next to some mothers who were discussing an ailment of a relative when one of them suggested that the sufferer had always had a weak constitution. I remember it clearly because it’s not a term used much these days when referring to the human physical condition.
4pm: School Council meeting. During the meeting we were discussing the sudden resignation of a Council member. We had to pull out the School Council’s Constitution to look up the procedures we needed to follow.
6pm: World News on TV. I was making dinner and as usual the only news being shared was ‘The Bad News’ so I headed for the remote control as some US political reporter was droning on. “…the congressman stated that he believed the proposed law was unconstitutional and…”.
I hit the ‘mute’ button with relief. “Huh.” I thought. “That was kind of curious.” Three times in the past few hours I’d heard the same word repeated and it stuck in my mind. I don’t believe in coincidence so wondering what it meant, I finished preparing the meal and sat down with my son to eat.
Later that evening, I was perched at my laptop typing away at a novel I’d started (and am yet to finish). Rummaging around my computer for some information I’d researched, I navigated to the folder on my computer desktop that contains all my poems, articles and other written works, when I accidently clicked on the wrong file and, you guessed it, “Guidelines for a Successful Life” popped up on my screen.
I stared at it blankly for about twenty seconds, and then time stood still.
If there’s one thing the Source Of All Things excels at, its persistence. It had taken three hits and an upper cut but I finally ‘got it’. My ‘Guidelines’ were like a Constitution; A structure for living life well, a means of lovingly and appropriately managing the combined physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of myself… a Constitution for the United States of my Being.
I can see that the Constitutional Statements are not about gaining perfection. Trust me, that will never happen, nor should we want it to. Perfection means we stop learning, evolving, expanding. No thanks! I love the visceral, lush fertility of imperfection! The Constitution of the United States of Being is a navigational tool, a means by which we can travel our life’s path in safety and with joy regardless of the pot holes and rock falls we encounter along the way.
As well as changing the title from ‘Guidelines for a Successful Life’ to ‘The Constitution of the United States of Being’ (throughout the book I refer to it simply as the CUSB), I felt a deep desire to make a few minor changes to the text, mostly with the language used and to clarify a couple of the points. This was an intuitive move, the changes as inspired as when I wrote the original Guidelines fifteen years ago. My understanding of All That Is and How It Works has grown in that time, so when I reread the Guidelines so many years later I could ‘feel’ a deeper, clearer meaning behind the original wording. Perhaps, in time to come, God will inspire more changes in the wording of the Statements. Perhaps they, like us, are meant to evolve too. After all, most Constitutions undergo review and change from time to time. I have included the original ‘Guidelines for a Successful Life’ in the back of the book as a reference.
A Constitution contains instructions to follow in order to maintain said Constitution, so to me, it made sense that each Statement in the Constitution of the United States of Being should be the basis for a chapter. By taking a deeper look at what each Statement means and choosing how best to implement it, we can create a life of joy, inner peace and self-love regardless of what the world throws at us.
I love the synchronicity of this Constitution. I love the way that whilst each Statement stands on its own as powerful and thought-provoking, they also blend with each other, mix ‘n’ match style. Every Statement alludes to at least one other, so used together they can help us create a brilliant and beautiful montage for our lives; a blazing prominent backdrop in a painting titled ‘Happy and Successful Life’.
You’ll note that throughout the book I refer to God in many different ways; Universal Energy, All That Is, Source Of All Things, God, Spirit, Soul-Self, Divine Self, Universal God Force and a few others. I don’t want to be tied to one definition. I’ve yet to come across a definition that, for me, truly encompasses the sheer magnitude, grace and power of the Eternal Force that drives all things. So I use a variety of terms, but they all mean the same thing. Choose what works for you.
Of course, the implementation choices in this book are mine and based on my life experience, but I like to think they are as inspired by God as the original Guidelines were. You can implement the Constitutional Statements my way, your way, or not at all. The choice is yours – and as Statement #12 suggests, your choice will always be right.
Love, light & blessings,