Category Archives: Friendship

Lena

Our friend Lena passed into the spirit world on Friday morning, 19th March 2021.

Elena Shakanova

Lena worked with us in Divine Truth for around 8 years. During that time she helped with video recording, video editing, office inquiries, studio cleaning and maintenance, volunteer training and equipment care and storage.

Lena is a hard worker and we are grateful for her contributions towards helping us gift Divine Truth to others. She wants others to have the opportunity to hear God’s Truth.

While Lena often finds it difficult to trust others and feel the love others have for her, over the years I came to know her and I appreciate many things about her nature and character. Some of our favourite times with Lena include when she allows her unique way of seeing the world and God’s Truth to shine through. We have often enjoyed her analogies and hearing about the particular elements of a teaching or channelling that strike a cord or create a ‘light bulb moment’ for her.

Lena is always practical, good with manual tasks, and willing to give anything new a try even if she is afraid. She has a great deal of courage about new experiences. She takes personal responsibility very seriously and is neat, tidy, and very thorough, and this continues to show through in most aspects of her life.

Jesus and I encourage Lena to express herself freely when in our company, and we really enjoy her unique personality and humour that shows through during those moments.

She has an artistic nature which was often expressed when she was editing our videos. We also see her bring her sense of style and art to almost every area of her life, including her personal artwork, her fashion, her flair for food preparation and presentation, and the way she uses decor in her home. Lena has an eye for detail and aesthetics and would often notice a problem with a camera shot or fix our hair (we don’t really notice those things). She would remember where an item of equipment was kept and she was a thoughtful gift giver, often noticing something about me and giving accordingly.

Lena
Lena Recording VSP Meeting
Lena1
P1050086

Lena’s childhood experiences growing up in Russia were difficult and triggered her courage and desire to leave Russia on her own as a teenager and experience life in other places of the world. She lived for a time in America before settling in Australia where she met and married Igor.

Lena often commented about her early experience of Russian society and the way that women are sexualized by men in their families and in general society and how women, including mothers, train their daughters to meet the sexual expectations of men. This treatment had a large impact on Lena and the development of her illness, cervical cancer.

Like all of us, before we become at-one with God, Lena has unhealed emotions and addictions. It is her avoidance of some of these addictions and emotions that created her illness. From the time we met Lena and Igor in 2010 we were always talking with them about these relationship issues and the impact not dealing with them would have on their future lives.

In 2014 Lena told us that precancerous cells had been found. Since then we have had many discussions with her and Igor about the emotional causes of cervical cancer. We talked about her suppressed anger about having to please men sexually and the childhood events that led to her belief that she had to do that. In 2017 we asked Igor to no longer work with us because we were concerned about his attitude and behaviour towards Lena and women generally. We felt he needed time away from us to decide whether he wanted to deal with those problems. At the same time we spoke with Lena about her eagerness to comply with a man’s demands and refusal to confront the man’s treatment of her even when she felt it was unloving.

In late 2018, Jesus and I asked Lena to stop working with us so that she could focus entirely on releasing these addictions and her hurt emotions. Since Igor was no longer living with her, she was attempting to enter the same addictions with other men, including Jesus, and using her work with Divine Truth to avoid the realities of her illness. We told her we were very concerned about her desire to deny and ignore emotions that continued to harm her and that were developing into major physical problems. We told her that without dealing with them properly she would die from cancer. Although reluctant, Lena saw the points that we were raising with her and made some decisions to change her life and deal more directly with her illness.

In the intervening years we have kept in touch, visited Lena and Igor at home and in hospital, and discussed the same spiritual and emotional issues with them when invited to. On Sunday 14th March 2021, 5 days prior to her passing, Lena invited us to visit again and told us that she had made the decision to pass. Her physical pain had been increasing for a long time and for many reasons she was finding it difficult to release the emotional pain that caused her physical illness.

Some of Lena’s difficulties included; blaming herself for the way others treated her, being judgemental towards herself and others, being angry about having to be truthful about others’ unloving treatment and taking action to correct it and love herself in the situation, not wanting to feel her own loneliness, not wanting to feel about how unloved she had been in her childhood, not wanting to feel her anger about men’s sexual projections and sexual demands, and using addictions and pleasing others as methods of avoiding those emotions. She was often angry at those who love her and pandering towards those who didn’t. Although none of these difficulties are any part of Lena’s nature or personality, Lena has anger, fear, and sadness relating to the issues we discussed with her, and wants to avoid experiencing and releasing these painful emotions.

Lena could see that these problems were still difficult for her to address and experience and we discussed that she would have opportunities to work through these emotions and make new choices in the spirit world. We discussed her fears and having faith about passing, having faith about God, God’s Love for her, and God’s Truth about the power of releasing painful emotion. We told her about the great deal of love available to her in the spirit world if she chooses it. We talked about the prayers of friends and efforts of spirits that can assist her now that she is there.

As Aphraar states in ‘Through the Mists’:

If some strong hand could, but for an instant,
tear the veil aside, and bid the multitudes of earth behold the future as it
really is, what a revelation it would be! How it would change their sighs to
songs, remove all doubts of God’s eternal love, and proclaim a gospel for
which all hearts are crying. It would be to earth what it is to me; I who more
than once, or twice, or thrice had been cautioned that the life I led could only
meet with condemnation at the bar of God; and yet I found the first words
addressed to me were words of hope and encouragement – ‘I need not fear’

and in ‘The Life Elysian’:

The new life is so crowded with overwhelming surprises, so fruitful of charming
distractions, so beautifully bewildering with unimagined pleasures, so
tender in its diverting sympathies, that even earth’s purest conceptions
are certain to be shattered and carried away, and the perfect God-design
leads us gently forward into the fullness of our unanticipated joy.

Jesus feels that Lena was far too absorbed in fixing her physical symptoms rather than experiencing and taking action on her spiritual and emotional that cause her illness. I made a comment to Lena on one of our visits about how in the past I would become obsessed with a physical diet or ‘fix’ to avoid the emotional turmoil I was in at the time. She commented that she had also done this with some of the ‘therapies’ she tried in order to cure cancer. That is a good lesson which Lena was already ahead of the game in learning.

Lena came to see and continues to see lessons and truths that most people who listen to Divine Truth on Earth are still in denial of. Although Lena passed due to her physical illness, unlike many millions of humans who pass every year, she is aware of the spiritual and emotional causes of her passing and therefore we expect that in her spiritual life she will not encounter many of the difficulties that most people who pass from Earth experience.

Lena is resting quietly at the moment as her final two years of life on Earth were very exhausting and painful for her. Once she recovers some of her strength, we have made an arrangement with her to come and speak with us. We expect to continue to regularly talk to her as we do with many people who now live in the spirit world.

We love Lena and look forward to our ongoing and deepening friendship with her.

The Life Elysian

There breaks the soul from every weight away
And for itself beholds and understands!
In that clear dawn of life’s true morning light
It turns, reviews, and then must needs accept
Whate’er results from yesternight’s wild rush
And feverish greed, within the robing-room of earth.

‘Tis then it learns how cherished ignorance
False guide has been, and led the soul astray,
Appraising tinsel at the price of gold,
And teaching how base metal and true wealth were one,
That, also, all the wild array of masquerade,
Which fools had brought together for their revels,
Were robes, insignia, orders and rewards
Provided by the King, that all His sons
Might dress and grace the marriage feast!

There comes the Truth, and all the false array
In which we strutted forth, lordly and envied,
Must then be thrown aside and left behind,
As worse than useless – we have to pay their cost
Ere we can forward pass. Each soul with painful rue
There doffs its mantle of hypocrisy, to find
Its royal lustre and its richness vanished with the night,
Leaving but sign of poverty behind.

Then sighs the soul to learn its bankrupt state,
For till that moment none can ever know
The price it pays for such a treacherous robe,
And false deceitful outfit; –
We don it in expediency and haste,
We doff it in the searching light of God.

Where is laid bare all bruises, scars and wounds
We felt not when received in maddened rush
To save the object of our choice from other hands.
But in our passage to the feast we have to pause,
Consider, and discharge th’ account for what we thought
Was free to those who could secure and keep!
And this is painful reckoning.

When this is o’er, then breaks the soul away
And learns it has another role than masquerade
To play on life’s eternal stage. It throws aside
All relics of the brute, the savage and barbaric tastes,
And making restoration with a pure repentance
Steps to life’s mark clad but in freedom’s garb,
With naught to weight, to hinder or retard
Its course, and as a man starts on the race
Which has its goal and destiny in God.
‘Tis of this race I sing, and now I bid you come
And see how it is run on God’s own course –
The Life Elysian!

When Anger Stops Us Seeing A Friend

When we begin to open our eyes and hearts to the level of addiction that has existed in our lives sometimes its tempting to declare “Well no one has ever loved me! True friendship is a fallacy.”

Even if we don’t admit it, deep down, many of us feel cynical about love and friendship. All the little hurts have added up and while we may not say it out loud a part of us has become hard.

But for most of us there have been people – amongst the comings and goings, the growing and learning phases in our lives – who have extended the hand of friendship our way. 

Its true, we may not have noticed.

These special people can pass us by if we want to hold onto our grief and pain, if we want to blame and be victims.


It happens because we get angry instead of sad.

We get angry because we hurt and don’t want to know it. We don’t want to open up again, to feel how alone and sad and friendless we felt before, when our feet were small and hearts tender.

I know this because I have been there. 

Sometimes the hurt of feeling friendless, abandoned, unloved and unimportant feels too much and I just want to hold onto angry disillusionment instead. 
And if you are like me, then when we do this, when we shut down in this way, we not only miss the chance to receive the gifts and gratitude of true friendship but we also prevent ourselves becoming true friends to others.

When we are willing to be humble to the pain we feel, we will stop trying to have those around us alleviate it, and begin to have something to give.
Before this can happen however we will need to stop blaming others, we will stop waiting for the world to make things fair and safe for us to share and speak and be ourselves.
We will have to ask –
Do I want to be true even if others aren’t?
Do I want to give more than I want to justice?
How much do I want to love?
The story of ‘Through the Mists’ shows us many beautiful examples of friendship in action, not the least of which is Fred’s own life. Fred was a lonely man while on earth, he lacked love and support from almost everyone in his society yet he lived his life in service and friendship to those less fortunate. His humility made him not full of self but of compassion; his integrity made him willing to risk ridicule in order to live by the principle of love he aspired to. 
I have learnt that to be a true friend I will require humility. It may mean taking steps that feel risky. 
But mostly to be your friend I will have integrity. I will honour love and truth above my image or comfort. 
And in thisI will serve as a matter of course.
Who has been a friend to you in your childhood or life today? What did they teach you about life and love?
 

Be Real, Be Loved

Yesterday I talked about overlooking friendships. I said that not so long ago I’d asked myself:

“If I can’t see the love extended towards me from those around me, how can I know it and receive it from God?”

This question opened my eyes to many things.

When we live steeped in addictions and co-dependence true friendship doesn’t always stand out. It takes a growth in integrity to begin to recognise those that give without trying to getsomething from you. And often when we’ve been used to co-dependence it can feel vulnerable and strange to begin to enter relationships based on love and humility.

I often find myself feeling exposed or insecure or stupid when I can’t ‘control’ the way others will perceive me through projections or addictions in the way that I used to.

As I let the real me speak, the child in me identifies risk.

All of the times as a child that I was made fun of, or judged, or rejected, or just not approved of when being myself taught me to play it ‘safe’ and hide myself in gradually increasing increments. I replaced these ‘self-parts’, my ‘whole-heart’, my ‘true-ness’ with parts I thought would please everyone, until one day (not so long ago) I realised that my heart was closed off and I had lost the ability to sincerely love and to be loved.

It’s hard to let love into a heart that is walled off by fake parts. And as I tear down the barricade I often find myself overwhelmed with emotion. When love reaches behind the façade it is such a contrast to the loneliness my true self had grown accustomed to, that I often melt into tears.

So I’ve learnt that sometimes friendship requires bravery. Sometimes it means taking a step that feels risky. It means taking down the walls and opening up to the possibility of love once again. It means having the courage to grieve as well as be real.

I see the same thing reflected in my relationship with God.

Have you ever realised that you overlooked a true friend in favour of an addictive relationship?

The Fruits of Friendship

Each day this week I’m reflecting on friendship.
In my journey to understand true friendship, I realised something truly humbling. That is, that many times over the years I have completely overlooked people who extended true friendship to me.
I’ve done this for many reasons.
Sometimes it was because I’d never stopped to consider the qualities of true friendship. I was constantly seeking addictive relationships in order to make me feel safe, or validated, or liked.
Sometimes I recognised the character and goodness in the person but I felt so vulnerable and insecure about myself that I withdrew from them thinking they wouldn’t like me.
Sometimes I was just completely self-involved in my own life and issues that I didn’t even notice that the gift of love and acceptance was right there beside me. I didn’t see a gift without strings attached when it was offered to me.
How sad I feel to have rejected such gifts.
I recently asked myself the question: “If I can’t see the love extended towards me from those around me, how can I know it and receive it from God?”
Last Wednesday at the book group and karaoke night, the gift of friendship was extended to all of us present.
There were quiet helpers who gave us their time without demand for payment or recognition.
They set-up the sound system, they set out your chairs, they recorded it all, they charged batteries, set-up microphones, played music, cut-out feedback, and then packed it all up and stacked it in the van. They give you the gift of their time, their service, and their expertise almost every time we meet.
Did you see them? Did you notice the fruits of friendship all around you?
Often friendship is a quiet gift, by its very nature it does not demandour attention. Instead it ripens and bears fruit. It is enacted not just felt.
I am reminded that many who have now passed still serve me and offer me friendship. Fred and Robert James Lees extend their friendship across a century assisting me to grow and learn.
Also that each of us is surrounded daily by invisible brothers and sisters who wish to guide us to greater love and safety.

   *******************************************************************

Huge gratitude to these people who helped out on Wednesday.

Lena, Igor & AJ
 

To Lena – who has learnt how to edit video files so that we can bring you the book group on youtube every  week. She edits the video for upload each week and also operates a video camera and helps with set-up and pack-up.

To Igor & Vlad – who operate a camera and handle sound during presentations. Igor is our usual video editor and Vlad is learning the ropes. Igor uploads all files to youtube.

Joy & Cavil

 To Joy – who was the first to arrive and last to leave. I believe this made her stay at the Wondai Hall more than 10 hours!

Cavil

My AJ – who has individually purchased every piece of sound and video equipment we use, he maintains all of it, and understands how each item works. He has trained all of us in how to use these things and is involved in and oversees every set-up and pack-up we do. He packs the van and unloads. He backs-up every piece of data we collect. He edits all of the audio files that appear on our website.

Diana, Jane, Joy & Laurleen
Vlad & Igor

Jane & Anto

 To Diana, Cavil, Anto & Jane– who handled hall logistics, and mucked in with technical support or whatever was needed at the minute.

You guys are awesome

Some great guy who would probably rather be playing guitar!

My special thanks to these wonderful people and many others who often show up and quietly add their hands to the task. (I think Joy calls you her ‘silent ninjas’!) Every one of them is led by their own passion in these areas and their desire to serve others.

A Friend Indeed

On Wednesday at the book group we discussed the question “What is true friendship?”
This is a question that I have given weight to over the past year. In December 2010 Fi and I talked about friendship. I tearfully told her that I would like to be her friend, a real friend. I’d just lost faith that I had any idea about how that would look in practice.
You see I’d realised that I had often used friendships to avoid rather than express myself. I’d noticed that I’d used ‘friendships’ with women to avoid my loneliness and soulmate grief.
I’d begun to feel how hurt I’d been in my relationship with my mother and how that had effected every relationship with women since.
Too often I’d tried to gain approval rather than been willing to give or receive the gifts of true friendship.
Our conversation really started me on a quiet journey of self-reflection and it’s been a road on which I’ve paused at times to grieve what I thought I knew but didn’t, what I thought I’d lost but had never really had.
Here is what I have felt and learnt about friendship in the past year:
       a friend will tell you the truth of who they are and how they feel
       a friend won’t withdraw when they are challenged by the way we feel or live
       a friend lovesand gives without expectation, demand or desire for anything in return
Since I began to pray and desire to understand true friendship I have come to see that some of the people I thought were true friends were not, and some people I didn’t consider much had more integrity than I anticipated and offered me the qualities of friendship as a natural part of themselves.
Friendships, by nature of their honesty, their love, their gifts and their steadfastness in the face of change, can not only nourish us but also challenge us, and help us grow. 
At times in the past I’ve used ‘friendships’ as ways to have commiseration for my woes and agreement for my self-righteousness and anger. 
I now believe it is a true friend that will honour love and truth above accord in their relationships. And this not only makes them trustworthy, it makes them a friend in deed, in word and in spirit. It grounds them as an ally as I seek to honour for these things myself.
In the example in “Through the Mists” Helen and Frederick met only briefly while on earth, yet in that time they displayed to each the qualities of true friendship and thus formed a bond that reached beyond their earthly lives and into the heavens. Fred was so humble, so without demand or expectation, that he hardly understood that he should be rewarded for his gift of friendship nor did he see the measure of the gift he had given Helen i.e. peaceful resolution of her loving desire to have her charges cared for after her passing.
 

Have you experienced a friendship that has not only nourished you but also challenged you to be a better person?