John almost retched as the sharp taste of tobacco smoke brushed the back of his throat. He quickly took another drag and looked at his watch. 11:58. He had approximately five hours to get used to this. The next Oasis track blasted through the speakers. Today is gonna be the day that they're gonna throw it back to you. He pushed away the shameful memories that began to surface.
“I love this song!” He confirmed aloud. “I love this band! 'And all the lights that lead us there are blinding...'” Singing along, he remembered countless drunken nights. Drinking and...God knows what else, he thought to himself, his stomach turning in a brief wave of guilt. Those days were long gone but, just for this weekend, they were coming back.
Beside him, on the passenger seat, the words glared up at him from the open book. Light Being Alignment Law #5: Live your highest truth. Your inner being is an expression of Divine Light. Joyfully express the beautiful manifestation of all that you are.
He angrily slammed the cover shut, and slid the book under the seat.
“Just until Monday," he muttered.
Sitting back up, he caught his own reflection in the rear view mirror. Glancing into his deep brown eyes he momentarily acknowledged himself for the fraud that he was. He pushed away a wave of shame and turned the ignition key. The book spoke from beneath the seat.
Light Being Alignment Law #7: Always honour your emotions. Negative emotions are messages from the Divine, showing us when we are not acting in our highest alignment. Welcome them for the magnificent guidance that they can bring. Pushing them away will only cause greater suffering.
“Monday,” he said firmly, as he reversed out of the drive. “Just give me this weekend. I'll figure out what to do better for next time.”
Light Being Alignment Law #1: Act now. The future is an illusion. We will continue to put things off that are out of our comfort zone, there will always be a 'later'. The time to confront them is now. When we are present in our highest truth, we align with the Divine and live at our full potential.
“Shut up!” He hissed, as he lit another cigarette and began singing along to Don't Look Back in Anger. He mentally ran through the football scores one more time, just to be prepared, and accelerated onto the motorway.
John spent his drive finalising his inner rules for the weekend. He would smoke when the others did; and drink no more than three beers per day, sipping slowly to extend each drink as long as possible. He would watch and pretend to enjoy the football match; and carefully mix up his food so as to eat no more than three small mouthfuls of meat per meal, disguising the rest in a mash of leftovers. As much as possible, he would keep conversation focussed on everyone else; and reflect questions about himself back to the others. He would generalise his own life as 'the same old' and 'no change.' If absolutely necessary, he would mention the break-up with Anastasia, and say he was having a hard time getting over it and didn't feel like talking much. Under no circumstances would he admit any of the actual truth about himself and his life.
“Next time,” he whispered to the book. “I'll tell them everything next time.”
Light Being Alignment Law #10. Be proud of your achievements. Don't be afraid to shine your light. Your gifts are gifts from the Divine. Let the world know what you have accomplished, share your brilliant light with all your brothers and sisters.
Twelve years ago John's life had changed dramatically. When his girlfriend, Anastasia, had spontaneously left him, his weekend nights out had turned to nightly drink and drugs binges; resulting in him losing his insurance sales job. After a dark period of intense depression and self-destruction; he had turned to New-Age Spirituality in a feat of desperation and, surprisingly, it was there that he had found his salvation.
Through crystals, angel guides and Reiki healing sessions, John had turned his life around. He'd attended a number of self-help sessions and, in turn, trained as a Spiritual Life Coach and embarked upon a new career. Naturally talented and successful on his new path, he had become somewhat of a New-Age Guru, and was now the bestselling author of three books; Heal Your Life with Inner Insight, Ask the Angels for Answers and, most recently, Light Being Alignment Laws.
Light Being Alignment Law #3. Be Strong in your own self. If others do not accept you for who you are, that is their own problem. When you compromise your own integrity to please another, you give them your power and stifle your own Divine Light. Be unapologetically you, for you are perfect as you are.
He had tried at the beginning. Embarrassed to mention his failed job and relationship, he'd tested the waters with the Reiki.
“Ray what?” His Mother had barked down the telephone, “You're not going to turn into one of those hippy weirdos are you?” She'd ended the call in fits of mocking laughter.
“My highest truth is that I need a beer,” scoffed Andy. “And you do too. What are you talking these riddles for?”
And so John had let it go. Never again mentioning anything remotely connected with his new life; year after year he pretended to still work for the insurance company, and that he was still together with Anastasia. For family gatherings, his transformation had never happened. Each time he promised himself he would let them see his new Spiritual self, and each time something happened to make him hesitate.
This week, William had posted a tweet: I hate all this Spiritual Love and Light crap. It makes me sick.
Light Being Alignment Law #8. Lead by Example. It may feel like no one is resonating with you. They may even mock your path. Stand strong in your Divinity. Sow seeds through your examples. You will witness miracles over time.
John lit another cigarette as he pulled into his Mother's drive. The Stone Roses blasted from the stereo: I'm no clown I won't back down. Andy and William bounced out to greet him.
“You need some new music mate,” Andy grinned, “You never did leave the 90s. I'll give you some modern tunes.”
John laughed. Magic Mantras for Inner Peace and Healing was firmly locked away in his London apartment. Not what Andy would have in mind, he was sure.
“Come on dude, the game's about to start. Ma's made home-made burgers and Pa's already drunk.” An enthusiastic William led the way inside.
Two beers; four cigarettes; three quarters of an I-forgot-how-good-meat-tasted burger; and a surprisingly enjoyable football game later; John made his way into his teenage bed and nestled into the Spiderman covers.
“It's going to be fine,” he sighed to Cindy Crawford, who stared back at him disbelievingly from the wall. “Just a couple more days of this, and then back on the path.”
Light Being Alignment Law #9. Expect the Unexpected. Life is a game of surprises. Open your heart to embrace the unknown. Let go of expectations and flow with the joy of spontaneous experiences. Unexpected and uncontrollable events are your pathway to a deepening of your own Divine awakening.
* * * * *
John added a little more salt than usual to his chips, and ate a few more than the designated three mouthfuls of steak. He could not deny the excellence of his Mother's cooking, and the cleared plates on the table around him suggested that everyone was in agreement.
Last one for now, he thought to himself; as she handed him a third bottle of beer.
“Not for me Ma,” said Andy, “I'm cutting down.”
John looked up in surprise.
“I've never known you turn down a beer before,” he said, looking guiltily at the brown bottle in his own hand.
“I er...I just need to drink a bit less.” Andy coughed shyly. Mother and Father said nothing as he quietly poured himself an orange juice.
“How's Anastasia?” Mother asked, “It's such a shame she always has to work on these weekends.”
“She's doing great,” John said, “There's just a big presentation coming up that had to stay and work on. And William, what about Emily?”
“We er...we broke up.”
Sympathetic looks came from all round. William looked glumly at his empty plate.
“Just last month,” he sighed. “She really changed. Over the past year. It was like being with a different person.”
“Sorry to hear that, mate.” Andy said, gently patting him on the shoulder.
“She got into this Spiritual group," William went on, "Started bringing home crystals and meditating all the time. At first it was nice, she seemed happier. But as time went by she became more distant. Said I wasn't 'awake' enough for her. She'd keep asking me about our past lives together and, well, I don't have a clue about that stuff. I told her I have a hard enough time remembering what happened yesterday let alone in a different life.” He paused for a moment and laughed at his own joke. “She said she wanted a more conscious man, whatever that means. Twenty-two years I've done everything for her...”
John could see he was holding back tears. He nervously began to peel the label of his beer bottle, the knot inside his own stomach growing tighter.
“Still, life goes on,” said William resolutely.
“There's plenty more fish in the sea.” Mother said solomnly, as if offering a greater wisdom than she actually was. “And until then, there's always my freshly baked chocolate cake.”
* * * * *
“This is awful,” John said to Cindy, as he searched through his suitcase for his emergency Angelite crystal. She stared back at him fiercely. She knew his lies and secrets and she wasn't impressed.
“Well I can't say anything now can I?!” He replied angrily. “I'll have to give it some time, wait until William's over this and more accepting of these things.”
Cindy's expression did not change. He gripped the crystal tightly and imagined it absorbing all of his worry and stress.
“I'm jealous, OK!” He snapped. “That William can just come out with it so openly like that, and twelve years later I'm still living a lie. I've done all this work on understanding my emotions and still can't admit it; and William, who spends most of his time in front of the football, can just come out and say it.”
He choked back a small tear. Cindy showed no sympathy.
Light Being Alignment Law #6: The world is your mirror. Others are here to reflect back what needs healing inside of you. If you are emotionally triggered by the actions of another person, it is reflecting back a part of yourself that is ready to be healed. Be thankful for this beautiful gift and love the other, for they are your own Divine reflection.
A knock at the door.
“You busy, mate?”
John hastily stuffed the crystal into his pocket as Andy quietly entered.
“Nah bro, what's up?”
“I er...I wanted to talk to you about something, if that's okay?” Andy spoke unusually softly. John patted the bed beside him.
“Sure, what's the crack?”
“It's just that I...erm...I've been having some...er...some problems. I wanted to tell you both but after William's break up...it's just that...well...I've been seeing a therapist.”
Something inside John relaxed a little. He looked at Andy with genuine concern.
“A therapist? Why? What's up bro?”
“It's just life," Andy sighed, “It got me down. Work can get stressful you know, there's always someone wanting something more. Not enough time off, blah blah blah. Charlotte's fussing that we can't get pregnant, and last year...well...it just started getting too much, you know. I started drinking...a lot. Every night. I was out of shape, mate. I was showing up late for work, arguing with Charlotte; and I realised I needed some help or I'd lose it all. And this guy I've been seeing, he's great, it's really helped me. I'm happier, more active, even in line for a promotion. Charlotte's more relaxed...”
He looked humbly at his trainers.
“I wasn't going to say anything,” he went on, “I was embarrassed, I suppose. But Rod, that's my therapist, he said it's important to have the support of family and friends. That I can't just battle through my problems alone. And I think he's right.”
John smiled inwardly
Light Being Alignment Law #2: Find your soul support system. There is tremendous strength in a supportive Spiritual network. Fighting life's battles alone will leave you isolated and wounded. Find your soul family and create a powerful team of Divine warriors. Soul bonds can never be broken.
“I'm glad it's helping bro,” he said softly, “Thanks for telling me. I'm always here if you need me.”
Andy nodded appreciatively.
“It's just William,” he whispered, “After what happened with Emily...I don't know what he''ll think about the therapy...”
“It's cool, dude.” William slowly walked through the door.
“How much did you hear?” Said Andy, surprised.
“Enough. And it's cool. I'm glad you found something to help. Emily's just...Emily. If I'm honest we had problems long before she started with all the woo-woo stuff. And there were some pretty sound people she was hanging about with too. I'm not gonna put any of that onto you.”
“Thanks mate.” Andy gave him an affectionate slap on the back.
The knot returned to John's stomach, tighter and more persistent.
“Looks like you're the only one keeping it together,” William laughed at John. “We're falling apart here!”
“It's tough, hey," grinned Andy. He nodded at Cindy, “I sure miss the days when she was the main topic of obsession.”
John's fingers gripped the crystal in his pocket.
“Anyway,” William continued, “The reason I was coming in was to see if you guys fancied a kick around?”
As his brothers turned to leave, John grasped the crystal with all his might and took a deep breath.
“Wait!” He said suddenly, “I've got something to tell you guys too....”
* * * * *
A contented John felt a pleasant tingling in his heart chakra. His brothers had not stopped laughing for the past hour. Following an intense and winnerless game of football in the garden, and a heartily enjoyed sausage and mash, Andy and William were finding immense entertainment reading Light Being Alignment Laws.
“Oh this is quality bro,” Andy wiped away a tear. He turned the page and erupted into another outburst.”
“Okay, you ready for this one?” He looked up at William, barely able to speak through bouts of laughter. “Light Being Alignment Law Number Four: Don't take life too seriously. Life is a Divine game." He said the word 'divine' in a high pitched voice, floating his hands mystically in the air. "Find humour in every moment, and you will never suffer. Learn to laugh at the good and the bad, Divinity resides within your laughter.”
"He's got a point" he smiled.
Grinning, John sparked up a cigarette.
"My last one," he whispered cheekily.