Angel in Disguise Chapter One

February 20, 2021

Angel in Disguise Chapter One


One day, one particular day, I was feeling miserable.  Very, very miserable.  Alone and broke, fat and nearly forty, (well thirty six, actually, but close enough to the big Four O to be miserable about it), I hadn’t been able to summon up the enthusiasm to get out of bed that day, except to go to the loo.  This wasn’t unusual, much of my life had been spent in bed, but it was worrying, nonetheless.  I had whiled away the hours by alternating between dozing and daydreaming about a better life and occasionally with bouts of sobbing.  There were books to read, of course.  But I had forbidden myself to lie in bed reading, when there were more important things that needed doing. 

Boxes were piled up in every available corner of the tiny room and needed to be unpacked.  The floor had never been hoovered, the bed was smelly, the sink was full of dirty dishes.  And there was the small matter of trying to earn a living.  So, being unable to muster the enthusiasm for any of the necessities, I was not about to indulge in luxuries.

I listened to the sounds of people returning from work, people who lived in the other apartments, people I knew only to say hello to, if they were accidentally encountered in the hall.  And as I comforted myself with the thought that for normal people, the working day was now over and therefore thoughts to do with work could be postponed a little longer, I tried very hard to think of a single reason to ever get up again. 

Outside, it was raining.  A dreary, dank, depressing, drizzle. Inside, it was chilly and smelled of mouldy carpet.  The apartment consisted of one room, big enough for a double bed and a pile of boxes.  The shower and toilet were big enough to climb into, but not if you were big. I had covered the one window with an orange sari from India, to remind me of sunshine. But the sari only reminded me that this wasn’t India, this was Dublin on a wet winter day, and I was destined to be stuck here forever, as far as I could see.

The one-roomed apartment was on the ground floor, at the front of a crumbling terraced house and it had a view over the collection of dustbins and the passing traffic, which meant that the curtain stayed closed. This made it dark, even in the daytime with all the lights on.  There was one lightbulb, suspended above the bed, which had been optimistically draped with chiffon scarves, in an attempt to copy a style idea from Vogue, but the dim light only added to the general gloom.  Because the room was compact, I could reach almost everything from the bed, although I had to stand on it to reach over the kitchen/dining area if I needed to get at the fridge.  At this point in time, there was nothing in the fridge, so that was hypothetical.  Beside the bed was a pile of papers, bills that hadn’t been opened, books that hadn’t been read, notebooks full of ideas and most importantly, the diaries.

The diaries, I had begun ten years previously, during what I had thought of as a period of optimism in sunny Los Angeles, but which may well have been sheer mania.   They were supposed to be a detailed record of my Spiritual Odyssey, my Journey to Enlightenment and were originally intended to take six months to write.  Once completed, it had been planned, they would become a best-seller, like ‘Conversations With God’ or ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, spawning all kinds of offers to tour the world giving enlightening speeches and seminars. Appearances on Oprah Winfrey, and David Letterman would have followed, and a movie deal, more books, a chat show, mega-celebrity, fabulous wealth and a perfect, wonderful, fabtastic life. 

I might have been asked to pose for Vogue, and I would certainly have had homes in Malibu, New York, and London. There would have been truckloads of clothes.  I could just have everything I saw in the magazines sent over immediately.  People would offer me stuff all the time.  Chanel, Balenciaga, Dior, whatever.  I would have a supermodel body, and a stunningly handsome and devoted husband (somewhere in the countryside, out of the limelight, taking care of the kids). Of course I would have taken time out of my busy schedule to save the planet, drop the debt, reclaim the rainforests, house the homeless and party with Liz Hurley and Elton John. 

Later on, approaching forty, I would have looked a miraculous twenty five, and would have talked about my yoga regime (available on video and DVD) and healthy eating plan (buy the recipe books from all good bookstores or from the website) and my amazingly youthful complexion, in ‘Hello’ magazine, from the safety of one of my gorgeous homes……the possibilities were infinitely delightful to contemplate.  And had provided hours, days, perhaps even years of amusement.  The autobiography, in various versions had done the rounds of the major agents and publishers and been rejected by all of them. 

A year or so previously, I had emerged from The Priory (more of that later) to find that apart from being able to successfully sell my story for more money than I had been expecting, (but less than I had been hoping for), the television series didn’t materialise and neither did the book deal or the Vogue shoot.  Things went back to normal with a nasty lurch. 

Shane (my long term boyfriend) had been sent home early from The Priory,  (where he was detoxing) for having brandies smuggled in, in Mac Donalds chocolate milkshakes.  I had followed him home after a few days, when it was deemed that I was ready to be released into the community. 

We lived in what had once been a nice flat, in a slightly downmarket area of North London, near enough to Hampstead Heath for me to give that as my address, but near enough, also to Kentish Town for Shane, (who was not comfortable with the notion of living in Hampstead) to give that as his.   Back at home, the bin-bags full of rubbish had begun to overflow onto the floor of the kitchen/living area.  The collection of empty gin bottles, which surrounded the sofa had spread to the armchairs and had closed off the passageway between them so that one had to step over a sea of bottles, to get to the fridge.  Ashtrays had long since been abandoned and cigarette butts proliferated from every available receptacle.  Newspapers, magazines, books, CDs, videos and unopened bills took up a fair portion of the floor, as did pizza boxes and ice cream cartons and spoons.  A strange brown sticky looking substance with meaty bits sticking out of it had been splattered all over the wall near the cooker and on the ceiling above it.  A tin of fish, it transpired, had exploded while being boiled by our lodger, who very seldom came out of his room, except occasionally to eat something.  I have no idea what actually went on in that room, but the smell permeated even my wardrobe, so that I was forever getting stuff dry cleaned. 

When I arrived home the heating had stopped working, the flat was freezing and the bathroom had clearly been used for purposes other than what it was intended for.  The washing machine from upstairs had come through the ceiling on top of the television, but the television still worked.  The feng shui inspired altar that I had made in our relationship corner had, however, been decimated.

In more philosophical moments, I appreciated the funny side of living like this and amused myself by watching films like ‘Trainspotting’ and sneering at the bourgeois comfort that the characters enjoyed.  Ideas for sitcoms, based on a tawdry rock and roll nightmare- ‘The Osbournes’ set in a Kentish Town Council flat, - these possibilities came thick and fast.  An idea for an installation at the Tate Modern featuring the green nylon sofa, covered in cigarette burns and surrounded by empty wine bottles, with Shane positioned on the sofa watching telly, would, I reckoned have wiped the floor with Tracey Emin’s bed.  My life was incredibly cool, artistically speaking.  Quentin Tarantino meets the Naked Lunch.  And in moments of levity, I was grateful for it.  So much better than being bourgeois.  But returning to it cold, shivery and vulnerable, after the warmth and safety of The Priory was untenable.  Shane barely glanced up from his scribbling, when I told him how I was feeling, so I called the hospital immediately, begging to be allowed to come back.  The nice man explained that I would be very welcome to come back, if I was willing to pay the fees. 

The fees.  Three thousand pounds a week.  We hadn’t been able to afford the fees; there simply wasn’t any money in the bank.  I had somehow assumed that if I ever got Shane into rehab, money would be no object.  Indeed Johnny Depp himself had volunteered on several occasions to pay for it and to send a limo, if necessary.  But I hadn’t been able to get Johnny on the phone, when we finally made it in there.  After a bit of a panic, a kind friend had loaned us the money.  But the kind friend could not be asked to cough up any more, so it seemed I would simply have to make the best of it.

After a few months, Shane decided that he no longer wanted to live in London.  And returned to his family home in Ireland.  A young friend of ours had recently overdosed and died on our living-room floor, and every time I went in there, I was reminded of it.  But having no option, I stuck it out, and  dutifully attended my group therapy until I was woken up one morning by the bailiffs banging on the door.  I pretended to be asleep, until they left, but the incident gave me the impetus to have yet another nervous breakdown.  After that, my book about Shane was finally published.  It had taken seven years to write and I had long since spent the advance, but the spurt of publicity was quite uplifting.  I was interviewed on telly and people recognised me in shops and at the airport.  It gave me something to live for, for a few weeks, even if Shane was threatening to kill the publisher and withdraw the book from the shops.

There was a massive come down, after the publicity stopped and my life in London was even more depressing.  I could no longer bear it. So Vanessa, my sister who lived in Dublin very kindly offered to take me in and look after me until I was well enough to function in the real world.  I packed a bag, abandoned our flat and our flat mate who never came out of his room, and went to live with her. 

My sister didn’t have a spare room so I shared a bunk bed with my ten year old nephew, Olan and his fluffy cat Cutie.  A thing I would never have dreamed of doing in my previous life. Intimacy wasn’t my strong suit.  And I was allergic to cats.  But it was comforting, I discovered, to be part of a family.  Kind of like being in The Priory, there was a routine to life.  Vanessa and Olan would get up early every morning and I would join them for breakfast.  After they left for work and school, I would write down everything that came into my head and then sit around playing the guitar or reading.  I enjoyed simple things like hoovering and loading the dishwasher, which made me feel useful.  And the daily routine, I found soothing.  There was still the tiny question of being completely broke to contend with, but my sister owned a deli, so she allowed me to work there occasionally as a shop assistant, my first actual job in about fifteen years.

In The Priory, the psychiatrist had told me that the best cure for what I suffered from was getting used to the idea of being just ordinary. Naturally I was appalled at the idea, and would have preferred medication, but in my sister’s shop, chatting with customers and trying out the different kinds of cheese, I began to consider the notion that for some people at least, normal lives could be quite satisfactory and compared to my life, rather relaxing. 

Realising that I would get very, very fat if I carried on eating my sister’s shop, I considered my options, career-wise. There were two people in my life, apart from Vanessa who didn’t seem to mind that I was terminally depressing and who actually sought out my company.  Sinead O Connor was someone I had been introduced to in London, when she was just becoming famous as a musician and even though I hadn’t initially liked her music, I warmed to it after seeing her sing live.  I also developed rather a crush on her as a person, and was very much in awe of her beauty.   She was a shy girl, as was I, and if possible just as insecure as I was, which meant that it took time for us to become close, but she proved to be a loyal and devoted friend.   Over the years, in moments of crisis, she had consistently offered a safe haven to run to, and welcoming arms to fall into.  At one point she was brave enough to get Shane busted for smack, an idea that had often occurred to me and which I had not had the nerve to carry out. 

Fortunately for me, Sinead had chosen to move to Dublin at the same time as I had, which meant that there was at least one good reason for me to not kill myself.  If I had killed myself, she would have found me from beyond the grave and kicked the shit out of me.  Sinead regularly visited me in my disgusting hovel, and tried to cheer me up by telling me filthy jokes and encouraging me to go out and get a decent shag.  She also insisted that I should try to make a career as a writer, seeing as that was what I was good at.  To this end she repeatedly gave me the phone number of a lady called Mary O Sullivan, an editor at the Sunday Independent, which was Ireland’s best selling Sunday newspaper.

Technically, I was a writer/journalist who should be in demand, having published a book, and having written for quite a lot of newspapers and magazines, and so I should have seized the opportunity, but such was my state of mind that I knew nobody would ever want to employ me to do anything and I knew that the only reason that my sister had let me work in her shop was so as I would get out of the house, and maybe because she felt sorry for me.

The other person who had taken it upon herself to come to my aid was an equally determined friend called Marina Guinness, a non-drinking member of the famous drink making family, and a lady well known for collecting and rehabilitating lame creatures.  On the occasions that I managed to drag myself out of bed and when I wasn’t sampling my sister’s cheeses, I would transport myself to the kitchen of Marina’s reassuringly ramshackle country house, where a constant stream of unemployables and undesirables were given mugs of tea and made to feel important.  It is a rare and remarkable talent that some people have, the talent of making people feel special and important without putting them on the cover of a magazine or allowing them to go beyond the velvet rope, and Marina was blessed with this peculiar ability.  Even her upper class ancestry, which could conceivably have exaggerated one’s own inadequacy, was somehow employed to serve the very opposite purpose.  The lame creatures at her table were made to feel so much at home as to become convinced that they were actually part of the family, and thus they too inherited the aristocratic ancestors, along with the threadbare cashmeres and the muddy Wellingtons, which were doled out to those in need of them. 

  On several of my visits, Marina had suggested that I might make a career of visiting lonely bachelors in their crumbling country houses, and writing about my experiences for a newspaper.  I liked this idea, and imagined that one day I might find myself happily married to the handsome young heir to his very own crumbling country residence, where I too could take in strays and wear wellingtons.   So after much procrastination, I summoned up the nerve to call Mary O Sullivan and to volunteer my services.  Miraculously, Mary was enthusiastic, and offered me work immediately.

  Having come to believe without any doubt that there was an unseen but entirely malevolent force out there in the Omniverse whose job it was specifically to fuck me over at every available opportunity, this new turn of events flummoxed me.  It even led to a temporary optimism about life in general.

Because I have always been a hypochondriac, (my half of the kitchen that I shared with Shane was taken up with a collection of expensive vitamins, supplements and juicing gadgets, while his was mainly taken up with empty gin bottles and fag packets.  You could say we were both extremists, in our own separate ways.) I expressed an interest in writing the health page, and because normal people preferred to write about holidays or food or celebrities, that was what I found myself doing.

I was now pretty much a normal nonentity.  I had regular work, but my optimism and gratitude were soon exhausted.  I began to feel pressured by Mary, when she wanted things written to deadlines and angry with her when she asked me to re-write things or when she didn’t like suggestions that I made.  Instead of the invisible malevolent force which tried to thwart me at every turn, there was now a flesh and blood person to oppose me.  My idea, in taking on the health page was to have unlimited free access to all kinds of massages and therapies and things.  Instead, Mary insisted that I spend my time interviewing people with proper problems, things like Cancer and Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis.  She also insisted that I research the illnesses and find out what the experts had to say about them, as well as finding out how the sufferers lives had been affected and how the felt and how they coped.  I  had a phobia of hospitals and never under any circumstances went near ordinary doctors, preferring to have acupuncture or Reiki or homeopathy to treat my many ailments.  It was, therefore, an affront to my ideals, to have to interview GPs and scientists, but it paid the rent, and so I put up with it.   Having initially been delighted and thrilled to get paid at all, I began to feel ripped off and under valued and trapped in a rat race, and having longed for years to have an audience for my writing, and to have a pay check, I began to resent having to work for a living.  I suspected that no one would remember who wrote the health page.  I would be largely ignored by the general public.

Shane, being a well known rock star and being quite unusual to look at, had been always been a self-confessed self-publicist, and when we went out together, we got stared at, and were constantly approached by people.  We were generally made welcome at movie premieres, and at gigs, in fact we were welcome everywhere, it seemed, except on airplanes.  He was important.  I was important by association.  Now, as a lone nobody-special, I occasionally got invited to launch parties, but nobody noticed me or approached me, and I never got into the VIP bits, which we would naturally have gravitated towards.  I wore increasingly brightly coloured clothes and often pinched myself to see if I had become actually invisible to the human eye. Every time I let myself think about how far down in the world I had come, I bawled uncontrollably.

I had realised, of course, that all of this business of living a normal, healthy life meant leaving Shane and leaving behind the rock and roll lifestyle to which I had become accustomed.  I was determined to try to make it on my own.  But leaving Shane was extremely difficult because we had the kind of relationship that connects two people so that they don’t really feel whole without the other person.  He had made it easier by going to live in Ireland without me, thereby technically abandoning me.  And I had had some practice, as I had left him quite a few times before, usually when I was annoyed about something. 

There had been a relatively recent incident during which I had found him in bed with three junkies in New Orleans.  I had just flown in from New York, tired and cross and when I arrived at the hotel, I wasn’t as philosophical as usual.  I freaked and stormed out.  On three previous occasions, I had found him in bed with people other than myself and had left him, and on each of the many occasions that I had stormed off in a huff, I had been certain that there was no going back. But it was only ever necessary for him to sit it out.  I would always be back.

AS on all the previous occasions, leaving Shane was terrifying, I wasn’t sure if I could bear the loneliness of it.  But it was what I had decided was best and I was determined to see it through, if at all possible. It is never sensible to substitute one relationship for another, especially when you are doing so out of loneliness.  But I have seldom done things that were sensible.  So when I met a very sweet guy called Ronan, at a party, quite soon after my arrival in Dublin, I was convinced that he would help to make me less miserable.  I had very few friends in Dublin and those people I did know were in relationships and had children, which meant they weren’t available to take me out in the evenings and entertain me.  Unfortunately, Ronan was not dependent on me in the same way that I was dependent on him, and in fact he seemed to have plenty of other things to occupy his time, so that I was able to torture myself for days on end, watching the phone and wondering if it would ever ring, and becoming agitated and anxious, as I tried to pretend that I didn’t care if it rang or not, trying to pretend to have a life of my own.

There were other problems.  Olan was nearly ten, and I knew he should have his bunk bed to himself. I had availed of my sister’s hospitality for longer than either of us had initially bargained for.  She had fixed me up with a therapist who kept telling me I needed to get grounded.  I had absolutely no idea what this meant, even though I had heard the term used often enough.  I pressed her for an explanation and she suggested that I might take up gardening.  I promised to consider it.  And I plucked up the courage to move into a bedsit, which could conceivably have accommodated a pot plant.  But immediately after I moved in, I got depressed, and stayed depressed.

I had been inclined to depression since childhood, it ran in the family on both sides.  My granny died in a loony bin, after being treated with ECT.  My other granny spent a lot of time in bed, on valium.  Many of the women in our family took to the bed regularly and not to have sex, but to escape.  I remember catching my mum doing it, when I was a toddler.  She would just lie there sucking her fingers, like a baby, unwilling to move. I understand that now.  It was a place of safety. 

For me, sleeping was much nicer than waking, which was why I had trouble identifying with people who told me I should be glad to be alive.  If death was anything like sleep, then what was the problem with death?  A blissful escape was how I saw it. 

Sometimes there were obvious reasons for my depression, sometimes there weren’t.  I knew that part of the reason I was depressed was that I couldn’t bear to be alone.  I felt isolated and unwanted.  But part of it was also that I knew that life wasn’t going to get any better. That I was just going to get older and fatter and greyer and lonelier, and that when it was eventually time to die, which would be a time when I needed people to send me off, I would be alone and lonely. 

Shane and I had first met when I was sixteen and we had been together for almost all of my adult life. We were clearly soul mates, and I didn’t think he could be replaced as such.  But because of his lifestyle, life with him was often terrifying and frequently anxiety inducing.  I had invested my best years in a relationship that was utterly doomed, as far as I could see.

The way I looked at it, my life had been a total failure.  Other people my age had careers and families and houses and things.  I had absolutely nothing except a few boxes in a rented bed-sit.  And as my life progressed, there was the possibility of illness, accidents and the general debilitation associated with ageing to look forward to.  Perhaps a hip replacement, false teeth, glasses.  The joys and thrills of life had been removed and in their place was the harsh reality of being a nobody, with no prospects.  Somebody who wouldn’t be missed.  Just the daily grind of keeping myself alive and off the streets was unbearable.  A responsibility that stretched away into the distance, vast and unrelenting like an eternity in the dentist’s chair.  Tension and tedium until eventually, death. 

The idea of suicide was something I regularly considered, but I knew I didn’t have the courage to be that proactive.  It was not an option.  I knew that if I tried to kill myself, I would make a mistake and mutilate myself horribly and upset my family and become even more of a burden than I already was, by having to be fed and cared for.  There was nothing for it but to fend for myself, for as long as it took.  But every morning, I woke up willing myself to just disappear.  To shrink until there was nothing left, to become invisible, to no longer be burdened with a body to look after, or a mind to be imprisoned in.  To no longer be a burden. 

There was, of course, the possibility of Enlightenment.  I had read all the self-help books, all the spiritual books; I had read ‘Conversations With God’, ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’, ‘Be Here Now.’  I had read the Gospels, the Lives of the Saints, the teachings of Buddha, the Tao Te Ching, the Sutras, the Gita,  the ‘Road Less Travelled’ and bits of the Q’uaran.  I devoured religion.  I had prayed, fasted, meditated, chanted, taken hallucinogenics, been hypnotised, been chakra balanced, regressed, rebirthed, reikied. There wasn’t a therapy in the known Omniverse that I hadn’t tried.  The boxes in my room were packed with books, almost all of them helpful.  There were boxes, too, of tapes. Meditation tapes, guided visualisations, positive thinking, NLP, hypnotherapy.  Millions of books, millions of tapes.

On tour with Shane, I had spent hours and hours meditating.  More than most Tibetan monks.  On the tour-bus, while Shane and his band watched videos, I meditated furiously, to drown out the noise.  In the dressing-room, in the hotel, at the side of the stage, I meditated.  I sent light to the Omniverse on a daily basis, and visualised world peace, but to no avail.  I was utterly, utterly, utterly miserable.

I didn’t know if there was a God up there, or if there wasn’t.  But if there was anything up there, I was interested in knowing what He or She was up to.  In case there was only one life, I couldn’t allow myself to die without finding out.  I wanted to have it out with Him or Her, when we finally met, so I had been keeping the diaries as a way of making sure that my misery would not go unnoticed.  It was not possible to scream loudly enough or long enough to convey to the rest of the world how I felt, but one day, I knew, I would become famous and the diaries would have to be published.  Then everyone would know.

Having nothing to lose, that day in September, I decided to have another go at communicating with whatever was up there, in charge of things.  I decided it was time for an ultimatum.  I would give the angels/guides/whatever one final chance to rescue me and if they didn’t respond this time, I would abandon them and I would allow myself to accept what I had always feared was true, but had never wanted to believe.  Which was that there was nothing there and that all the stuff about angels and guides and spirits was just wishful thinking and New Age nonsense.

I decided to make it easy for the angels/guides/whatever.   I would be patient with them.  I would explain to them just how miserable I was, and ask them to make me happy.  I would ask them to make me like normal people who think that life is worth living and who do their best to stay alive.  What would I have lost, if it didn’t work?  Only time, and time was something I had too much of. 

So I arranged myself comfortably against the pillows, and wrote down a question, on a piece of paper, addressed to my personal angels.

“I don’t know if I believe in angels,” I said.   ‘But if you exist, I’d like your help with a few things.  Are you there and can you talk to me?”

And I waited.  Almost immediately, words started to come into my mind, and I wrote them down.  I didn’t hear a voice, or see anything, I just got an impulse to write, and I wrote.  Not knowing what was coming.  One word, followed by another word, until a whole sentence appeared.  This is what it said:

  This project is not endangered by your doubts.  Your doubts are encompassed in the plan!  All you need to do is write down whatever is bothering you and wait for the answers.  It is not necessary to worry about it.  It would help you to realise that you are not alone in doing this work, however much you may think you are and you do not have to do it all by yourself.  Your willingness to be a channel and to accept that you can be a channel without having to be different in any way, this is all that is required of you.”

I got a feeling, as I was writing the words, that something or somebody was really talking back.  There was a feeling, also, that I was not alone in the room.  A feeling of being seen and heard, a feeling of being listened to by something or someone kind, someone sympathetic.  The feeling was accompanied by a faint smell of roses and a change in the light.  Even thought the room was still dark, there was a shimmer in the gloom.  A sparkle.  And if I had been more fanciful, I would have fancied that I heard a sound, a sound of sweet strings, perhaps Paganini.  But of course that would have been ridiculous, so I didn’t hear any sounds.  I did feel a little bit excited though, as if something strange was going to happen.  And I carried on talking to whatever it was.

  I can’t help thinking I’m not pure enough to be talking to angels,” I wrote.  “Not together enough.  Not enlightened enough.  I’m very fucked up and flawed.”

“ You are human,” came the answer.  “Or at least that is how you are experiencing yourself.  It is a part of the human experience, this sense of inadequacy and we fully sympathise with your feelings.  But supposing this human part of you was not the entirety of you?  Supposing there was a way in which you could access a part of you that is wise and pure and enlightened?  Supposing all you had to do was write down what this other part is saying?  Would that solve that particular problem?”

  I don’t know,” I said.  I honestly didn’t know.

“ Would you like to give it a try?’ came the response.  ‘Would you have anything to lose, by doing so?”

“ I would like to give it a try,” I said.  “But I can’t guarantee that I will believe any of it is real.  And I can’t guarantee that I’ll stick with it.”

“ Would you stick with it if there were a reward for doing so?”

  A reward?

“ What kind of a reward?”

“ What kind of a reward would you like?”

  You want me to be honest?’ I said.

  Indeed, be honest and be thorough, too!  Don’t limit yourself.”

I considered my options.  I might just be going mad and inventing a conversation with an imaginary angel/guide/whatever.  And if that were true, it wouldn’t matter what I asked for, because nothing would happen anyway.  I had stopped really believing that I would get the things I wanted, in life.  But if the angel were real, I would be missing a very important opportunity.  So I made up my mind to give the angel a chance to prove itself. 

“Okay,” I said.  “I’d like to be happy. In a way that lasts.  I’d like to wake up every morning looking forward to the day and I’d like to go to bed feeling pleased about my life.  Is that possible?”

  That is rather a clever answer!” said the angel.  “We applaud your wisdom in choosing happiness as a goal.  How would you know that you were happy, if it were possible to grant such a request?”

  How would I know?”  What a stupid question.

  I’d feel it!” I said.  “I’d feel excited about my life, and grateful for it.  I’d feel positive and energised, rearing to go!  At the moment I wake up wanting to go back to sleep.  The things I want don’t seem possible. 

I don’t look forward to my work, my boyfriend never calls me and I’m always angry with him about something. I’m miserable, but I’m scared to be alone and single and unwanted.  I’m always worried about money, I never have enough money to buy nice clothes or a decent car.  It’s all such a struggle.  And I don’t see how it’s ever going to be different. I don’t own anything of value and I don’t have any savings.  I feel like a failure.  I should at least have a home of my own by now and be happily married and successful.  I’m overweight, and I’d like to be slim and gorgeous and sexy and I don’t want to get any older.  I’m afraid and I’m lonely, desperately lonely.  And I’m miserable and a drag and not much fun to be around, so I stay at home by myself, so as not to depress people.  I’m afraid things will just get worse and I’ll die completely alone.  Can you make me happy?”

This was a tall order, I could tell.  But the angel didn’t seem to mind.

“Being happy is certainly something that we can assist with!’ it said.  ‘But you don’t believe this, do you?”

  No,’ I agreed.  ‘I don’t believe it.  I think I’m doomed, or I wouldn’t be feeling so hopeless.  But I would like to be happy.”

“You would know if you were happy?’

  Yes.  Of course I would!”

“ You are certain?”

“ Yes.” 

  Would you be willing to devote time to this pursuit through communicating with us in this way?”

This, I had to consider.  Any kind of a commitment had the potential to become a drag.

“ I am intrigued by the idea,” I told it.  “But I’d like some reassurance that I’m not mad to be doing this.”

  Do you think that you are mad?”

“I could be,” I said.

“ How would you know if you were?”

“ I don’t know.”

  If we tell you that you are not mad, will you believe us?”

“ No,” I admitted.

‘Does it matter if I think I might be mad?”

  Not at all!  But as we have said, you will have to try on a new attitude, if you are to find proof that things can be different.  You can create whatever you choose to create, because the physical reality that you perceive as real is actually generated by your own energy taking form in different ways.  This may seem complicated, so we will simplify it as best we can, for you.  Everything that exists is made of energy-atoms, molecules, all of these are made of energy -and so are your thoughts and feelings.  They are electro-magnetic waves, vibrating at different frequencies.  You will have noticed that you can often feel when someone is angry or sad or happy, yes?”

“ Yes,’ I said.

“ And if you experiment, you will notice that when you are holding positive thoughts, you can influence the way your body feels.  Think of something now that you truly, deeply desire to experience.  Can you think of something?”

“ Okay,” I said.  “ I’ve won the lottery.”

  How do you feel, physically, when you think of having won the lottery?”

“Very excited.  Like I just snorted a line of coke, or kissed someone very gorgeous.”

“ Now think of something that brings you down.  Something not too terrible!”

“ Like getting clamped?”

  Perfect.  How does that feel?”

My car had been clamped that morning and I had taken this to be positive proof that the entire Omniverse was conspiring against me.

“Depressing,’ I said.  ‘I would feel hopeless, like life wasn’t worth struggling with. I would want to give up and eat ice-cream or chocolate or watch a movie.”

“Now you can see how easy it is to change your energy, just by thinking about different things,’ said the angel.  ‘And for both of those scenarios, you will have different ways of reacting, different ways of behaving.  For the first, you feel like singing and dancing, you are energised and lively.  You radiate this energy and in turn, you magnetise experiences and people and events that reflect this feeling back to you.  Other people sense your energy and respond to it, as the Omniverse mirrors to you what you are emitting, energetically. 

When you have what you see as a negative experience, like getting clamped, you think of how mean the world is and you want to close down your energy and retreat.  You engage in activities which lower your energy even further and take you out of your body and if you continue to do so, you begin to attract further experiences to reflect this sense of being victimised.  You may attract other people who also feel that they have something to complain about and you may generate more negativity by sharing your woes!  Some of you make this a primary pastime and wonder why the world around you always seems so grim!”

“ I see,” I said.  “So if I believe my life is a horrible mess, I might be attracting that?”

“ It is entirely possible, yes!  But recognising that you are causing your own experiences is your opportunity to change what you are experiencing by focussing on what you do want to have in your life rather than what you don’t want.  And accepting what you don’t want, without prejudice is the key to letting go of it and moving on!  But we will discuss this in much more detail, as we progress.  It is an ongoing process, this one of changing the thoughts and changing the experiences, so don’t feel frustrated dearest one, if the changes that you desire take a little time to materialise!”

I noticed that whoever was answering the questions always referred to itself in the plural, like the Queen. And I wondered what it was, that was talking to me. So I asked.

‘Are you an angel?” I said.  ‘Not that I really need to know.  I’m just vaguely curious.”

‘We are what you think of as angels,’ it said.  ‘Angels are creatures much like you.  We can choose to have physical bodies, just like you do, or we can choose to appear to you as light.  In fact your physical bodies are made up of light particles, what you call atoms, vibrating so fast that you cannot see them moving.  When you ‘see’ angels, what you are seeing is also light, moving at a rate which is much faster than you are accustomed to seeing.”

‘But I don’t see angels,’ I protested.  “I would be more likely to believe in you, if I could see you.  Am I ever going to see you?  Can’t you appear to me now?’

‘Firstly, you can see us by intending to,” it replied.  ‘This is a little difficult to explain, because most of you believe yourselves to be living accidental lives, in which you play no part in what happens to you.  The first step in expanding your range of vision is to believe that it is possible for you.  You create as your ‘reality” only that which you believe is possible.  Believing and intending will lead you to seeing and experiencing angels. 

We appreciate that you do not like to believe in anything that cannot be seen and touched.  We appreciate that you struggle with your intellect, even just to write down what we say.  We suggest that you keep writing for a time, until you can decide, based upon what we have given you, whether it has been a worthwhile pursuit or not.  We would suggest you try it for six months or even a year, in order to really see results.  It is your choice, of course.”

‘Are you more than one angel?” I asked.  ‘And do you have feelings?’

‘Thoughts and feelings are not unique to humans,’ it said.  ‘But we do not think for ourselves in the same way that you do.  We experience ourselves differently to the way you do.  We do not see ourselves as being separate from each other, or from the whole of creation.  You cannot suffer without our feeling your pain, and equally you cannot imagine the joy we feel when you experience joy.  We require nothing from you, we desire only that you might experience the joy that you desire.”

‘Is there an angel for every single person?” I wanted to know.  ‘Because it wouldn’t seem fair, otherwise.’

“There is an eternity of angels,” it said.  ‘If you could imagine for a moment that we are extensions of you, you would understand that you each have at least one angel!  But in having the desire to connect with the angelic realms of existence, you open yourself up to connecting with the entirety of our dimension and the love that we can send to you is limited only by your capacity to allow yourself to receive it.  As you will begin to discover, over the course of our adventure together. 

You have closed your heart to love for many reasons, not least because you have been let down and disappointed by your expectations of other people, and of life.  And it will be required of you that you open your heart once more, if you wish to experience the joy and love that we can transmit to you.  You may find it painful, at first, to allow yourself to feel the pain and sadness that you have been trying to avoid.  But we assure you that the pain and sadness will pass and in it’s place will be the joy that you are seeking!”

Accompanying the words was a very peaceful feeling.  A feeling of being at home and safe.  And, even though my life was still a mess, there now appeared to be a hoover.

Also in Victoria Mary Clarke Angels Advice for Everyday Situations

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