Johnny Soldier had been fighting in wars all his life; fights with his mother, father, sisters, friends and his beloved wife. His fight was no battle-field. Or army camp. It was no war zone or territorial army. Johnny’s fight was with himself – not even with the bottle though some would say it was. His fight with himself and whether he would say yay or nay to another pint. His fight with his own lack of ability to say ‘no’. His life was one of dark encounters because he knew no better. That was when we called Johnny from the other side and beckoned him to stop for we knew he would die if not. Johnny’s soul had decided to live and he would not live if he carried on as he was. Here is his story from the day he was born up to the present time at age 42. We, on the spirit side of life, from other dimensions, watch you all very closely, especially those who call upon us, and Johnny has always called us and that is why we tell his story now for we are light beings and we see it all so clearly. Johnny has his own reasons for wanting his story told and we are here to tell it.
It was a cold November evening when he looked into his mother’s eyes in a way he had not dared to look since being a young baby. It was the same look he gave when he had needed milk. It was 6pm and he had not eaten since 9, his mother far too busy to feed the eldest. He always came last. He was 10 years old but he suddenly grabbed hold of his mother’s arm and splattered tears onto her half baked skin, ‘When can I eat mar? When will it be dinner? Me tummy’s sore.’ His mother turned to look him straight in the eye and there was a glimpse of love for a few seconds. But then it turned again. ‘Go fetch the twins Johnny, pull out some leeks from the yard, then we’ll make food. There isn’t time to sulk. Just get on with it!’ She spoke out of urgency and necessity. Her life necessitated it – there was no time to ponder, reflect, be, reminisce or give hugs. She had 6 mouths to feed and that was only the children. Johnny turned away to fetch leeks. If he didn’t he may not eat. Hard work was rewarded eventually but no work meant no reward. The lost emotion dripped down into his belly to emerge again in adulthood.
He grew up on a council estate in the North East of England. Times were tough, cold and down-hearted. His dad was out till late at night working down the mines then coming home after a few pints. Johnny spent his time collecting money, washing clothes, doing odd jobs, washing up, chopping wood, doing a paper round, feeding babies, whatever was required of him. He was often last to be fed. His father beat him for not working hard enough. His mother got sick and the youngest were always crying out for attention. Johnny got lumbered with the task. His bones became brittle and his spine bent. He had rough hands and failed all his school exams.
He left home at 16 with a job in a laundrette and another paper round, living in a tiny bedsit on housing benefit. He hated it most of the time but he was away from his family. Soon he got into a gang, just to hang out with some like minded lads. They took him into bars and restaurants and with his good looks and demure feminine qualities he ended up with 2 bar jobs. If he kept busy he didn’t feel so alone. He started drinking after the bar closed with the other bar men and women. Johnny took a fancy to one, Belinda, who also had a soft spot for him.
Belinda and Johnny spent 2 years together hanging out in the bedsit as lovers. Belinda soon got pregnant and Johnny had twins to look after at the age of 20. He loved his babies but could not cope with working 3 jobs and looking after children. He could not earn enough to keep them all and pay for his booze. He took to drinking even more and fought greatly with Belinda and the twins. He shouted at everyone though he loved Belinda dearly and she had been the first to ever show much love and concern for Johnny. Eventually she kicked him out.
‘Just get out Johnny Soldier! What sort of soldier did you turn out to be? You’re feeding the babies on beer and spitting your crap all over us. I don’t wanna hear your excuses any more. I don’t love you. How can I? You stink of booze all the time! You’re hardly ever here and you don’t care for us any more. Just get out!’
Johnny didn’t think any more. He just packed his bags and left. He looked back at Belinda, the girl he had loved and still did. ‘See ya’ Bel!’ He walked for miles and miles, trekking across open countryside eating fruit from the trees and a loaf of bread. He huddled up under trees at night and looked up at God’s sky kingdom. ‘You give me a rough deal God! Where are you now? Where are you when I need ya’? You don’t exist. How can ya’?’ He pushed himself up and over styles and blocked up pathways, trying to find the way out. He got the shivers from wanting booze. He got it whenever he could. There was a bus going to London and he caught the last one.
He lived on the streets getting into ever more drinking with street kids and adults. A man paid for him to become a pimp. The money paid for him to get more booze and feed himself on junk food. He lived in a cardboard box in the centre of London. He stole food and got arrested often, but not enough to be sent to prison. He got loud and boisterous. There was no room for him at his family home and he didn’t want to go back there. His spine hurt and so did his brittle bones. Johnny was no longer able or willing to call on us, though we sent him whatever help we could.
His beard grew long and his greasy long black hair stuck up all over the place over his raggedy t-shirt. He stuck his grubby black hands and fingers into his jeans pockets and cried out to us for the first time in months, ‘Where are you now oh angels of mercy? They taught us about you in school. I thought you was meant to love everyone. What have you ever done for me? I just exist here like a pickled onion waiting to be eaten. I just exist but hardly. Do you want me to carry on like this or shall I just kill myself? Tell me what to do, cos I don’t know any more. I just wanna die. That’s what, I wanna die and go where you are, wherever that is.’ And then he fell into a deep sleep and we soothed him with healing and called on our Earth helpers.
The next morning a man from the alternative church found Johnny and put beside him an envelope containing a small amount of money and the address of the church with details of a special meeting to aid homeless people. Johnny woke up in a blur. His eyesight was getting worse though sufficient enough to read the note. He arrived at the meeting an hour late but as everyone was packing up to leave a woman in a pink berry approached him. ‘Hey, you’re late but would you like to start a new kind of life?’ He looked at her suspiciously, ‘What is it?’ Barbara Colasses gave Johnny another invitation to be part of a youth community where he could be fed, clothed and live for free but he needed to declare to God that he would try to give up alcohol and wished to transform. Johnny said he would give it a go.
Johnny’s new life started in the youth community project which had joined with the forest schools association to provide tree house homes to selected homeless young people. The wood was far away from town so drugs and alcohol not easily found. Meals were provided twice a day and cooked on wood burners in a central hut. Supervisors were in charge of the scheme and so the whole complex was overseen day and night. The young people were not even told whereabouts they were to lessen the chances of them escaping to pubs, clubs and town life. All this had to be agreed upon in advance. Johnny was desperately unhappy and wanted to give it a go. He had his tree house built for him and ready to move into, but after a couple of weeks he was asked to help build others. He was put with a trainer and together they built further tree houses and benders on ground level.
A holistic doctor came to visit weekly to deal with anything severe that may have occurred for anyone going through the detox process, but otherwise there was a resident herbalist, homeopath and healer. Everything was accounted for, and counselling was offered on a daily basis. Of course there were those who tried to escape back to town in desperation. There were those who had minor accidents, there were those who just slept all day and could not carry out building work. There were those who wanted to build gardens, benches, vegetable plots or orchards. Some wanted to write, draw, paint, sculpture, play music and other creative pursuits. Everything was accounted for, and prayers were said every evening and morning for everyone who lived on the community. Johnny enjoyed his work. He learnt carpentry skills, wild food foraging, how to grow vegetables. He almost forgot about his drinking habit. Nature seemed to give him something he had never experienced before. Sometimes he felt sick. Sometimes he was dizzy. He had back pain. But he carried on building tree houses and became an adept carpenter.
Johnny loved his time on this new venture but soon memories and emotions started flooding over him. He missed Belinda and his twins. He missed his family. He felt angry about the past, about how he had never been fed enough as a child. He hadn’t seen his mother and father for 10 years now. He wondered how they were. He felt compassion in his heart for all that he had experienced. He wanted to make contact with them again. He wanted to give them something yet he also felt in rage about the past. His emotions were all mixed up. He stopped building the treehouses and would wander off instead. Sometimes he would just go deep into the woods and cry. Sometimes he would not leave his tree-house. He would have drunk or had a spliff by now if he’d been in town but here there was nowhere to access alcohol of any description. He wondered if he could brew his own here but knew he’d be found out. He thought if he found some resin from tree bark he might make some kind of drug but he tried and it didn’t work. He would wake up in the middle of the night seeing Belinda’s face like a haunting; he’d see the twins, Madeline and Michelle, now probably 6 or 7. He cried and cried, howling in the night like a baby for all he had lost and all he had never had.
Eventually, the resident counsellor came to see him. She climbed up to his tree-house and knocked on the door politely. Johnny shouted back, ‘GO AWAY!’ He didn’t believe anyone cared about him. Why should they? No-one else had ever cared for him, except Belinda. Why should anyone ever like him when all he did was bawl and howl like a baby and was no use to anyone?
The counsellor insisted on knocking even louder until Johnny flew at the door and almost pulled it off its socket tearing it open. ‘I DON’T NEED ANYONE’S HELP! I’M A GOOD FOR NOTHING WASTE OF TIME. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!’ She didn’t leave. Mariella sat on the bench beside Johnny’s bed and just waited. She then gradually approached him and held his hand tightly. ‘Its all right Johnny. You are loved as much as anyone else here. Why don’t you come down and sit by the warm fire for a while?’ Johnny started to feel warmer and braver somehow. ‘We’re having a fire circle in a few minutes Johnny. We’d like you to come and talk about how you’re feeling. If you don’t want to that’s fine, you can just sit and listen to the others.’
‘I’ll come.’ he said and they went down to a roaring open fire in the field below.
His face felt sore and his throat dry. He wanted to feel better. The warm glow of the fire was inviting. His community friends were all sitting there, some cheering him, others quietly sitting, some looking forlorn and depressed. Others were busily stacking logs and kindling onto the fire or chopping up more wood. Johnny tucked his knees up to this chest and buried his head into his lap. He tried to forgot those distant memories. He tried to dream it away and absorb the fire and the fire energy. He was 26. Life had given him a hard blow but he was only just feeling it.
The boys spoke about mundane practical things and some spoke about how they were feeling, how they were missing booze or missing their mates or street comrades. Some felt too isolated. Some loved their wood world. Others had disputes amongst themselves. Then it was Johnny’s turn. ‘I love this wood’ he started ‘but why was I taken away from my Belinda? My babies? Why has everything been taken away from me? I have nothing in this sick world. Nothing!’ He bent down again, hugging his dirt stained knees peeping out through holes in his jeans. Everyone waited and remained silent. The crackling of the fire and rustling breeze through the trees were the only sounds. Then Adam spoke, ‘We all love ya’ mate!’ and most piped up, ‘yeah!’ The whole ethos of the community on ‘love’ and ‘oneness’ was seeping through to all of them at some level, even if in some minor way.
Johnny cried and tentatively Adam and then others came around him and started hugging him gently. The love was beginning to grow. The fire sizzled suddenly. Mariella and Charles, the adult leaders, started chanting and others joined in. ‘Om Mane Padme Hum’ the mantra of open hearts and compassion. Soon the drums and percussion came out. Music rang over the distant hills as one community joined in unison with one another and became the one. The light spread as Johnny’s heart was gradually beating stronger by the minute and warming in small particles. None of this happens over night. We were there that night to oversee it all and encourage the opening up of people’s hearts.
They sat down later, around the cindering fire, and said prayers and made affirmations together. Johnny learnt to love himself a little more. Loving himself totally would take a life time, and even more life times to come. Yet this was a start.
When there was conflict on the community it was harder. Johnny ran off one day in search of booze. The feeling was like some tiny seed inside him that was kept hidden away. But when hardships came the seed would become like an uncomfortable dragon that sought feeding. He ran as fast as he could in search of town, in search of booze. He just wanted to taste it once more, see what it was like, feel its warm glow, escape from the feelings for a while, blot it all out. He ran and ran and ran through fields, woodlands and country lanes until he found a small newsagent. And that’s when Johnny went downhill once more.
The conflicts at the community had left him feeling sore inside. He didn’t want to fight yet his fist had come out. He’d been called names and sometimes times were still hard. He spied the bottle he wanted through the newsagent window. They’d taken all money from the boys so he had none. He was going to get it anyway. The man behind the counter was small and elderly. He was on the phone. Johnny sneaked in and grabbed the bottle of cider, putting it underneath his coat. He tried to look normal and unassuming, used to taking such a stance in his old days. The newsagent shuffled a bit but was unperturbed. His head was still inside the phone.
Johnny hid behind a bush and guzzled the lot in half an hour. Then he was sick, quite violently. He tried walking but it was glazed and he felt dizzy and more sick. The sun was starting to go down already. People walked past him and looked at him as if he was mad. They laughed or stepped over him. That was when Johnny deeply missed the community of love. That’s what they had all been calling it. He found his phone in his jacket pocket and somehow found Marilla’s number. She had made sure they all had it and that they all had credit on their phones in case of emergency, though cash was not allowed. These were all part of the community rules to keep them all sane, safe and scared off alcohol – but it hadn’t quite worked with him.
‘Look for a sign’ Marilla said in a controlled voice. ‘Somewhere there will be a sign to say what village you’re in or ask someone. Ray will come and fetch you in the van.’
It took some hours before Johnny recovered fully from alcoholic intoxication. It wasn’t how it used to be. It hadn’t given him what he needed. Here there was something far better. He slept deeply until the early morning and then was violently sick again. Mariella took him in for his first hour long counselling session which he’d resisted for his whole time on the community. This became one of many and Johnny was gradually becoming stronger and stronger. He cried, wailed, drew pictures of his family, sang mantras and said prayers. Together with others he formed new bonds and had new roles to play. The brittleness he had felt in his bones was improving gradually. He received osteopathy for his spine.
Johnny’s life was improving day by day but he still missed Belinda and his twins so much he almost demanded to see them. Mariella suggested Facebook as a means of finding her once more. They set him up an account and email address in the tiny communal office hut. Here he eventually received news of his beloved. Belinda had also been searching for Johnny. She had been with another man, Rob, but their relationship had broken down and she wanted Johnny to see the twins again. Johnny cried. His one love was still there.
Johnny met up with Belinda and saw his 10 year old twins who he barely recognised as his own. Belinda knew she still loved Johnny and asked for them to be together once more. ‘I can’t leave the community Belinda. I can’t live without it now. Will you come there with me?’
Belinda came as a visitor, but this was a rehab community for ex-homeless young men. Mariella told Johnny the alternative church had another community for people who were well enough to live without so much support and was for men and women. Johnny was sad to leave his mates, Mariella and Charles on this one, but he wanted to give it a go with Belinda. The gates were opened and they found themselves on another beautiful woodland valley community where they were permitted to stay if they built themselves a home. Johnny worked day and night building the most solid structure he could for his new family. It worked. He built a straw bale house for his new family unit.
Belinda was scared about many things: her family who lived far away from here, her life with the twins away from their old home and town life and she worried about how she would get along with Johnny and cope without her bar job. Johnny reassured her that money was not a problem. He would grow vegetables to sell at market and make tools and stools to sell. On this community there was a fund available for some food supplies and some support but was more limited as people were encouraged to be more independent. A counsellor was still available on a daily basis. A survival skills expert gave training in foraging, gardening and building once a week and the alternative church prayer chaplain led prayers every evening. Others were available for emergency help and support by phone. This community was for those more equipped to cope individually with the life-style and who had already gone through a full rehab process.
Their time went well together in the woodland. Belinda loved Johnny even more. He was wiser, stronger and very capable. She was scared of many things and sometimes felt alone and afraid in the wood even though she was surrounded by her family. She missed having a drink, being able to wander into town and buy herself a cream bun or packet of crisps. She had cravings, longings, difficult memories and many fears. But Johnny knew all about these feelings and he just gave her more and more love until she felt better. She learnt to cope and got very used to her new life. She didn’t want those unhealthy things any more. She had more than enough nourishment here.
Some of the community started groups for tree hugging, moon bathing, Earth connecting, plant talking. All these pursuits made everything seem better somehow. Belinda tried it all and grew to love this life. She understood that their electricity came from the sun and the wind and all their waste was sent right back into the Earth through the compost toilet. Life was suddenly making more sense than it did before.
There was a strict rule on this community that no living creature could be killed for any reason and no previously living creature eaten. Most importantly, no alcohol or drugs could be on site or taken for any reason. These rules worked on the whole but there were always those who tried to get away with it. They were immediately sent away to reflect on their actions and to consider whether they wanted to live on the community or not. Mostly they returned. Some didn’t and that was unfortunate. But maybe they would return again at some time in the distant or not too distant future. But if people chose to stay away for a while they were given one of the alternative church’s rooms in town for a period of 6 weeks as long as no alcohol or drugs were consumed there.
The community thrived and so did Johnny, Barbara and the twins. People cried, fell out, had fights, felt ill, abandoned, left out and experienced all those other human emotions. The difference here was how all this was dealt with and resolved. People would sit round the fire with the counsellor and holistic healers. Everyone would pray and be prayed for. Sacred mantras would be chanted for peace, compassion and overcoming obstacles. Games and drama would happen around the fire, drumming, music and then good wholesome food. There was a togetherness and love which would never go away. Those who felt safe and happy to do so would join in the group hug and hug others individually. But this wasn’t for everyone, and some just wanted to sit quietly listening to dolphin music or the wind. It was a beautiful space and most thrived and grew greatly through their time together. Johnny and Belinda lived happily there for many years and their twins grew up to become community leaders themselves since their parents had been such great teachers.
And that is the story of Johnny, who finally overcame his many addictions and who grew and learnt that it was ok for him to be just who he was, to love and be loved. He knew that this was the true nourishment he needed to grow into who he really was deep inside. We tell you this story now to show how one man overcame his difficult past, his addictions and fears and how he grew to love living a simple life in nature with his beloved family. Its a story for everyone since you all have your hardships and your addictions of one sort or another and we are always here to help, The angels and Ascended Masters, The White Brethren. Call on us at any time, often and be the person who you really are, in your full true self. We are here to help.
Thank you for reading this and may you be blessed and love always, The White Brethren.