© Ian Lawton 2013

If we’re going to take this journey together, I’ll have to ask you to put yourself in my shoes. So summon your imagination and picture this...

You’re a big-shot consultant and project manager in the commercial world, earning big money. Nice cars, nice women, nice holidays, nice houses, nice life. But increasingly you’ve been feeling this isn’t who you really are, that your life is a sham. You feel suffocated, trapped, desperate. Then suddenly something happens – it may only be small, but it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back – and you just know you’ve got to get out. It’s now or never. So you quit.

You become interested in alternative things: Egypt’s pyramids, Atlantis, reincarnation, the spiritual path. You become an author, even though you never consciously planned it.

For once you believe in what you’re doing, but your books don’t catch on well enough to provide even a basic income. So you sell your house, and from the profits you buy a boat to live on. Then you’re forced to sell your boat and just live off the money. It doesn’t last long but you’re happy because you’re where you’re meant to be.

After several hard years you get a break. Just when you thought you could never go back to the commercial world, an opportunity arises for you to use your old skills to train other people in how to manage projects. For a few years you’re more or less square with the bank, and you even get to live in a nice rented flat by the sea. You can work part time and still write and research. Fantastic! You even train as a regression therapist to add another string to your bow.

But suddenly the company who provide you with training work goes bang, without warning. They’re one of the big players and now there’s a glut of experienced trainers on the market. Most of them have more contacts than you and your work dries up, not helped by a worsening economy.

One friend kindly puts you up in their flat rent free for a year. But you can’t outstay your welcome so you borrow the money from another dear friend to convert a big old Mercedes van into a mobile home to live in. He and his lovely partner even let you live in it on their drive for eighteen months. But you can’t see clients in a van, and anyway you’re living in the middle of nowhere.

You’ve carried on believing passionately in your spiritual work. After all you’ve come up with several new, thought-provoking concepts such as Rational Spirituality and the holographic soul. In the past people regularly wrote to tell you how much your work had helped them, sometimes even that you’re a brilliant researcher.

So you’ve carried on battling against the odds, and by now you’ve written more than ten books covering a wide range of topics in every conceivable way – complex research-based books, simple pocket ones, novels. Yet overall sales have steadily decreased, and in the last few months they’ve dwindled to almost nothing. People hardly even talk to each other about your work any more, let alone to you.

You’ve been meditating every day for years, envisaging every positive outcome conceivable, chanting manifestation mantras. Your therapy training meant you had to clear many emotional blockages, and even since then you’ve had close colleagues – the best therapists around – checking you for any that remain. All to no avail.

Somehow it seems like most of your friends have deserted you too. You contact them but usually they don’t even respond. You’ve thought about ending it all plenty of times recently, lying alone on your bed in your cramped living space, sometimes beating your head with your fists in frustration.

One day you look in the mirror and are startled to see bruises all over your forehead. Yellow and purple reminders of your inner turmoil.

One thing has kept you going throughout this most painful period. Your deep love for a woman, and her deep love for you. She’s married with children, it’s complicated, and not without its own pain. You plan a future together, after a long and painful process she and her husband separate, then they’re forced back together by love of their children – anything to take away their pain. You try to have no contact but the love is too strong. She still feels the same but can offer you no hope.

Yet you cling to it. After all, it’s all you have.

Then suddenly, the final bombshell. So totally unexpected that you’ve never even remotely contemplated it. She’s fallen massively for someone else. Love at first sight. The real deal. Her bond with him is even stronger than the one she shared with you, and she simply cannot resist.

There’s no deliberate intent to hurt you, but in an instant you’re an afterthought, a mere footnote to the new things in her life. You have no idea if she’ll be able to achieve the lifelong happiness with him that she never could with you. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because you don’t matter any more.

You’ve had a chequered love life. You’ve broken plenty of hearts yourself, but recently you’ve been on the receiving end. Too many times. You can’t go through this again, not when it’s worse than ever before because you love her so much. Not, too, when she was the one lifeline you had left.

You were already right on the precipice, and now you feel it crumbling under your feet. You’re in an agony of doubt and rejection and above all fear… always the fear.

You discover THE GIFT...