“Through the driving rain, I have lost the words to piece us back together, to tell you how it hurts. ‘Cause lately we’ve been breaking…There’s still a way to make it right. We’ll find the strength this time…Don’t you know, you’re standing in the way of the light?” ~ Birdy
A week ago today, thoughts of myself and the world began to flip. A week ago was my second day at Lily Dale, New York, a gated Spiritualist community “dedicated to the service of God, Spirit, and Mankind.” Spiritualism, if you are unfamiliar, believes not only in life after death, but that communication can be and is made between the spirits who have passed on.
Of course, considering my upbringing, I was afraid I was going to be sucked up into a cult and if not, I was going to Hell for anything I may believe upon hearing at Lily Dale. Neither so. Free will is emphasized, and only principles of Love are spoken. To see some of the reactions of others upon hearing from their loved ones via a medium is enough to believe and to realize that Love is present and alive beyond what we call death. But by Monday evening, after my soul sister Jordan had left for home, I was sobbing to Ray on the phone. I had heard several messages from mediums to others at public readings, but none for me.
I told Ray I would drive home that night. My thoughts told me I’d drive into a pole or a tree. I was scared. Ray convinced me to check into the guest house as planned. After settling there, I waited in line to attend Circle Night, in which a medium sits with no more than six people and gives each a reading. My first mind-blowing reading began.
While some of the energies and spirits may have been from the women on each side of me, influencing my reading, I did pick out some things that would have applied to me only in that circle. Such as the prophesy that I would have twins, who would answer my prayers. All the women in the circle were too old to give birth, and there was one man. Terrified, I sat. I had received a message.
What?? Twins?! I shared my fear with the medium and the circle after everyone had had a reading. She said it could be two others that come into my life and answer my prayers, and that I would not necessarily give birth. Not wishing to be alone with my thoughts, I spent much of that evening with the group from the circle, fellowshipping. My fears faded.
The following day, I met with a different medium, who I had scheduled a private reading with before arriving at Lily Dale. After he had prayed to Spirit, he meditatively began to share that he could sense my third eye wide open. Yes, I felt ready to receive. He said he could sense a mystical quality about me, that I had telepathic abilities, that dreams were involved, and that I have been given a special gift that not many have. In a sense, I could relate to these things, but not strongly. He said he felt that I would be doing what he does. He could sense how sensitive I am, and said that I could call upon Archangel Michael to surround me with the protective light of Christ so I would not be brought down by others’ emotions. He reported to me that a woman had “stepped in”, someone who died when I was about the age of seven, and that she could see then that I have this mystical gift. She knew that I was in a minor car accident as a child, he said, and I vaguely remember being told about this by my mother. As he described the woman, I could think of one or two women that could be her. (I still am unsure who this may have been.) I said that I didn’t recognize her, and he said that I may later.
I began to doubt while I tried to remain open. Our half-hour session was ending, and I had heard nothing from Gammy, nothing from Kristy, or Buddy the cat, or Ray’s dad, or anyone I recognized. The medium continued with several other details I don’t remember. Thankfully, I recorded the session on my digital recorder and he recorded a CD. Our session ended. He said he had never had a reading like mine. I guess that made me feel special.
I left his office cordially. He said something about hoping I enjoyed the session. “More will be revealed,” I said, quoting Ray. “Yes, it will,” the medium agreed. I was pissed. I had hoped and expected to hear from Spirit-side someone I knew, especially Gammy or Kristy. Instead, I received a call to service. A call to service using gifts I barely knew and greatly doubted I had. My mind began to angrily refute all I had heard, redefining it all as nonsense.
The cards read something different. For the first time, I had bought a deck of oracle cards. Sinful, I know. These cards had (and have) the opposite of devil praise to proclaim, however. After shuffling, I set up the drawn cards on my bed at the guest house that night. The first card, the one about what is happening now, was titled “Heaven Sent” and was about spiritual gifts. O-kay, God. As the cards were turned over, I began to accept my gift. I told my Higher Power that I would accept this with help and if it were the truth. The result was spiritual happiness.
My happiness grew when, in all, I attended three public sessions of the Healing Temple on the grounds. As the meditative healers laid their hands upon me, the loving, restorative energy began to fill me. Afterward, I would sit in the woods with that power and allow it to soak. I left Lily Dale joyful and excited for life ahead. As a spiritual retreat, my trip was successful. I hurt, I learned, I grew.
Today, I am no longer high on spiritual hope. I woke up earlier today than usual with ease. I kissed Ray as I sent him off to work, and engaged in my daily meditation. Then, as if under a spell, I slipped down upon the pillows of the couch and slept until noon. I awoke dazed, hungry, and increasingly frustrated. I powerlessly had fallen back to sleep, and now I was powerlessly angry and unfocused. Like the nearly impenetrable thunderstorm I drove through as I approached Lily Dale, life feels foggy and heavy again. It feels like pieces of me are chipping away again.
After writing this post, I am better, but I wonder. How long will I stand in the way of the light?
Photo by Jordan Macosko