ghostsMany of you who follow my blog know that I grew up in a haunted house and because of that became interested in the paranormal. I’ve written blog posts about my experiences in that freaky old farmhouse and plan on releasing a book about it as well…which will really be a conglomeration of all those earlier blog posts. Since starting this blog a little over a year ago, I’ve received lots of comments and email from readers who have had or are having similar experiences and I thought it was time to write another post dealing with the issue of ghosts.

For those of you who have not been following my blog since the beginning…let me bring you up too speed real quick about me, my experiences and beliefs concerning ghosts, hauntings, and the like.

First, I am not a medium though I have had some experience communicating with “the other side” and I don’t consider myself any more psychic than anyone else (we all possess psychic ability). But I do actively pursue knowledge on spiritual matters and put to practice the things I learn. So, basically, I am the average person with an interest in the paranormal and everything that I do…you can do as well!

I was seven when my family moved into the farmhouse and I was fourteen when we moved out. We’d had enough of the paranormal activity there and really, once my dad finally caved to the idea of ghosts and accepted the fact that they truly existed…there was no staying there any longer.

Ghosts can be pretty scary. It’s unnerving to deal with something you can’t see. Scariest of all is the possibility of coming up against something evil. This fear alone scares most people off when it comes to spirit communication and hauntings. And really, that is quite understandable. No one in their right mind is going to want to deal with an evil entity. Heck, we don’t want to deal with bad people who are still LIVING let alone one who is dead! The unseen bad is the worst kind in many ways. I think this is because we feel powerless against it. How do you fight something you can’t see or touch?

Now, before I go on with my thoughts on that, let me explain that the things I have come to believe are a result of personal experience and acquired knowledge from other people or through books, television/movie/video and the like. I believe every medium of learning (such as those just mentioned) are methods used by God to teach us what we need to learn or remember. Now, I believe in God, obviously, and I also think of this Higher Power as “the Universe”. Did you notice that I said God uses the various methods to “teach” us something or to help us “remember” something? I say “remember” because I truly believe we know way more than we remember about who we are (spiritual beings!) and where we come from (spirit!). When going through the birth process, it seems we suffer some sort of amnesia and “forget” quite a bit about our spiritual selves, where it was we came from and what we are capable of.

I had a very vivid dream once (during a time when I was really going through a “spiritual awakening”) that I believe addresses this issue. By the way…I truly believe our dreams are the soul’s way of speaking to us! But anyway…I dreamed I was in spirit and preparing to come to earth (I was soon to be born into a physical body). A group of friends was with me and we were discussing my pending birth. I was sad to be leaving them and the spiritual world in which we lived. In my dream, I understood that I’d done this before (been born into other lives…so, yes, I do believe in reincarnation and living past lives!). I told my friends that THIS time I wasn’t going to forget who I was. I wasn’t going to forget them or my “real” life. They told me it would be impossible to hold on to the memory of our truth. But I was VERY determined! So when it was time to go (enter earthly life) I ascended a spiral staircase and as I went up the steps, I repeatedly looked down at my friends gathered below. I would then wave and say, “I won’t forget you!”. Finally, I reached the top of the stairs and the world in which I had to step into was dark. The staircase and all below was brightness and light and I remember not wanting to step off the staircase into the dark interior of life. But I had no choice and so as I moved away from the stairs, I kept glancing back toward the stairwell. The further away I walked, the smaller the lighted spot where the staircase was located. The world around me was dark and dismal and at first I was constantly glancing back to remind me of the staircase’s existence and to reassure myself that it was still there. I would NOT forget! But, the more I walked (moved through life…grew up), the more frightening the images around me became and the smaller the light when I turned back to look. I kept repeating in my head “I won’t forget” but it was getting harder to remember to do that for I was distracted by what was going on around me. Then something jumped out at me and scared me so bad I didn’t dare to turn around and look for the light. Instead, I focused more on what was in front of me rather than what was behind me and when I finally did turn back…I could no longer see the light and I didn’t remember WHY I was looking back! I had forgotten! And that’s when I woke up. That dream is as vivid to me today as it was when I had it…now over 20 years ago! Dreams that stay with us are very important to us on many levels and in this case it was a pretty big lesson!

It’s been said that children retain some spiritual connection at birth but as they age, the connection becomes lost (have you ever noticed that babies often seem to be looking at something you can’t see? Something that amazes and amuses them?). The harsher the life we live, the faster we forget. Eventually, we are left “in the dark” and all knowledge of the light is something we must now seek to remember. I think that is why Jesus was considered the “light of the world”. He came to teach us “the way” back into the light (to reopen our eyes that we may see!). But he isn’t the only one who came to help us poor lost souls. All those who are known as true spiritual teachers (across all religions)…they too have come to show us the way and help us to see.

So anyway, our biggest challenge as humans is to remember the “truth” about who we are. In seeking and finding the truth, we shall truly be set free…from fear, misery, pain and the like! I truly believe that those of us who ACTIVELY seek the truth will eventually discover it. Bit by bit, slowly but surely! Because of our Ego (and we ALL possess one), our “remembering” is often a slow process. Our Egos act as a personal “gatekeeper” of sorts. It limits our access to universal knowledge and keeps us firmly rooted in the physical world. The Ego controls what we accept as truth and the only way to get a truth past Ego’s gate is to do it in small increments! Once we learn and accept one thing…we can go on to learn and accept another. And so on.

When physical death occurs and a person enters spirit, they do one of the following: 1) hang out in the spirit world for awhile (maybe go through a “life review” process) and then prepare for another birth (reincarnate) 2) go on to Heaven or Hell…whichever is appropriate! 3) hang around the physical world and try to communicate with loved ones left behind…or whoever else they manage to make contact with! 4) become confused about their new state of being (and thus require help from the angels and/or mediums) 5) refuse to accept they are dead (and so require help from angels and/or mediums) or they might 6) hang around the physical world in order to cause mischief. Those that do this are more than likely the “evil” ones we are so afraid to encounter. No doubt they are also avoiding Hell or whatever they must face for the evil deeds they conducted when they were alive!

The ones who are just trying to communicate (either to impart a message or offer reassurance) or the ones who are confused about their new status as spirits (because of a sudden or violent death)…these, I think, are the most common situations in hauntings. It really isn’t unusual to encounter a spirit who is here to do nothing more than reassure us they are fine or to impart a message. Some, though, are concerned about the welfare of someone they left behind and so stick around to watch over them. As for the ones who are confused about their “death” or are afraid to move on…they really do need help…either from a medium or from an angel, a spirit guide. BUT, the ones who stick around because they are angry or intend to do harm, THESE are the ones we need to watch out for and avoid interacting with. And it is fear of these ones who cause most people to avoid spirit communication.

I know that was the case for me when I was living in that farmhouse. Although I knew some of the spirits there meant no harm, there was at least one who was not nice and because of that ONE, I was afraid of them all. Now, considering they never hurt any of us, I can’t think why I was so afraid all the time, but I was. It was this fear that I wanted to address in my third book of the Tess Schafer-Medium series that I’m writing. Book one…”Be Still, My Love” was about my character Tess Schafer dealing with her anger at God and struggling with her spiritual beliefs. Book two…”Hidden Voices” was about her expanding her gift and accepting who she is, what she does and being comfortable with it. Book three…”Vanquishing Ghosts” (to be released in late Spring!) has Tess confronting her fear of negative spirit activity. I wanted to show through this story that we have within us the capability to deal with anything…even evil spirits. I almost named the book “Conquering Fear” because that is exactly what Tess had to do.

Many people write to me expressing fear for some sort of spirit activity they are experiencing. Most all those cases sound to me like someone in spirit who knows them and wants to communicate with them. The spirits bothering these nice folks aren’t trying to frighten them. As I’ve mentioned…once we pass into spirit and we realize that we are very much “alive”, we want to come back and reassure those we love. We want to share the good news! Only now we are in spirit and our communication attempts accomplish nothing but fear. This is why visiting a reputable medium would be beneficial. There are a lot of frauds out there in the world taking advantage of peoples’ grief but there are also a lot of truly gifted mediums ready and willing and happy to help you! As I am a member of the Spiritualist Church, I am lucky enough to be around lots of mediums! My advice lately, for those who seem to have a particularly determined spirit bothering them, is that they should try and locate a Spiritualist Church and see one of their mediums.

Common paranormal experiences are the feeling of being watched, the feeling that someone is right next to you, a sudden chill or tingling feeling (this is more of a response from your spirit body which instantly recognizes when other spirits are nearby!). Things might move around. Rocking chairs will rock, curtains will riffle, a picture might fall (in many cases, the person in the picture is the spirit trying to communicate!), doors open or shut, lights come on or go off, electrical equipment might do the same – the radio or TV might change channels. In all cases, if a spirit is involved, then they are simply manipulating the matter around you to try and get your attention. The problem is…they get your attention alright but then what? You aren’t exactly ready to carry on a conversation are you? And even if you are…how do you go about it? In some cases, people do hear their name being called (a common occurrence actually!). So how do you communicate with a spirit that has managed to get your attention? If you aren’t a natural medium (let’s face it…some are just gifted in this area while others are not!) and you don’t want to pull out a Ouija board, just how are you expected to “talk”?

Well, one thing I often recommend is what is known as “automatic writing”. This is where you grab a pencil and some paper and invite the spirit to communicate with you by writing whatever it is they want to say (using your hand to write it of course…don’t expect the pencil to just lift up and start scribbling away!). The problem with this method is that many people think they are making it all up. I say this…so what? Make it up! Just where do you suppose the inspiration for the words you are writing is coming from? Where do the stories I write come from? Where does any thought come from that pops into our mind? Spirit! This sort of writing is also called “inspirational writing” because you are being inspired to write. Inspiration comes from spirit so inspire away!! The freer you give reign to write whatever enters your mind, the more of a message you are going to get.

Now, because we don’t want to encourage negative spirit interaction, I always make it clear that I don’t want to communicate with anyone who is negative in any way. If a message comes through that sounds threatening or makes you uncomfortable then you need to end the communication. Loving spirits with good intentions are not going to make you feel that way. When a loving spirit wants too communicate with you, that is what you are going to feel…loving energy. You are going to feel GOOD inside. Happy. Peaceful. If you feel none of those things…then you simply tell the spirit that you will NOT communicate with it and that it is not to bother you any more and then BLESS the spirit and send it away. If you are still bothered after that, then find a medium and take care of the problem. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that a particularly nasty spirit isn’t going to obey your command (though I do believe this is rare!). The thing to remember is that here in the physical world…we who are in a physical body are in charge. Those in spirit can only operate in spirit. They can manipulate matter to a degree but once you take charge of the situation…through prayer, faith, and fearlessness…the spirit has no power. I truly believe this. I try to show this through my character Tess. I put her in situations in which she must handle spirit activity…the positive and the negative…and how she does that is how it can truly be done. I feel inspired while writing those stories. And where did I say inspiration comes from? Yeah…I feel spirit is helping me write the Tess Schafer series. I don’t doubt it a bit.

So anyway…the next time you think a spirit is haunting you, you now have options. Tell it to go away or communicate with it. But if you are not comfortable doing either of those things…find someone who will! Just remember, though, that we are all spiritual beings and you have within you the capability to deal with spirit…effectively and safely!!

Many blessings out to all and Peace Out!!

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