Every once in a while the topic of spirit guides flares up and people get obsessed about having one. I have a close friend who usually takes one look at me and starts laughing if she is there because she knows the embarrassing story about what happened many years ago when I decided I should have one. She uses my story to tell her students about what can go wrong when she is teaching about mediumship and spirit guides.I rarely talk about this aborted effort because it is god damn embarrassing. So here it is:
It was the same story then, many of my friends were talking about their spirit guide said this and another spirit guide said that and I admit I was feeling left out. Sooo one night I sat down to seek out a spirit guide, I set the circle carefully. I burned my incense and went into a meditative state and opened myself up to whoever wanted to be my spirit guide and I got an answer and it was one I was colossally not happy with and I have never felt the need to ever go looking again. Why? Because the clown that showed up was Jesus. To say I was mad was to put it mildly. I told him to go away and never come back. That he had caused enough grief in my life and there was no way he was getting over the threshold again. You have never seen such a dejected pouty face. He asked me if I was sure and I was and pointed to the door and he left and I am very happy to say he has never returned to bother me again.
So before you go asking the universe for a spirit guide, be very aware that number one, you don’t need one and number two, if one shows up you don’t like, you have the right just like with any other god to tell them to take a frigging hike. Remember, it is you that is in charge of your spiritual relationships and not them. I am quite happy having relationships with Brighid or Quan Yin and the Green Man when they show up but no way is that little Middle Eastern war god who got a promotion is getting a foothold here and now he knows that now.
You can stop laughing now, I.M. if you read this.
Remember it is your spiritual life and not the other way around. You are the one having spiritual life and spiritual experiences and you are the one in control of how open you are to those experiences. Not your friends, not your High Priestess, not some deity. You!
And FYI: it is quite possible to be a medium and never have a spirit guide. Just saying.
I just read something at the Feminism and Religion blog that annoyed the crap out of me. I haven’t even finished the blog I’m so annoyed. Carol Christ talks about trying to lift a friend’s depression. I’m afraid it’s not possible to do that and all that usually happens is the depressed person is now depressed and pissed off whether it comes to the surface or not there is usually anger there.
I repeat, it is not possible to jolly someone out of depression whether it’s physical or circumstantial or both. The only person that can get you out of a depression is yourself. You have to find it within yourself a reason to lift it. Sometimes medication helps. Sometimes it’s changing what you are doing but well-meaning people just add to the problem because the “shoulds” come into play. “Why are you depressed? There are people worse off than you.” Yeah, adding guilt really helps. “I’m sorry for your loss but they’re in a really better place now?” Seriously? How do you know that in all your great wisdom? I miss them and that is really all that counts not your bloody opinion of my missing someone.
In my view, unless you are a trained professional leave the psychobabble and the well-meaning platitudes at home. You aren’t helping. You are just annoying. And at times even trained professionals need to back off.
How do I know this? I come from a family of moody depressed people and I am one of them. Whether it’s because I’m a dour Celt or a Scandinavian I don’t know but I do know that what does help is making myself busy at something I like to do if I can get out from under the cloud of immobility. My sick sense of humour helps, distraction helps. Sometimes medication helps but annoying busybodies do not help. Walking outside helps, digging in the dirt helps, helping someone else helps. But the only thing that can truly help a depressive or depressed person is themselves so next time you feel driven and empaths, this is especially directed at you, SHUT UP!
Take the depressed person for a walk and be willing to sit in silence until they are ready, if they want to, to say something. Take them to the depressed person’s favourite kind of movie, not yours. Lend them a favourite book that isn’t self help, maybe a favourite fictional author they don’t know about. If they are depressed about the environment and the planet, take them to a beach clean up or to an Audubon bird count. Let them do something with you for the good of the planet. Feeling like you can make a difference gives you some control of your part of the universe. Do not point out what “should” be done. Shoulds are shaming and never help.
So if you have a depressive you care about, SHUT UP! Just be. Be there for them if they want it, Leave them alone if they want that. Do check in on them but remember that a lot of depressives are empaths. You could be annoying them with your need to help and they will be very well aware of your need to fix them. Just don’t. Sometimes you need to just be. It isn’t your job to fix them and they may be trying their hardest to do just that. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it is happening. This isn’t about you and your need to be Little Merry Sunshine, it’s about their needs and some of us will never ever be that. Deal with it.