What happened to me today brought me right back to when I was about 13 - not an easy time for anyone, and definitely not for me. At that age, I was pretty open to spirit even though I didn't understand what was going on. I was hearing voices, I was seeing spirit, and I was having premonitions. In fact, at that point in my life I didn't realize that everything was tied together - the anxiety, the fear, the presence of spirit, I thought I might have been schizophrenic. Now, I know better of course.
Well it has been almost 13 years since I was that sensitive, and now that it is happening again (and I am actively opening up and welcoming the connection), I had forgotten just how overwhelming it can be. So you might understand why briefly I thought that I was going crazy again.
I was sitting there in my office, trying to work, and I couldn't breathe. I felt anxious. My heart was pounding noticeably. I couldn't sit still. No, it wasn't caffeine, I don't even drink caffeine anymore. And I thought back to when I was younger and all the times that I'd be somewhere, doing something, and have these feelings seemingly out of nowhere. So I tried to regroup and figure out if there was a spirit with me.
I even went so far as to take a bunch of pictures of my little office to see if I could catch an orb as validation, but no...as soon as I started to take pictures the feeling disappeared. So I thought to myself: Rae, you are just frickin' nuts. Maybe you're just a fruitcake. And I started to feel sad, and discouraged, and that sadness got piled on top of some other spiritual crises that I have been feeling and dealing with lately, and I couldn't take it anymore.
I rarely go out for lunch, but I felt like I just had to get out of the office and out to someplace with a distraction. I needed a treat. I went to Chipotle.
I sat in a corner along that bar by the window which is basically where all the people eating alone sit, and I was almost done with my tacos when I hear someone behind me talking pretty loudly. To themselves? To someone else? To me? Hard to tell. How to put this...everyone knows what it's like to encounter someone who is just a little bit off. They ramble. They talk loudly. They mutter. Sometimes they're homeless, sometimes they're just being friendly, whatever their situation, you know that they see the world a little differently. She puts her tray down next to me and I can see on her tray is one of those laminated pieces of paper with a person's picture, their name, and information about them.
Almost like what is sometimes given out at funerals. On the back is usually a prayer. She then tosses a mint to me and says something about how they should give those things out. I'm not entirely sure. I'm stuck between knowing that this is something that I should pay attention to, and reverting to that instinct that most people have when they encounter someone like this- smile, nod, pretend you're invisible, hope that they're the "nice" kind of extra-friendly, and hope that they don't pull you into a conversation.
I look at her as I'm starting to clean up and get ready to go.
"I can't usually come out for a meal like this. I can't afford it. My mother and sister put me up. But they both left me," she said.
At this point I am full-blown anxious again, having a hard time breathing, and on the verge of tears. She looks me in the eye.
"They don't really leave you, though," I say.
And there's a moment of clarity for her, I can see that.
"I know. I'm having lunch with my mother today. Do you see her?" she asks.
I'm panicking. I don't see her, but I feel her. I want to cry. I want to have it together and give her a message but I just can't. I'm not grounded, I'm over-emotional, and I'm totally blindsided by this whole experience. She plucks at her jacket. "This is my sister's jacket. Do you see her?" she asks.
If I needed any proof at all today that I'm not off my rocker, and that I was sensing spirit throughout the day, this was it. What were the chances that a stranger would ask me if I could see her dead relatives within the hour of my initial panic and doubt? I don't know what I said after that. I thanked her for the mint. She then gave me some recommendations of places I could get a job. I told her to have a blessed day. I left. And I ran to the Starbucks next door because suddenly the Chipotle wasn't enough and I needed something sweet and comforting (in the form of a big sugary drink, and chocolate peanut butter cups, and chocolate covered almonds).
I'm starting to trust that when I reach out a hand, and ask for help, for validation...someone will reach out to me and give me a little pull so that I can keep walking.