When I was in therapy a few years ago, I worked through the concept of judgment. Judgement in itself is not bad, it keeps us from eating poisonous plants and not stepping in front of cars passing by. Yet, judging others can cast a wide net of negativity and speaks volumes of our own fears and insecurities. I am as guilty as the next person of judging others. It is a hard habit to get out of. This blog is not meant to lecture nor explore why we judge, but to highlight the irony of it in certain cases. This is my recent experience with judgement.
A few years ago when I was still much in denial about my psychic abilities, I was working through the grief of my stillborn daughter. I received a book that had to do with heaven and the afterlife. I flipped through it, noticing drawings throughout the book. One of them I was particularly drawn to. It was of a man with beautiful eyes. I instantly recognized him. The description of the drawing was nondescript. As was the way my abilities usually came to me before I truly understood them, I immediately began receiving information about this man. He was very funny, with a wicked sense of humor. I saw him and I sitting in a beautiful garden, and his laugh was melodic with a slight ring to it. I somehow knew that we would have light discussions as would walk through the garden together. I always, always, came to him for a good joke.
It bugged me that I couldn't place this man that I clearly knew.
"Who was he?" I wondered. I googled the artist until I found the drawing included in the book. As I read the description of the drawing, my mouth dropped open in utter surprise and amazement.
It was Jesus.
Are you kidding me? Raised Catholic, I had gone through catechism as a young girl and learned all about Jesus. The Jesus they taught me about what not the person from the picture that I clearly knew. The Jesus they taught about was unfamiliar, cold, and distant. He was completely selfless, God-driven, pure, and judgemental of our actions on Earth- willing to forgive as long as we repented. For me, that lead to confessions in a dark booth with a Priest. I anxiously admitted to my wrong-doings and I was ordered to say more than my fair share of "Hail Marys" and "Our Fathers" in order to be forgiven.
I specifically recall the nun during catechism class encouraging us to ask Jesus to visit us, and it was a huge honor. "He will be back someday" she would say during every class. For an anxious little girl, this through me over the edge. When I would say my prayers at night, I would specifically ask Jesus NOT to visit me. Oh, the irony.
In high-school as a born-again Christian I memorized the song, "King Jesus is All." I sang loud and proud about all of his miracles and him being my, "All and All." Honestly, I was singing about a person I wish I knew. Plus, a man who does miracles doesn't seem like he'd be a good conversationalist, does he?
Yet, the one that I KNEW- that I was POSITIVE I had had conversations with, was very, very, different. The Jesus that I have spoken to was relatable, kind, and warm. The Jesus I knew made mistakes, and was humble in his "Son of God" position. He is a man as any other, with a few special attributes, yet even typing that feels odd and verboten. Yet, I feel it in my soul as I know my own daughter and son. He loves. He has lost. He is there to council. Like a good therapist he will listen without interrupting and gives thoughtful answers. He is human, and I am positive that I love him with every ounce of my being.
With this knowledge that came to me that chilly, Spring night back in 2014, there is no doubt that I am Christian. Yet, I acknowledge, love, and also share my Christian beliefs with other beliefs. It quietly intermingles with my Pagan/Wiccan beliefs of celebrating the seasons and of an Earth Mother. There is the Buddhist in me that believes in doing no harm, and I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I'd find lines of other major religions silently following through my core self.
Nonetheless, I know Jesus doesn't take it personally, nor does he care if one follows a different path that doesn't go to him. He doesn't have an ego, and he loves without question. All of these things I know innately.
It took me awhile to open up about these distinct memories. In time, I admitted these new memories to my husband. When I did, he laughed- and I had to join in at the irony of it all. S knew that if I really wanted to remember talking to someone from the past, I was far more likely to tell him I had memories of Katherine Hepburn or Humphrey Bogart. Most importantly, he affirmed them as truth.
After awhile, the memory fell back into my conscious. It only came up again when I happen to see the picture or someone spoke about the book it was from. Before this blog, I'd only shared this story with a couple of people. It was a comforting memory to fall back on if I was having a hard day. I could close my eyes and see the garden and my friend's shining eyes. I could remember and know that somewhere, I had spoken to him, and he exists.
Imagine my irony this weekend then, when a person posted something very unkind on my page.
"Who made you God?" Patricia demands. "U (sic) are doing the Devils (sic) work. U (sic) need Jesus. People don't fall for this junk."
As I read her comment, the image of my friend that I so clearly know came to the forefront of my thoughts. I saw his smiling face, and I felt his warmth.
I was curious who this woman was who would make such a statement, so I clicked on her name to take me to her page.
My mouth fell open again. Her cover photo was the drawing that I first saw when I received the beautiful memories of speaking with Jesus. It turns out both her and I love and follow the same man.
I have never, ever, tried to claim to be God. God did make me though, just as s/he made all of us- including Patricia. In making us, we become a part of them. We all have a part of God with us. A mantra that the Gnostic Christian's use is,
I am God
I am a part of God.
I am God.
Everything is possible because I am God.
When they say, "I am God" they are not claiming to be the almighty. They are affirming their God-center, understanding they have power within them to understand and achieve things that others may say are not possible.
The devil is not in the hole in ground nor in a fiery pit somewhere. The devil (if it exists at all) is the hatred that humans create and cause harm to others- animals included. I follow the hippocratic oath of, "do no harm" when I answer a question or do a reading, and I take that very, very, seriously.
As for, 'falling for this junk" I can't speak for anyone but myself. Considering my clients and the recommendations I've received, I'd say that if this is junk, at least it's helping people. I truly pray that we all find whatever helps us through this arduous journey of life- whether it is is a psychic medium, the bible, meditation, or atheism.
I am grateful for Patricia's comment, because it allowed me to think through how I am perceived. Do I claim to be more than I am? Am I giving 100% of myself to everyone that contacts me? Are my intentions pure? As long as I can be sure that I am acting with pure intentions, I can be rest assured I am okay. Just the way I am.
We all have had a "Patricia" in our lives- someone that strikes out at us with false accusations intending to harm our psyche. We have all been "Patricia" to other people, perhaps unconsciously or inadvertently, but our words have hurt others. Unfortunately we are human, and it's unavoidable. We can only check-in with ourselves and make sure we are all following the hippocratic oath. Let us do no harm to others, and love ourselves for who we are.
As for the man in the garden, I am positive many of you know him as well. Perhaps you have memories of him, or feel in your heart you have shared an experience. If you have, cherish those feelings, and hold on to them. If you haven't, perhaps you have a connection to someone else: Buddha, Muhammad, or other people that have walked the Earth and are now serving with God. Explore your heart, and do not ignore whatever feelings to flow out. Accept them. Love them. Believe them to be true and real.
Whatever you believe, accept that others may have different beliefs, and they may not be wrong. We can all be right in small ways.
I await my next memory or trip to the garden that I seem to know so well. If you happen to dream of it before me, be sure and say hello to our friend, and ask him to tell you his latest joke.