What Makes You Feel Separate?
At a recent Friendship Bench discussion, we talked about the idea of “owning your weird” with author, Shelley Brown. I wanted to speak up about my weird in that meeting, that I’ve been having Shamanic experiences since my earliest memories and otherworldly encounters, but it didn’t feel right at the time.
I guess even among the weird (aka all of us), I still feel like saying what I’ve experienced is well…gulp.
I stopped sharing with people early in my life because if I tried to tell my parents, they didn’t really understand and wanted to save me from it. If I told kids at school, they’d get scared and tell their parents. Others would try to “fix” it, and I didn’t want it to be fixed. It was not “a something” to be fixed. It was me.
I didn’t want it explained away, I wanted people to ask me about my experiences. I thought it was interesting that spirit beings would connect with me on a continuous basis, and I don’t mean just talking to me, I mean interacting with me, even performing physical healings.
I would often experience a kind of eternal, cell-saturating, unconditional love that was so omnipresent, I’d sometimes feel like I was outside of my body observing. I’d notice a tear of humility and utter gratitude running down my face.
One of my older sisters used to harbor a lot of resentment towards me for having an outward expression of this love. She’d yell, “It’s not fair! You literally came into this world like, ‘Here I am! I’m amazing! I’m a shining star and everyone LOVES me!’ That’s how you came into the world,” she’d say angrily. “I know. I was there, and it’s SO not fair! Why wasn’t I born with that much self-esteem?!”
Whenever she’d say that I would say, “But you ARE so amazing!! You, too, are loved eternally! Like, like…ecstatically adored and cherished!! I know this!” Which was usually met with a huff and a dramatic exit.
Enter in the parents. “Who’s this Them you’re always talking about,” my parents would say.
“You know,” I’d reply, “Them.”
I felt compassion for my sister; that she couldn’t feel the same presence, the same love, the same value.
I enjoyed being in nature talking to the trees and communing in play. The spirit beings were parenting me. They would teach me things about life while I was awake (Sun body), and then be with me in dream states (Moon body). One of the things I was most grateful for, was their willingness to enter the dream worlds with me because often those were very threatening, frightening, and eerie places.
I started to get a reputation in my family as a psychic because many times, I’d dream of something before it happened, or get a premonition and be able to describe it in detail. If it came to pass (which it often did) my family would exclaim, “Oh my God. You’re so psychic!” It happened so often that when my niece was a child and I was taking her on a walk one day, she looked up at me said, “Aunt Allison, You’re so psychotic!” Haha. Well, she tried.
Side note: the dream I had about her before she was born lives as a kind of legend in our family. My sister asked me to be her Godmother, and it turns out my niece has the same kind of spiritual walk as I do. It’s created a great bond between us. We lean on one another for support because it’s all still so weird and unknown, so unchartered. A tragic example of this happened when my sister and I were still in high school. I dreamt that her best friend, Matthew, died in a house fire. I told her and my family, and I kept feeling odd sensations in my bones whenever I’d remember the dream. About four months later, he and his brother, and their parents passed away in a house fire. My sister was heartbroken and traumatized, it took her years to get over it.
That happening, along with several others, made me doubt the validity of modern science. Everything I learned at school was based on scientific determinations of how reality works (three-dimensional space and time and the laws of physics), but those ideas don’t hold up in these spaces; in dreams, encounters with Beings, timelessness, Shamanic experiences, Astral travel, and so on.
When I was growing up, I longed for, and probably even romanticized, gathering in tribal circle in the mornings, sharing our experiences in the Moon body, and reverently considering interpretations. I imagined what it would be like to embrace these occurrences with that kind of value, that kind of collective value, for the mystery and magic.
Since I didn’t have that (this was pre-internet and cell phones), it made me feel separate.
While I still had a lot of friends, a loving family, and lots of adventure in my life, I still fiercely protected that part of me. Even in romance, I’d be careful. I wanted so badly to share without fear, to be understood, to feel safe, but it always felt too risky. So, I kept it hidden behind a metaphorical door.
Times have changed a lot in society, and with technology and science, I’ve been able to release and share a lot. I still don’t feel like I must reveal everything about my experiences, but I’ve learned that opening up allowed the palpable walls of separateness to dissolve.
What about you? What makes you feel separate?