Odds n' Ends

Don't Be Fooled By The Wrapper!

There is so much more to you than meets the eye …

What do people See when they look at you?

Seriously. What do they see?

Do they see a man or a woman.. A teenager.. An old “geezer”.. ?

Do they see an athlete’s body? A forgettable face? A girl that “would be so pretty if she just lost weight”?

Do they see a brash Latino youth? A chain-smoking white woman? An old black man on a cane? A shy Asian classmate?

What is the Personality that comes across when people are with you?

Do they think you are.. Funny? Boring? Attractive? Cold? Interesting? Smart? Stand-offish?

Do they feel comfortable with you, or are they usually in a hurry to get away? Do they appear happy to see you? Does warmth emanate from them? Or does your encounter seem strained?

How does the World at large perceive you?

Are you a senior citizen that teenagers look right past as if you weren’t there?

Are you a lumbering man that people seem to feel intimidated by?

Are you a young woman that people sneer at when you walk by wearing your hijab?

Are you a young black man that clerks follow around the store?

Do you come across as too meek?

Do you come across as a know-it-all? Do people see you as someone to take advantage of?

Do people always come to you for advice with their problems?

Are you treated with indifference because you are poor, of minority ethnicity, or an immigrant?

Are you perceived as a snob because you are well-to-do and of a majority ethnicity?

If they only knew who you really are beneath your earthly disguise!
(And if only you knew who you really were beneath your earthly disguise!)

Everywhere we go, and with everyone we meet – including our own families – we are fooled by appearances. But to be fair, it’s all we have to go on, at least, initially. We are all influenced by the stereotypes that colored our perceptions from the time we were born.

Even with our own family members and others that we spend a lot of time with, we can only go by the input we have: their age, gender, physical appearance, education, attitudes, actions, and words. But that is only window dressing.. it’s unique to the role they are currently playing. It’s not even a fraction of all that they are!

Take, for example ...

Lenny

felt like he was up against a brick wall everywhere he went… His father was a strict disciplinarian who worked long hours at the steel mill and didn’t have a lot of time for his three sons. He always assumed that they would follow in his footsteps, working hard for their daily wage. He knew that Lenny had artistic talent, but did his best to discourage his son from engaging in “useless pursuits”.

Some of Lenny’s teachers thought he looked like “trouble”, and treated him accordingly. So, he lived down to their expectations. “Dark, brooding, gangsta clad male” is how his society sees him. They make assumptions based on his physical body and how he presents himself. They can’t see his soul or his history, so they go with what they have.

With no sense of direction and feeling stifled, Lenny gets into occasional scrapes with the law. His

heart’s desire is to be an artist but he “knows” that he will never be able to make a living as an artist (at least, that’s what he has always been raised to believe). His expresses his anger at his father and society through his graffiti.

But one day, someone recognizes the talent in his graffiti and commissions him to paint a mural on a city wall. His father, viewing this as an “impractical” endeavor, is initially against the idea .. but when he sees the effect his son’s artwork has on the community, he feels proud of his son and reverses his position.

What his father doesn’t know, and what nobody knows, is that this seemingly unambitious adolescent “punk” once went by the name of “Rembrandt”. As Rembrandt, he was a master of painting and etching. He was the artist that other great artists emulated.

Once Lenny becomes fully immersed in his art, he will be a much happier person. With years of suppression of his creativity finally unleashed, he will paint with abandon, employing new forms of artistic mediums and much brighter colors than he did in his Rembrandt incarnation. (In fact, he was already beginning to express his love of color expression by way of his “rebellious” threads!). .. The Greats walk amongst us – incognito!

Maria

stands next to the highway, holding up a sign that says “Will Work for Food”. The Prius driver hopes the light will change before he comes to a stop; he doesn’t want to be accosted by the “Bag Lady”. “Don’t give her any money”, his wife admonishes. “You know she’s just going to use it to buy drugs or alcohol!” Thankfully, the light changes; the driver doesn’t have to stop.

A woman in an SUV doesn’t make the green light – she has to stop – right next to where Maria is standing! She rolls up her window and turns her head away from Maria’s gaze. “Lazy bum”, she mutters under her breath. “Get a job!”

So, it’s true… many, if not most, of the people who look at Maria, see a “drain on society” that is somehow depriving them of a better life (an erroneous assumption, but that’s not the point). This is the consensus among people who don't know how business and politics really work. It's convenient.  You don’t have to feel sorry for people when you can write off their suffering with a one-size-fits-all label… it alleviates the guilt somehow.

In fact, Maria does suffer from an addiction. But that doesn’t define who she is… She was once an upper class, well-respected physician in her native country of El Salvador. But the Salvadoran Civil War changed the game plan with its brutal violence, civilian targeted death squads, and rampant violations of human rights. When her 2 teenage sons were killed in the line of duty, she was totally devastated. With nothing left for her in El Salvador, and the violence making it impossible to live a normal (or safe) life, she emigrated to the United States. Unfortunately, the U.S. generally doesn’t recognize foreign diplomas, so she could not legally be a doctor anymore. She was relegated to the lowest rung of the job market, trying to survive on general labor wages. She barely eked out a living, but somehow she got by.. .until… her health gave out in her 50’s. The pain she was in made it difficult to work, so she lost her job. Having lost her job, and unable to get another (because she can’t do menial labor, she’s “old”, and she’s an immigrant.. thus, nobody will hire her), she wasn’t able to keep her apartment, and was put out into the street with nothing but the clothes on her back. In constant pain, and with a sense of hopelessness that most will never know, she began to panhandle for money for food and mind-numbing drugs. The drugs give her temporary respite from the physical pain, and also allows her to escape from her overwhelmingly hopeless sense of reality. She never expected to become an addict. But then, she doesn’t care if she lives or dies anyway. She dreams of the day when she will finally leave this uncaring world and be reunited with her children. This is what people like the “SUV woman” don’t see when they look at the “threatening freeloader” by the roadside.

Maria has been all kinds of people in her past lifetimes. For example, she was a doctor in an Early American lifetime, an African slave in the 17th century, a wealthy humanitarian in Europe, and a Christian martyr in ancient Rome. And she was something else too… She was once the mother of the woman in the SUV!

God, or the Universe, or whatever you want to call the Supreme Creative Force, has a reason for everything. Our lives have purpose, no matter what the state of circumstances in the present moment may be. Maria’s soul needed to experience a period of addiction and poverty because we ALL must experience that in one or more lifetimes. She also wanted to serve as a catalyst for bringing out compassion in other people. One of those persons to whom this soul came to teach, was the SUV woman, for whom it was no accident that she came to stop at that particular intersection on that particular day. While the woman did not consciously remember having been Maria’s child in another time and place – her soul remembered. This woman couldn’t get the image of the “bum” off her mind that day, and wondered why she felt a twinge of guilt. After all, people are responsible for their own lots in life.. it’s not up to society to take care of them! … right?

Sita

When Sita walks by, nobody takes notice. She’s “just a woman” in a sari, like any other woman of her age and station. She looks older than her age due to a combination of sun exposure and a life of toil. She is very soft-spoken, which is common for women in her Eastern culture.. women are to be seen and not heard. She was raised to be obedient to authority, which includes all men because women are considered to be inferior.

Sita has an IQ of 160, but you would never know it because she was not encouraged to be anything but a wife, mother and laborer. She was not even given the option to choose her own husband. When she was younger she tried to offer ideas and suggestions, but was brushed aside and eventually stopped believing that she had anything of value to offer. She is such a perfect example of humans being treated according to their external guise, and not according to who they are on the inside.

If the people around her only knew the roles this soul had played in the world! They would be surprised to see her in her incarnation as Gunnar, a Viking General who commanded a fleet of seven ships. He was strong, decisive… a genius of military strategy! They would have been equally surprised to know the Greek philosopher and poet that she used to be.. or the successful trial attorney that she was in her most recent life before she was Sita. But, sadly, our species' default mode is to be duped by the wrapper!

Miguel

Miguel evokes a variety of emotions by everyone he comes in contact with. They look at his frail, physically handicapped body and they feel sympathy, compassion, fear, and sometimes revulsion. Other children regard Miguel with curiosity or pity, for the most part, although some can be downright cruel. They are uncomfortable with the differences in his physical frame and speech, from their own.

Most adults are compassionate and treat him with kindness, but not all of them. Younger souls have not learned compassion quite yet. One of the ways that they learn compassion is by having lifetimes in handicapped bodies. That’s not to say that Miguel is a young soul or that his disabilities are karmic or that he bears them for the purpose of learning a difficult lesson. In fact, in Miguel’s case, he was born into this body specifically to teach compassion. Despite his physical and mental impairments, he exudes an aura of joy and love that is almost tangible. His loving energy is a force that will have a positive effect on everyone he meets, and that effect will have many ripples in turn.

Most of Miguel’s prior lifetimes have been spent in “normal” bodies, and with normal intelligence. Sometimes his intelligence has been exceptional, such as the lifetime in which he, while attending an ivy league university, developed some key technology that led to modern filmmaking. For now, he will continue to spread love and be an inspiration to others while in his physically disadvantaged form. But in his next life, Miguel is going to be a major movie producer. At least one of his films will feature a physically and/or mentally impaired subject – which the soul of Miguel will be able to portray with incredible feeling and insight, having experienced such a life firsthand.

I have only presented a few examples, but ..

every one of us has in our soul’s repertoire, a vast repository of experiences

We run the gamut of occupations, live as paupers and kings and everything in-between. We know power and we know utter powerlessness. We are woman, we are man, and we are every kind of gender-diverse. We’ve been young adventurers and feeble octogenarians. We have been athletes and we have been wheelchair-bound. We mix it up constantly with all of the races and nationalities. One incarnation we’re in Africa, the next Japan, then the U.S., then Iraq, and so on and so on. And in every instance, we have made judgments about everyone we come into contact with, based on external data. You do not have the same reaction to a Muslim woman in a hajib that you have to a white cop. You don’t process your input about a little girl in the same way that you process your thoughts about the man at the homeless shelter. And you certainly don’t see any connection between the white supremacist and the black quarterback…

How ironic it is… and funny, really… that all of them are aspects of the SAME soul!

We should think about that… try to remember when we look at someone and think we know who or what they are – that in the broader picture we are only seeing the equivalent of a little twig on a big old oak tree!

© by Kat 2017

Letter To Atheist Friend

Letter To Atheist Friend — Part I

Dear Jake,

 

My experience with the unseen differs from yours, but I agree with you about our planet's never ending history of, as you put it, “the brutal ruling the rest". I think that (generally speaking) many of the older souls, who have lived umpteen lifetimes on Earth and having sown their wild oats, are weary of it and have no desire to “rule the world”. In fact, they are too often apathetic, which is unfortunate for humanity. “Younger” souls, on the other hand, have an abundance of energy, and still burn with ambition.

 

I think most people would agree that humanity, collectively speaking, is one sick puppy. My nickname for this world is "The Dark Planet of Insanity". It is, in my opinion, a veritable insane asylum spinning in space. If not a literal receptacle for the criminally insane, then perhaps this is that mythical place we call Hell. 

 

Merely glancing at the subject lines of emails in my inbox (such as from Change.org, PETA, or CARE2) on any given day, indicates to me that Hell exists on this plane. Titles such as “Puppy’s Ear Cut Off For Barking”, or “Annual Yulin Festival”, or “Pigs Spend Entire Lives in Crates” plunges me into a downward spiral that is very difficult to emerge from, imprinting my brain with images that I would pay to have expunged – if only I could! 

 

Facebook is another landmine through which one hopes to find posts with funny cat videos, or old family photos that your Canadian aunt dug up out of her attic. You will find them, to be sure... but OOPS, now you've seen a photo of what some monster did to a camel in Pakistan, or to a gay man in Russia, or to a little girl in Florida – something so unfathomable that the only thing that could possibly alleviate the horror is if you were to wake up in your "real" world and bask in the blessed relief of knowing that it was all "only a dream”!

 

I get angry at “God” (for lack of better term), or frustrated, or hurt by Him/Her/It often, and I can see why one might choose not to believe in God (by which, I mean an intelligence that has created all that is). I start out many a Kat-to-God talk with "I wish I could love you, BUT... "

 

The fact is, I know that my soul loves God. I know this based on some spectacular lucid dreams that I had the good fortune of experiencing. I don't get them anymore, but until about 20 years ago I did have wonderful, but infrequent dreams where I was fully conscious in the dreams. I think the Prozac that I started taking around that time put the kibosh on my ability to experience nocturnal lucidity. I had taught myself how to “wake up” in them as a result of flying dreams I had in early childhood. I found it very disappointing that every “flight” that I was so sure was “real” in my dreams, ended with me waking up and discovering that it was “only a dream”. So I started telling myself that "If I'm flying – I must be dreaming!” Eventually I was able to bring that awareness to the flying dreams and have fun manipulating them. 

The lucid dreams were indescribably glorious.. much more vibrant than "real" life.. more colorful, more exciting, more emotional! The pinnacle, though, was when I flew in them! And every time my astral self soared up over the trees, across vast landscapes of breathtakingly beautiful scenery, with a tangible wind on my face and a feeling of incredible aliveness – I experienced a euphoria that was above and beyond anything that even a Demerol drip, or the high of first love – could produce! But there was more… Accompanying my euphoric, lucid high was an intense LOVE that welled up in my heart and made my soul soar –
for God!

So I hang onto the remembrance of those blissful, lucid experiences of love for God – for reference. If not for my spirit’s unbridled love of the Creator, I would wonder if God is as evil as “He” is good. Or maybe even, that there is no God. I oft take umbrage with the Originator of this mind-blowingly insane reality. Every time I come across another horror in my inbox, I get angry. I plead with the Master Planner to end His gruesome experiment. 

 

To be fair, I also think about the awesome beauty of this planet, and all of the exquisite creations – such as snow-covered peaks and balmy tropical islands, and pink flamingos and blue-eyed huskies, and crystal ice caves and innocent kittens – and I see a Force that is so creative and awesome as to defy comprehension. How can anyone look at the exquisite design and coloring of a Keel-billed Toucan and believe that life is a random “accident” with no planning or thought behind it? How can anyone look at the scope and precision of this universe and think “it’s just nature”. Say what?! (I laugh). Just what do you think “nature” is, anyway? Something far, far more intelligent than we are (times a gad-zillion) had to have planned everything from Quantum Physics to the vast cosmos and beyond.

Look into a microscope to find worlds inside of worlds, going smaller and smaller into infinity… and think about the possibility that OUR universe is a microscopic, quantum universe of a larger universe! “No God”, you say? As in “it’s impossible to think that there is a greater intelligence beyond humans, that put us here, that has a plan?”.

 

Do you know what’s crazier than the idea of a supremely intelligent purposeful Grand Designer? – The idea that all of this microscopic, macroscopic, infinitely vast and infinitely small, perfectly synchronized, extraordinarily beautiful and complex universe is a random accident!

 

Now THAT is absurd! (me, laughing again).

A Grand Designer – we can call it “God” because humans have a need to label everything – IS. We can’t even begin to define or comprehend IT. It is the source of everything. And It seems to be beyond even the ken of higher spirit beings as well. When a psychic clairvoyant or a person deep under hypnosis gleans information for us from non-corporeal intelligence, and you ask that consciousness about God, even they are unable to define God. They will tell you that God is Love, or The Source, or that God is the All That Is, or that everything is part and parcel of the energy of God. But none of them has actually seen God. They tell us that even the most advanced spirit consciousness that humans can access (thru various channels) is not of a high enough vibration to be able to approach God. It would decimate them. They, too, are on that long journey to raise their vibration. At some point, they will reach the Source — we all will!

 

I have read quite an array of books on metaphysical subjects over the span of several decades, so it annoys the crap out of me when someone says “prove it”. Oh. Okay. Like I can give you, in two minutes, what took me a lifetime to acquire and process?!

 

These intangible things (angels, spirits, reincarnation, psychic revelations, etc.) are not a part of most people's lives, but they are part of mine. I would have to be crazy to dismiss something that is as real to me as the keyboard I'm typing on just because the typical mortal, who spends no time delving into spirituality, shrugs it off as so much hooey. It would be like saying that there is no such thing as Ohio, if people who didn't live here didn't believe in the existence of Ohio, simply because they never saw, touched, smelled, or tasted Ohio … but since I'm living in it, I’m not about to deny its existence in order to please the non-believers of Ohio! 

My metaphysical experiences pale in comparison to the NDE (Near Death Experience), and to the visions and spiritual downloads of skilled clairvoyants and mediums. Nevertheless, I have had some awesome wonderful experiences with the unseen, so when I have my moments of doubt, which everyone has when they are in a funk, I draw upon the memory of those experiences, and they wash away my doubts and reinforce my belief system. 

 

Being human in a world where perception is largely determined by the 5 physical senses, I occasionally (when frustrated with my physicality or the suffering around me) question my beliefs, and wonder if I’m the fool that skeptical types assume me to be. But only for a moment, until I start to remember some of the many, many spiritual experiences that have graced my life, and I know that I am not a fool, and my spiritual experiences and connections are far from imaginary. People who chuckle and scoff at that which they themselves cannot see, and are too insecure to open their minds to (lest they be thought a fool) are the ones who are living in a fantasy world. Not to mention, missing out on an entire aspect of existence that is all around them if they cared to become acquainted with it.

 

In Part II, I will share some of my spiritual experiences with you. They really happened, and I will relay them as I remember them, to the best of my ability. When you are open to Spirit and care enough to want to learn more about it, you will start to have more experiences, and you will become more and more adept at recognizing them when they happen. Too often, people dismiss communications from Spirit as “coincidences”. Resolute non-believers carry “coincidence” to a ridiculous degree! 

Letter To Atheist Friend — Part II

The following are a few of the spiritual or paranormal occurrences that I have experienced — and may help to illustrate why it would be crazier for me NOT to believe in the existence of a spirit world than it is TO believe in it:

Crazy Eyes on North Avenue

 

I was 18 years old and on my way to meet friends in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago at around 5:30 in the morning on Memorial Day. We had rented a bus for a picnic excursion to the Indiana Sand Dunes. While walking East on North Avenue towards Artesian, I was motioned to come over by a blue-eyed blond, 30-ish male driving an older model green car. He said he was lost, and asked for directions to Western Avenue. I told him that Western was just up ahead a few blocks. "Can't miss it!" He feigned confusion, and wanted me to get in the car to show him how to get there. I politely declined. 

 

As I continued on my walk, I thought I saw the same car circle around a couple of times again, out of the corner of my eye. Significantly near-sighted (and too vain to wear glasses) I couldn't be sure... but then I didn’t see the vehicle anymore and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

 

Shortly thereafter, the directionally-impaired lunatic lunged from a doorway or storefront, and grabbed me! His arm was around my neck and I think he might have been holding a knife to my throat. He told me to "come quietly". 

 

It was surreal! It was like everything was happening in slow motion. I just kept thinking “this isn’t real”.. as we got closer to his car in the alley. I was very naive, so the thought that I was going to be raped or killed (which is exactly what he had in mind, no doubt; I mean, nobody kidnaps a girl so they’ll have a partner for Bridge!) never occurred to me. Well, I wasn’t thinking about “Crazy Eyes’” plan anyway; I was in a daze.

 

An inner voice – not my own – interrupted my daze and told me to "scream". In my mind I answered the voice with “I can’t do that — it would be embarrassing". The voice reiterated "SCREAM!" So, this time, I complied. I mustered up a blood-curdling yell. Psycho dropped me like a hot potato and made a beeline for his car! I swooped up my shoe, which had fallen off somehow, and ran like the wind all the way to my besties' house. The “Voice” (aka, guardian angel) totally saved my life!

The actual alley where it happened:

The Cat, The Balloon, and the Christmas Tree

 

Circa 2009, Christmas morning. My son was away on a cruise that his grandmother had purchased for herself, her 6 adult kids, and all of their children. I was alone with my son's cat, Gary, in my condo, upstairs, asleep.

 

Something woke me up early. As a night owl, that's not a good thing. I instinctively knew it was my spirit guides or guardian angel. I don't remember how I knew, or what they did, but sometimes I can sense them, or even hear them, almost imperceptibly. That usually happens when I am still half asleep, but awake enough to be conscious.

 

I groaned, and mentally said "Aw, it's Christmas – let me sleep!”.

Suddenly, the image of a green balloon popped right in front of my (still closed) eyes.. so “real” that it was almost tangible and audible. “O-KAYYY!”  I said, out loud. "I guess I'm getting up now!"

 

I yawned, rubbed my eyes, and slowly, sleepily, made my way down the stairs.

 

Halfway down the stairs I heard a hissing sound. Then I saw wisps of smoke coming from the electrical strip that all the Christmas tree lights were plugged into. The cat had peed on the strip and it was sparking! If not for the “nagging” spirit guides and their balloon burst, my house and everything in it would have burned up while I slept, and me and the cat might very well have died!

Lost Soul

 

I took a moment to rest. I laid down on my bed and closed my eyes. A minute or two later, I heard (and when I say "hear", I don't mean out loud... it's kind of like a thought that you know is not your own thought, but is coming from an independent source) a distressed young male say "I hung myself!" (I pictured a belt)

 

Well, I didn't stick around to hear any more! I jumped right out of the bed, declaring emphatically that, “NO! No one died! Nobody’s dead!” (As in, ‘if I don’t acknowledge something it can’t be true, right?’) And that was the end of that... until, a couple of days later when I talked to my son who was away at college (I didn't have a computer back then and couldn't afford long-distance calls, so communication was a rare luxury). My son said "Dad called and told me that Danny committed suicide.” 

 

Danny was my son's brother-from-another-mother, who lives on a reservation up north. He came into our lives when he was 16 because his mother was at her wit’s end after he totaled the family car (the final straw in a string of delinquencies), so she finally told him that the man he grew up thinking was his father — wasn't his biological father after all. It was at that point that he came down to spend the summer with, and get to know, his biological father.

 

Danny was a delicately handsome, long-haired, weed-smoking, depressed teen who wrote incredibly beautiful, deeply moving poetry. He was also a card-carrying Satanist, who "used to" torture cats. But he said he liked his Dad’s cat because the cat liked him. That is, until the day that he saw me take a picture of my son holding the cat. As I snapped the picture I saw the look on Danny's face, and I had a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. It turned out to be the last day anyone ever saw the cat again.

 

I hesitantly asked my son "Did he hang himself? ... With a belt?" “Yes", was the response. And that is when I knew that the distraught spirit who had tried to get my attention had been Danny.

(For the record, I did attempt to speak to him after that, to try and guide him to the Light, but I wasn't able to "hear" him again. I had a dream about him years later, that let me know he'd found his way home.)

This one is my all-time favorite!!

An Extraordinary Change of Plans

 

Once upon a time I had a sweet little condo in Westerville, a most delightful Northeastern suburb of Columbus, Ohio. There was a Tim Horton's café just around the corner that I frequented once or twice a day to address my coffee fix. On this particular gorgeous, sunny, summer day, I planned to get my usual small cup of java with the requisite cream and sugar, and then pick up a sandwich from the Arby's next to Tim Horton’s, and bring it home to eat. As I was getting ready to leave the house, I absent-mindedly thought I was going to the Half-Price Bookstore. Then I "came to" and thought "Huh? Why did I think I was going to the bookstore? Weird!”

 

I picked up my coffee and then, as if on auto-pilot, drove past Arby’s and headed up the street toward the bookstore. And once again I “came to” and said to myself "What the ??… why do I keep thinking I'm going to the bookstore?!… (sigh)... Okay.. I guess I'll have lunch at Panera Bread (next door to Half-Price Books) and then go to the bookstore!" Evidently, my Higher Self, or angels, or guides or whatever, wanted me to go to the bookstore.

I meandered thru the bookstore for a little while, still not knowing why I was there. I didn't know where or what I was supposed to do, but I knew that I hadn't found my reason for being there yet, and thus couldn't leave. What to do.. what to do… I almost left at one point, but then decided to check out the horror section to see if there were any Christopher Moore novels that I hadn't read yet. I love Moore’s books! I thought his kitschy vampire stories were the best – until I read “Lamb”, which was even better! Lamb, like most of Chris Moore’s fiction, was rich with his unique, somewhat offbeat, style of humor. It was a fictional account of young Jesus and His friend, Biff. The character is so fleshed out that it actually felt like I was reading about Jesus' childhood! But I digress…

 

In the horror section there were no new Christopher Moore novels, but I did see a slew of Laurel K. Hamilton books. I'd never read any of her books, which is surprising since I was heavily into vampires. But I did recall that another "K. Hamilton", a co-worker, once told me that I should read L. K. Hamilton's books because they are right up my alley. 

 

The bookcase was full of K. Hamilton books — there were four or five shelves’ worth. I reached up and pulled one off a shelf at random. I opened up the front cover. The paper flap was covering all but the edge of a book plate. Ever the curious person, I wondered what name I would find on the bookplate. I lifted up the flap and let out a little scream right there in the bookstore! The name staring up at me from the book plate was ... MY OWN!

 

Lest you think it was a book that I had previously owned and sold to the bookstore — I assure you, it was not! It was my first and last (uncommon south of the Canadian border) name! What an incredible, inconceivable synchronicity! Also: the other Kat’s address was London OH. I was born in London ON (close enough!). AND it was the exact same bookplate design as the bookplates I had at home!

 

I bought the book, natch, and excitedly told the clerk about my unbelievably incredible experience. His eyes popped. "Wow! I never heard of that happening to anyone – that's like, a one-in-a-billion chance!", he said.

 

But, my adrenaline-pumping synchronicity high didn't end there!

 

When I got the book home and read the novel’s description, it turned out that this book was about vampires and fairies. Now, I knew that it was about vampires, as the author was a vampire novel author. But I did not expect it to include fairies! I had started writing a series of children's books a year or so earlier, about fairies and vampires. The reason for this entire ethereal experience was now clear: It was a very wonderful, creative way for my spirit guides to convey the message that I needed to get back to writing my stories. They had led me to a bookstore that I had no intention of going to that day, and influenced me to walk up to one specific bookcase, where I had the compulsion to pick out one specific book, where my actual name was inside the book! In other words, I saw my name in a book — like an author has their name on a book. Pretty clear message to Pick up a pen and start writing again!

Still holding this magical gift, I leafed through the book and discovered a bookmark that I had somehow missed the first time around. It was a lovely bookmark with an illustration of an angel on it. Someone had handwritten in pen on the bookmark: "Dear Kat, wherever you go, your guardian angel will always have your back" – or words to that effect. The bookmark included a poem about how angels are there to help and guide you through difficult times in your life. OMG.. Wow!  

 

So, in addition to the nudge about my writing (by virtue of finding my name in a book – symbology that could not be more direct), that angel message was tailor-made for me. I had lost my dream job and career (thanks, NAFTA), exhausted my 401-k and severance pay, had uterine cancer and a full hysterectomy, my home was in foreclosure, my son had left the proverbial nest and was working overseas, and I was pretty damned depressed trying to deal with packing up what was left of my belongings after selling or giving away most of my furniture and many cherished items, to go live with a relative who was having her own problems and didn't want me there, to say the least. If ever there was a time to get a comforting message from my Spirit peeps, this was it! And what Spirit knew, but I didn’t at the time, was that life was only going to get worse before it got better. Eventually, there was light at the end of the long, dark tunnel, but it took a while to get there.

 

They are always there. Everyone has them. Sadly, most people don't know how to sense their spirit guides and angels, nor do they know how to recognize the messages that are all around us, especially during times of troubles, or when we need to make a decision or enact changes in our lives.

An Electrifying Message from the Grave

 

Some months after the death of my father, the subject of him came up when my sister and I were talking on the phone. She was angry about our last visit, where he had appeared to be more interested in the group of teens he mentored/took under his wing, than he was in his own kids. 

 

We were at the Tim Horton’s café at the edge of Sidney Mines, Nova Scotia, gathered together to say goodbye before we all headed back home to the States. Dad sat with the Canadian kids on one side of the room while his own kids and grandkids sat on the other side.

 

I thought that was bizarre at the time, but I later realized that he had done that for 2 reasons: 1. He didn’t want his “surrogate” kids to feel unloved or unimportant as compared to his biological kids, and 2. His pain at seeing us leave was unbearable, so he was unconsciously distancing himself. There is no doubt in my mind that he “knew” that it was the last time he would ever see us. (And it was!)

 

During this conversation with my sister, I was shuffling through a box of my father’s papers and keepsakes. Suddenly, I found an entry in his journal that shed light on the subject of how he felt about us.

 

“Oh my God!”, I exclaimed, “Listen to this..!” I read, in his own handwriting, how much he loved his kids, who meant the world to him, and how it pained him to be separated from us by 2,000 miles. 

 

As I read this to her, all of the power in my apartment went out, briefly. I groaned “Ugh! My power just went out!”

 

“So did mine!”, chimed my sister. 

 

That was odd… She lived in a Northeastern suburb and I lived about 30 miles away, Southwest. Both of our power went back on almost as fast as it had gone off. I checked with my neighbors and she checked with hers… None of them had experienced a power outage .. no one but me and my sister! 

 

Dad must have been so happy to see that his journal was able to address the burning question my siblings had about his feelings for us — and turning our respective power off and on was his way of confirming the information!

It Wasn't A Dream

I was a senior at the time, having lunch in the cafeteria with my friends.

Ziggy said that her boyfriend had a buddy — a mature 15 yr old — who lived at the La Rabida Children's Hospital (due to ulcerative colitis), and he wanted her to give his friend's phone number out to any (nice/pretty) girl that might be interested in getting to know him.  

I'm usually about the last person who would ever volunteer to cold-call a stranger, even if that stranger is a referral. But something in the back of my mind said "you need to meet this guy".. so I blurted out "I'll do it!"

Everyone was surprised. I blushed, jotted the number in my notebook, and secretly wondered if I would actually go through with it. 

 

(I did!)

Terry ...

 

Terry and I spent hours on the phone every night, delighted to learn that we had a lot in common. We decided to meet the next time he came down to spend the weekend with his family.

There was an instant attraction and connection. We were holding hands within the hour… before the day was through, he told me he was falling in love with me. He said that we were like two parts of the same soul. In fact, we often spoke in unison, like twins. It was nice. I didn’t get to see him as often as I wanted to because his disease afforded him only short furloughs, but whenever we did get together it was always interesting. For example…

In light of my interest in metaphysics, Terry volunteered us to help an occult group from another state refurbish a spacious house they'd rented in Chicago.

They were called “The Process”. 

My assignment was to scrub the back of a stove. Why on earth the back of an appliance that would always abut a wall needed to be pristine was beyond my ken, but I grabbed a scouring pad and bucket and went to work. 

It was a grueling, impossible task trying to get the blackened gunk off that stove! The frikking thing looked like salvage from a fire. Terry, meanwhile, had been appointed the task of chopping wood, which worried me because he wasn’t supposed to overly exert himself.

At some point I noticed a stack of brochures for the organization, on an end table, and picked one up and began to read about their mission. “Oh shit!” This was no ordinary, Goddess-loving pagan organization — this was a Satanic cult! I tapped Terry on the shoulder and said “We have to leave .. now!” 

As we walked down the lovely, Maple-lined street together on that glorious summer day, I told him that we had just helped out a Satanic cult. “What? No!”, he argued, “they’re not Satanic, they’re some kind of pagan group, like Wiccans.”

“Oh, really?”, I chuckled, handing him the brochure I had had the foresight to stuff into my purse before leaving. “Well, take a look at this!”

 

Stunned, he finally had to admit that he’d been wrong. But we did agree that the Process seemed like a really nice group of people.

Side bar:  I never understood why anyone would want to be a Satanist, and I naturally assumed that they worship Satan, which has the connotation of evil, whether you believe in a devil or not. I recently googled Satanism and found that the Satanic sects vary in beliefs and practices. For example, one sect called The Satanic Temple doesn't even believe in a devil or Satan — it's just a bunch of rebels that eschew the hypocrisy of religions and of authority in general.. which is a good thing. But why then choose a name and symbol that will immediately turn everyone off and prevent the world from knowing what your true doctrine is? I am also a rebel against authority and religious ignorance, and I totally tout compassion and peace. But I assumed, for the past half a century, that all satanic groups were into blood and sacrifice and worshipped the Dark Lord. I'm sure some of them are into darkness, just as some witches are White-lighters and some are into the Dark Arts. But those who, like The Satanic Temple, purport to exist to rebel against the subjugation of humans by the Church and other authority figures, really are doing themselves a disservice by using a name that conjures up the antithesis of peace, truth, and freedom for all! As for The Process Church of the Final Judgment, I'm still not sure what their schtick was. They seem to have morphed from a Satanic theme to a Christian theme, to an animal welfare organization.. Could their path be any more diverse?!

© by Kat 2017

Terry and I were a happy twosome, albeit for a relatively brief period of time (thanks to an unpleasant, highly personal, so I won't elaborate) incident that I handled by shutting him out. The smart thing would have been for me to discuss my feelings face to face instead of putting words on paper (or I should say, several sheets of paper — both sides! I have “losing boyfriends by way of poison pen”, down to an art). Nevertheless, we did stay on good terms, partly due to my friendship with his mother and sister. I even lived with them off and on over the next year or two. 

Both Terry and I soon moved on to new relationships. His was with a girl named George, and it was quite serious. 

George, a wispy sprite with a razor cut Bowie "do", was a tough little cookie on the outside, to compensate for whatever was broken on the inside. He was her lifeline, and she, his .. and they were inseparable! They "tripped" the light fantastic (and I don't mean dancing) regularly .. and then were surprised and devastated when she miscarried early into an unexpected pregnancy. He tried to get work to support them, but his medical condition (or was it due to their liberal usage of drugs?) made it very difficult to hold down a job.

The year was 1973 and I was living in North St. Paul when I got the letter from Terry’s sister informing me that he had taken his life at the tender age of 19. His (so beautiful!) body was discovered too late, lying next to the stereo where “I'm getting closer to my home..” played over and over in a loop. The brief explanation was that George had left him and gone back home to Canada, and he just couldn’t bear the thought of life without her. It was just one more disappointment. His father had abandoned them when Terry was just a kid. His mother was chronically depressed, and they were dirt poor. And of course, there were the physical limitations. It seems the prospect of life without his beloved was the final straw for this heartbroken soul.

Sometimes life seems hopeless. I wish young people would just plow through those seemingly “hopeless” periods; it takes time, and yeah, it hurts like hell, but trust me — it passes! We weren’t put on this earth to live an entirely hopeless life. There are many meaningful people and events yet to come, if we just hang in there. Also, if you think life is painful here — you can’t even imagine the torment of a soul as he watches his family grieve for him, and be unable to console them or say “I’m sorry”! Surviving family members grieve a suicide for life, and many never recover.

That night, after receiving the heartbreaking news about Terry, I had a significant dream. It was a lucid dream, meaning it felt as real as real can be. Thats; because it was real! It was the kind of “dream” where you are totally conscious of being there, and you can see more vividly, and it’s so intensely physical that you can feel the air against your skin.

I was sitting in Terry’s mother’s house — except, in reality, that is not what their house looked like. I know, because I had lived with them. But sitting there, I had the distinct knowing that this was their house. Terry sat silently and solemnly at the table in front of a fish aquarium that sat in the big bay window in the dining room. The obsidian sky as seen through the windows served to emphasize the melancholy setting. 

I was so excited to see him again, albeit in spirit! But he looked utterly despondent. He never smiled nor spoke. Assuming he had sudden access to the answers to all of Life's Mysteries, I asked him if he could tell me something about my past lives, as that was a topic of great interest to me. In response, he pointed, almost as a chastisement, to his right hand.

There may have been more to the visit, but I would have to go through an impressive stack of papers and journals to try and find the record of this dream. But I do remember the gist, and the gravity of the nocturnal visitation.

When I told my mother — an ace dream interpreter — about my dream visitation, she told me that the left hand represents the past and the right hand depicts the present (or the future?), and that his symbolic gesture was a way of saying "Don't concern yourself with the past — focus on your current life!"

That summer I went home to Chicago for a few weeks, and while there I visited Terry's family. They had moved from the old apartment to a new location. To my utter amazement, when I walked into the dining room, it was exactly as I had seen it in my dream! The bay window, the fish tank, the table.. everything identical to the setting in my lucid visit with Terry!

A few years later, the subject of Terry came up during a reading with one of Ohio's most notable and beloved psychics, Kay Frain. She said "He was in the darkness for a while, but he's in the Light now". 

What that means is that sometimes when a soul transitions by trauma, such as suicide or violence, they relegate themselves to a period of reflection, which can range from a simple time-out to a kind of "hell". God doesn't send them to Hell; it's not like that. They, themselves, create a reality that corresponds to their sadness, guilt, or fears. It is temporary. At some point they will either ask for help, or will recognize help in the distance (looking like a pinpoint of light that gets larger), and will respond and immediately find themselves back home in their familiar spirit realm, where they will be welcomed by their deceased loved ones and soul family.

 

Terry was very spiritual, and an older soul, so he knew immediately that he had made a mistake, and regretted it. He also understood that his unstable childhood home had not been conducive to building up his self-esteem, and as such he veered slightly from his intended path. But it wasn't a wasted life. We glean a lot even in short lifetimes, especially if they are very challenging. Terry left the planet approximately 45 years ago, so I'm guessing that he is probably about 25 years into his next incarnation. I often wonder if he is someone that I know now, or have seen. But regardless of his current incarnation, a soul always keeps the majority of their energy in the realm of Spirit. That means that he can be a young man or woman somewhere on earth — but a large part of his soul energy is still watching over his loved ones, and can visit with them in spirit, in dreams, or via a spiritual medium. 

... and Mom

 

One example of a soul being here and there, is my mother. My mom died in 1981, but she was reborn as my niece in 1999. I know this because of dreams, meditations, and psychic readings. I have also had physical signs. But sometimes, despite all of the signs and readings and such, I'll have my doubts. "What if all of those things are just a coincidence?", I'll ask. So, I asked for one more sign. 

I said to my guides and angels: "Look.. it seems you've given me many reasons to believe that (my niece) is my mother, reincarnated, and I appreciate that. But I don't want to go on thinking that she is her, if she's not her! I need one more sign please, and if you do that, I'll finally accept it."

The very next day, my sister is out with my niece, and the little girl wants a novelty item with her name on it, from one of those merchandise displays that have personalized items with the pertinent name labeled above each. So my sister reaches into the cubicle marked with my niece's name, and pulls out the only item in that space. Lo and behold, it says "Sylvia"! Sylvia was my mother's name (not a common name, by the way), and does not begin with the first letter of my niece's name! That was one quick response to my "one more sign" request, and what a response it was! Spirit doesn't generally give you literal answers (riddles and symbols are more their style), but this time, they literally SPELLED it out!

As the days passed, even more Sylvia-isms appeared. For one thing, my little niece went thru a phase where she named everything from her dolls to her dogs "Emma". Emma was the name of my mother's guardian, who died when Mom was 18 years old. She never really got over the loss of her guardian — the only person she ever truly felt unconditionally loved by. Emma was her lifeline, her ipso-facto mother. Emma rescued her from a life of abuse in foster homes, where my mother suffered for years after her own mom passed away. Mom's love for Emma was certainly one which could survive life and death transitions, even as a seemingly random name popping up from the subconscious!

I don't even know why my subconscious and Spirit (in a myriad of ways) would give us information about my mother's reincarnation into our family. Perhaps because we were all so devastated when we lost her (from breast cancer, at 50), and this knowledge was meant as a salve for healing. Or maybe it was just a kind of gift to a family that is uncommonly spiritually aware. Whatever the reason — it's always fun to get such insights from "The Other Side"!