"My parents hated each other," Anna said quietly, "but they never divorced." I could feel the pain throbbing deep in Annaís heart, pulsing out from her soul like cold waves. As I mentally blessed Anna and asked my guides to help me help her, a presence that identified itself as Annaís father stepped in. There was an uneasy energy around him, as if he was trying to block something. Was his message filled with anger and, if so, would Anna be hurt by hearing from him? Should I censor his words? I thought. No, Anna had the right to hear from her fatherís spirit Ė if thatís what she truly wanted. So I began the session by asking, "Anna, do you want to know everything?"
Asking "Do you want to know everything?" is a technique I learned from English medium Lisa Williams. When working one-on-one with a client, asking that question takes the onus off me to edit spiritís words. Iíve had energies come in using salty language, and a couple female spirits identified themselves to their husbands using descriptions better suited to Playboy magazine. Because I didnít edit spiritsí words, clients were always able to identify the presence.
Anna looked at the floor for a moment before answering, "Yes."
In my mind, I asked the spirit to step closer to me. "Heís calling himself Ďfatherí. There are scars on his arms. He feels like a gruff man. Heís showing me a belt. And now heís throwing it away. Do you understand this?"
Annaís eyes filled with tears. "Yes," she said, reaching for the box of tissues on my desk. "Oh, yes."
I felt Annaís sadness within me. "Heís bringing in another spirit. This motherly energy is gentler. She feels tired. I see her lying in bed. She wants to thank you for the roses."
Anna looked bewildered. "Whatís she doing with him? They couldnít stand each other. They stayed together because they were so religious, the only thing worse than staying married was getting divorced." Quietly, she added, "He was a brute. He made both our lives miserable."
Annaís father spoke to me, and I repeated his thoughts: "Heís sorry for the way he acted. It was the way he was brought up in the old country. Family men were expected to be tough and punishing. Heís asking for forgivenessó"
"Enough!" Anna said angrily. "Iím supposed to forgive him, and everything will be fine? Because of him, Iíve had three bad marriages. Itís his fault that my life is so awful!" Her teeth clenched. "No way! No way!"
Instantly, I no longer felt the spirits of Annaís parents.
I closed my eyes and white-lighted the room to help clear away the negativity. Then I opened a drawer in my desk and took out my list of references Ė phone numbers, websites and reputable counselors who offer services Iím not qualified to give. I keep the list because I have another rule, thanks again to Lisa Williams: Never allow a client to leave emotionally distraught. And my rule: Always give the client hope.
I gently recommended that Anna talk with a therapist I trusted who specialized in anger management and family dynamics. Anna grudgingly wrote the womanís phone number on a slip of paper, then silently left my office.
As I reflected on the session, I wondered if it was best than I told Anna everything about her father. Spirit whispered to me that sometimes, the only way people can move forward is to hear whatís blocking them from enjoying life. Anna has her journey, just as we all have our unique paths to walk. And spirit walks with us and encourages us to move toward the light of grace.