For long time, I hid who I was from pretty much everyone I knew.
No matter to what extent someone reached out to share their heart and soul with me, I refused to share mine. I had a big lock on my chest and it didn’t matter who pounded on the door—I wasn’t opening it.
I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like a big elephant in the room. No matter where I went, I could see things no one else could see and I could hear things no one else could hear—and I was ashamed of it.
My friends, family, romantic partners and coworkers didn’t have a chance to know the real me and I was afraid to give them the opportunity.
Not before long, I found myself completely alone—without a partner, without family, without friends—in graduate school in Alabama. I finally was the only elephant in the room.
With all this time to think and with an endless supply of time alone, I was finally brave enough to ask, what, exactly, was I hiding from?
I knew that I couldn’t be avoided. I had to live with me—whether I liked it or not—and I could either accept who I was or not: a medium. It was my choice.
The choice to accept myself was my first lesson from the deceased.
I chose the path that would lead to more freedom, more happiness and more love. The path to self-acceptance.
As a now-public spiritual medium and educator, the very first thing I learned from talking to the deceased was that I had to accept myself. Not for anyone else’s happiness, not for someone else to love me, but for me to finally love and accept myself.
Coincidently, stepping forward and opening the locked doors on our own heart is a concept that comes up time and time again in readings with clients and their loved ones on the other side.
For me, this meant accepting my abilities to see and hear Spirit. It also meant finally coming out of my dark closet. One by one, I started telling people. My sister, my brother, the guy I was dating at the time, old friends, new friends.
And one by one, I was learning how to be vulnerable with others. The more people I told, the more people accepted me. As I accepted myself, in sharing with others, I found that they accepted me, too.
In allowing my true self to shine, I was finally able to take a big, deep breath. Something I hadn’t done in years—even though I was a regular yoga practitioner!
I learned that many of my friends, family members, coworkers and new acquaintances also had spiritual experiences.
When connecting with my clients in readings, I’ve also learned that the biggest barrier to self-acceptance, for many individuals, is feeling that if you share, you’ll still be alone.
And it simply isn’t true.
The more that we share ourselves with others, the more we see how many of our experiences are similar and relatable. I really wasn’t the only elephant in the room waiting to take a deep breath—and neither are you.
Confronting and releasing my own elephant was the greatest thing I ever did for myself. Where I once thought that having the ability to see and hear spirits was something worthy of shame, I now realized it’s something worthy of sharing. In confronting my biggest fear and sharing my true self, I am able to love myself and connect individuals, alive and dead, through the conduit of love.
I am grateful for having the courage to step forward into the full light of day.
It isn’t easy to unlock the door, peek your head out, and allow everyone to see your blemishes, your scars and the heart that you wear on your sleeve.
I know, I’ve done it.
But standing your ground in the light of who you are is important, and it’s something else I learned from talking to the deceased. Standing proud and tall with your heart out is an invitation to others to see it’s not all that scary. After all, where I once felt alone, I now have a circle of support—it doesn’t take long for others to see what you’re doing and stand beside you.
The taller I stand in who I am, with gratitude for who I am and what I have to offer, the more I can see that my own beauty is the most important thing I can offer in this world.
And it’s the most important thing you can offer to the world, too.
See your beauty. Take a deep breath. Open the Door.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant: Emily Bartran/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Courtesy of Author