Updated: May 27, 2018
Q. I have been offering spiritual guidance professionally for over 10 years. I am grounded, responsible, and very good at what I do. I hate to admit it, but it still bothers me that a large percentage of the public fails to recognize or even believe in spiritual guidance. What is the best way to deal with this? S.C., Brescia, Italy
A. First of all, congratulations! The fact that you have been supporting yourself in this field for over ten years is cause for celebration. Next, let’s look at some numbers: A recent poll (CBS News) revealed that 57% of Americans believe in one or more forms of psychic phenomena. Another poll (Associated Press) showed that 77% of people believe in angels. And here are two more notable statistics: 48% of people are open to the idea that alien spacecraft exist (Huffington Post) and according to the National Science Foundation (NSF) there has been a significant increase in the number of people who believe that Astrology is based on science. These numbers all reflect an increase when compared to previous studies. But they don’t explain why others doubt, disbelieve, or flat out reject these ideas.
It’s just a guess, but I would bet that you are unique among your family members and peers in that few others in your immediate environment have similar abilities. That’s the case in my world, and generally speaking, it seems to be the norm. Early in life we might try to fade into the background and pretend we are just like everyone else, but sooner or later life will push us into the foreground, showcase our abilities, and invite us to demonstrate their usefulness.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that doubts, mistrusts, and severs itself from its own wisdom. Wounded by the (imagined) loss of our inner brilliance, we sometimes search for our hidden light in places and people that do not merit our attention. We tend to think of this is a western, New Age problem, but it exists all over the world. I recently read that dervish fortunetellers are a common sight throughout Afghanistan, traveling from town to town and making a living off the scattered populations. They wear colorful strings of beads around their necks that they twirl to induce a trance-like state from where they contemplate their customer’s fortune. These modern-day readers have almost nothing in common with true Sufi schools or dervish orders found elsewhere. When non-believers, skeptics and cynics hold every believer to account for the latest bad example, it makes it more difficult for every healer, teacher, keeper of wisdom and lay practitioner, wherever they may be.
One of the most important lessons I learned from working in this field is to give up trying to convince anyone of anything. Beliefs are hard-wired things that are difficult to dismantle, and my time is best spent in ways that honor our walk upon the earth. The proving ground for this (spiritual) work is the work itself. This ground of being, coupled with the results we see is reward enough. That being said, I have at times nudgingly suggested that we are only beginning to discover what human beings are capable of, and that many of our abilities remain untapped – what seems extraordinary today may become commonplace tomorrow – maybe it’s too soon to judge. It may seem odd and uncanny, but occurrences that we think about or dream about do come true, and many of the people I meet are eager to share about these experiences. The future is uncertain, but a little extra knowledge gained can be a good thing. Life is not predictable, but some events and situations are.
I hope you will continue to trust in yourself, and in what you know to be true. Sounds simple enough to do, but doubt and criticism have an insidious way of getting under our skin, and like the weather on a cold damp day, it can rattle our bones a bit. Don’t let it! Sit quietly as often as you can and allow yourself to be reminded about what matters most.