Updated: Jul 3
Okay- maybe the title is a bit harsh- and believe me, I have had to make my mistakes. I am still learning lessons in setting boundaries, which as a "reformed" people pleaser, can be a difficult lesson to learn. However, what I have also learned is that some people just don't get it. They mean no harm. They just want an experience. An experience to test the medium. An experience to share with friends. An experience to quench their curiosity. An experience to ease their fear. An experience to once again feel the love from someone they have lost.
I am at a friend's house for her husband's birthday dinner. Although I know most of the guests in attendance, there are some that I am meeting for the first time. I am just about to swallow a mouthful of linguine and clam sauce when the guest of honor looks in my direction and announces:
"For those of you who don't know, my friend Diane is a medium. If anyone can change a skeptic's mind, she can!"
Here we go again. I attempted to force a smile, while choking down my pasta. I waved my hand in a gesture intended to say:
"oh, he says that to all his medium friends. Everyone take your eyes off me and continue with your meal."
But I knew what was next- and before I could return my fork to the plate- it started- the usual line of questions, comments, and commands: Is the guy I am dating the one for me? Do you see me changing jobs soon? Is my dog barking at a ghost in my house? Do any of my passed relatives have something to say? What are the winning lottery numbers? Do you see any health problems in my future? Will my son graduate college? I don't believe in mediums, but let me know if you hear from my mom...
Will you give me a reading? Read me please. Please read me. Read me.
Let me make it clear that I was not asked to the party to entertain the guests. I was not hired to read people, give Reiki treatments, or anything else. I was an invited guest- just like the hairstylist, the lawyer, the teacher and the accountant. I was there to socialize. I would never think to say to the person sitting next to me, "Hey, I hear you not only cut hair but are great with making the style flatter the face. I hope you have your scissors with you, because when your finished eating I would love to see what you come up with for my unmanageable mane!" I don't say to Bob across the table, "I brought my bills, invoices, and bank statements with me. I want to see you work your accounting magic on the mess I've made." If I am interested in your skills, I may engage you in conversation about your career and may even ask for your card so I can make a professional appointment with you at a later date.
When people hear that they are with a medium, the game seems to change. It is as though some people consider mediumship to be like a magic trick or deck of cards that can be pulled out of one's pocket, preformed and easily put away. Although at times magical, mediumship is not a magic trick. It is not an on command performance served to entertain the crowd or persuade the skeptic into believing. Mediumship is sacred. It is a counseling session of healing between two worlds.
To be an ethical, authentic, and healthy evidential medium, one needs to build relationship and trust with the spirit world. Boundaries need to be established. A routine or ritual is developed, letting the spiritual energies know you are ready to listen and the lines of communication are open. This type of connection requires a lot of energy, discipline, and practice. It allows for the messages to be delivered in a way that might make one feel as though he had just had a conversation with his father..and this is when the healing begins. That's the magic. That is what people are looking to get a taste of and why the game changes.
Being an evidential medium is not my hobby, it is my career. In order for other's to see my mediumship as my profession, I needed to set boundaries, similar to the ones set in spirit. I needed to politely answer the questions of curiosity without feeling obligated to spend my time downstairs in the finished basement, giving readings to the friends of friends. These guests got to enjoy the party and receive messages from a professional medium. A service that others schedule and pay for.
It took me awhile to learn. There were many social engagements where I found myself in a room reading someone because I did not have the courage to say no. I couldn't say no to my friend who asked me to do her the favor. I couldn't say no to my husband's friend who lost his grandma to cancer. I didn't say no and I didn't get to enjoy the event I attended to unwind or connect with friends and family. Instead of recharging my batteries, I was continuing to drain them. Not a smart choice when your job relies on your energy. It was my fault. No-one else's.
I love people's enthusiasm and questions about my mediumship. I enjoy talking about it. Yet, if I am socializing and recharging, I will now hand you my card when you ask to be read. Make an appointment. It's worth it. However, the time may come when I approach you at a social event and ask if I can give you a message from spirit. It will be brief- but important- because if spirit is interrupting my scheduled recharge time- I know I have to deliver.