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Raised Paranormal

My family has always been... strange. My mother saw ghosts as a child, and my father learned many odd things from his baby sitter as a young boy. (For reference, my father grew up in Mississippi in the 50's. Babysitter is the modern application, but not the word he used.)
I grew up with customs that were considered 'odd' by others in my peer group. Things I never really thought about until I moved into a house with my husband.
I don't practice Wicca, but I do use magic spells my mother taught me. I sometimes see people who aren't there, but more often I feel them. They seem to be attracted to me, and I've spent a good portion of my adult life trying to learn more about this "gift" (which scares the poop out of me at times).
Oddly enough, my mom doesn't understand how I sense the others and through her perception, I've grown to feel like I'm just making things up to feel special. Part of me knows I'm not just imagining things. I can tell when my friends are hurt, because when they hurt so do I. I've picked up objects and known the emotions associated with them, and confirmed that with the owner. Still, I don't have any confidence in myself.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to build on this skill? Or at least convince myself it is real?
Veriduin Veriduin 22-25, F 1 Response Jan 17, 2013

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Ive grown up seeing, hearing, talking to, and sometimes playing with spirits. Its easy to fall into the "its just in my head" trap. After all that is what society accepts more openly then the "I see dead people". My recommendation is to sit down when you sense one and close your eyes. Perhaps you will have more luck seeing them with your inner eye then your physical. Take a couple deep breaths and just relax. Sometimes it has helped people to picture a dial in their head that is traditionally set down around 1 to 3. Take this dial and slowly turn it all the way up picturing as you do that your senses and your sight is increasing with the dial. Simple reason this may work is due to the fact that many intentionally or unintentionally put up a wall between themselves and whats around them because of fear or other reasons. You need to find your ways around those walls. You can just take a couple of deep breaths and picture those walls slowly going down around you but until you look into how to protect yourself it is better that you leave something up between you and them or you and your friends. Start simple and dont go into it with expectations of getting perfect clarity. Never hesitate to push them away like you would push away an unwanted attention if you feel overwhelmed. Last but not least, own the situation. Confidence that you will succeed is the key to many things in life and this is no acception. I hope this makes sense and helps. Its almost 1 am here and I think the baby will finally let me sleep lol :)