I disagree. It is my belief that while I view my mediumship a gift, it is better classified as a talent – similar to that of an athlete. EVERYONE can connect and communicate with the other side, but some people are just naturally better at it. For those people (like myself), the classes aren’t about opening ourselves up… rather, they teach us how to manage the gift AND turn it off (when necessary). The importance of learning that became apparent to me during a trip to Gettysburg.
The stop in Gettysburg about ten years ago was impromptu. My mother and I travelled to eastern Pennsylvania on a shopping expedition to the outlet malls (there are several in Hershey, Lancaster, and Gettysburg, PA). While in the area, not only did we hit the outlets, but we also got a chocolate fix, checked out the Amish, and decided to make our way down to the historic sites of Gettysburg – neither of us had ever been.
This trip came at a point when I was just beginning to accept and explore my gift. It had recently come on full-blown after being quieted for years and I was trying to make sense of it. I thought the visions and feelings were “cool” and didn’t completely understand how to process the messages. What happened in Gettysburg showed me that the gift isn’t always “cool” and that classes were necessary for my sanity.
Our stop in Gettysburg started off relatively uneventful. As we drove into town and made our way around the circle in the middle of town, I smiled but I began to feel heaviness in my chest and my breath became short. It also started to get loud. There were cannons and gunshots going off in the distance – I initially thought, “Lucky us!! We might see a reenactment!” The type of reenactment I saw that day was more than I bargained for.
As we made our way towards the battlefields, I began to see that the reenactments weren’t those of actors, but the spirits reenacting their last days. Trying to avoid that which was occurring around me, my mother and I decided (as any good tourist should) to stop at the Welcome Center… BAD IDEA! Before we even got out of the car my sixth sense was ringing and all my “Clairs” were activated: We were being charged by soldiers… the were wounded, scared, cocky, a whole host of emotions; there were cannons, gunshots, wails from pain and pleading from soldiers; my heart and whole body ached, my head throbbed and I felt as though I was about to toss my cookies; the taste of blood filled my mouth and the smell of smoke filled the air. Tears were in my eyes, but we headed into the Visitor Center – I foolishly thought I’d be able to shake these feelings.
That didn’t happen. Rather, as we entered the Welcome Center, I made a bee-line down the stairs to the Women’s Restroom hoping to pull myself together. Three soldiers followed me. No amount of water in my face was about to get them to leave. So after shutting myself in the stall for a few minutes and being accosted by one very persistent spirit… I darted out of the bathroom and told my mother WE MUST LEAVE. NOW! Not just the center, the town in general. We did.
My mother and I spent approximately 30 minutes in Gettysburg that day – the longest thirty minutes of my life. It was after that I began to understand the necessity for the “basics” of mediumship (grounding, protecting, centering and allowing). As a teacher, I now stress the importance of “mastering” these skills before completely opening oneself to the spiritual word. Without them, it’s a scary world out there.
It took a long time for me to return to Gettysburg. It’s still a hard place to visit and I have the most interesting experiences every time I go (more on that later), but fortunately, as my in-laws live ten minutes south of Gettysburg and we pass by the battlefields every time we travel to visit them, the classes have allowed me to dull the sensations and I’m able to enjoy the history.