Vulnerability, shame and redemption
Posted on Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 | 2 comments
Columnist: Kathleen Meadows
As you know, I taught Tarot, psychic ability development and feminist psychology for many years. Many of those classes took place while I was also working a day job as a therapist/researcher/social work teacher. Most people who knew me in my day job had no clue about my other life – my guilty passion. Tarot, psychic ability and spirit.
It wasn't hard for me to be secretive. After all I'm a Scorpio and that's just a natural way of being for us. Besides I'd been doing something similar in one form or another for years. I'd been secret about myself for so long I'd forgotten how to be otherwise. For instance, when I was living in California I had two complete identities and social groups. One identity, group, name and address was connected to my work as a bartender and another identity was connected to being a grad student of psychology.
Some people in my professional life knew about my secret. They were a deeply trusted inner circle of women that I knew shared my interest or found the whole notion at the very least intriguing. Many however, were kept out of the loop until I launched into doing it full time and found myself the feature story in a rather large newspaper article.
Turning Point with Spiritual Healer
Now you undoubtedly know people, and may be are one of these people yourself, who enjoy activities that are quite different from your daily working lives. Hobbies such as stamp collecting or playing pool; physical pursuits such as hand gliding, bungie jumping or motor car racing; passions such as history, geography or quantum mechanics or any other activity that is just different from what your day to day colleagues would imagine you pursuing. But for some reason if you told them offhand in the lunchroom that you were a psychic Tarot reader in your leisure hours, they would likely stare at you in dumbfounded, horrified amazement. It just seems to occupy a class of its own and I don't think I'm imagining this. In fact I know I'm not.
A turning point for me came in the form of an ex-social worker turned spiritual healer at an event where I had been given a table to display my Tarot work. We were placed next to each other and both being inclined to chat, it wasn't long before we were exchanging stories.
She described how very closet-y she had been about her alternative healing work with her professional colleagues when she was employed, until one day she realized her spiritual work was her. If she was determined to remain secretive about her life purpose and passion, then she was sending some disturbing messages to those who knew her, including and most especially herself. So she "came out" to everyone realizing too that she couldn't possibly market herself as a healer without some people finding her out. She discovered much to her surprise and delight that many of her colleagues celebrated her decision and promptly booked appointments to see her in her secret practice already having built up a degree of trust in her honesty and integrity.
As I listened to her story, I felt this excitement growing in my heart and spirit. I knew it was time (after 20 years!) for me to do the same. I needed to live in my integrity and let my community see me for who I was. I felt vulnerable and terrified and free.
It's in those moments that we learn what it truly means to be vulnerable. Brene Brown states, "Courage, compassion, connection and vulnerability are the hallmarks of people who are truly happy". That explained the free part. I felt happy and free. I still cared what people might think but it wasn't going to be the force that decided my way forward any longer. Soon afterwards my career as a reader took flight and I haven't look back since. That was 2003.
I wouldn't dare suggest it's been a perfectly smooth transition or road. Some people did in fact judge me harshly and backed away. Others reacted with fear, scorn and skepticism.
"You are a necromancer"!
Bumping into my family doctor in a coffee shop, in response to his question about how I was, I answered, "I'm happy! I'm doing what I love and enjoying amazing success at it!"
He took a step back aghast as I described my work and burst out, "You are a necromancer!" I giggled self-consciously as others in the café stared, and said, "Not exactly but yeah kinda." I was annoyed to feel my knees quivering, my face flushing and crawling with a creepy sensation like a witchy woman facing the inquisition.
Rather inconveniently, this also meant I couldn't see him anymore. Landing another family doctor took me the better part of ten years as anyone who lives in Canada is aware. The first thing I announced to my new family doctor was that I was a psychic Tarot reader and if he had a problem with that we might as well get it over with right at the start. He glanced at me, smiled and said, "Cool." He turned out to be the best doctor I ever had. I miss him dearly having to leave him behind when we moved to Victoria.
Another surprising response was from one of my M.A. profs (M.A. in Religion & Culture I might also point out – hardly hard science left brain) who fancied and marketed himself to be a rather cool dude. But when he found out what I was doing, he laughed mockingly and said it was "quite an act". Because we were having a private chat I will say in my defense that I fired that right back at him!
Yet another prof, who considered himself anything but cool (winner of the best professor award and renowned Catholic scholar) joyfully referred many clients to me and generously wrote me a deeply personal and touching reference to post on my web site! So many lessons were learned throughout this period. The most salient was that I could never predict how people were going to react.
Each challenging encounter with someone who disapproved however, made me stronger, more committed and more free. It wasn't just a matter of the risk in revealing my true self but the risk in launching a business I knew nothing about. Self-employment was something I had done part-time for years while having a full-time day job to pay the rent. I had no idea if I would be able to carve out a reasonable living for myself. Worse, once people knew who and what I was, I might be out of a day job too or have any hope of gaining another!
Love with Your Whole Heart
Brene encourages, "Love with your whole hearts even though there is no guarantee". I couldn't be more enthusiastic in seconding this advice. Don't wait as long as I did to reveal your true self to others. Be real with your vulnerability. The rewards are so abundant they are impossible to count.
You'll be appreciated and denigrated but at least it will be for real. Those who celebrate you, know who they are celebrating and those who denigrate you will at least be assured it's truly for who you are and although this might seem counterintuitive, it's rather freeing. The family members who support you no matter what, love you unconditionally. They are your true family. The others were just folks you got to know along the way. You get really good at identifying who you want in your life and whom you need to leave behind, often finally!
Make 2017 the year to expose your true self to the world. Be real and authentic in your life. Take the risks that are the scariest. Be adventurous, uncomfortable and free.
Kathleen Meadows is a practicing tarot reader and psychic in Canada. You can read more of her articles and watch her videos on her web site http://www.psychicanada.comArticle Copyright© Kathleen Meadows - reproduced with permission.
If you are interested in the esoteric sciences and psychic ability development you will find the articles on my web site an interesting read. Visit my web site Exploring the Psychic Experience.