Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Mirror - Me, Myself and I

What does a widow look like? Seriously?

I had never really given that question much consideration before I entered this new normality but when I found myself staring into the bathroom mirror, just after midday on July the 3rd last year - I didn't have to wonder any longer.

There she was, staring right back at me.

From a fairly young age, I have always had some strange 'mirror moments' as I call them. I remember being really quite young, around 6 or 7 years old, and having a frightening sense of self. It was a really strange few moments where I was acutely aware of me, myself and I. The bizarre and very real feeling of being totally alone and without body. A tangible awareness of my consciousness but without the feeling of being inside my body.

If my description sounds freaky to you, then I apologise. It certainly freaked me out - in between brushing my teeth and returning to read more of 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton. In fact, it freaked me out so much that it was a many many years, until I ever spoke about it to another living soul.

My stepfather was a learned man. I didn't realise this until after I became a young adult, away at university but it was on return one summer, that we had some mind blowing discussions about life, the universe and everything. His thoughts and considerations about the human spirit and complexities of life were fascinating.

The conversation opened up when I challenged him on his membership to the Freemasons. I was becoming a political, left-wing, opinionated young woman who questioned anything and everything about life and after doing a little bit of research (yes in real books, because this was in 1991) I wanted to know more about this secret society that had such a bad name in so many circles.

He was also interested in my journey to work out the mysteries of life - to which I had studied the Tarot cards. When I say studied them - I mean I had REALLY studied them. I had begun to do readings and earn a little bit of cash on the side because it was something that I had become very good at.

As it happens, we had more in common that I had thought. He shared his thoughts about life after death and he argued rightly so, that the Tarot could not predict our futures.  But he had misunderstood the true nature of the cards and the fact that they are a toolkit for dealing with life. And dealing with death.

But more interestingly, as he began to listen intently to my views and explanation of Tarot reading in the purest sense - he also began to draw fascinating parallels between the images on the cards and the images in freemasonry.

Images in both 'crafts' are those of symbolism. Each image or symbol relates to a situation in life that we all may come across during our journey through it.

As I swept my politics and dismay for secret handshakes aside, I realised that like Tarot, my stepfathers 'craft' or set of beliefs were as open to manipulation and misrepresentation if put into the wrong hands.

Over the course of a very long evening, that extended into the wee hours of the morning, I learnt that we had both grasped the lessons of such imagery but through different mediums.

My stepfather told me that there were no secrets to the imagery of the Freemasons, and that they were all available to be unlocked when people showed an interest.

'This is exactly like the Tarot!' I exclaimed. 'If people want to put the time in and have the sufficient interest, then there are no secrets. You don't have to have a gift - just the patience to work out the lessons of each image'.

And then came the conversation. The one about the mirror.

I remember it was very late, and I had started to get some of these feelings of 'ME' as we were talking about life so deeply. So I asked him if he had ever experienced the 'ME' feeling himself. I explained that I can make it happen if I really concentrate and that sometimes it is so powerful that it can un -nerve me into a panicky feeling that I will not be able to get back to the real world. The world where I am just a part of it all and not just a feeling of Me-ness.

As I begun to explain it, I was so aware that it must be sounding absolutely crackers to him. And the more I tried to explain it, the more surreal the situation felt. I had never discussed it with anyone before as I thought it was just a side effect of being slightly weird and over-thinking things (of which I am and do).

But he didn't look at me as if I was mentally unstable or some kind of fantasist. Instead, he nodded and he listened and he smiled. He just got it.

He told me that I had experienced my 'self' and that my 'self' didn't include a body. If you think that is weird - then stick with may just make some sense...

He told me that he had experimented with all kinds of weird shit, like astral projection. He understood that I was fearful of not being able to 'come back' when I send myself out of my body. But he also reassured me that my feelings were normal and that I was obviously from a very young age, quite aware that my self and my physical body were separate elements.

Back to last July, and there I was looking into the mirror. A mirror moment. I was looking at me but I wasn't aware of the physical me. Just me.

I remembered that my stepfather had shared his views about life after death. He has shared with me his view that the spirit AKA 'self' is an energy or force. That it is possible in his view, to exist without a physical body.   It was me that thought he was crackers at that point.

However, since that very moment of my husband passing away - where I literally held him skin to skin and nurtured him to his final breath, I am inclined to give more credibility to my stepfathers idea.

As I stared into the mirror, before the undertakers arrived and the force of the new normal became apparent, I had a tangible sense of his 'self' and my 'self' existing in peaceful harmony. It was incredible.

I am telling you this because something equally powerful has happened to me this week.

I am able to get the mirror feeling without actually looking into it now. I can do it almost anywhere if I choose to, whether I am alone or not. So last week, in the back yard I consciously did it. And I had what I can only describe as a visitation of my husband's spirit.

I had the overwhelming and crystal clear feeling that he is leaving my house now. That he is happy that I am making such good progress and that he doesn't need to be ever present. Our souls entwined for one last time - without body. And then, his 'self' departed from my present space. Remarkable.

I had not been drinking. Neither was I high. It was 5 O'clock in the afternoon and a totally unremarkable day in any other way.

For an old cynic like me, with no time for supernatural explanations it has completely astounded me.

But it has happened.

For Bebe: I can only work with what I have and what I have been given. I am open to the idea that your beautiful self exists as an energy and inspiration - despite the fact that you have physically gone. I am strong enough for you to appear to me this way and enjoy your visits in my dreams. I also hope that your spirit has become acquainted with my stepfathers. You never got to meet him here but he was quite a man.

For my Stepfather Bill: You told me that one of the strangest things about getting old, was looking in the mirror to see how much you have changed physically but not feeling much different inside from when you where 21. I get that now. PS I have never and will never experiment with astral projection - I kept my promise ; )

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Thankyou for taking the time to read my blog. I am interested to know about your experiences and your thoughts.