I made it a rule when I “came out” about my reincarnation case several years ago that I wasn’t going to read anything about myself after the fact, especially when I published my book. When you start allowing outside noise into your head, it makes it almost impossible if not completely impossible to hear your own thoughts. And we all know that when outside noise makes you look down on yourself with a critical eye, it’s very difficult to pull yourself out of that negative cycle. Happiness is a choice. People who gossip and surround themselves with negative energy are only asking to be unhappy. So it’s better for certain types of people like myself who have sensitive, creative energy to avoid looking at themselves too closely or looking back on things they should have done differently or whatever the situation may entail.
The downside to avoiding reading things about myself is that it backfired in such a way that I developed a fear of rejection. I fully realized how far the fear of rejection went when I was in Gettysburg on the PRS field trip last November. One would think me being around “my own kind” as I call them would create a bubble of safety that would allow me to be open about not only being the reincarnation of Fanny Chamberlain but growing up a child medium as well. Not so. My fear of rejection was so intense that I didn’t tell anybody about what/who I am until the last day. Even then I didn’t name myself in the past. I only gave vague details about my former husband fighting there in Gettysburg and how I grew up having nightmares about army hospitals. I taught myself a long time ago to be okay with rejection from people who simply don’t understand the paranormal, but the possibility of being rejected by people educated in the field was at almost phobic proportions. Phobic because I am absolutely, wholeheartedly, unconditionally telling the truth about my past life case and there’s no concrete way to prove it. People have to take the evidence on faith. If they don’t, there’s a thinly veiled implication that I’m a liar and that’s the pill I can’t swallow. The fear of rejection about what/who I am was not something I spelled out directly there having lunch with Ryan Buell in Gettysburg but he figured it out.
“I want you to be prepared for rejection,” he said kindly but firmly, with a gesture of his fork.
I got it. I decided I would work on it, since I didn’t realize how bad the fear of rejection really was in me.
I know who I was, who I am, and what I’m doing with this life, but the possibility of other people rejecting me makes me doubt myself and I hesitate. There is hesitation cropping up when I do my readings at times as well. Things I should say but delete out of fear end up coming back to me with the clients’ feedback and I want to kick myself. Talking about Fanny is not something I do very much anymore either, except with a very tight circle of people who have proven their trust. When I “came out”, it was like a levy breaking free and I wrote about everything as if I was driven by some higher force. Then I learned how cruel strangers can be and I slowly tapered off on what I’m willing to discuss in public and what I’m not. Being called a devil worshiper or being told I need to ask Jesus for forgiveness don’t really faze me anymore though because it happens so often and the people doing the mudslinging are not intellectual in their arguments at all. Of course that doesn’t mean I like to see it.
Even in my own home, I find myself unconsciously suppressing my true nature. Most of you know that I come from a family of sensitives, mediums, intuitives, psychics, etc., going back many, many, many generations into France before we ever set foot in the New World. The problem is my family has an equally long history of suppressing those skills. If we acknowledge them at all, it’s only within the context of privacy among other family members. My grandmother is a psychic medium and also reads auras but she taught her children to suppress and ignore their own abilities to the point of making them phobic of them. My generation is starting to break that ugly cycle with me leading the pack in my work but my grandmother has been fighting me every step of the way since I was about sixteen. It’s difficult not to listen to her negativity. She knows I do readings and she knows I do PRS field trips but she doesn’t approve of either activity, saying that Ryan is a bad influence for encouraging me (I made the mistake of telling her about Gettysburg). When I went to an event with Dustin Pari formerly of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International last year, her response was to frown and warn me not to accept drinks from him because she watches Dateline date rape drug stories too much.
You see what I’m dealing with here.
I was talking to Dustin about suppression of medium abilities to please my grandmother recently. Under normal circumstances I’d never repeat private conversations but in the interest of helping other people, I don’t think he’d mind. Like Ryan, he cut to the heart of it with just a few words.
“All you can be is who you are. And you are… Unapologetically yourself,” he said, quoting my Twitter bio.
It occurred to me that a lot of people, including myself, may say that they don’t apologize for who they are or they are prepared for rejection but saying it and doing it are two very different things. There has to be a balance between awareness of people’s perception of you as well as the ability to stop those perceptions from hurting your views of yourself. Completely shutting out the noise puts you in a bubble and you never learn coping skills, nor do you develop tougher skin.
So, on a whim, I turned on the noise a little bit today to see what happens when I search myself online. I expected a lot of negativity because reincarnation is tough to accept just like doing intuitive readings is tough to accept as well. Surprisingly, the majority of what I found was my book on sale in many different retailers besides Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I also found myself on several paranormal websites that were rather objective in a way like, “Here are her claims if you want to look at them,” with no real subjective opinion. There was, however, one obscure message board deep in the search had a thread about my book when it was released, I think. The person who posted it called it rubbish and about ten other people chimed in but it was clear that nobody in the thread had bothered to read the book. If they quoted me, they twisted my words into something I didn’t mean. It was hatred based on… nothing, really. Hatred without bothering to really understand what they were hating. At first I was upset and stopped looking at it, but then I realized that it was the only negativity I found about myself out there. I’m pretty lucky, all things considered.
Then Ryan’s words came back to me. “I want you to be prepared for rejection.”
Then Dustin’s words came back to me. “All you can be is who you are. And you are… Unapologetically yourself.”
My three goals have been the same from the beginning. – 1) To connect with other people who have been through these experiences. 2) To tell my story in a truthful, humble and practical manner. 3) To help other people who think they might be alone. – I have accomplished all three of those goals, so I have to reach a place of peace in myself where any negativity thrown my way won’t really matter. If I have the right to say I was Fanny Chamberlain in a past life and I grew up as a child medium, then freedom of speech means other people have the right to question it or even hate it. I can’t control that. I can control the ability to follow the advice of two men who are very influential in my life. I control the information I release out there and I control presenting myself in the most purely authentic form. If people don’t use the information responsibly or they don’t bother to learn the whole story before they become armchair critics from the safety and anonymity of their computers, then that’s not my problem. The good I can do with my life far outweighs the bad thrown at me in years of hate mail and random message board discussions.
Does that mean I’m prepared for rejection and I’m just being myself? Well, only time and daily effort will reveal that. I figured out how to create a buffer around myself though. Whenever something bad comes my way, all I have to do is ask myself if my intentions were pure and if I was truthful in the purest, most practical way. The answer to both those questions being yes means I’ve done all I can and people misusing my information is their own problem. It won’t mean it won’t sting or I won’t want to argue, but there is no point.
Say what you mean correctly the first time and how people use it to bring positivity or negativity to their own lives is on their own shoulders, not yours.
One of the ways I’m going to push myself to “be prepared for rejection” is to give Ryan my book when I see him later this month in San Francisco. That sounds pretty minor but that is actually quite terrifying for me because I respect him so much that if he hated it, I think it would hurt a lot. But I ask myself those two questions again – are my intentions pure and was I truthful in the purest, most practical way? Yes and yes. So whatever happens, I did my best and that’s the thing that matters the most.
How can you apply these lessons to your own lives?