I’ve spent half my life in the shadows.
Like many people, I lived a life defined by the shadows of my own mind, shadows cast by the beliefs I grew up with. It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized one very important Truth: Shadows cannot exist without Light.
And the light source is always there, even when we can’t see it.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, the sky often resembled thick leaden clouds as dark and dense as brain tissue.
I longed for summer days when I could lie on the grass, catching sight of small silver objects traveling above leaving cold contrails that would fatten, drift and eventually dissipate into the mouths of surrounding, fluffy cloud animals.
I think had I not escaped to the skies, I would’ve been one of those people standing on any one of Portland’s bridges contemplating the dark waters below rather than the blue skies above.
For those who struggle with any sort of mental disorder or addiction, shadows are very real.
For those who are sensitive to energies, vibrations and unexplainable phenomena,
shadows are very real. Sometimes, they move.
EXTRA SENSORY PERCEPTION (ESP)
Most often, those who are highly sensitive reach for substances to dull their senses because they simple cannot handle what they sense, what they feel and cannot explain. In other words, it’s too much. It can be terrifying.
Marianne Williamson, describes it as a waterfall pouring into a vase. The vase simply cannot handle the volume and it explodes.
Since we humans don’t typically explode, we implode. We become hysterical and reach for the drink, the drug, the distraction, the ahhhh…
Some reach so far they touch Death.
In Hotel California, one of my characters, Dani, is a sensitive who doesn’t quite know how to handle her extraordinary gift.
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I modeled Dani after someone very dear to me, someone who had an extraordinary gift as a child but it frightened her, badly. She would walk into the living room of my childhood home and see people, just like the kid in “The Sixth Sense.”
She asked my Mom about it, given she too has the strong sensitivities I talked about in
The Graveyard Shift.
She’d describe the person she saw and my Mom would tell her who it was. When she realized she was the only one who could see these people, it frightened her. She disowned her gift. Ignored it. Repressed it. Drank. Escaped it. And finally, she lost it.
I believe she is very grateful for this because it must’ve been terrifying to her but on the other hand, it saddens me because it’s an extraordinary gift and most likely, these people had a message.
They just wanted to be heard. Just like the living.
She has never talked to me about it. Or anyone else I know of, besides my Mom.
Sometimes people drink, drug, eat, smoke, numb because they don’t know how to handle what they feel and cannot explain.
Sometimes people come to rely on these coping methods and become addicted.
They keep reaching and reaching and reaching… Some reach so far they touch Death.
I was lucky. Death didn’t grab my hand and pull me over to the other side.
Others are not so lucky.
When I stopped numbing, the shadows started moving. They came for me in my dreams. I’d wake up just as it was bearing down on me. Sometimes its eyes were red. I’d bolt upright, my heart pounding, drenched in sweat, feeling the slightest sense of disturbance in the air molecules, as if a bird flew by and brushed me with its wing.
Or something much greater.
ACCEPT OR REJECT, SHADOWS EXISTS ALL THE SAME
A shadow is a dark area where light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object. It occupies all of the three-dimensional volume behind an object with light in front of it.*
Shadow people are sensory perceptual distortions, for example seeing (visual), hearing (auditory), smelling (olfactory), feeling (haptic, tactile), or tasting (gustatory) sensations that others would not sense and do not exist outside one’s perception.*
Perception is not reality but MY perceptions create my reality, just like yours.
I know what I’ve sensed, felt and seen.
Shadows no longer come for me in my dreams but I do see them move out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes.
When I’m willing to connect, lights flicker and electronic devices static, disrupt or go dead.
Today I am not afraid. Today I am strong. I’ve faced these things and I know they cannot hurt me unless I allow it. And I will never allow it. Not me, not those I love.
I watch people go about their lives ignorant of these things that exist in the space between us. Women talk about lipstick and men, men talk about football, the Super Bowl and how the Patriots paid off the refs, again. I’m content to be part of these details that color inside the lines of these lives that we think define us. It’s safe. It’s normal.
And I’ll keep watch on the energies between us and the shadows that move for those Unaware.
Gail lOpez says
I am so proud of you for dreaming big and going after it!
Valerie Heidt says
I credit you among my inspirations, girlfriend!
I’m glad I’m not the only one…
Valerie Heidt says
I await your similar stories!