What Is It Like To Be a Medium?
When I was first starting out, I would frequently get asked the question, “What is it like, for someone like you?”
Many people have funny perceptions of what it means to be a medium - someone who can see, hear, and communicate with the deceased.
After answering this questions in many different ways for many different people, I figured I would finally just write it down - for everyone to see.
Let's start with my childhood.
I've had the ability to see and hear spirits since my earliest memory.
As a child, I remember spirits - animal, human, and all kinds of strange looking creatures - appearing in my bedroom at night and standing next to my bed. In full color and full figure, I frequently found myself running into my parent’s bedroom, and sleeping next to my Dad, who had the ability to see spirits, too, though he never used them while alive.
This ability to see things in my room at night never went away. I never did consider these dreams nightmares, until I shared them with people - and others would exclaim, “Oh my god! You have the worst nightmares! Those sound more like night terrors to me!"
In other words, I was taught to be afraid.
Then, in my late adolescence, my father sat me down and told me about our family curse - to see the future and to see the spirits. I was told the gift ran in our family for generations, and was this generations chosen one. We’re eastern European, and this ability, while thought rare, was considered a cultural norm. My father, grandmother, and great grandmother had this gift, too.
With my growing fear of my gifts and my new found knowledge that they'd be with me for the rst of my life - in my mid-teens, I set out to turn it off and block it out. During my teen years, I stopped seeing spirits at night and did my best to be a normal girl and hide my abilities. I went on college and later received a few degrees.
I had boyfriends, went to parties, joined sports teams, and tried to talk to as few people as possible about ability to see spirits. Due to shame and fear, I largely hid my ability from romantic partners, friends, and co-workers. For a long time, was scared for other people to know about my gifts.
I had come to believe my gift was a curse.
after my father died, my gifts came back with a fury:
Within days after my father died when I was 20, my spiritual curse returned, and I was woken up nightly by paintings crashing to the ground and the feeling of someone touching my face.
I began to see shadows, glimmers of light, and strange fuzzy air.
Friends, family and partners were convinced I was sick. I was hospitalized. And I tried everything to make it stop - including medication. I convinced myself that at best, I was losing my mind, and at worst, I was haunted.
Sometime in my late mid twenties, after a few failed relationships and career choices, and a little bit of commitment to myself, I decided that it was time to finally address the gift a new way.
I took classes, met other mediums, and read hundreds of books and articles.
I taught myself how to re-talk to spirits. I learned how to use white sage, crystals, to set boundaries, and how to keep away the lower spirits. I learned how to tell spirits to get out of my bedroom and let me sleep at night.
Mostly . . .I learned that the spirits who were haunting me as a child were people. They were grandparents, parents, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, childhood playmates, sisters, and brothers.
I slowly began to tell friends, family, partners, and even co-workers about my gift, and mostly...they were supportive. A few people who were less than enthusiastic or downright not supportive of my abilities, I let them go.
For most of my life, I was scared of the spirit world. I was afraid to see spirits and also, afraid for people to know I saw spirits.
Because I was once afraid, I now try my very best to have compassion and understanding for those who are afraid of the spirit world now, for those who are reluctant to believe, or for those who have an unfavorable opinion mediums. It's all based in the same fear.
What it’s like these days:
I still see, feel, and hear Spirits and am very aware of when there are Spirits around.
I continue to keep this mostly to myself, and have asked those in Spirit to please not startle me in public, as to try to not draw attention to myself. I love the Spirits when they choose me for their messages, but have to ask that they step back if I'm at places where I could be overwhelmed - funerals, bris, hospitals or weddings.
I’ve learned to set boundaries, so that I can sleep at night and cook dinner in peace and quiet.
Spirits do show up from time to time outside of readings, and I do make exceptions for them.
I’ve learned that because most Spirits were once living people, when you treat them with respect, they ~ mostly ~ treat you with the same . . . even though you do run into the occasional jokester.
For readings, your deceased will sometimes arrive to the appointment early and I do entertain them while they are around.
These days, and I don’t feel haunted, cursed, or creeped out by my gifts. I find them fun and they add a certain level of joy to my life - as does my ability to help people with my gifts.
While being a medium is definitely lifestyle choice in many ways, I’ve always wanted to help other people in a meaningful way and out of all my career paths, it has only bee with this, that I finally feel I am doing just that.
And...as it turns out, I've never had to own a crystal ball, wear a velvet skirt, or become a gypsy to do my job.
There is no one-size-fits-all uniform it takes to be a medium, you just have to be.
Amanda Linette Meder