(Or How I Got My Groove Back)
Social isolation is hard. A few weeks ago I reached the point of full blown existential crisis. I had been alone for over a month and there wasn’t much positive news coming in. It was hard to imagine the world, and life, after the pandemic. Many of my plans have been derailed and, not knowing what the future holds, I was feeling lost and dismayed. It felt like life as I knew it was over and I didn’t know where or how I would fit into the new world.
I was telling a good friend about this, saying that I had considered making a number of changes but none of the options felt right. This was alarming for me because, as an intuitive person, I’ve always felt pulled towards the right path for me. Without that pull, how will I navigate my way through a world-changing pandemic and come out ahead? This crisis wasn’t just existential, it was also spiritual.
My friend, an upstanding and respectable member of the community with a keen sense of logic, listened intently and then surprised me with his response. He told me about one of his friends who is a well-known psychic medium with an impressive track record, having worked with law enforcement on some high profile cases. My friend went on to tell me several amazing stories he had personally experienced, then gently suggested I schedule a consultation.
I’m fascinated by this stuff, and I’m also skeptical; I want to believe, but I have trouble doing so. I like science and concrete facts, neither of which are included in a psychic reading. Then I remembered reading about how scientists study and evaluate psychic mediums. They look for “dazzle shots” – something that the psychic would have no way of knowing, something that makes you say wow. I wanted a dazzle shot and, figuring that at the very least I’d have a good story to tell at parties, I booked a consultation.
Almost immediately, I regretted my decision. Booking a consultation requires sharing your name and contact information, all of which can be used to find all sorts of information online. This science experiment/spiritual odyssey was off to a bad start before it had even begun. I felt like a sucker who had fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book, and my consultation was still several days away.
The day of the consultation, I was a nervous wreck. What if the reading was accurate? What if it wasn’t? Is our fate set in stone, or can we change the future? I was filled with questions and I wanted answers that I already knew I wasn’t going to accept. It was going to take one heck of a dazzle shot to convince me otherwise.
I called at the scheduled time, feeling nervous and excited and more than a little silly. I was told the consultation begins with an overview before going into more specific detail based on the questions I ask. At first there were a few general statements that were accurate, but not so specific that I let my guard down. Then we discussed a friend, who has no web presence, and the psychic fired off a series of what I knew to be dazzle shots. I was impressed and began to think that maybe this was a good idea after all.
There were dazzle shots for me, too. Names, locations, events that no one else knows about were said, and these were all things I’ve never written about or posted online. Not everything was crystal clear, though, and that vague uncertainty didn’t sit well with me. I had hoped for a psychic road map of sorts, a detailed telling of how and when I’ll get from Point A to Point B. It wasn’t disappointment I was feeling, more of a curiosity of how all the pieces fit together.
A few hours after the reading I was recounting the experience to a friend. I mentioned the dazzle shots as well as the vague bits that seemed neither here nor there. At this point I was still undecided about the “success” of the reading and therefore wondering if I should take anything to heart or dismiss the whole thing as a fun diversion during troubling times.
That’s when the real dazzle happened. In telling about the experience, I realized that the pieces do in fact fit together and the road map I wanted had been provided in an ethereal kind of way. Most importantly, the path felt right and that somehow reminded me of who I am and that there will be life after lock down. Just like that, I got my groove back.
I don’t know that any of this is real or even accurate. It’s wholly possible that I’m just a desperate guy living in isolation, grasping at straws and trying to find hope. What matters to me is that this experience changed my perspective and the way I see my own life. If I hadn’t dissected the reading and worked to connect the dots, I would still be stuck where I was a few weeks ago with no idea how to move forward.
I think we can all learn from this during these difficult times. Think outside the box, figure out how to get from where you are to where you want to be. All the pieces are there, you just have to put them together in the right order. If nothing else, this is a reminder to look for the dazzle in life. The dazzle will always be there, whether you believe it or not.
- Brian George Hose has been an advocate for LGBTQ persons and issues all his adult life. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Shepherd University and looks forward to pursuing a Master's of Social Work with a focus in mental health. A former musician, Brian served as minister of music for New Light MCC for several years and incorporates music into social work practice. He lives in rural Western Maryland where he has amassed a sinful number of books, yarn, and books about yarn. He has been writing for Baltimore Out Loud since February 2016.