Saturday I got a text from my yoga instructor asking if I wanted to go with her to a psychic reading and past life regression before class on Sunday. I’ve always been curious about such things, so I agreed and met her at the psychic’s house and yoga studio bright eyed and bushy tailed and clutching my mug of tea for dear life. Alas, we found out I couldn’t sit in without it becoming a joint reading (my energy or aura or something would have made it difficult for her to focus on my instructor), so I sat by myself on a very comfortable couch on the other side of a rather thin door. I could hear everything they were saying except when the air conditioner kicked on, and when I couldn’t eavesdrop I was able to drink my tea and look out the window at the trees and let my mind wander.
And it wandered to my own encounter with a psychic several years ago.
It was not too long after I graduated from college; I was attending a Tony Awards viewing party at the home of a theatre and music director I’d worked with recently. I was doing pretty good considering the number of people I didn’t know well and my social anxiety. I met several of the director’s friends and got on pretty well; one of them was a woman whose name I can’t remember now, but she actually looked a lot like the psychic on Sunday if I remember correctly. We hadn’t had much more conversation than nice to meet you, but as she and her friends were leaving, she turned to me with this strange look on her face.
“I don’t mean to be weird or anything,” she said apologetically. “But I feel like there’s something I need to tell you. Do you have a boyfriend?”
“No,” I replied, taken aback by the oddity her question, “but I just sort of started seeing someone.”
She nodded knowingly. “I just wanted to let you know, he won’t always be in the picture. But when that happens, you’re going to be okay.”
I very obviously frowned at her and said, “Um. Thanks?” She left with her friends, and it wasn’t until I’d run the story by my director friend that I found out she was psychic.
Now as I’ve mentioned before, faith isn’t an easy thing for me; I’m agnostic for a reason. There’s this skeptical part of me that always says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” And then even if I see it, that part furrows its brow and makes some sort of witty quip about it all being in one’s interpretation, self-fulfilling prophesy, etc. So I brushed her off as a “psychic” who’d had one too many cocktails.
The funny thing is when I remember my random encounter with the psychic now I think, holy shit. She was right.
See, the guy she was talking about is my ex.
It was only about a year after we met, and at the time our friendship had briefly morphed into a friends-with-benefits situation. Which is why I told her I was “sort of” seeing someone. We drifted apart and came back together (as “just friends”) a couple of times before we officially started dating more than a year later. Another year and a half brought us to our mutual yet heart-wrenching break up, followed by about two years of very close friendship. But now, the last year or so we’ve only seen each other every couple of months. He’s not nearly as big a part of my life as he used to be.
And you know what? I’m okay.
Yeah, it’s vague and open to interpretation. He’s not completely out of my life, but I wouldn’t say he’s necessarily “in the picture” anymore. I’ll always care for him, and I hope we’ll always be friends. But what I felt for him then and when we were together is entirely different from how I feel about him now. Like I’ve said before, we aren’t right for each other; that’s not going to change. Even if we’re friends for the rest of our lives, I know he’s never going to be “in the picture” in that way again.
My inner skeptic can argue the finer points of it all day long, but that doesn’t change the eerie feeling I get when I look back at that brief moment five years ago. That woman told me what she did because she felt I needed to hear it, not because I’d solicited her advice or given her money. She just felt something so strongly that she couldn’t keep it to herself, even though I was a perfect stranger. When I look back and think of the journey my ex and I have been on over the last five years in the light of that advice, it gives me goose bumps.
I have a friend from the theatre group I was in in high school that calls himself a psychic spiritual minister. And I believe him, wholeheartedly, because I know him and know that he would never misrepresent himself just to swindle people out of money. I know he truly believes God has given him a gift so he can help people, and his belief is good enough for me.
But when it came to my yoga instructor’s reading, I was still skeptical at first. When the psychic Sunday reminded me so much of the one I’d met five years ago, some of that skepticism dwindled. It’s still in the back of my mind, reminding me that the past-life stuff she was telling my friend might all be a bunch of bull. But the rest of me can’t be quite so sure. She gave my instructor a lot of good advice, regardless of whether any of the “psychic” stuff was true. And my instructor described some of her recent experiences to me afterward, and keeping that in mind it seems a lot more plausible.
I guess that’s the reason I’m an agnostic and not an atheist. I may not be able to personally commit to any particular religion or ideology, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to it. Like my psychic spiritual minister friend, if my yoga instructor believes it, if it helps her make sense of her life and the psychic is giving her solid advice, that’s good enough for me. Either way, there is one thing I can believe with absolutely certainty:
I believe that anything is possible.