T writes: “I was looking at your site because my friend sparked my interest in spirtiualism. and i was curious about some things. Well ever since my grandfather passed on I was never able to let him go, and my uncle tells me that a good way to let go is to talk and believe that he has really made it to a better place is this true? Another thing is is it possible to be a christian and a spiritualist? Because i have heard from many people that you can only be one or the other.” – T
Answer: T, those are great questions.
Spiritualism isn’t really a “religion” in itself. It’s more of a belief system that is compatible with nearly any other religion or belief system, including Christianity. There are some branches of Christianity that wouldn’t accept Spiritualist beliefs, but many would.
The basic beliefs of Spiritualists are:
1) There is no such thing as death.
Our physical bodies certainly do “die” (in that they cease functioning) – but our bodies are not who we truly are. Spiritualists see our physical bodies as temporary vehicles that help us to get around while we’re living on the physical plane of existence.
The essence of us, our souls, continue on to a higher phase of life once our bodies die. In Christianity, this place is referred to as Heaven, and in other traditions it might be called The Spirit World, The Spirit Realm, Alternate Dimension, or any number of other names.
2) Communication with the “dead” is very possible.
Most often through the skills of a medium (person who communicates with spirits).
However, I’m of the opinion that ALL of us have this ability. We just may be at varying levels of development. Someone who is naturally very sensitive will have an easier time than someone who isn’t.
Our loved ones can still communicate with us, let us know they’re okay, check in on us to see how we’re doing, etc. Sometimes they come into our dreams, and other times we might sense their presence while we’re awake.
Can we hold our loved ones back on the other side?
Yes, I do believe we can have an effect on our loved ones’ ability to move on into their new phase of life on the other side. Not that we really “hold them back” or anything, it’s not that simple.
But let me give you an example. Imagine that you had a best friend that you hung around with every day, and then suddenly you moved a few states away. While you did miss your friend, you were excited about your new adventures at your new school or job, and you were content to speak with her once a week, then maybe once a month, then maybe once a year.
As time went on, you started drifting away from her emotionally. It wasn’t that you didn’t care for her anymore, but you had your mind on your new life, not your old one. However, your friend missed you terribly and called you several times a day, crying because she missed you so much.
She begged you repeatedly to come back because she didn’t feel like she could live without you. Wouldn’t that put a terrible strain on you? Wouldn’t you feel confined and guilty about your new, exciting life?
Emotionally, you would feel the pull she was exerting on you, and it would make your new life harder to fully enjoy.
It’s very similar for our loved ones. Try to understand that once they leave this earth plane, they don’t feel so attached to it anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t love us or care about us anymore; they just have their minds focused on other things.
They are growing and experiencing life on the other side, and they are excited about it! They will still check in with us, frequently at first, and less frequently as time goes on.
The greatest gift we can give them is our full blessing as they begin their new journey.
Oh, I know, this is so hard to do, especially at the beginning!
When my father died, I was only 25 years old, and I wasn’t ready to let him go. He died very suddenly, which made it even harder. But deep in my heart, I knew I had to let go so he wouldn’t feel tied to me in any way.
So, did I just make up my mind to let him go, and get over his death quickly? No!
It’s SO IMPORTANT to move through the grief process in order to fully heal. And a necessary part of grieving is experiencing denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance.
In order to fully accept that our loved ones are gone, we need to go through the other stages of grief first. We need to allow ourselves to cry, scream, and rage against our loss. But at the same time, we can be happy for our loved one.
Here’s how I did that with my father:
When he first died, I cried buckets of tears, I screamed out my rage at God and anyone else who happened to be nearby. I resisted the injustice of taking my father too young, and I longed for him to be back with us again. All very normal reactions.
But then, I began talking to my father. I told him that I loved him, and I missed him, and I wanted him to be happy more than anything else. I told him that he was welcome to visit me anytime he liked, but in the meantime, I would wish him well and be happy for him because he deserved that.
Do you see the difference?
Even though I wasn’t ready to let him go, I started doing so anyway. I didn’t bury my grief, I expressed it (often loudly!), but I also let him know that it was okay for him to go.
It’s difficult to do, and some days will be easier than others. It’s a process, not a one-time event.
Learn more about Spiritualism here.
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