I was doing a radio interview last night on Z-talk radio. The show was called The Buzz. One of the hosts, Scotty Rorek, listened as I told him that in what essentially amounted to a single moment in time, I went from a place of agnosticism (about everything – souls, ghosts, God – you name it) to a place of belief. And then Scotty asked the million dollar question.
“What’s that like?”
I’ve got to say – nobody has ever asked me that before. But, since I was on live radio, “I dunno – I’ve never really thought about it,” didn’t seem like an adequate answer. Nor did “Ummmmmmm……”
What’s it like? It is life changing. Or at least it was for me. You see, I’ve never been a believer, I don’t think. Even as a child who was raised in the Christian church, belief was a tough one for me. On the one hand, I knew I didn’t believe. On the other hand, I knew I wanted to believe. It was this wanting to believe that made belief so difficult.
I was aware that I wanted to believe, and therefore whenever anything resembling belief crept in, I immediately questioned it. Was this just my desire to believe manifesting? It is why I have always had such a high level of criteria for belief. For me, it was going to have to be something (and I didn’t know what that something was) that was indisputable.
I believe that this is why I started to seek out the paranormal. Because I didn’t have faith – even as small as a mustard seed.
To me, it’s a whole package, this belief thing. I knew if I found that one thing – whether it was paranormal, faith based or something else – that overrode my skepticism about my desire to believe, then there was a good chance other belief would become easier for me. After all this is my logic (and I know it is probably flawed). If I find evidence of ghosts, then that must mean that the human soul exists and we don’t just fade to dust after our lifetimes here. If the human soul exists, then we must not exist alone – there is some source from whence we come and likely to which we return. If there is such a source, then certainly it could be that to which some people refer as God.
For years I’ve had people argue with me that you can’t apply logic to faith. Faith, they say, precludes logic. If you have to work it out logically and you need some kind of indisputable evidence, then what you have isn’t faith. Because faith is a leap into the unknown.
I’ve never understood why faith was necessary if we could find a way to prove it.
Many a Sunday school teacher, minister and theologian has banged their head on a table when having this conversation with me, trust me. At some point as I am explaining my logic, I see that look come into their eyes. I don’t blame them for it. I understand it. It’s not that I am deliberately obtuse, it’s just how my freakin’ brain works, folks.
So along came that moment that I had long sought out. The one undeniable thing that I couldn’t explain away. That moment in which I first actually believed and couldn’t question myself out of it because I knew I was suspect because I wanted to believe.
(Before you ask: Why yes, it is exhausting to be me.)
I could no longer deny the existence of ghosts. I couldn’t even really question it from that moment on. And my logic cascaded from there as all of the pieces I’d tried to put together for a lifetime instantly clicked into place.
In that moment I was a changed woman. The change was profound enough that it almost defies words – and that’s saying something given that words are my trade. My restlessness is gone and it has been replaced with something else – this quiet certitude that I feel. I no longer need to know, because I do know. And it has nothing to do with faith. And it has everything to do with faith. I am a part of something larger than me. There is more to me than this human outline and this human brain that thinks and thinks and thinks all of the time.
Because of that, I have found peace. My need to know has gone away. Now when I go out seeking the paranormal it is because it makes me happy and not because I have to prove anything to anyone else or to myself.
What did it feel like, that moment when I first believed? Peaceful. Joyful. Beautiful. Like finding that perfect moment in time where the sun is shining on your hands, the birds are singing and you know that everything is right with the world.