When writing this blog I often like to share personal experiences and things I have gone through on a personal level while navigating not just the paranormal, but the people within it. I like to be real and express myself in the hopes that someone may relate and it may help them the way others have helped me. We all know there is no shortage of drama and honestly it is something I try to avoid. No matter how much I try to avoid it, it still seems to find me. Im sure many of you relate. One of the things or lessons if you want to call it that I have learnt more recently is the concept of power. I’m not talking about domination or being at the top of the chain, I am talking about the power within yourself. The self confidence, the spark, the knowing your worth and not letting people take advantage of what is your kindness.
As a writer and a human being, I cannot stand confrontation and will avoid it as much as I can, I mean there is a reason I hide behind a screen! I don’t like negativity and I shy away from it. While some will disagree with me as we all handle things differently, if I see a negative comment for example, I won’t engage. I don’t delete the comment, I let it sit because people are entitled to their opinion but I personally don’t feel it is worth fighting over and the subsequent anxiety that it causes me. While it is a throw away comment for one person that they won’t likely remember in 10 minutes, it literally keeps me awake at night. I am insecure and I have a need for people to like me. Call it vein or tell me that I don’t need people’s approval which is true because I know this and I’ll still be myself regardless, but a part of me still wants them to like me. It is just how I am and how I’ve always been. It is an unrealistic expectation because there are plenty of people I don't like, so of course there will be people out there that don’t like me. Sometimes they don’t agree with my way of thinking or they may not get me but sometimes we just don’t get along ...And that’s ok and it is something that is almost amplified when you start putting yourself out there in the paranormal field. What I learnt which was important though, was not to let this need for wanting people to like you to make you change the way you do things to please people. A harsh reality is that with some people, it doesn’t matter what you do they still won’t like you so don’t change to cater to them. You can still want people to like you, but you need to be yourself.
During this process of being yourself you are vulnerable. One of the hardest things you can do in the paranormal field is to put your thoughts and opinions out there as they are often criticised and ridiculed. It doesn’t just happen in the paranormal of course it is the way the world works now with social media. We have in a lot of ways become an armchair commentator society, but when you are in the paranormal field you are in a bit of a para bubble. You know when you are in high school and it is your whole world? To a lot of people that is what it is like participating in the paranormal. It is your whole world. You care so much about it and what you are doing. If you are running a page or a group or creating content, you are likely doing so out of the pure love you have for the paranormal and inspirational spark that it gives you. If someone criticises something you do, it feels like they are criticising you personally. It is you that is in charge of what you put out there. After dabbling in different areas I knew what content I wanted to put out. It isn’t for everyone and the way I write I am told is very matter of fact and can rub people the wrong way. I learnt to live with that and became proud of what I write because regardless of what people were saying, I knew it was me being me. I had the power because I was in control of what I was putting out there. With this of course comes its own set of challenges because once you start to receive some success, some people like to 'cash in'. I cannot tell you how many times even with just a small win, where I was made to feel like it wasn’t because of me at all.
There will always be someone that in some way will try to take credit for the work that YOU do. How many times do you hear the comment ‘ they wouldn’t be where they are now if it weren’t for me’. The thing is usually in these kinds of situations, they needed you more than you needed them. It is a realisation on their part that you have realised this and taken the step to regaining your power and they don't like it. What is important to realise that YOU are the person that has done the work. Regardless of what part they have played, you are the one that has ultimately done the work. It is also important in the world of the paranormal especially is to know that there aren't a lot of NEW ideas when it comes to the paranormal. A lot of topics have been discussed for centuries. Just because for example I have written an article about spirit boxes doesn't mean I am the only person that can talk about them. A friend of my was accused of plagiarism and stealing an idea by simply talking about a process that has been discussed in the spiritual community for centuries, yet this individual laid claim to it and went as far as making a public campaign about it. Your thoughts are your thoughts and you are entitled to have them and express them. A person cannot lay claim or take credit for your thoughts and especially cannot take credit for your work. If anything it is more of a reflection on them that it is you. Take back your power and know that you are in control of your thoughts and your content and how you express yourself. No one else.
You do however need to have a certain amount of respect for content that is already out there. For example, a lot of people copy and paste my articles onto their own webpages, or even as social media posts. While I have agreements with certain pages to do this and they credit me accordingly, others blatantly just copy the work word for word and paste it on their feeds as it they wrote it themselves. The only reason I know about it is that thankfully people tend to recognise my style of writing and will tag me to alert me. I like to think they don't do so in a deliberate attempt. I think it is more a case of them not realising the amount of work that goes into it. When I contact a person, they will usually happily credit me. I do again think that people feel if you find something on google it is available for the public to use regardless which is not the case at all. If you are using someone else's material to make your own point, it is important that you acknowledge by either quoting or referencing them (especially if you just copy and paste their work). For example, I will post a lot of quotes in my articles to make my point. It is important that at the bottom of each quote that I write who said it, and more importantly where I got the information from. Some people copyright their work because they don't want it reproduced without their knowledge for this very reason. If you see something that is labeled as copyright, you have to respect their wishes. If it is something you want to use, contact them directly and they will appreciate that you did and will likely work with you to allow you to share in a way that you are both happy with. You have given them the respect and they will give it back. I know when people contact me about using my content, the fact they have asked shows me they have good intentions and makes me want to work something out with them. A little bit of respect to your fellow human goes a long way.
When you work with someone, it can be a difficult process. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. You usually won’t know until you try. What is important when working with others is that you are going in as equals. I’m not just talking about sharing the workload. Know your worth! Don’t let a person make you feel like you have to work with them because by yourself you are not good enough. A collaboration should be about who you choose to work with, not who you need to work with and vice versa. Sometimes things run their course. While it worked for a while, it may reach a point where it doesn't work anymore and that is OK. You are on your own journey here and you need to make sure you are not stuck working toward someone else's dream. Ego can be a terrible thing. Whether someone has been in the field for 1 year or 30, there are some that are not immune to ego. A lot of people will only look out for 1 person and it doesn't matter who is hurt in the long run. This again is a sad reality of the real world that we live in. People do it in the work place, they do it at school, they do it in friendships and they do it in the paranormal. You probably won't see it coming and it will likely be from the person you least suspected. It works in very strange ways. I am often warned about different people or encouraged by others to work with certain people because they themselves have had such good experiences. At the end of the day, you have the power to decide who you want to work with. If your gut is telling you not to do it, don't do it. While others may have a good working relationship with someone, the chemistry might not be there for you. You are in the drivers seat to control what you do and who you do it with. Don't be made to feel like you 'have' to do something if it doesn't sit right with you.
The time has come to take back the power you know is inside you. If you have been in the paranormal field for a while, you have probably experienced a lot of the above already. There is always going to be a reason to make you feel it is all too hard and it would be easy to walk away. But why should you? You love what you do so why should another person dictate what you do? Social media breaks are amazing. They give you the rest you need. Even if you say to yourself every night you switch off at a certain time or even block out whole days where you don't even check social media. The world will still turn and all of the comments will still be there tomorrow. A break can give you the perspective you need. I know for me, I take most of December from writing and investigating and don't do much 'paranormal stuff' at all. I find I need the break and I need to miss it again. It is enough to light that fire again and get back into it.
It took a long time for me, but I have finally understood what it is to find your own power. It is OK to say NO. A friend also reminded me that just because you have said YES at the beginning doesn't mean that you can't say NO at any time if it is not working for you or is not good for you. You have the power to say these words. You are worth so much more than what you probably think you are. It is time to embrace this. There will be a village of people that are ready to support you and lift you up. There will be people that will support you every step of the way and help you to be the best that you can be. They won't want any credit for helping you, they just want to see you thrive. These people do exist. When you find one, hold onto them. Equally when you find someone that lifts you up, lift them up as well. Like attracts like and when you surround yourself with positivity and positive people, you create an amazing atmosphere and you will slowly find more and more of the same kind of people joining your 'village'.
We know as much as anyone that life is too short. Our involvement in the paranormal is something most of us do on weekends as a form of hobby. It is not something we HAVE to do, it is something we WANT to do, so we may as well enjoy it. Just know that you have the power to control where you go and what you do. No one else!
You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself!
Glenda the Good Witch - The Wizard of Oz
Don't forget to follow the Facebook page for regular updates
Join the mailing list to receive weekly updates of NEW articles. Never miss an article again!
Buy the latest and past issues Haunted Magazine
Check out the books written by LLIFS