Introducing my new advice column, to be posted weekly on Fridays at 4PM. If you have a problem or situation you need advice on, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post my response here.
“How do you know if you’re a witch? What is the difference between a spiritual experience and a spiritual gift? How can you be sure if you have a gift? For example, a lot of times when I see people, whether it’s in person or from a picture, I receive information about them without them telling me anything. I don’t really like to ask them if the information is correct, but I usually do, that way I know if my guides are on the right track, and I have been correct often. Sometimes I even pick up info about a person on the computer without seeing or meeting them in person, etc. Is that a gift? Or an experience?”
The clearest answer to the question of how you know if you’re a witch is whether or not you practice witchcraft. There isn’t a genetic marker that makes someone a witch. Some people are born into families that pass on magical traditions, but being a witch is not something you are separate from any choice you make. Witches have made the choice to be witches and practice witchcraft.
The difference between a spiritual experience and spiritual gift is that a spiritual experience is very personal and meant only for you, while a spiritual gift is an ability that you have that you can use to help yourself and other people. Your example of the ability that you have and use is an example of a spiritual gift. A spiritual experience is more along the lines of receiving a form of communication that is relevant to you and your own path only.
“I am looking for a new job and I have several options right now and want to choose the one that’s right for me. I would love some insight.”
When you’re going in to be interviewed, make sure you’re interviewing the establishments you’re considering working for as well. Ask yourself which choice will bring the most satisfaction in terms of fulfillment from the work, healthy environment to work in, salary and benefits, and opportunity for advancement (if that is important to you), and which establishment could you see yourself happily working at for a long period of time. This should help you hone in on which option you truly want to take.
“My sister suspects her husband of either doing or watching (or both) inappropriate things with minors, not sure if this includes their children or not. How do we gain the evidence of this as my sister has exhausted all options other than catching him in the act. Please please please help us as this is affecting ALL of our family.”
When there is concern about inappropriate behavior between an adult and one or more children you don’t need to have evidence before calling Child Protective Services. Child Protective Services will open an investigation when a parent is suspected of abusing a child, but it is always good to be able to describe a behavior or symptom to the authorities that leads you to believe that abuse is happening. You can ask the children directly in a safe environment with a careful and non-threatening tone if anyone has been touching them. Often children who are victims show behavioral and physical signs of having been abused such as excessive bathing, regressive behaviors (like thumb sucking), inappropriate sexual knowledge, and sometimes symptoms of PTSD. If your sister shares a computer with her husband she can download software that will secretly track all activity, including private searches. I wouldn’t advise this on devices that are not shared due to federal privacy laws. She also has the option of hiring a private investigator. Suspicion of viewing inappropriate content with minors involved should be reported to the police. I would recommend calling Child Protective Services even if your sister also decides to hire a private investigator, as calling the authorities will be the most effective way to prevent any further harm to children that may be occurring.
“I’ve been divorced for seven years. I’ve had a couple significant relationships as well as doing the whole online dating thing on and off. I had a date this past weekend, I felt it went well, but once again it doesn’t go anywhere. Is it me? Will I eventually find “the one?”
Sometimes we go through a lot of bad apples before we find one that isn’t sour and wormy on the inside. Chances are, this is just par for the course at this time in your life. You always have the option of reviewing your part in things, but know that other peoples’ actions are a reflection of them, not you, so do your best to not take it personally. There may be many reasons why the last date didn’t lead to another, but you learned something important about that person: they are not worth your emotional or mental energy. If you want to find “the one,” you will when the time is right for you. In the meantime, take the pressure off of dating. Don’t waste time with anyone you don’t enjoy being around. And you could always shift your focus to growing in other areas of your life making sure that your life is so full that when “the one“ comes along, they’re the cherry on top.
“I recently went through an experience with the courts where the judge’s order was shocking, not only to me, but my lawyer, family and friends. The guidance I received up to this point from my own guides made me feel that things would have turned out differently. I have moved forward with the outcome of court, but am confused, angry, and in pain. For now, I am putting down any thoughts on appealing and focusing on my son and what’s best for him. Any guidance on the situation or suggestions in how to best move forward will be received gratefully.”
I’m sure you’re getting the best legal advice from your lawyer on how to move forward in regards to the legalities of your situation, but in terms of the immense struggle you’ve gone through personally, make sure you are taking time to process and release your emotions and thoughts about all of it instead of just plowing forward. When I write “all of it,” I mean not just your emotions regarding the outcome of the situation but also how you feel about things not going the way you expected them to given the signs and guidance you had received. It may be worth it to spend some time in meditation and ask for answers when you’re ready, though I suspect the answers will come sooner in retrospect as time goes on. There are so many variables to a situation like the one you’ve just gone through, and all the variables carry their own influence. For now, don’t deny your pain or anger. Accept it and let it run its course until it leads to healing, and if you don’t feel like you can trust your guides right now that’s OK. Trusting yourself is enough at the moment. Even though things didn’t go the way you expected them to, and even though you’re taking steps to appeal it which may lead to your desired outcome, you’re still being the best mom you can be no matter the circumstances. Take pride in that.