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  • Writer's pictureTara Theresa Hill

Always There

The Haunted Writer #5

Interior Scene: I’m busy washing the dishes. I can see Leo sprawled out on the couch through the alcove in my kitchen wall. He’s waiting for me to finish so I can get back to work.

My thoughts racing, I shut off the water and lean against the kitchen counter with my arms pressed tightly against my chest. Recognizing the symptoms of an anxiety attack, I try some of the tricks that I’ve learned over the years to help manage it. Nothing seems to be working right now though. I feel like I can’t breathe, though of course I know I am. The last thing I want to do is have a panic attack, especially right now when the world is under lockdown.

Leo appears in front of me, his face lined with concern.

Leo: Hey. Are you okay?

Unable to speak, I shake my head. My vision blurs. I don’t cry often, but everything is so suddenly overwhelming that I can’t help it. Leo hugs me, resting his chin on top of my head.

Leo: I know you’re upset, but everything is going to be okay. I promise.

I pull back from him, crying and gesturing wildly.

Me: But how can you be sure? Look at what’s happening in the world right now. It’s under siege by this deadly virus. You know how afraid I am of illness in general. Well, this thing is like a horror movie come to life! It’s a waking nightmare and there doesn’t seem to be any escape from it.

Leo: Here. Come with me.

Leo leads me over to my desk chair. Then he sits down across from me and holds out his hands. Curious, I take them in mine.

Leo: I want you to take some deep breaths with me.

Me: But you’re a spirit. You don’t breathe.

Leo: Stop being a smart ass, and just do what I’m telling you.

Nodding, I follow his directions. After a few deep breaths, I start to feel a bit calmer. The tension that I didn’t even realize I was carrying in my shoulders and back gradually slips away.

Leo: Feeling better?

Me: A little.

Leo: Okay, good. Now, I want you to close your eyes and picture yourself surrounded by radiant white light from head to toe. As you continue to breathe in and out, picture this shining light not only outside your body, but also coming from within you as well. Know that this is the Divine Love of the Universe protecting you both inside and out, and that come what may, you will be safe. Take your time constructing this image in your head, and when you are ready open your eyes again.

I sit there for a few minutes mentally visualizing this image before opening my eyes.

Me: (squeezing his hands warmly) Thank you, Leo. I feel much calmer now.

Leo: (smiling at me and returning the pressure gently) You’re welcome, Tara. That’s an energy balancing and protection ritual. You should do that whenever you feel overwhelmed by your fears and anxiety. It will help calm your mind so that you’ll be able to focus better.

Me: (taking out my computer and turning it on) You know, even people who don’t normally suffer from anxiety are experiencing it with all this stress right now. I should write about the technique in a blog.

Leo: That’s a good idea. Make sure to mention that the ritual is only to help them feel calmer in the face of a tough situation. They should still follow all of the safety protocols that the health professionals are urging them to do.

Me: Well, of course! I’ll make sure to put that in. Meditation is great and all that, but it doesn’t take the place of doing what is right for one’s physical health. They should continue to practice social distancing and using disinfectants too.

Leo: Right. Anyone who can, should stay home. The essential workers are already risking their lives on a daily basis. Make their job easier and stay home.

Me: (typing) Do you…Do you know if this will end soon?

Leo bites his lip. He hates it when I ask him futuristic questions like that. He’s told me more than once that just because he is a spirit doesn’t mean that he is psychic.

Leo: I don’t know, but I can tell you that the Spirit World is aware of what’s happening, and that the ones in charge are working on it.

Me: (turning to him with wide eyes) Really? How so?

Leo: Well, for one thing, all the guardian spirits are working overtime now trying to keep people safe.

Me: You mean like by helping pull them off the ceiling when they’re having anxiety attacks?

Leo: Yeah, among other things.

Me: What if people don’t believe in spiritual helpers like that? Not everyone does, you know.

Leo: (shrugs) That’s their choice. It doesn’t stop us from helping them. We’re always there, whether they believe in us or not.

Me: I don’t know if I’ve told you this before, but I’m happy that you’re here, Leo.

Leo: Oh, you might have mentioned it a few times. Not that I get tired of hearing it though.

Me: (still typing) Any other advice for my readers?

Leo: They should do whatever they can to help themselves stay calm and be as upbeat as possible. If they are religious or spiritual, then they should pray to the deities whom they believe in. And no matter what, they should keep the faith and not give up.

Dear Readers,

I don’t have to explain to you that things have been difficult and scary lately. The global pandemic is only making things worse for those of us who already suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. From reading social media, I can see that many people are experiencing similar feelings to varying degrees. I had a conversation with Leo about it and he had some advice that he urged me to share with everyone via a blog post. I hope it will help bring some calm to your mind and peace to your heart.

Warm Regards,

Tara and Leo

Copyright 2020 by Tara Theresa Hill

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