“You’re always going to land on your feet. That is who you are. It’s one of your greatest attributes. I see you at five, six, seven years old; you were standing on your own already.”
This is how famed psychic medium MaryAnn DiMarco starts off my reading, and I’m already a little freaked out. Why is she reassuring me I’m going to be okay? She must be seeing a lot of tumult in my future. And where did that shield of skepticism I was holding a few minutes ago disappear to?
I had agreed to a reading with DiMarco, who’s based in New York and currently has a five-year waiting list for appointments, somewhat reluctantly. As a person who swears by hard evidence, I thought someone who claimed to communicate with Spirit with a capital S would be a little out there for me. But I’m also insatiably curious about basically everything, so I wanted to find out for myself: What would she see?
The overall answer? Um, wow. A hell of a lot of things.
DiMarco, who also wrote the book Believe, Ask, Act, started tuning into extremely personal things going on in my life from the get-go, things I won’t get into here (sorry!). It was jarring and confusing and exciting all at once. It then inspired dozens of long sessions with friends in which we rehashed exact details over and over to decide if there was any other way she could have known.
At the end of one of those conversations, one insightful friend asked the most important question. “Okay, regardless of whether her powers are or aren’t real, did this actually help you? What are you going to do with the information?” This is what I came up with.
3 Things I Learned From a Psychic Medium
1. It’s okay to talk to dead people.
One of the main things DiMarco does is give you messages from people she calls your “guides,” beings on “the other side” who she says are generally hanging around helping you through life. They may be people you’ve lost, or more generic guides based on what you’re going through. Naturally, I wanted her to communicate with my mom, who died when I was 19.
One of the things that has always saddened me the most is not knowing my mom as an adult. I agonize over who she was as a woman, since as a kid, she was just “my mom.” When I dream about her, it’s her calling me, present day, to tell me something mundane about her day or comment on an article of mine she’s read. It’s a fantasy scenario in which we have an adult relationship.
DiMarco passed on some messages from her that felt spot-on and meaningful, but she also said, “You know, you can talk to her anytime.” And I realized that first of all, I don’t take the time to consciously think about my mom nearly enough. Maybe it doesn’t matter that I have no idea what I believe about the afterlife. Maybe it doesn’t matter that I’m likely just talking to myself like a crazy person. If taking the time to think about her and feel her presence and communicate with her makes me feel a little closer to her memory, why not?
(Photo: MaryAnn DiMarco)
2. I know a lot more about myself than I regularly acknowledge.
“The biggest thing people walk away with is knowing that they themselves can tap into the other side. They can use their intuition,” DiMarco said. “ That intuition that we all walk around with can really be lifted and heightened.”
This was for sure the most profound shift I experienced. The part of me that doubted that she was really conversing with my dead relatives said, “Maybe she’s just an incredibly intuitive person who is reading into my thoughts and emotions.” Which may actually be even more helpful, because 90 percent of the things she told me made me think, “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel and I’ve been carrying that around knowing it’s how I feel but haven’t allowed myself to admit it.”
As humans, we’re constantly trying to figure out what we want, and often, we already know the answer. It’s just buried under layers of fear and baggage and emotion and obligation and so much more. When someone helps you dig it out once, it feels less daunting to do it on your own the next time.
3. I can choose to see the positive.
“What if you see something awful that’s going to happen to someone?” was one of the first questions I asked DiMarco. “Do you tell them? How do you handle that?” Her answer caught me off guard.
“I only see what I want to see. I don’t see negativity,” she said. “I don’t see major illness. I don’t see death. I choose not to see them. People ask me, ‘When I’m going to die?’ If I did know, why would you want to know?”
Her approach to managing her psychic powers, it seemed, was a metaphor for a larger way of thinking about life. While I’m personally allergic to the meaningless “think happy thoughts!” memes that now proliferate on social media, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t use a reminder that we do have some agency in how we see the world and our place in it.
And since now I know I’ll always land on my feet, anyway, why not think positive?
(Featured Photo: Josh Felise via Unsplash)