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A Gift Taken

Holley Morgan is a graduate student at SNHU and currently works as a college essay tutor.


The Story

She was as metaphysical as they come – more so, perhaps, but then one could never judge because she wasn’t one to talk about it. She was the yes ma’am, no sir sort, afraid to upset the apple kettle, apathetic to being seen once she got to know how most people were. And most of them were, indeed, disappointing. Not that she didn’t like them – it’s difficult to explain. It’s like when one sees that knowing glint in someone’s eye, and they think they’ve found a kindred spirit, someone who understands, but then one hears them laugh or say something short and the whole thing is shattered. Horrendous and sudden as a bird flying into a glass door. It doesn’t ruin things, exactly, but the walls go up.

During a sabbatical in Mount Shasta, she dabbled in the healing arts. Dabbling turned into studying. The days were a blur of books, sage, and feathers. It took time for her to come into her own. As a healer, she was someone between the person who stops on the freeway to help hit animals and the person who works only on herself. She let people come to her, and once word got round that she did that sort of thing, they did. Some of them were just out to sample her gifts, while others looked to her as the last candle flickering in the darkness; the latter made her uncomfortable, but she worked with them anyway.

Years passed. She lost someone she loved. Being rational never helps, of course. One learns to blame these things on their perceived failures, and she decided that she was a healer no more. It was still there, dormant, in the back of her psyche. She still talked about it with those she trusted, those who were genuinely curious, and there weren’t many. The way she talked about it left it clearly in the past: “I used to…” “There was once a lady who…” “My teacher told me…”

The problem with talking about the past is that it becomes activated once more. (That’s Healing 101.) People once more saw her gentle spirit and wanted what she had to offer. She decided what was the harm. It wasn’t because she was afraid to decline, but because she wanted to believe. She wanted to reinforce that it worked. She wanted to forget her failures.

She stopped believing in the afterlife, but then her dog died, and it was too sad to believe in nothing. She decided not to blame herself this time. Everything goes in its own time. Spiritual healing is simply creating and holding space. It is being present. She realized that despite all she had learned – the Kanji for healing, the methods of placing one’s hands, various conditions and their associations to the body’s energy centers – it was really quite simple. If it was done from the essence of love, she would have some degree of success.

But then it became almost like her party trick. “Hey, Addie, Bryan has a bad back.” “Sheryl hurt her shoulder.” “Shannon sprained her ankle.” Show them, show them, show them. In that spirit, there can be no depth.

She said she had stopped, that she didn’t believe in it anymore. Quite the contrary, but she had to close the door. When it’s left open, just anyone can come in.

© 2021 Heidi Hendricks

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