I have been speaking to various groups about grief for awhile now. I feel it's where I belong. I have met some of the most remarkable survivors at these events, and always learn more than I teach. The topics are fairly consistent- healing, hope, how to help those who are grieving, what helps/what hurts, etc.
Well, here comes the fork in the road. There's an opportunity to present a grief workshop at a spiritualist community next year. They feature psychic mediums, holistic healing, meditation, etc. Applications need to be submitted soon, though, thus my decision. I have heard from many, many families about the comfort they have felt through these events. While I have long been drawn to this type of thing, I realize there are those who object. Strongly. I happen to be a Christian who believes psychics pose no threat to my faith. I feel the source of all love is God, therefore the comfort that comes from a healing reading is from Him. This is why I have been working on my application for a workshop.
The grief community is somewhat small, and I recently received a cautionary email from another grief support worker warning me about possible consequences of participating in the aforementioned community's activities. The danger, in a nutshell? Diminished credibility.
My knee-jerk reaction is, "That's ridiculous! I don't care what anyone else thinks! (cue toddler voice) I do what I want!"
Then I step back and think, and re-think, and over-think-
- Would I be identified with a niche that is only a small part of my beliefs?
- Should I pass on anything remotely controversial?
- Where do I draw the line?
- Does anyone really care?
- Could this harm book sales?
- What would my publisher say?
- Does it matter?
- Might this be the best move I could make?
- Might this be the worst move I could make?
Am I facing my own Dixie Chicks moment?!
I appreciate the good intentions of the woman who warned me about the potential fall-out from aligning myself with this type of activity. I also feel the benefits of reaching out to attendees there and offering words of hope and paths to healing outweigh any potential damage to my reputation, such as it is.
I would be very interested in what you have to say about this. Please comment freely, anonymously if necessary, and tell me what you think.