I call my Angel, Guide and companion "Joe" - although this is not his real spiritual name. He has been with me since I can remember. I was about 8-9 months old when I began talking. Sometimes I talked about other places, times and my "imaginary" friend. I called him "Yes" when I was very small, because that was my favorite word.
My mother wasn't upset or alarmed by this, she just told me that I was remembering back to when I was with Jesus in Heaven. This didn't quite sound right to either of us, but she really had no idea what I was babbling about.
When I was a little older, I called him "Shamran", or Sham for short. He always told me that names weren't important and that I could call him anything. "A rose by any other name is still a rose..."
As a child, I loved to look at his shining light. He was my special, mostly secret, lovely friend. He was very tall and he almost always wore a turban and a white robe when I was young. He was playful with me. Sometimes I would ask him to grow antenna like a Martian and turn green. I liked the effect!
Of course, he doesn't look like this, he is really a Being of Light that uses another form so that I can look at him easier.
As I grew older, I became uncomfortable with how he looked with his robe and turban. I didn't know anyone else who wore clothes like that. So when I was a teenager, I asked him to change into something a little less obvious. I didn't like his name anymore, and I guess it was like when kids get to a certain age and are embarrassed by everything their parents do.
Anyhow, in his love for me, he changed himself for me. His robe became a pair of electric blue overalls, and he wore a battered old cap. Ever since he has been "Joe" to me. This comes from a time and place when his name was Esteban Giuseppe Petronelli - Joe for short and I was his younger brother.
Joe is a simple name, that I felt comfortable with. It wasn't part of my reality or true understanding that so very, very few other people could also see him. That just didn't enter my mind at the time. I was just concerned with myself.
Why is it so difficult for to accept others for who they are? Too often, we need to change them into something "more acceptable..." Out of his love for me, Joe "re-invented" himself for me. Yes, it comes down to acceptance. I could accept him as a plain "Joe" easier than I could the incredible Being that he is.
I had a profound mystical experience after having a heart attack over twenty plus years ago. As a result, I took a new look at my old friend, in all of his light and glory. After all of those years, I realized how little I had really accepted Joe. I'd expected and needed him to love me, unconditionally. In return, I demanded that he conform or I wouldn't let him stay with me. I wept as I realized how selfish I was and how unkindly I had behaved. I'd stuck him "into a little box," for my own comfort. I wouldn't allow him to be himself.
Most of us do this to some degree or another, with just about everyone we meet. It is hard not to put our needs and expectations first when we deal with others. But we miss out on the richness of life, and the diversity of personalities if we do this. After my experience with Joe, I vowed that I would redouble my efforts to honor and respect others' needs and accept and allow them to be whoever they really are, at the moment.
A few years ago, I discovered that at several spiritual paths in the world recognize Joe as a Master teacher, under his lifetime with the name of Shams-I-Tabriz. That really surprised me and even upset me. I had not expected or wanted Joe to be a "Master." It goes back to my lack of acceptance of him and most of all, of myself.
I know it probably sounds silly, but that is how I felt. When I found out that others knew of him and respected him I was shocked and upset. It took several days to begin to deal with the idea. I realized that I didn't want a "guardian angel" who was thought of as a spiritual Master and teacher... I had to admit to, and confront my fears of, expectations - expectations that I thought would now be on me. And then I had to take a look at the fact that I didn't want to try and live up to these nebulous expectations.
Getting to know a little more about Joe didn't change him at all. But it did change me. At least for awhile. Luckily, I worked through these silly fears fairly quickly and got to the point where I could laugh at myself. For me, laughing has always been one of my ways through my own fears. I guess it is not really a surprise that I am the guardian of the ancient crystal skull (Synergy) that many have also called 'the laughing skull.'
Looking back I think that I also had the feeling that he was "my Joe" and that I had lost something by other people knowing of him. This is childish and selfish, and of course is not true. Obviously, one can have many friends. Jealousy never does any relationship good. I always tell my kids that you can't run out of love like you run out of milk...
I grew up and realized that not many people have such a close and open relationship with their Guides. I think I must have needed it to get through this life, or it wouldn't have happened. I am in my sixties now and I still do not know who I would be if not for him. Through thick and thin, Joe has been the architect and guardian of my heart and Soul. At the end of this life it will be Joe that waits for me, eager to bring me Home to our Creator.
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