A Message from Spirit or Wishful Thinking? How to Tell the Difference

Explore James' Teachings and Insights on All Things Spiritual

A Message from Spirit or Wishful Thinking? How to Tell the Difference

May 15, 2021 | JVP's Blog

“Truth comes from the openness, connectedness, and discernment you have created.”
James Van Praagh

Mediums approach their work in different ways. You’ve probably seen celebrity mediums on television walk up to strangers at the supermarket and deliver a reading out of the blue. While I can’t deny that this makes good television, many mediums (like myself) wouldn’t consider giving someone an unsolicited message. Mediums might specialize, there are platform mediums who work on stage, mediums who conduct individual readings, pet mediums who connect with animals who have crossed over, forensic mediums who solve crimes, but they share an important mission – to deliver the truth.

Teaching Students the Skills I’ve Learned Over Three Decades
I encourage my mediumship students to find their own unique style and specialty, but there are certain attributes I believe all successful mediums must share. As a spiritual teacher and mentor, I’m committed to making sure my mediumship students respect and honor their gift, while providing them with the tools and understanding they need to deliver an accurate and helpful reading.

I’ve spent decades developing and refining my own gift, and one thing I know for sure is that with the gift of mediumship comes tremendous responsibility. That responsibility includes being considerate about where, when, and how you actually deliver the reading, and when you do, to make sure have faith in your spirit connection and can deliver the message with confidence.

I know what it’s like to be a medium in training, and I’m still learning. In fact, we should never stop learning (and that doesn’t just apply to mediums). When I realized I had the ability to connect with spirit, I committed to becoming the best spiritual medium I could be. It wasn’t enough that I had the natural ability – I wanted my messages to be accurate, helpful, and healing. From the very start, I was aware that my mission was to prove the existence of life after death. This required that I be confident in the authenticity of my messages. But for a medium starting out, that can be easier said than done.

The most important quality of mediumship.
When I was first starting out on my journey, I often second-guessed the messages that came through to me. “Was this insight coming from spirit, was I projecting my own thoughts and beliefs, or could I have been picking up on the thoughts of my client?” I wondered, “Was I just wishing the messages into existence?”

That’s when a mentor told me about the concept of discernment. I realized quickly that discernment was the key – the foundation – of good mediumship.

Discernment is very simply, the ability to distinguish between things. True and false, good and evil, what actually exists, and what we wish existed.
Discernment takes more than just hearing words or observing a situation. Those actions are conducted by the mind. True discernment requires you to go deeper – to use your heart, your intuition, and to tap into your connection to source to see the truth.

To see the truth requires clear vision, without the filter of personal bias.  As a medium, every message you receive comes through your own filters. Mediums are human, but mediumship requires that you recognize when your ego, beliefs, biases, and preconceptions are influencing your readings.

Recognizing filters and biases.
You’re a medium, but also a human being who wants to please people, and as such, it’s easy to slip into the habit of saying what you think the client wants to hear. You’ve probably had experience at work or with family and friends when you find yourself editing the truth to spare someone’s feelings.

The same thing happens with mediumship. In any reading, there are three entities who are invested in the outcome. The medium wants to please their client. The client wants to receive a message from a loved one. The spirit on the other side wants to connect. But what is most important is delivering the true message.

Taking the time to learn how to identify a real message from spirit.
In my Mediumship Level 1 Certification Course, I not only help students understand their basic responsibilities as a medium, but I mentor them in their ability to discern the truth. The more they practice raising their frequency and tuning in to the voice of the Spirit Realm, the more confident they become in their readings!

Learning to be confident in your messages is a delight for a medium. Imagine not second-guessing yourself – knowing that the words you are sharing with your client are what the spirit has intended.

My advice to every medium, at every level, is to continuously work on the ability to open your heart and mind and fine-tune your gift of discernment. Simply by doing that, you can pinpoint the truth in mediumship, and in every aspect of your life.