As of late, these lyrics by Switchfoot are stuck in my mind
I’ve been awake for an hour or so
Checking for a pulse but I just don’t know
Am I a man when I feel like a ghost? The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes
-Thrive , Vice Verses
In the cartoon Danny Phantom he could push a button and enter ghost mode at will. I recently found myself hitting that button more often than I like, I feel like I’m stuck between two worlds, like a spirit that cannot rest until something has been made right. I guess this means I’m in haunting mode where I wander around groaning and rattling my chains like Jacob Marley.
So, what do you have when you have a church, a business, or a community full of ghosts? I see communities of people passing by one another with an inability to connect or collaborate; each person does their work, meets expectations, and satisfies the requirements of the day. I don’ think I planned to live this kind of life but it sort of materialized in small increments until I entered ghost mode.
I am pushing myself to be more real in a ghost world and here are what my first few steps look like,
1. Be tangible
Ghosts, for the most part are spirits. They cannot be grabbed or held. To be real I have to allow others to touch me, and to do that I must do the difficult (t least for me) and allow people into my life. If you throw something at a ghost it usually passes right through but being real means we can be hurt and that’s the risk I’ll have to take.
2. Communicate who you are and what you want
My journey as a ghost has been a silent one. As a disembodied spirit, I’ve taken the role of an observer, high above the fray. Ghosts are known to communicate with groans or manipulating objects to say to the physical world, “I am here! Recognize me!”. Cryptic words and statements won’t cut it if I want to be real. I have to share whole, honest thoughts and trust that others will hear and understand what I’m saying.
3. Resolve past issues
As I eluded to earlier, ghosts often hang around because of unresolved issues. They try to communicate to willing souls to help them reach the “other side”. To be real means to recognize that we have issues. Carrying the sins of the past can separate us from the land of the living by sentencing ourselves to own personal Siberia, cut off from the rest of the world. For me, I have to start with forgiving myself and those who may have created my issues. I have to pardon my self imposed exile to the nether world.
Ghost mode is safe. People leave you alone, you do your work and you go home. You’re invisible.
The plea of the song Thrive is humanity’s plea,
I want to thrive not just survive
But for this to happen we’ll have to hang up our sheets and chains and be real in a ghost world.