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Maybe you'd rather be here...

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Hanging Out with Michael Jackson

Michael wasn't just "The Man in The Mirror;" Michael was the mirror. You won't see the light in Michael, if you don't recognize it in yourself. You won't decode the message unless you know what you are looking for or understand what you're looking at. You have to resonate. You won't get Michael's invitation unless you understand that "we are the world" and "you're the chosen one." You have to be in touch with your Inner Michael.


for... Michael Messages


More about the Spiritual nature of his work.


A Glance in the Mirror

I swear you can’t make this stuff up. Occasionally I still take private duty nursing clients: children who are dependent on ventilators that assist them with breathing. They attend school on portable vents and need to wear what we call an HME or Humidivent that moisturizes and warms the air before it enters their trachs (tracheostomy.) The non-medical name for an HME is an “artificial nose.” The kids don’t like them much and often take them off; getting them to wear their noses becomes a game between kids and their nurses. It’s how they keep us in line.

Yesterday at school, one of the teachers started talking about how another nurse on the case had “changed the nose and put a new one on just yesterday.” One Teacher’s Aid commented how at first she thought that “artificial nose” referred to some kind of cosmetic surgery.

So one teacher looks at the other and says about my client: “Maybe we should start calling him Michael Jackson because they keep changing his nose and putting on a new one. It keeps coming off; he keeps losing it... (laughter).

The Occupational Therapist chimes in: “Oh well maybe his nose fell off because of that disease that he had… (wink, wink) the one that changed his color too... (more laughter.)

You can only imagine where the conversation went from there. And you can imagine where my mind went from there. And my temperature. Where… I… went from there. I could feel my Inner Michael…

I was surprised at the level of anger I heard in my voice when I had heard enough: “You know, Vitiligo is a real disease and it does make skin pasty white. .. please, the man is dead!” and that is as far as I got. I must have turned white myself with anger. One look at me and the room went silent.

It took me a long time to breathe myself back down the adrenalin slope but it didn’t take long to realize how I had mishandled that situation. I had a perfectly good opportunity to be calm, to state the facts about Vitiligo and Michael Jackson but instead I let my shadow off-leash to run loose. To growl. My shadow, under her breath, called them “ignorant” and thought them “moronic.”

I immediately regretted not having rehearsed a little speech for just such an occasion. If It comes up again, I promise you I will have one ready. Why? Because the moment that was teachable (pun intentional) called for response, not a reaction. And now it is forever lost. Instead of making them feel uncomfortable and myself seem aloof and superior, I could have educated them in a kind way and turned a shadow situation into enlightenment for everybody.

Yes, I was raw and tender having spent so much time already wandering around in the dark with Michael and I admit it wouldn’t have taken much to push me over the edge, but instead of making the world brighter, I added more shadow.

The one thing you learn as a peace activist is that when you are standing on a corner holding a sign, the last thing you or anyone in your group should ever do is engage in a verbal war with a person from the opposing side. The training preparation involves learning how to not be pulled into an argument and to listen, really listen to your opposition. (“No one wants to be defeated.”) And the other thing that is really savvy is to prepare in advance answers to the questions you are likely to be asked. Then if a reporter comes up and sticks a mic under your mouth, you have something coherent and intelligent to say.Yesterday I was neither. I should have known better.

It was painful because there were children in the room. I was not being a very good role model. I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t thoughtful or warm or prepared to go toe-to-toe in a civilized way. We all might have learned something important had I taken a breath first and handled it differently. ‘I’m sorry Michael; it won’t happen again. Promise.’


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the thoughful and inspirational writing. It's nice to know that some of us really do understand Michael's message.

Anonymous said...

Oh Barbara, you've done it again. I had a very similar experience only the unkind words came from a relative, and I lashed out in defense and she is now not speaking with me. I was so disappointed in myself afterward, and SO aware of that dark shadow. It further makes me appreciate what dear Michael endured and faced with such dignity and grace.

Thank you again for sharing your understanding with us --- You have been a God send. Love and Peace.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for standing up for Michael, don't be too hard on least you said something. I am disappointed in the occupational therapist, because I happen to be one, too, and I think her comment was intensely insensitive. But you have given me the idea to have a response ready if I ever need one.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful to you for sharing
your experience--I had not thought
of being prepared for any similar
encounters. His passing and my
struggles to understand my emotional response has taken so
much energy that I forgot--I forgot
that disrespect and insult directed
at Michael is still so prevalent.

I am feeling raw and sensitive and
hurting over the injustice done to Michael while he was here; I
am certain I would have reacted very much the same. But you are

the lesson is not lost. I will be
ready--and thanks to you--maybe I
will be able to take a little shadow out of the world.