Apparently the scientific name is olfactory hallucinations.

I don’t believe in superstitious mumbo jumbo. I eschewed religion, fate and therefore the belief that  my life has been set in advance by some benevolent deity, years ago.

At times of intense stress and disappointment, it would be an enormous relief to be able to throw away such rationality and bask in the belief that there was some grand plan; that everything was leading somewhere; that experiences are there to prepare me for other experiences that, as the man said “It will all be all right in the end and if it isn’t all right, it’s not the end”.

I believe that life is unfair and chaotic; that we can influence events but only control our reaction to them; that connections are made after the “what happened” to try and create meaning; that I and no spiritual guide, is  responsible for my experience of life.

Yet I also believe in what Heraclites said – character is destiny.

Towards the end of my marriage, I was so unhappy and I went with my friend to a retreat in the Blue Mountains.  . We said we would try something we’d never done, and so I had an appointment with the medium. It was astonishing. Listening back to the tape I struggle to see how cold reading entirely applied. At the time I wept to hear her description of me as having a huge heart and a large community. That lots of people fed off my love and my energy . That I brought people together and would ultimately live in a big house with huge windows. That my daughter was mightily independent   Knowing my marriage was all but over, it gave me a future to live into which I was hugely grateful for at the time. SInce then my community has got so much bigger as has my heart.

A few months ago I fell deeply in love with someone who was married.  He chose me by default when his wife found out about his relationship with me, tried to come to me, but could not do it as the guilt was too great. The experience, particularly in the last few weeks put me under extreme stress. I started to smell mint in my nose. It was extremely calming and gave me something to focus on when I felt particularly bad. As I started to recover, the smell left me. I spoke to him today which made me feel shaky and off balance again. The smell came back.

There are all sorts of reasons for olfactory hallucinations ranging from physical to mental issues but none of them seem to apply to me.

Given that I will probably never know the truth about whether my rational approach to life or other’s more spiritual approach is right I wonder which belief would serve me better right now? I could believe my brain had manufactured the smell to help to divert me from the mental stress – or that someone was looking after me; that the medium in Australia did a cynical cold reading on me or that that big house with windows awaits.

 

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