Now here's a story...
One of my very earliest memories is from when I was a toddler, 2 to 3 years old. I was playing on a stairwell at home with my two imaginary friends. I was too young to create imaginary faces for these friends or proper bodies, so they looked a bit like a cross between life-size jelly babies and the modern conception of aliens. The male friend was daring me to jump off the first step, while the female looked on. I managed this. Then he challenged me to jump from the next step up and I jumped over two steps. Just as he was goading me to attempt a huge leap from the third step up, my mother came in at the top of the stairs and asked what I was doing. I turned to show her my friends but they had disappeared into thin air. I remember thinking that this was not the first time they did this, but I cannot recall any other occasion today.
Then, when I was undergoing a dark period in my life I read a book by Ruth Beebe Hill called Hanto Yo. This was the fictional story of a Native American's life and went deeply into the spiritual understanding of their culture. This struck a huge chord in me. Some time later I also found a beautifully illustrated book on Native American culture and I was hooked. In searching for similar information I found out about Shamanism. This inspired me to find my own spiritual understanding of my relationship with nature and, more recently, of African ancestor culture.
I submitted myself to finding the truth of this in myself. I sort of challenged God or whatever you want to call it, but insisted that there was to be nothing from the Bible or any other holy book. I didn't want other peoples' experiences and it must be real. The teaching started and I started to have many experiences that taught me how it all works and what life is and along the way discovered my spirit guides. And they had names; Michael who protects me and Moraigh who was there to teach me. Christians would call these guides angels, other beliefs have different names for them. Over time I learned from experience that was undeniably real all about my own spirituality.
Then I was divorced and came to Cape Town. While I was job hunting and trying to find the means to look after my physical self, I stayed with my mother. By that time she was in her late eighties. One morning she said that in the night she had to do a loo visit and she saw in the room a male and female who told her that I was hurting then but that I would be alright – everything is fine.
At last, after fifty-something years my mother finally met my imaginary friends. To me that was just the best thing. I received that as unsolicited validation that what I experienced and learned was real.
In am still totally blown away by that. I am gobsmacked (Godsmacked?) by the incredible good fortune to have experienced that.