Read an Excerpt From "Let Your Spirit Guides Speak"

Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
Let Your Spirit Guides Speak:
A Simple Guide for a Life of Purpose, Abundance, and Joy
by Debra Landwehr Engle

Are you qualified to have a relationship with your guides? You may think the answer is no. You may believe that you're not worthy, not good enough, or not spiritual or religious enough. You may think you don't deserve it, as though guides pick and choose, selecting only those who pass a cosmic test. They don't.

From what I've seen and understand to be true, the question is not whether you deserve to have a relationship. The only question is when will you start building one?

I believe that all of us have unseen helpers who are with us constantly. I know this begs all sorts of questions. Are they God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? Are they loved ones who are on the other side? Are they people we've known before?

Here's what I can tell you from my own experience: They are beings who extend the love of the Creator but are with us always in a close and eminently practical relationship. They have been with us since before we were born, helping us make decisions about this lifetime, and they accompany us along the way.

Guides can take many forms. People have told me about a wide range of types, including a Native American grandmother, a gender-neutral being named Francis (or Frances), angels, an owl totem animal, a straight-talking creole woman from New Orleans, and entities with such high vibrations that they have no defined shape or personality. Through my stepdaughter, we've become acquainted with a Native American who frequents our house and serves as a spirit guide for our property.

Guides are messengers of light. Many have experienced their own lifetimes in physical bodies and are well aware of the challenges of being human. And, ultimately, guides are always representatives of love. While I believe that dark energies or lower-vibration entities exist out of fear, they don't serve as guides. In fact, our guides can help protect us from their intrusions. It's important to let any preconceptions about your guides fall away, and not to get caught up in any expectations of who they might or should be.

They are Love, they are with you, and you can trust them.

Engaging in Spirit envy, as in "How come she can see her guides and I can't?" and "Why don't I have an archangel as my guide?" is simply the ego talking and has nothing to do with real communication.

So how can you build a relationship with your guidance? Let's assume you've been using The Only Little Prayer You Need, which means you've been asking the Holy Spirit to heal your fear-based thoughts about everything. This prayer opens the door to a new conversation with your guides in several important ways:

-You're approaching Spirit not from a standpoint of being broken or sinful, but as a child of God. This implies a relationship in which you're valued from the start. You do not need to establish your worth to yourself or to Spirit.

-You know there's a reason for being here. There is a purpose to your life, and events don't happen to you randomly.

-You're asking not to be fixed, or for the world to be changed. You're asking for the healing of anything that stands in your way of being a full expression of light.

-You're realizing that your thoughts create your experience here, and that by working with Spirit, you can change the thoughts that interfere with your peace and happiness.

-You acknowledge that you deserve to have inner peace. By asking for anything that stands in the way of peace to be healed, you claim that you deserve it, and that Spirit wants you to be joyful. You do this for the good of yourself and the world.

Now that you've started the conversation, how do you deepen the relationship? The Law of Attraction says that you focus on what you want, and you will draw it to you. This has sometimes been misinterpreted as a cosmic vending machine. You put in your request, and what you asked for pops right out. In truth, the fulfillment of desire takes place within a larger conversation that's collaborative and develops over time. It's easy to turn to guidance when you're in a crisis, or to be wowed by meeting your guides for the first time. But think of the importance of relationship in human terms. We can benefit from going on a date, but we grow on a deep level when we wake up next to the same person day after day. We can learn from a two-hour workshop, but our lives change dramatically when we commit to a one-year course.

This is about intentionally developing a mutually beneficial relationship. It will take some time—though little effort—on your part, and it will be one of the most rewarding relationships of your life.