Feeling Connections

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~ Howard Thurman

 

img_6994_copy_2_final_fb_by_xbassxharmingx-d7pcfv7.jpg

Over the year that I have been working with Loki, Sigyn and Odin, I have found a happiness that I never thought was possible within religion.  In all of my years as a practicing Christian, I never felt the Christian God the way I feel the ones that I am working with now.  Yes, the Christian God felt alive to me, but I didn’t “feel” like one of “his” children.  Even when I was doing other pagan and Wiccan practices, I never felt so close to the Gods as I do now.  The more devotional things I do for Odin, Sigyn and Loki, the more I feel and hear them.

I wonder if in today’s constant strife regarding the role of religion if this is something that we are lacking.  We see a lot of posts about how and what people think about their Gods, their practice and what other people should or shouldn’t do, but we aren’t seeing many posts about how we FEEL about our Gods.  Perhaps if we looked at how we feel about our Gods, and in turn how they feel about us, we wouldn’t have as much argument.  It doesn’t matter how we find our own ways to get there, but in the end, if you are content with your practice and feel the connections to the Gods, then that connection can be a starting point to reach out to other religions.

My connections to my Gods make me feel alive.  They soothe my soul and make me feel whole.  Odin helps me to understand that I do not know everything, and that I have a long road to get to the level of understanding that I want to be at.  He recognizes that I have value in who I am and in what I do, and that I’m not afraid of going outside that which I know in order to get something done, especially in his honor.

My connection to Loki is one that is very hard to describe.  I feel his passion and fire within me, and that has gotten me through rough times, especially when I am having a hard time with my chronic pain.  Loki also helps me learn to accept all of myself.  This includes those pieces of me that I feel are less than desirable.  I’m allowed to be angry, I’m allowed to dislike things.  But I am also allowed to recognize those feelings but that I don’t have to DO anything about them.  I can let things go as they may; I don’t have to make everything right for everyone, or even for myself.  And while I am not constantly on the lookout for the rug to be pulled out from under me in some aspect of my life, I recognize that it may happen.  And when it does, I am enough to do whatever it is that is needed to make the best out of the situation.

Sigyn is a much deeper lady than anyone gives her credit for.  To know her is to know that there are other aspects of her that she does not show to many.  She is the consoler, but she also does not let people shirk their duties because of their pain.  She asks of you to do what it is you can, to find the limit and work to it, then to recognize that that is enough.  Some days those limits are higher than others.  Sometimes they are much lower.  Either way, that is OK.  She also teaches that once you have met the limit, Rest for your body and for your soul is always necessary.   She is the champion of us who have chronic illness, a lady of quiet wisdom and strength, and a child of wonder and awe.  She is someone you must sit with for a time as she must know you before she opens herself to you.

Some readers may also remember that I am the holder of a medicine pipe of Native American traditions.  This relationship too has been solidified over the year.  I am not as afraid as I once was of the power that likes within the sumac and pipestone.  Instead, I recognize that its purpose is to help heal and teach those who are within its influence.  Ceremonies with the pipe are not things that happen often, but when they do, they will need to be done very carefully and purposefully.  And even when the pipe is in its bags, proper respect is still expected.  I find myself still giving offerings to it whenever I feel it is necessary.  Finally, the pipe doesn’t have to be out to speak.  It will speak to whomever it needs to, whenever the time is right.

A year ago I made pacts with these Gods that I would renew within a year and a day so long as they still wanted me, and I still felt comfortable with them.  Now I recognize that the connections that I have made with them will last much, much longer.  And I am absolutely OK with this.  It feels so nice to finally find a home.  It just took me throwing out some of the things that others taught and feeling my way through my own truth.

Perhaps speaking about these connections will help others speak about their own feelings regarding their relationships with the Gods.  Perhaps they will think on how they feel, and recognize that we all have a common starting point; the joy and comfort the Gods bring as well as the continuous lessons that we receive on a day to day basis.  I don’t expect this post to change all that.  But it might get some people thinking at least about expressing their own connections to divinity.  And even if it doesn’t, I’m still happy at the fact that I can express the relationships that I have had a hand in making for myself.

Photo from Deviant Art.

Advertisements

The Importance of Limits

1a8536fc5c45a266265e31f4bf6aea6c.jpg

As I go throughout my life, I recognize more and more that I need limits.  Not only are they important in my physical life and in dealings with other people, but they are important in my spiritual life as well.

I am not the type of person to shy away from a challenge, especially when it pertains to my self-improvement.  I’ve done a lot of things toward the goal of making myself a better person over the years.  I’ve lost significant amounts of weight, quit smoking, quit eating things that were bad for me or that I was allergic to.   (I know that one is a given, but I know family members who refuse to give things up, even when they know it hurts them!) I’ve changed my demeanor to the point that I have had people who haven’t seen me for a while come up to me and tell me I am a totally different person than what they knew before.  The changes aren’t being driven from the outside.  Instead, I’ve always wondered how far I can push myself to change, and to see what those changes would do for me.

Self improvement is one of the very basic things that I believe the Gods want us to do in this lifetime; we have to deal with the things that we are given, deal with the things that we have done to ourselves, and of course, deal with the stuff that others do.  We have to get through all of this in order to get to the nature of who it is we are as human beings.  It is only then that we see the gifts that the Gods give us to use in service to ourselves and others.

To that end, I believe the Gods take an active role in pushing you further in this life.  They are going to give you opportunities to come to terms with things that are going on.  They are going to give you opportunities to deal with roadblocks you put in your own way.  And as a reward, they are going to give you keys to the different gifts that you hold inside of yourself.  And the more you push yourself, the more the Gods will push you to go deeper into your spiritual path.  In the end, what you do makes you better equiped to do their will on this planet.  It’s never more than you can handle, but they still give as much as you think you can take.

That’s where the limits come in.

I’m recognizing the days of ‘overhauling’ my personal nature are pretty much over.  At 41, I’m finally recognizing that I am enough, and that a lot of the mistakes, abuse and issues from my past are now dealt with.  And if they aren’t dealt with now, they are at least on their way to becoming dealt with.  But for a while there, I still kept piling on projects like I still needed a lot more work, and the Gods reciprocated by opening up other doors of possibility for me.

Finally, a couple months ago, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with stuff.  .  A friend of mine, after hearing about how in conversations with my Gods I was told about these possibilities, said to me that it was OK to say no.  That thought had never occurred to me before.  Say no to a God?  Seriously?

It took me some time to realize it was true.  And it’s all a part of self-care that I needed to do for myself now.

Now I understand.  My Gods want me to say ‘no’ from time to time.  It helps them know that I am putting my self-care first, something that is very important because of the physical maladies that I have to deal with on a day to day basis.  They want me to know that I can stand up for myself, whether it be to them or to someone else who is either imposing on my time or causing me undue stress and harm.

I have a bet too, that I’m not the only one that needs to say ‘no’ occasionally.  Gods, especially those in the Norse pantheon, don’t want us to bow and venerate them all of the time.  They want us to work with them, both to make ourselves better and to make this world a better place.  But the only way we can effectively enter a relationship with them and do that is if we are honest about our own limits.  It’s weird to think that we can say ‘no’, as I know many who worship in pantheist traditions don’t think that they can.  And those of us who were brought up in said traditions immediately carry that mindset of not being able to say ‘no’ to their polytheist practice.

Now that I have accepted it, I realize setting limits needs to happen frequently, and we need to be aware that they change.  As a sufferer of fibromyalgia, I am constantly reviewing my efforts to stay active.  And that means that if I want to pursue one activity, another one is going to suffer.  I have to be OK with that.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to drop the activity that suffers, but it does mean that it needs to go on hold for awhile.  This is the same with my spiritual practices.  I can’t spend an hour each day on practicing and reviewing the runes while also wanting to do a significant meditation practice and build a better spiritual gardening practice.  All of that takes time and energy, and with fibro, both of those are significantly limited.

Especially as we start to journey toward the Autumnal Equinox, I find my spiritual practices going back to focusing on balance.  Limits need to be created and maintained in order to find that balance.  We still aren’t through this extensive year of work yet; and I expect the next months until year’s end are going to be very productive on many different levels.  Reviewing and redefining my limits right now are going to go a long way to getting myself ready for the work ahead.

Photo from Deviant Art

Science doesn’t know it all. Neither does Religion.

This weekend I got into a very minor debate with my father that shook me big time.

I found out that my father has become a creationist.

As in dinosaurs and humans existed together.  As in Noah’s ark is real (they’ve done studies, don’t you know).  As in the earth is only 6,000 years old.  Yep.  He’s a big time creationist.

Holy Crap.

Part of me finds it slightly amusing.   I was sent to a Catholic school by my parents.  And in that Catholic school the history of the earth that I learned about didn’t have a drop of creationist belief in it. But yet, this past Sunday, for a few minutes (until I was able to change the subject at least), I ended up arguing with a man who was trying to debunk the very stuff that I had learned from that religious school he had sent me to.

The rest of me that isn’t amused is just in shock.  Growing up I looked to my father as being an intelligent person.  I thought that he shared the same beliefs as I did when it came to the origins of the universe and the creation of Earth.  I thought we at least had one thing in common.  I found out I was wrong.

I firmly believe that science and faith go hand in hand and enhance the other.  Sciences tells us the ‘how’ about the origins of the universe, and religion (or faith in a religion) tells us the ‘why’.  They were never supposed to be exact duplicates of each other.  This wonderful universe has been set before us to explore.  We are to continue to learn how it works and how it evolved from the very beginning of time.  But no matter what science puts together to say how it happened, it is only part of the picture of its evolution.  The other half is the faith that evolution was done by whatever God you believe in.  Or, from a humanist / atheist perspective, the other half is the faith that the universe evolved on its own without divine interference.  Either of these still completes the full picture.

Furthermore, you absolutely cannot try to utilize one side to explain the other.  Science will never fully explain why we are so enamored with religion or have faith in things that are scientifically unexplained.  Religion will never explain why we choose to pursue scientific concepts.  It will never explain those scientific concepts or how things were created.  And most importantly, religion will never quash the desire to understand how we ended up here in the first place or how the world works.

Of course, my father nor my mother wanted to hear my belief.  Instead my father ranted about how science cannot duplicate the human eyeball and that we have never found a half ape/half human.  My poor husband, dealing with a migraine from the on-and-off thunderstorms that had blown through the area that day just sat there listening to the rant while holding his head in his hands.  I could tell he was forcefully holding himself back from ripping holes in everything my father said for the sake of keeping the peace, and it wasn’t doing much to help his migraine.

I honestly don’t know what is going on with my parents.  I live in a different state from them, and am not in frequent touch because of things exactly like this.  This discussion just tells me that I may be forced to make visits even less frequent than I have been doing, as I suspect that their beliefs  are only going to become more strict and conservative as time goes on.  I hate to say it, but that scares me.   I don’t want to be fully cut off from them, but if it is going to come down to the only relationship that I have becoming a very unhealthy one, I’m going to have to do just that.

The fact that I believe that religion nor science has the whole story is also something that I’m not about to push on my parents, nor anyone else.  That is my belief.  It makes sense to me.  If it makes sense to someone else, they are more than welcome to use the information to expand their own knowledge and make it fit for themselves.  If someone wants to discuss something different and share their own belief with me, that is perfectly acceptable, but I have the right to say that I disagree, and I have a right to my opinion.  And that is the crux of the issue here.

And for the record, I don’t care if you build an Ark.  Just don’t use tax money to do it.  There is a reason separation of church and state exists.  And don’t expect building it will recruit people to your own religion either.  Everyone is allowed to make up their own mind about religion and science, just like I did.

So yes Dad, I will accept your beliefs. But even though I will respect your belief about religion, don’t think I’m going to allow you to rant and rave to try and ‘ force-recruit’ me to your way of thinking, even though you are my father.  And if you share your opinion, you better be ready to listen to mine and not just ignore it.

Photo from Deviant Art

Winds of Change (Again)

The only thing that is constant in this life is change.

11 years ago, I attended my first Pennsic as a member of an armored combat unit.  Pennsic is an event of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval reenactment group.  This particular event has been running for 45 years now.

The difference between this event and others is that Pennsic runs for a full two weeks, and is a war between two kingdoms.  So for one of these weeks, roughly 2,000 fighters go out in full armor almost every day and ‘fight’ this war –  by beating the hell out of each other with rattan sticks.

pw42field2
The Kingdom of the East moving in for the Field Battle – Photo from the East Kingdom Gazette

Oh there are rules to this form of combat – specific armor requirements, specific places on the body you can and cannot hit, specific rules on how large the rattan weapons can be, and plenty of marshals out on the field watching to ensure that no one gets hurt.  But it is combat nonetheless.  And there is a lot of energy being expended in combat, especially when it is on the same field 45 years in a row with 2,000 or more people fighting almost every year.

So being in that first fight was a HUGE catalyst of change for me.

First, there was physical change.  I faced my fear by being out there.  I recognized I had more control over my body than I ever realized.  I didn’t throw up, even though I wanted to.  I didn’t allow my fear to show on my face, and I actually was able to function in the battle, even though I was scared as hell.  There too were also physical changes.  I met my husband on that battlefield, and fought alongside him in that first battle.  Once we started dating, I moved to another state, took another job and ended up purchasing a home in order to be close to him.

Mentally, I found that I had wells of strength within me that I never knew I had.  And those wells of strength have never gone dry, even in the years since that first battle.  I’ve relied on that strength to push me through lots of life changes as well as to learn to heal from issues in my past.  And what surprised me even more was after I got off that battlefield, I recognized that doors opened in my mind that allowed me to recognize what it was I needed to heal from.

Finally, there was a spiritual aspect to those battles.  By claiming my strength and pushing myself I found I had learned new skills I to protect and take care of myself.  Those skills have also served me well.  They have given me confidence that I can handle things that have been thrown at me.  I think the Gods saw this that day.  And their response was basically, “So, you have faced your fears, good for you.  Here are some gifts and more work for you to do.”

Pennsic will be starting again this weekend, and again, I will be attending along with over 10,000 people.  I won’t be on the armored combat unit this year; I had to give that up due to the fibromyalgia.  This year however, I’m trying my hand at fencing.  The battles will not be as rigorous, but they will still be just as intense.

LaRochelle
Defending the Castle is very difficult when you are outnumbered – Rapier battle photo from the Pennsic Independent

And as I make my final preparations to go out there, I’m recognizing that I’m having the same feelings as I did 11 years ago, when the winds of change first started to push me into a new direction for my life.  The feeling of being unsettled started this morning, along with my thoughts moving towards reflection of my life and how it could change.  I decided to set up a meeting with a friend to do some divination on the subject, and by doing so all of the feelings that I had started to intensify.  Change is again on the wind.

Perhaps the changes will be battlefield related, like they were 11 years ago.  Perhaps they will be more related to the classes that I intend to take, as Pennsic is a place to explore many interests – not just those related to combat.

It sounds weird that something that started as a game could have such power to be a significant catalyst for change, but I say from experience is absolutely does.  You just have to do your best to be ready.

What I Want To Say to My Christian Family

Last week I helped to bury the patriarch of my extended family.  My Grandfather was a strong, noble, wonderful man who held together all of the extended families with his presence.  If he said ‘be here on this date’, all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would assemble, ready to do whatever it was he wanted.

His burial was a Catholic one, and I once again found myself in the Catholic church of my upbringing.  The funeral home’s services also were Christian in nature as my Grandfather’s faith in the church was just as strong as he was.  Even the Knights of Columbus came to give their respects and held their own special service to commemorate his 50 years of service with them.

The tone of the funeral and it being populated with so many strong christian and Catholic overtones reminded me of one many years earlier, the funeral of my great-grandmother.   Weeks before my great-grandmother’s funeral, I had come out to my parents as being pagan.  At that time they didn’t say much about it, but instead chose to unleash their anger at me on the drive home from my great-grandmother’s funeral.  I remember that drive vividly, as it was filled with my mother’s tears and ranting.  Specifically aimed at me, my mother ranted about how my great-grandmother, also a devout Catholic, had shown such unwavering faith in her religion, and how dare I belittle her by not following suit with my own faith.

This recent funeral didn’t come with the same yelling, but it did come with a deep silence that felt like an uncrossable chasm between my family and I.  In the end, no one took notice of my half-hearted attempt at mumbling through the remembered prayers of my childhood. And the not going up to communion was still easily explained at the fact that I cannot eat wheat without getting violently sick.  That isn’t what I wanted though.  I would have much rather had a long conversation with them about what I believe and why, and how the values and morals that I carry in my heart are so much like their own, even though we do pray to different Gods.

I wanted so badly to explain to them that my desire to better myself and help others around me steers my life and is based in my beliefs, even though there is no bible that dictates it.  I wanted to tell them that they would be proud of me, because I don’t just speak of my beliefs on Sundays and on events like this, but instead I speak of my Gods on a daily basis, and am constantly in a state of communication with them, allowing them to guide my actions as they see fit.  I wanted very much for them to see that the faith that they yelled at me years ago for not having is there and is so much stronger than I ever thought it would be.

I wanted to say how much I pray; how often I give offerings, not only things like what is dictated by the Christian church, but yet I give so much more than that and included volunteering, prayers for the dead, prayers and blessings for those around me and actions to help this earth that we all live on.  How I wanted to explain that each of my offerings came directly from my heart and was because I felt it was needed, not dictated by Christian doctrine.

I wanted to say I didn’t need the bible to give me comfort in the loss of my Grandfather. I wanted to explain to them that I knew he was home, and that no bible was needed to explain that to me.  And most importantly, I wanted to say I knew that someday we would all see him again, regardless of what we believed, how ‘good’ we were at ‘repenting’, or what religion we claimed to be.

In the end, I didn’t say those things.  I’ve given up on the idea that my parents or my sisters would understand me.  Instead, my family is more comforted in their beliefs that  I am an atheist, because this ‘pagan’ ideal is much to hard for them to understand.

So the silence still remains.  And I grieve the loss of my Grandfather alone.  I have learned to leave the silence in place, as every time I have tried to cross that uncomfortable quiet I am struck down.  I am silenced by them again and again because my beliefs do not come from a book, nor do my beliefs need someone else to validate them for me.

In the end, I am stronger for what I believe, and I know this.  But it doesn’t stop me from wishing for that one day to come when I can talk to them and help them understand.  But I guess that will just have to wait for the time when we are all on the other side of the veil.

Dealing With Negative Emotions

I used to think that negative emotions were flaws.  When I got angry, I used to think that it meant that there was something wrong with me.

There is a great example of this going on right now, and it’s the reason why I started writing this post.  Right now at my work, I’m dealing with associates loitering at my desk.  You see, my work area butts up against a very popular manager’s office.  He is a good man, but he also is manager of one of the busiest departments in the company.  So he frequently has people that need to speak with him….MANY people that need to speak with him.  And frequently this means there is a line of people waiting their turn to talk to said manager.  Some of those people waiting in said line loiter around my work area, look at my work screen, check out what I am doing work-wise and get really nosy.

It gets irritating.  And I’m realizing more and more that it’s OK that I feel that way.  More importantly, it’s OK when I get angry about it.

One concept that is preached in some new age movements is the concept that if someone or something bothers you to the point of anger, it means there is an area within you that needs work.  Further, the person that is bothering you is doing you a favor by showing you a weakness within yourself.

This is a concept that I’ve struggled with this concept for a long time.  Like other new age concepts I have found a grain of truth to this, however, taken into extreme, this concept ends up hurting the person who tries to obey it each and every time they have a negative emotion.

The practice of seeking out what bothers you about an issue is good when you are dealing with some things, especially some of the issues that are out there today.  I firmly believe that lots of the emotion tied to issues today are because there are too many people out there that don’t deal with their own issues.  Sometimes it’s because they realize subconsciously that position they have is based on faulty thought, instead it’s a stance that they just ‘feel’ is right without looking at the real evidence for or against the issue.  Maybe the issue just hits too close to home to a traumatic event for the person that they need to deal with before they can have a clear head about the issue.  Whatever the cause, I believe our task when this happens is to investigate further, figure out the root cause of that emotion, and learn to deal with our own personal baggage so that we can see the more clearly.

Saying that, I do believe there are things that must be vetted prior to doing this work on sensitive issues.  First, you need to be in a position of safety to deal with those issues that might be related to a traumatic event.  And second, you need to know when to stop.

I didn’t know when to stop.

If I was upset about the weather, I considered it my flaw.  I considered it a flaw if I got mad because I had to re-explain something to someone at work for the 3rd time because they refused to listen the first two.  I considered it a flaw if I was angry at someone for interrupting me when I was deep in the middle of very highly detailed work.  I forgot those things were OK; and that I am only human.

As humans, we will never be perfect.  We will never be without flaws, no matter how much we push forward and deal with our baggage.  We will never be able to always say the right things.  We will never be able to always handle every emotion that we have.  We can work to do what we can with those emotions, but we need to realize that we are never going to stop having the occasional negative emotion, and that is OK.  I had to allow that for myself.

Once I realized that, it became much easier to realize how much I truly was beating myself up because I couldn’t control each and every emotion that I had.  I had done my work (and still do it when I realize there is something I can fix), but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be pissed at the non-management schmuck who decides to be nosy and see if I’m really doing the work that I am paid to do, or if I’m just playing on Facebook or cruising the internet.

The other thing I realized is that anger can be awesome when you need to harness energy.  I’ve done it training for races already, where I get mad and push through that last mile before I quit.  And I’m learning to do it with my fibromyalgia as well.  Sometimes you just need to get mad in order to get through the flare that hits during the work day.

I’m still playing with this, but I have to say it finally feels good to allow myself to feel the so called ‘negative’ emotions.  They are a part of me, and since I have accepted that I have felt more genuine than I have in years. Moreover, since this realization, I’ve been able to dismiss that which I do not need a lot easier as well and look forward to where else this realization will take me.

A Story of Death and Rebirth

ginnungagap_by_mirovia-d4napoz

The night started like any other normal night.  As night fell, I retired to my bedroom in order to prepare for sleep.  However, upon lying down I felt the gentle ‘pull’ on my spirit.  The Gods had other plans in mind for me than simply roaming around within the dream world.    Tonight would be instead a journey to the realms of spirit in order to learn another lesson.  I quickly made the necessary preparations and prepared to go where I was lead.

Upon closing my eyes I found myself staring at a funeral pyre that was yet to be lit.  There were no tears from the others watching with me.  Instead, the sense in the air was that something powerful was about to happen.  No one was here to mourn.  Instead, they were here to witness rebirth.

Once I recognized that important difference, I felt the wood on my back as I found myself lying down on top of the pyre, chained there so that I could not move.  I frantically searched through my mind, and looked over at the other version of myself still staring at the pyre.

‘This can’t be right’ I thought, panic starting to set in.  Frantically I tried to pull my spirit away, but it was no use.  I was tied to the pile of wood very well.  Nonetheless, I continued to struggle

‘This is meant to be’ I heard a male voice say. The voice calmed my fears some, so I stopped struggling.

It was then that I saw a spectator light the wood at my feet.

In the physical world fire burns quickly.  I’ve heard fire doubles in size every four seconds.  But here, it felt like it took forever to catch.  Finally, I could feel it close in on my feet and legs.  The sensation was nothing like I had never felt before.  Thankfully, there was no pain, but that didn’t mean the destruction of the fire was lessened any.  I looked down and watched as the skin of my arms started to blister and be burned away exposing the muscle and bone underneath.  The flames lapped at my torso, and again I watched the blistering and burning of my skin.  In moments I was looking down at my ribs and could see my organs aflame through the bone.  I tried to breathe but flames instead entered my nose and mouth.  I could feel them as they burned away the nasal tissue and found their way into my lungs.

The flames got hotter then, and my bones started to burn away.  By now I could no longer see as my eyes were turned to dust.  But I could still feel the flame and it’s power burning my body away.  And as the dust started to accumulate I realized that no longer was I the body that had burned, but instead I was the flame.  I opened my new eyes and realized I was born again a giantess.  All around me was the world of fire as I walked.  I felt the destruction of the flame and knew that I would in time I would destroy everything.  I would be the one to set everything on fire.  I was drunk with the power of destruction and death, loving every moment that I controlled that power.

Then I knew it was time to transform again, and I started to feel a slight chill.  It started to become harder to move forward and I realized the power of the fire was retreating into me as the outside of my body started to chill and turn blue from cold.  Quickly my environment changed from fire to one of ice and snow.  Finally I could no longer moved and I feared I would be stuck within the block of Ice I had become forever.

It was then I saw Loki walking toward me.  The fire god was not in human form, but rather a walking ball of flame.  Lovingly he embraced the block of ice I had become and I felt myself melting back into my human form. Yet, even though I looked the same as I did before the journey started, I felt very much transformed.

I heard the male voice speak again.  ‘You will go through this transformation again and again until you give up all that you do not need and allow it to be burned away.  How many times you must endure the flame is up to you.

And then, just as abruptly as it came, the journey ended, and I awoke in my own bed, my husband sleeping next to me.

The next day I did feel different.  I cannot put my finger on the specifics, but I know that the journey changed me to my core.  I no longer fear  that which I once did.  And if that fear does come back I immediately see and feel the flames on my body.  I know them now as a reminder of what it was I endured, and a signal to know that I am attempting to carry something once again I do not need any longer.

This is a transformation that I have been deeply grateful for.  Although it scared me, it was one that was needed, and had I known it was coming, I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to lay on that funeral pyre myself.  I know it happened the way that it needed to.  However next time I may have to make the choice to burn in flame myself.

Photo by Mirovia from Deviant Art