Recently I have looked through the posts that I have done on this blog and realized that some of my beliefs have changed since I first wrote them down. Some of them are because of what other people have written in response. Others have changed because I realized I feel differently now.
Feelings are hard things to reconcile sometimes. I think some of the biggest obstacles we see in the Pagan community are due to feelings; Either we aren’t listening to our feelings and focusing too much on what other people say, or we think too much on a subject and try to outmaneuver others with our grasp of the material. Another thing we do is we get angry because someone else ‘dares’ to give themselves a specific label or calls out something they feel is an issue and it ruffles feathers – this I think being the biggest thing we see in the blogging community. The Pagan community, especially in the United States, is so broad and deep that no one person is going to hold sway over the entire belief system of a particular aspect. We forget that when we feel like we are under attack because someone says we are ‘right wing’ or ‘left wing’ or whatever. When in actuality, the label is actually fitting a very small group of people
I realized that in past posts I’ve not been as true to how I feel. Instead, I’ve tried to reason my way around what other stances are with my own knowledge of the subject. I’ve tried to push my voice out there; to either agree or disagree with the argument du jour, and hope that enough people will get behind me and listen. Now however, I understand that the particular strength of debate is not in my wheelhouse, and probably will never be. And thanks to that realization, I know now that what is most important for me is to look at the material presented, see if it feels right for me, and if it doesn’t, let it go. I don’t need to form a rebuttal, nor do I need to agree. Others who feel like it is their place can do that and get into the arguments.
So by not forming my own rebuttals, or putting my own significantly different point of view out there, I fall in with the biggest group of people in the online pagan community; the ones who either feel left out, or stuck in the middle. They are the ones that can’t get 100% behind what someone else writes down in a post about their particular faith or religion. They also can’t get 100% behind what someone else writes in a rebuttal to the first post. And since they usually don’t speak up, they then get roped in with the ‘you are not listening’ or the ‘you are ignoring the truth’ crowd, to which isn’t the case either. One pagan blogger found this out the hard way, when in a comment on his Facebook post he classified the middle ground group as the “I’m going to ignore what you say and do it my own way” group. He quickly was overrun with people hot under the collar regarding his comment. He apologized, and said he would try to understand better before classifying one way or the other again.
Those who do not put their path out there for others to see are not lost. Neither are those who choose not to defend their path when others perceive it under attack. We watch, we listen, and we take that which is right for us and cast aside that which is not. And I believe I can speak for many when I say that we have some very strong tools that can help guide us on the paths that we are on. Our own communication with our Gods and our own instinct can go a long way in helping us figure out where it is that we are supposed to be to do the most good.
I am not a ‘lost soul’ that needs direction from someone else who knows the heathen histories better than I do. I am not someone that needs guidance from a human mentor, or teacher to teach me how to be a caretaker for the traditions that have been handed down to me by blood and by lineage.
I know now that I need to ‘feel’ my way through concepts and thoughts. And I bet that I’m not the only one. Others who may be feeling lost may need to do the same. We cannot rely on the current group of published writers and founders of traditions to spoon feed us something that will fit our daily lives. Yes we can listen to them, but that doesn’t mean we can take everything they say and become that which we are called to be. It won’t fit. I know that there are already countless traditions out there, but they will never fit everyone. Countless more are still needed – lineaged, solitary, eclectic, personal gnosis, political or no, it doesn’t matter. We need to find our own places, and they may be places we have to make our own in some form or fashion.
This blog going forward is going to be making that place for myself. I want to talk more about Chronic Illness Spirituality. I want to talk about myself and how I fit into my own beliefs; and how my beliefs have changed from previous posts. I want to talk about my successes, and I want to talk about my failures. And perhaps others will comment and help shape what it is I practice.
These words describe things that have been within my heart for a while now. But I didn’t have the courage to put them out in the open. I’m hoping that this post will help me gain the courage to keep going.