Epiphany or Reminder?

Given my recent illness issues (read: crazy-deep depression and crippling anxiety), I’d been wondering (nervously) what would happen when it was time for me to step up and Do Public Work again.

Yesterday was my first Handfasting ceremony of the year. People. Promises. Questions. Stepping up to lead and hold.

There was no fear. Nerves, as always, and intention set. But the pit of dark remained firmly closed.

I pondered this on the journey there. How could I be so calm, so ready, even excited? It seemed amazing.

A slightly dry, amused voice inside simply said: ‘Because this is what you do.’

There isn’t really a word for it yet (and we do need one). Priesting, ministry, chaplaincy. Service. Vocation. To myself, my Gods, my loved ones, and those who come to me, asking.

I’m here, doing what I should be doing, because I can, because I truly want to. That simple truth is beyond reassuring. A bit of a revelation, of something I perhaps already knew. Now I’ve been reminded.

The Handfasting was beautiful. And my feet feel sturdier on the path today.

This circulating meme struck a similar chord as well today:

Transformation, evolution… progress.

Onward.

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Openness

When I lived in a city, shielding was necessary – even instinctive. So many people, so much noise, bustle and emotion… everyone does it to some extent, I think, just so that they can think straight! From psychic ‘barriers’ to my leather jacket armour, I was ready to face that world.

But then as my Druidry developed, the shields began to fall away. I wanted to see beyond, even if that feeling was intense enough to knock me down sometimes. I didn’t want people to see the mask rather than me, hidden beneath. I wanted to feel the earth beneath me, the creatures around – and that meant the people too, of course.

Nowadays, that openness can be both a gift and a hazard. Given what I do, I would far rather be honest, giving what I can to those who honour me with their attention, or who come to me with questions. Although after a day of that (such as a conference or festival), rest isn’t just needed, but required. I have been known to give too much – and that’s the way I am. I’ve tried ‘holding back’, but that doesn’t come easily or naturally any more.

Most days, it’s a balancing act. I want to throw myself into tasks wholeheartedly, but then run out of energy after going for too long without recuperation or replenishment. I love seeing the passion of others, and do my best to help where I can – but I do leave myself vulnerable sometimes as well, when negative darts are thrown or toxic places have to be visited.

But I do my best. The hard times are more than made up for by the good, the connection with others that I feel so profoundly, the touch of a warm hug or sight of a true smile. Just kicking off my shoes to walk barefoot in the grass brings delight – and encourages others to do likewise.

I try to live my truth. If someone has a problem with me doing that… well, that’s their problem! And yes, that can hurt. But I’ll always invite them to come along, to try what I’m doing, just for a moment.

Exploring the world outside your shields may be scary – but imagine the alternative.