As I haven’t felt it in many years. It started off as a terrible day. Dark thoughts had been plaguing me all through the night. My dreams were nightmarish, and I was thinking the worst things that could happen to me.
I woke up exhausted. As many of you know, I don’t get time to heal, time to recover. I am switched on 24/7, so no laying in bed hoping the bad thoughts will go away, wishing the world would stay away. No, I have to get up, I have things to do, whether I feel like doing them or not.
The morning was trudgery (that’s my portmanteau for trudging about in drudgery). I had a headache, my chest hurt, and I was trying to take care of the things I need to do each day. Earlier, I had revised my life expectancy downward once more, from 50 to 40. That may seem a touch dramatic, or macabre, but if you knew the kinds of thoughts I was having, you may have considered my estimations to be optimistic.
Still, I muddled on. Finally, around 2:30 PM or so, I set out to pick up what we would need for dinner tonight. As I drove, I looked about at the overcast sky, the way people walked down the street, untrusting, angry even, looking about like all the world wanted them harmed.
It got me thinking about the news, and how awful things appeared to be. I considered just how much I had lost faith in mankind, in my country, and I had almost zero faith in our legal system. I believed that we, as a people, were looking at the last days of the United States as a free(ish), and open(like) society.
So I did something I haven’t done in so long, I think I had to dust the cobwebs off to get to the center of it: I prayed. As some of you know, I have taken my first steps into something new, something that has called to me. There are so many new but familiar feelings about where I am, but it feels different. Unlike my former faith from a decade ago, there is no oppressive weight here. I feel no demand for perfection.
I prayed to the Goddess Selene. Now, I am quite new, but I have long loved the Moon and what She represents for me, and so I reached out to Her, in the hopes of some kind of solace from the pain. Some may not agree, and that’s okay, but what I’ve learned so far is that each person’s path is unique, each application of what they learned is theirs to explore.
I prayed. In my heart I requested Her guidance. I always request, I don’t demand. Some folks demand, but I can’t really bring myself to demand something from others, even if they are a Celestial Goddess. Probably moreso, in fact. I asked Her to guide my steps, because my thoughts were betraying me, and it was tearing me apart.
I felt this strong urge to speak, and so I began to tell Her everything, from my deepest fears and flaws, to my greatest hopes and dreams. When I was finished, I had begun crying. Now, I know everyone is going to have a different take on this, but I swear to you, I heard a voice. Now, I was in my car when I said these things, and there was no one else around. The voice said, “I love you.”
I started crying again, and I managed to reply, “I love you, too,” and I felt this warmth that said “that you should love someone you do not yet know speaks well of your heart.” Of course, by this point I was a blubbering mess. If someone had come along right then, they’d have thought my dog had died, and that the Pope had said nasty things about me to my face.
So I continued between the tears. “What do I do about all of the horrible things I’ve seen? Events that have fostered these awful thoughts in my head that won’t go away? What do I do about the evil in the world? How do I deal with all of this?!”
There was a two word reply, and it shot me right in the heart: “Love them.”
At that moment, my heart started burning, I mean it felt like a physical fire had erupted in my chest, and then it was ice, pure ice, and the ice spread through my whole body, into my brain, and my brain started feeling like someone had wrapped it in a cloud, and when it was all done, when the feeling had passed, the pain was gone! It was gone! All I could feel was pure joy from every part of me.
I looked around, and every person I saw, I could see inside them! I don’t mean their physical selves, but their spiritual selves! I could see their pain, and their fears. I was witness to their doubts. The command came forward again, strong this time, and it said “LOVE THEM.”
And I knew right then that the deepest darkest seed inside of me was the kernel of doubt that said I could no longer keep up with the world. That the world was outpacing me in anger, in hatred, in cynicism. That it was growing more insular, and vicious every day, and that I had been competing with every other human on this earth that had embraced such things, that even though all I wanted to do was love, I was replacing that love with judgment, and I was wrong to do so, because in my judging them, I was denying them the love they needed to change.
I have long felt that every person is redeemable, that every person should be given the chance to change. For a time, I had put that aside to condemn those I felt only brought harm, and while I realize that my intentions were good, they were ill-fitted for someone like me. There is a person to every emotion, and every walk of life has a different step. Mine was not what I had adopted. It was not my own. My own steps were elsewhere, and I realized right then, just as I’m realizing now, that I needed to follow MY steps, to do MY will, to embrace MY power, to own it, to use it, to wield it MY way. I discovered that abdicating the seat of my power, of my will, to others was killing me.
I had given away the command of my soul to others who had no intention of seeing to my needs. Now, the power is mine again. I have wrested control back, and I have put in place the right compass to guide me.
Today I felt joy, my friends, more joy than I have felt in a long, long time. I do not wish to relinquish that joy, save to spread it around to others, and the love that accompanies it.
I love you, my dear, dear friends. I love you so much. May the Goddess bless you.

3 thoughts on “Joy!

  1. This very concept of not judging or deeming anyone unworthy is at the heart of the Food Fight stall I help out at most Sundays. The free food and clothing is for anyone with no questions asked. We volunteers are well aware that we have roofs over our heads and food in our bellies not because of any moral or intellectual superiority on our part but because of sheer dumb luck. And to those people who ask why we do what we do, we reply with “Why not?”. Part of that answer is that the local food bank does require that people are assessed and referred by a few select organisations before being given three days’ worth of food. They do good work, but with strings attached. We don’t bother with that.

    1. This is one of the many reasons why I love you to pieces. If there is a soul in this world who has a bigger heart than I do, it’s you. You have consistently been one of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve known, and I feel fortunate to know you.
      You know, I don’t know why I felt it was best to hand over the reins of my judgment to others, to take my discernment out of the picture. Now that I have re-asserted myself, I see where all the self-doubts, the emotional friction, the indecision, it was all killing me. I was trying to deal with two people inside of one person, and I couldn’t decide who got the voice and who didn’t.
      It’s not that I was attaching strings, but I was accepting the strings already there, and for someone like me, that’s still too much. I have removed all of the remaining strings on my heart. I’ve made the anchor irrelevant once again. I do not know what the future holds, but whatever it holds, I will face it as myself, under my own power.

      1. Judging people is wasted time and wasted energy. I’ve reached the point where I have better things to do with my time. This coincides with caring less and less what people other than those I love and respect think of me. Not being on the defensive all the time is liberating.

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