Friday, March 30, 2012

On the flip side

where I said I would see you all.

I took some time, maybe not enough, to try to figure out why I can't seem to settle on a path and I think I've got it figured out.  When I was growing up, I didn't have any choice whatsoever about my spiritual path.  Not only could I not look outside Christianity, but I also couldn't look outside the Baptist church.  I can't count the number of times my parents criticized all the other churches in town as not having the correct doctrines.  And Catholic?  We were threatened with being disowned if we ever converted to Catholicism.

Later on, in my middle age, my parents lightened up a bit and acknowledged that Methodists, Presbyterians and members of the Christian Church were Christians as well, although Baptists still had the most correct doctrine.  But when I became an Episcopalian, they frequently would question me on how close it was to Catholicism and on various doctrines they deemed incorrect (and potentially leading to lack of salvation.)

I spent a great deal of  my adult life trying to find a Christian denomination that felt right and gave me what I was looking for.  It wasn't until I joined the Episcopal Church I found the form and ritual I loved, but by then it was too late.  I had lost my faith.  Irrevocably gone.

So I looked into Paganism, not realizing what a vast collection of beliefs that was.  Initially all I really knew was Wicca so I looked into that but it didn't feel like a good fit at all.  Once in that direction, though, I discovered the plethora of Pagan paths that were available to me.  Unfortunately it was like having only been allowed one choice all my life, the possibilities overwhelmed me and left me incapable of deciding at all.  Each thing I tried was "it" for me until I found something else that seemed like "it" again.

Abject fear of commitment reared its ugly head and also contributed to my inability to make a choice.  I have felt paralyzed by that inability.

When I couldn't find the Norse gods at all, instead of actually trying, I just gave up.  The amount of information out there I had to learn was also overwhelming.  I'm nearly 60 years old and the thought of starting over again was a bit defeating for me.  So I settled for something I knew a little bit about, at least.  And I do have a heart for Druidry and a love for the Celtic gods.  But there was still something missing.

I had put away all my Asatru books, thinking I had wasted my money once again on things I wouldn't ever use again, but I couldn't put away the Norse gods.  They consumed my thoughts.  Each mention of them in any format made my heart jump just a little.  But I was tired of jumping from one thing to another and didn't want to come back to this blog once again and tell  you all how silly I've been and have now found "the" right path after all.

Then it came to me the other night while I was lying in bed watching the candles on my altar, not praying to anyone or even looking to any god at all.

I have been so afraid of making the wrong choice that I can't commit.  And yet, by not committing all I've been doing is making the wrong choices.  It takes more than picking up a book and deciding to focus on these gods now and those gods then.  It takes genuine commitment.  I had to choose.  I had to decide that I will take this path and follow these gods or I will wander aimlessly the rest of my life.  And I am so tired of wandering.  I want to settle on a home.

I know some of you love wanderlust and thrive on the journey.  But for me it's been torture and a very spiritually bleak experience.

Once I made that connection with my inability to commit and the lack of direction in my spiritual life, I changed my hearth picture out to the one of three goddesses, lit my candles and incense and made my commitment to Frigg and all the Norse gods and goddesses, that even if I never felt that surge of energy I had felt in the past with other gods, I would still hold true to them because it was them I wanted...not the feeling.  Where in the past I had felt nothing, this time I felt an overpowering charge of energy, one that brought tears to my eyes with the feelings of love I felt in that energy.

Before when reading the books, it was overwhelming and a bit incomprehensible to my foggy brain, now I am absorbing (although retention is still a bit of a problem) and devouring all I read.  I still feel overwhelmed at all I need to learn but know that I must just take one step at a time, one day at a time.  I'm not racing against time anymore.

I post this with a lot of fear that my paralysis will return and I will retreat once again to that dark corner where there are no connections and no commitments but I hope this time I will be strong and stay on course.  All I can do is admit that my fears have taken control of me and hope to conquer them so I can be free. 

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