The platform really does have a foreboding name, doesn’t it?
I left the Discord server this morning after sticking it out a couple of weeks because I found that being a part of it increased my Net Life Suck Factor by too many points for me to keep that group around. Part of this was the content on the server but most of it was my reaction to it.
Seasonal Affective Disorder’s a bitch, one I’ve never really been able to reconcile with all the celebrating we pagans tend to do around harvest time and in defiance of the long dark of winter. So, obviously, I’m going to ramble about it here.
It’s probably quite trite at this point to discuss how important it is to cultivate gratitude but, honestly, it’s something that I find terribly helpful. It helps, sometimes, to sit down and be grateful for the little things, even if the big things are all garbage– or at the very least be spitefully glad I’m still around to persist. This is one of those jazz pieces that makes me grateful music exists, too, while I’m at it.
Around two months ago I sat down after a little epiphany and decided I was going to do this on purpose. “This” being paganism, worshipping the gods who’ve been at the periphery of my whole life. “On purpose” meaning that I am trying, as much as possible, to engage with my pagan path in a way that sets goals and defines behaviors so that I don’t fall into old patterns of self-comparison and mistrust and wind up dissatisfied and cynical all over again. Part of doing this on purpose is taking time to reflect on what I’ve been doing, why I’ve been doing it, whether I want to keep doing it, and where I want to go with all of it. While not everything in life needs a purpose or goal to be a worthy pursuit, I find that having that sort of thing put into words helps me stay motivated and focused.
I’m posting this reflection here on the off chance that someone finds this blog in the future and finds this helpful (even if only by looking at what I’m doing and thinking, Wow! What she’s doing is totally not for me!What a bad idea!). If I’m a bit disorganized in unpacking all of this, I’ll beg your forgiveness and patience on the front end.
I recently mentioned an axiom a former teacher gave me: “There are no shoulds, only what is.” I want to think about that more in the specific context of the Norse-ish paganism I’m trying to practice.
At the level of psychology, where the individual is concerned, the radical acceptance of all things implied by that axiom are extremely helpful to me, personally. It’s a hard thing, accepting all things as they are rather than how I think or have been taught they should be, but often a necessary one. There’s a reason why the Serenity Prayer is so popular even in secular-ish settings in my experience. Even the greatest control freaks I’ve ever known (including myself) must admit that there are some things which are completely out of our hands and cannot be planned for. Or that the way we experience the world and our lives is neither good nor bad when compared to another person’s reported experiences. Or that certain disabilities are not character judgements of any kind or anything that can be changed– they simply are. There are no “shoulds” about it. This applies to many spheres in life, including religion, for me.
At the level of things like faith and morality, though, I find myself with more questions and a lot of noodling.