Remembering our True Nature

I’ve started to write two other posts that don’t seem to want to be written at the moment so I’m trusting that, when the time is right, the Universe will bring all those pieces together with a super-sized magnet and faeries will fart faery dust all over my head and fire works will rocket into the sky and words will magically fly from my hands and land in the text box of the drafts and…you get the idea. In the mean time, I’m exercising my will and writing without knowing what I will write about and with the simple intent of offering healing and waiting to see what words fly from my fingers over the keyboard. And I’m playing fetch with my cat.

I just stumbled across a brief article on a blog about a tribe in Africa that, when one of the members does something hurtful, the rest of the members bring that person to the center of the village and everyone surrounds him/her. Then, the tribe spends two days telling him/her every GOOD thing s/he has ever done. The article described that the beliefs of this tribe include embracing the notion that everyone comes into the world as good, as desiring safety, love, peace, and happiness; but, that sometimes while we are pursuing those things we lose connection with our True Nature and make mistakes. The tribe in the article sees such mistakes as a cry for help which is why they all gather to try to help the one person reconnect with who s/he truly is until s/he remembers the truth from which s/he’d been temporarily disconnected and proclaims, “I am good.”

I sat there after I read the short article, shaking my head in amazement. What a brilliant practice! I personally believe that our Natural State (how we were created) is one of perfect balance, that the only thing that prevents us from living in that space is fear (the unproductive kind, not the kind that saves your life); so, it was easy for me to get on board with the beliefs of this African tribe. It also corresponds with what my Teacher has taught me in that any time we “act out,” hurt others, or behave in destructive ways, we are doing so from our most wounded places and THAT is when we most need unconditional love and compassion.

I scrolled further down the page after finishing the article and saw a long trail of comments people had left. When I began reading I felt appalled. The bulk of the comments harassed the author for not including the name of the specific tribe, accused him of lying or stereotyping all African tribes (which he hadn’t – he actually had just shared the story and not included any of his own comments), of criticizing various nations’ policies and cultures, debating the term “civilized,” of criticizing each others’ comments and saying things (I imagine) they wouldn’t say if the other person was standing right in front of them. Or at least I hope they wouldn’t.

They totally missed the point. For a moment, I wanted to yell and shake all those people in the hopes that somewhere in the midst of their brain rattling around and maybe smacking against the inside of their skull something would shake loose and they’d “get it.”  What does it matter if the story was made up – why should that take away from the absolute wisdom inherent in it?

And then I had to laugh and shake my head at myself. Maybe all those people had missed the point of the story, but hadn’t I just demonstrated that I had, too, in light of my reaction to THEIR reaction?

It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get caught up in a tidal of visceral emotion and lose sight of Truth. It’s easy to let ourselves be contaminated by that kind of energy, that kind of thinking, of emoting, of acting because, let me tell you, that shit is highly contagious. And because, at least, Mainstream American culture does not encourage soulful reflection and conscious interaction, it takes a great deal of intention and Will to not let ourselves get washed away in a debilitating tide of what is really just plain fear.

I talked with my favorite aunt on the phone tonight. Her son, my cousin, is getting married next month, and I’m really hoping and intending to be able to make it to the wedding. I haven’t seen most of that family in years and years and the circumstances are loaded (another post for another time, perhaps); among those family members will be my sister. I talked with my aunt about the tension and strain that’s been in my relationship with my sister for a long time now; of what I see as hypocrisy and unadulterated judgment in her (have you ever noticed how, no matter how much we might grow and change and evolve, that maintaining that new sense of Self and continuing to manifest it is hardest with our families of origin?). We spent some time talking about only being in charge of and responsible for myself, of having hope but not expectations, and I verbalized recognizing that the only thing I can do at this point is just love her. She, like the angry commenters and the hurtful tribe members, has just forgotten and become disconnected with her True Nature. Having planted roots in that space of forgetting myself for a long time and really just starting to make some headway in removing them recently I remember how awful it felt, how awful it feels when I slip and wind up there still on occasion. So that is what I will be working to remember from this point forward.

May you always be surrounded by people who love you and who will lift you up and help you re-member Who You Are and reconnect you with your True Nature whenever you stumble and forget 🙂


blog - copper texture



Temple confessions and keys

I’m choosing to consecrate this sacred space that I have created with a confession. If you’ve read the About section here, perhaps you’re wondering what place confession has in the sacred space created by a practicing Witch and Pagan (and I could certainly appreciate any confusion you may have in that regard). For those of you who are affronted or think it’s uncharacteristic, allow me to offer a different word you may more easily get behind: Purification. Though I’ve never practiced Roman Catholicism and would certainly never attempt to define someone else’s sacraments to them, I see confession as a form of purification, a practice of recognizing what does not serve one’s highest and best interest, of owning it, and then releasing it. So before anything else happens in this sacred space I’m consecrating for healing purposes, let’s get to the purification/confession.

Part 1: This blog is actually over three months old. But your first post is dated July, you may be saying. Yes. Yes, it is. That brings us to Part 2: I have been afraid of Creating. Not little things, mind you (I create jewelry, I hand roll cigarettes, I do technical writing part-time, I make a mean shepherd’s pie, I occasionally color mandalas, and my Boston Cream Cake is to die for), but big things. Important things. Transformative things. Magical things. My Self. A career that I’m passionate about. The novel that I finally acknowledged to myself I wanted to write at least three years ago and have gotten nowhere with. Friendships. Healing. This blog. You get the idea.

I don’t know about you, but I’m far more comfortable with destroying and ending things or simply maintaining the status quo than I am with creating something brand new. I don’t know entirely why this is. While I could take the time to dissect it, to get all shrink-y on myself (I do have a degree in that after all), and spend hours analyzing my childhood or doing tarot card readings about past lives, in my experience (and based on the knowledge I have of myself), that just leads to drama, frustration, and paralysis for me a lot of the time. So I’m doing something different. I’m just going to create.

Now, if you’ve ever had really amazing sex (the greatest act of creation, even if the only thing you’re creating is a boatload of pleasure), planted a garden, sculpted anything, or had to sit through the Miracle of Life video in 8th grade health class, you know that creation is messy. It just is. So I can virtually guarantee you that my creation process in this space will not break tradition. There may be fits and starts, some of the posts just won’t do it for you, some of them just won’t do it for me which may translate into gaps in time when I’m not writing anything new, etc.

But it’ll be exciting. For me, and hopefully for you, because I want you to join me. I’m not interested in pontificating or just talking at people (that just sounds boring to me). I’m creating this space not just for me, but for you (yes, you). For us. For interaction, for connection, for healing, for laughter, for Life in all its intricacies and simple joys, profundity and silliness – it’s all Sacred. It can all be transformative. So where are you? What do you seek? What makes you feel alive? What makes your heart sing? What brings you to tears? What drops you to your knees – in gratitude, in pain? What do you struggle with? Where are you stuck? Because while the world is full of a fabulously diverse group of people, a lot of this stuff is universal and if you’re going through it, loving it, hating it, crying about it, etc. then I feel pretty secure in assuring you (with at least some measure of accuracy) that someone else is, too.

You mean you want more than just a comment about liking your post or something you said, you ask? Well, sure you can say you like it, but we both know you’ve got way more valuable insight and things to share than just that (and if you didn’t know that, then I’m telling you now). Whatever life you’re living, whatever experiences you’ve had – whether you’re a stay-at-home-mom (or Domestic Engineer, if you prefer), a grocery store check-out associate, a Jewish Witch, a 20 something year old living with your parents, a waitress, a reformed Hindu, a student, a retiree, a construction worker, a secretary, a monk, a Whatever – you have something in you that someone else needs in order to heal. Seriously – this isn’t an attempt at flattery, it’s the truth. So this space isn’t just for me to share about my stuff or to be anyone’s shrink (definitely not – no fiduciary relationships going on here), it’s for us to explore these topics together and create healing together.

It might seem like I’m asking a lot, I know. One of the things I’m learning about this whole creation thing is that it involves risk which can be scary. If it helps, I’m not asking you to risk anything I’m not willing to risk myself. Now, you don’t need to answer right now if you don’t want to – just sit with it. Think about it over coffee or tea or peanut butter banana pancakes or tofu; while walking your dog or your ferret; while sitting in traffic or sipping wine on your couch; while standing in line at the food pantry or the grocery store. I’ll be waiting for you. And if you decide to join me, I’ll be floored. And if you don’t ever come back, then do me a favor and just take this one thing with you (other than that really good sex should be messy, though that’s a good one to keep, too): Someone out there in the world is waiting for you to help them heal. It can be something as simple as offering a smile or as complex as adopting a child. The bottom line remains, though: You – just in being who you are – have the keys to someone else’s healing. I hope to hear from you soon…

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Photo courtesy of Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski