Yes. I am officially clergy. Yes, I have earned the title. No, don’t call me that. Not yet.
The term “reverend” has been around since the 1400s. Under normal circumstances, it’s used as a title of respect for members of the clergy. See that word “respect”? I haven’t earned that just yet. I’m working on it.
To earn the respect of others is a big deal to me. Anyone can study spirituality. Some can pass the tests dictated by their belief systems. Few get to invoke their Higher Selves to tap into the powers of the Universe… That doesn’t mean squat when it comes to respect from their fellow humans and peers.
Earning the respect of others is my ego check incarnate. I may think I’m the best thing since communion wafers – but when things get hard I don’t want to break. I want to be the kind of Reverend that gets those Psychic 911 calls. I want to be the kind of Reverend that goes out drinking with you as the designated driver when you want to drown your sorrows in cheap scotch. I want to be the kind of Reverend that rarely answers Facebook pleas or Kijiji listings for house blessings, readings, mini magic or handfastings. To show respect, to earn that title of “Reverend” means that the people and community I serve know me. They know who I am, what I am and what I can do. My community will recommend me for anything that is needed.
To be clear, this is not to be confused with fame. I know a few famous people and Reverends. I wouldn’t recommend them for giving you the time of day. Sure they are usually favorably know and placed high among their peers…. But that doesn’t mean a thing to me. They didn’t earn my respect either through their actions or attitude. Bad behavior and news travels fast everyone. And in a community as small as mine? Everyone will eventually know a version of the dirty details.
So I know there will be the talk behind my back. I know that there will be rumors. I endeavor to at least get people to spell my name right when it happens. I also encourage those who have a bad story about me to tell me about it! I want to know what the scuttlebutt is! If the dirt is true, I’ll confess. I have no more illusions of my own infallibility. If the gossip isn’t true? I at least know where I stand and where the misinformation is coming from. Who knows? I might have a bit more gossip to spread just to see where and how the information flows. Yes, that is rather low. I’m ok with that.
So for now. Just call me Terrie. I’m fine with “Priestess.” But, don’t call me Reverend…. Not yet.