Self Service and Ghosting

Ah April. Spring is here and self-preservation is back in business full time. Here’s one thing that really stung to learn while I was away:

  1. Humans are ultimately self-serving. Each and every time, they will choose themselves over you. Deal with it.

This goes along with the “No one is obligated to help you for free” lesson.  Just because you’re a nice person, doesn’t mean that anyone will do anything for you – for any reason. That “do it out of the kindness of the heart” thing is false. There is some kind of mental, physical, financial or energetic reward for doing anything. It’s how humans are hardwired.

Let’s say that you have to move and you need help.  You can ask for “free” help from all of your friends. Only those who get a mental reward from helping people in need will show up.

Yes, that’s a depressingly small number.

Let’s say you offer free pizza and drinks? You may get the same about of people. It is what it is. This is where it gets frustrating. Cuz sometimes you get the  complainers… UGH

Oh it’s gets worse.

Let’s say that you know that few people are going to help and  you just do it yourself or hire out the work. Job’s done and you’re moving on with your live (and all  your stuff).  Inevitably, there is going to be someone who pipes up and says “Oh you should have called me!”

BREATHE THROUGH IT AND IGNORE THEM.

Put on your best Southern smile and say something trite like “Oh I didn’t want to bother you!” Why? Because you knew they wouldn’t show up anyway. These are the folks that get enjoyment from simply appearing to be helpful. We all know they aren’t.

Yet, that’s not the full extent of the self-serving thing I want to talk about. It gets heartbreaking from here on out.  Not sorry.

There are times where you have to drop projects, break promises and just plain flake out and drop off the face of the earth to preserve your sanity and life.  I’ve done it too many times to count. Each time was necessary and painful. I was over extended in energy, funds, time and f-cks  in general to be Supah Terrie.  So I had to bail. This wasn’t my best choice in actions. It was the only one.

That’s right. I was on my way to mental /nervous breakdown number five (fine number seven). I wasn’t sure that I would make it back from there. So I had to bounce and hide.  I’m not proud of this. I’ve lost good friends, three careers, many freelance opportunities, and money on the table.

OH MY GODS THE MONEY. (breathes in to a paper bag)

Yet, it’s what I had to do to survive. I had to be selfish with my time, energy, funds and and f-cks  in general.  Why? Because I know others are self-serving as well. They will take as much energy, time  funds, etc for FREE as you give them. It’s less work for them because they are selfish and want my time, energy, funds and f-cks  in general.

It’s how humans are! I had to remember all of this and still have to remember all of this when people disappear out of my life for whatever reasons they have.  It’s *probably* not my fault. They could just be overwhelmed in life and have to bounce to survive.  There are times when it’s most likely my fault. I can be a high maintenance friend when I’m overwhelmed – which was most of the time in the past forty odd years. Thank you ADHD and my sincerest apologies to my parents, siblings and long suffering husband.

 

Here’s the crux. This is something we have to deal with in this life. We like to trot out the maxims of “Everyone is fighting something” and “Be kind” and that’s great. Yet….

I can’t help but wonder if we all realize the extent of that fight.  Do we really know how our friends are doing? OR are we relying on the false ease granted by social media. If their FB status says they are fine, they must be….. right? That last picture of that friend sure looks happy, so they must be… right?

Not always. We’re back to self-preservation. It’s far easier to fake being happy to keep people out of your business and life while you deal with putting out the fires.

So I ask you this, what mental reward would you get for checking on your friends face to face? Would having that friend in your life keep your own from getting crazy, thus fueling the cycle of self-preservation? Or are you keeping everyone you know at arm’s length because they only want to use you to help themselves? Ghosting isn’t just for dating anymore.

 

It’s a tough call. I don’t have all the answers.

What I do have are people in my life that see through the smiling photos and check on my face to face.  I do the same for them. We help each other through the self-preservation cycles.

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The Blog Is Back

The Blog Is Back

After a year and a half, I’m back. Things got bad. Then things got real bad. Then things got weird.

That’s when I got angry and sh-t got real.

 The rest of the backstory is boring. Let’s skip it for now. Let’s focus on when I got mad and things started happening. Since summer 2016, I learned a lot of things. There’s no divisive line of good or bad in those things. Just the truth I found for myself.  Funny thing is? When I spoke those truths, when I acted on those truths… Life changed for me.  Here are a few things I learned. I’ll go into depth in future posts.
1. Unlearn the modern hip maxim “don’t hate the playa, hate the game.”  Don’t bother hating unless you’re going to use that energy to get things done.
2. No one is under any obligation to help you out of any situation or teach you skills for free. #NotSorry
3. Humans are ultimately self serving. Each and every time, they will choose themselves over you. Deal with it.
4. When things go wrong, go back to the basics. Remember one of the lines in the Princess Bride: when things go wrong go back to the beginning.
5. There are no shortcuts to success or enlightenment.  #StillNotSorry
6. You will make mistakes. Once you’re done beating yourself up, go back to the number 4 entry.
7. It’s not your job to fix anyone else. Give them all the tools and encouragement… And walk away.
8. Your job is to fix you. If others learn from your example, great. If not? Move along.
9. The advice about hanging around successful people only works if you all have similar goals and you actually learn from the others and do the work.
10. You can’t be a spiritual leader in a vacuum. No tribe? No flock? No f-cks given by the gods.
11.  Whatever title you choose, unless your prayers or magick gets reliable results? You are wasting your time.
12. Drama will always go down. Mind your business and let it go down.
 Oh yeah, y’all. It’s gonna be like that. Happy New Year
Rev. Terrie

Beltane – A New Definition ~ Pray ~ Love

Beltane – A New Definition ~ Pray ~ Love

May Pole

For those who know me, you remember why I love Beltane so much. For those who don’t know me? Beltane is my birthday.  Since choosing the pagan path, I’ve enjoyed and reveled in the spiritual celebration for renewing life that just happened to coincide with the anniversary of my birth. My father passed away on May 1, 2012 and all of that changed.

I didn’t feel much like celebrating after that. I canceled all birthday parties.  I declined going to Beltane celebrations.  I smiled and said thank you to birthday wishes and received cards and small presents with grace. Then I quickly made my exit to go bawl my eyes out in private.  Continue reading

Mardi Gras 2016 ~ Pray

Mardi Gras 2016

No secret that I’m from New Orleans.  Part of my soul is purple, green and gold! As this year’s Mardi Gras rolls through my hometown, I’m missing it something fierce.

The Mardi Gras is the last day of the Carnival season that began on The Twelfth night to some as the last day of Christmas. The celebrations and balls begin on the Christian holy day known as Epiphany or “Three King’s Day.”

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday.”  The name comes from the Christian practice of eating as much rich and fatty foods – as well as indulging in other vices – for one more day.  On Ash Wednesday, those who follow the practice, give these foods and vices up for the Lenten season of forty days and nights (the weekends don’t count. I checked!).   From this practice is why the word “carnival”  is used for the season.  The loose Latin translation from the word definition is “caro, carn-“  meaning ‘flesh’  and “levare” meaning  ‘put away.’

Why do these Christian things even fall on my radar as a pagan? The voluntary abstinence of these foods and vices and that the practice ends on Easter.

Know how the date Easter is determined?  Get this:

“*Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox. This particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon). And the vernal equinox is fixed as March 21. As a result, Easter can never occur before March 22 or later than April 25. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter falls on the next Sunday. Therefore, Easter may fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.”

http://blog.al.com/press-register-entertainment/2009/02/easter_is_the_key_to_determini.html

How is the date of Mardi Gras chosen? Glad you asked:

“Mardi Gras is usually set 47 days before Easter. For example, in 2008, Easter fell on March 23. Therefore, Mardi Gras was Feb. 5. In any given year, Mardi Gras will fall on any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9.”

http://blog.al.com/press-register-entertainment/2009/02/easter_is_the_key_to_determini.html

Ah yes, the Vernal Equinox, or as the pagans and Wiccans call it Ostara! This year Ostara will fall on March 20th with Easter, seven days later on March 27th.  Neat, eh?

So here we go.

The practice of abstinence as a spiritual tool is not new. It goes hand in hand with the practice of indulgence. The main foci for both these practices are conscious discipline – spiritual or not-  and balance.  Within the pagan Wheel of the Year, the dark half of the year begins at Samhain (Halloween).  We notice that the daylight hours get shorter. I notice that the wind gets colder.  I sometimes notice that I haven’t quite prepared for the winter months that are coming.

The true test of my will to survive happens at Winter Solstice (near Christmas), where the longest night falls. Can I make it to Imbolc? I decide that I have to survive – somehow. To lift my spirits, I have celebrations, reminding myself of the light that is to come if I just hold on. Yes, I purposely celebrate a little too much to remind of me that the light that will return.

When Imbolc comes, I see the stirring of life in the land again, despite that occasional snowstorm or flood. I celebrate and dance. I see that there’s still food leftover from parties and preparations. Got to eat it before it goes bad!

Then the realization sets in. Time for partying will be over once the spring arrives. I’ll have to get back to work, back to traveling, and back to taking care of the tribe. This is the time to get balance out the partying.  I put away the celebration decorations and get ready. Spring is coming.  While I indulged myself before, now it’s the time to abstain. As much as I want to keep partying until the summer, I won’t have anything prepared to actually do the partying.  I gotta find a way to pay for fest and food right?

Before I know it? I look up to see the daylight is longer. The trees are beginning to bud again. I’ve made it! I made it to spring!    This is the time to clean out the cupboards. Spring cleaning anyone? I’m ready. I’ve spent six weeks getting myself together and I’m prepared.

I’m prepared for Beltane  – my birthday!

mardigras2016

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Celebrating Imbolc & Goddess Brigid ~ Pray ~ Love ~ Train ~ Create

Celebrating Imbolc & Goddess Brigid

– this time? It’s personal

I’m sure you know of the Goddess known as Brigid.  She’s one of the most popular deities in the pagan spiritual movement.  Sometimes she’s seen as three sisters, other times as a triple deity. Some of Her domains are poetry, healing, and smithing (creation of tangible things).  While I have all of these things in my personal and spiritual life, that’s not why I honour Her.

Her followers are famous for flametending rituals or cills. They are famous for tending and caring for local public waterways.  They are famous for learning and speaking Gaelic. They are famous for weaving rushes for crosses to protect their homes. I don’t do any of those things. Goddess knows I’ve tried.

I honor Her for different reasons than most. The Goddess Brigid and I got personal. We got close.  We got “real” in a way I could finally understand.

She came to me in a dream, disguised as a waitress. She took away my food. She took away my seat at the table. She took away my husband’s food. She slacked at her own job in attending other patrons at restaurant.  A “snake oil” salesman came into the establishment and pestered the customers. She didn’t throw him out.

She made me so damn mad that I lost my temper.

For reference, I do my best not to lose my grip on my anger at any given point in time.  When angered, I’m not coherent – or nice. I scream. I yell. All the fires inside me roar – and burn everything in sight.  I am a dormant volcano. When I finally blow my top? I take an entire coastline of friendship and several hundred square miles of social niceties with me.

So there I am, no place at the table, starving and seeing that those around me are also not getting the nourishment they need. I knew that I was treated unjustly. I knew that the charlatan had fake magic potions. I knew that Table 9 needed more napkins and Table 19 needed more hot sauce.  So I lost my spiritual sh_t.

I let the fires inside me roar. I fed it the injustice given to me and the patrons of the restaurant. I fed it the anger that someone would willingly not care for those in their charge. I fed it a good dose of magical “b_tchslap” that I wanted to dole out to so many who take advantage of others in weaker states and positions.  Yes I got angry; then I got busy.

Instead of letting the rage boil me from the inside out, I stepped up and moved the “waitress” out of the way. As I yelled at Her (yes I know, just go with me on this), I did the job. I tossed out the snake oil salesman. I got Table 19 their hot sauce, fed my husband, got Table 9 more napkins and more. I took over and moved Her out of the way.

In my dream state, since She clearly wasn’t doing the job, someone had to step in to the role and take care of the people.  I did the job. I took care of the people and myself, all while yelling at Her from the top of my lungs.

Sigh. Yes this is where lucidity crept in to my dreaming mind.

The “waitress” just took it. She just stood there while I ripped Her apart. I stopped and realized that I couldn’t see her face. She was a glowing being of light that I could not focus on literally. That’s when I realized who She was – and panicked.

A little boy popped up at Her side. I’m sure that it was my patron god Lugh – goofy smile, mousy brown hair bleached blonde by the sun. He smiled and merely said “Sorry about that.”

This is where I woke up and had a spiritual meltdown.  This is also the reason why I honour Her. This is where Brigid and I got personal.

Brigid – the triple goddess, the lady of the hearth, the forge and the well deity of early spring, goddess of the sun, keeper of the flames – does not want me to be flametender. She doesn’t want me to tend the local waterways. She doesn’t want me to learn Gaelic or weave rushes. She doesn’t want me to solely write poetry or become and black, copper or silversmith.

She wants me to care for the people. She wants me to use my skills to make magic – to protect the people. She wants me to release the fires inside me, not just in anger, but in confidence that I can and I will do what needs be done.

In some ways I am Darlugdach, Her pupil. This was my dream of coal filled shoes.  Instead of intense desire for someone that would sway my faith, I had the intense desire not to be in the spotlight. I didn’t want to be the heavy in any situation where I had to make hard choices. I wanted all the magic, but was too afraid to do the work – in case I made a mistake.

This dream changed all of that.

I honour Brigid because it’s personal. She has shown me all of Her within myself.  To not take up Her mantle goes against everything I am.  Her flame burns within me. The lesson of the dream was to let it burn, bright and hot, to let the heat of the Fire work to help others.

Why do you honor Her?

Imbolc 2016

 

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