bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: food for thought doesn’t always come with a drink

The heart is a hungry wolf

I don’t think people have demons.

I think they have themselves and things they aren’t ready to be honest about yet.

It is not easy to come to grips with the fact that we’re capable of hurting people with the same instrument we love them with.

The heart is a hungry wolf

and it is made of glass.

~King (Austin) Longton~

(Artwork: wolf heartline by linhopereira on DeviantArt)

 

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Stubborn.

Though my intent is to write every day, sometimes I struggle to write about certain topics.

And this topic – and its array of sub-topics – is one of them.

How important is ritual?  How important are offerings?

How – or why –  would anyone do any of this? How important is it to do any of this?

 

And then, this article came across my feed this morning, and I immediately thought to share it.

Why?

Because this part especially, hit me hard:

“Have you ever heard about people who accomplish amazing things, and been jealous? I know I have. There are many ways to be successful. I’m not the prettiest, not the smartest, and definitely not the most talented or luckiest. But the one thing I have always been is as stubborn as the day is long – not in some petty way (mostly), but in the kind of way that makes me get up when life knocks me down.

I’m not the fair-haired hero. I’ve never been the chosen one. I’m that other guy. My power isn’t born of charm or good looks. I was born to wear a t-shirt that says, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”(1)

We live in a cynical age where our fair-haired heroes have revealed themselves as paper cutouts, our leaders have sold themselves to the highest bidder, and the world gets less friendly every day. We wake up and go through the motions and wonder if there’s a damn thing we can do about it.

And you know what? There is.”

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2017/10/the-other-side-of-the-hedge-four-hundred-days/#1Vu07d2lKj39HT1A.99

 

Because, much like Christopher Drysdale, I too, am as stubborn as the day is long.

And yes, I have been jealous of the success of others.

And yes, I have realized that I am not special nor am I particularly disciplined all of the time.

I have wished that my week could be stripped of Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings, because sometimes, what I am doing is not easy nor is it particularly rewarding…

But then it is.

And when it is rewarding…when I look back at the trajectory of my Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings

That is when I realize that that is the essence of why I do what I do, and why it is important that I keep doing.

You want the carrot…you gotta chase the stick.

Happy Wednesday.

 

 

Month for Loki, Twenty-Fourth: Explanation

So I was finally catching up on Doctor Who this past Sunday, when the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) from the Christmas 2016 episode, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, has this exchange with a young boy named Grant who asks the Doctor who he is:

YOUNG GRANT: Who are you?
DOCTOR: The Doctor.
YOUNG GRANT: Yeah, but who are you?
DOCTOR: The Doctor.
YOUNG GRANT: Which one, though? There’s lots of doctors.
DOCTOR: The one. I’m the main one. The original. I started it. They’re all based on me. Now everyone who wants to sound clever calls themselves Doctor. Bandwagon!
YOUNG GRANT: In a comic book, you know what you’d be called? Doctor Mysterio.
DOCTOR: Oh, I like that. Doctor Mysterio! I’ll have that. Nearly ready.

But it is this line that first caught me off guard:
YOUNG GRANT: What is it?
DOCTOR: Well, in terms that you would understand? Sorry, there aren’t any. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a time-distortion equaliser thingy.
YOUNG GRANT: A what?
DOCTOR: Well, there’s been a lot of localised disruption here in New York, so, er, my fault, actually. Hopefully this will make it all calm down.
YOUNG GRANT: I don’t understand.
DOCTOR: Do you know what a lightning conductor is?
YOUNG GRANT: Yeah.
DOCTOR: Well, it’s not like that.

I hate to get all Pop-Paganism on y’all, but this particular Doctor evokes so much of  the essence of Them for me that I am continually being thrown off guard by those sorts of random side comments.  Especially when I find myself wondering what the heck They mean…because there is so much about Them, what They do and what They want that I have gotten to the point that I am beginning to wonder if it will ever make sense.

But as Madeline L’Engle wrote:

Wrinkle-in-time

 

It’s kind of funny that the word “learned” is used here, since what she’s learned is that you can’t know everything.

Instead of learning as gaining knowledge, here it’s recognizing a lack of knowledge.

Good advice, actually:

powerreaction

Month for Loki, Seventeenth: The lesson, in brief.

Today I made an offering to Loki

and received this odd little bit of synchronicity:

From Gravity Falls’ Mabel, of all places.

Point taken, Sir. ❤

 

Month for Loki, Eighth: Trickster.

“There is no way to suppress change…not even in heaven; there is only a choice between a way of living which allows constant, if gradual alterations and a way of living that combines great control and cataclysmic upheavals. Those who panic and bind the trickster choose the latter path. It would be better to learn to play with him, better especially to develop skills (cultural, spiritual, artistic) that allow some commerce with accident, and some acceptance of the changes that contingency will always engender.”

— Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World

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the more you know

I love Brene Brown…even when she is throwing out some hard truths.

So you can gather what I am talking about, you might want to watch the video.

Y’see, I , too, am a ‘blamer.’

It’s true of me that when something bad happens, my first thought is often whose fault is this? – and, more often than not, I twist it in my head until I’ve found a reason for whatever happened.

I need to know why.  I am a person that needs to know why.

Even if -more often than not – I end up blaming myself for whatever it is that happened in some way.

Yeah.  I know that that’s unhealthy.

Yep, I thought that that was holding myself accountable.*

This mindfulness and this desire to hold myself accountable for myself and my reactions to bad things happening is often the way that my thoughts go.  And I’ve had enough therapy to know that I’m only doing half the work, too, when I stop and actually think about it.

Why is it only half the work?

Because the full work would be the realization and implementation of the fact that some bad things happen because they are random.  Sometimes there is no reason.

Yes, it’s true that sometimes bad things happen because someone wasn’t mindful of themselves or others – and I include myself in that – and rash decisions get made.   Things get broken, or feelings get hurt, or what have you, and often emotions fuel those decisions.

But the key is – the process of thinking that there has to be reason somewhere.  That there has to be a reason, there has to be a fault.  And that there has to be this endless overthinking and wasting of time and resources trying to figure out why something is, why something happened, or what led to this or that result.

As Brown points out, the fault-finding and blame is a discharge of discomfort and a desire for control of the situation, including getting control of one’s emotions and reactions.

And that gets me to thinking about my zen Buddhist therapist who speaks a continuous refrain of how I need to work on letting shit go, learning that the only person one can control is oneself and one’s reactions to the world, and the constant reminder that the only moment is the present moment.  He talks endlessly of the fact that the present is the only moment in which we can live, and how when one has realized this, and one focuses on mindfulness and control of oneself in the present moment, only then can one create inner peace and happiness.

Oh yes, it gives me a headache sometimes…this zen business.  The letting go, the reactive vs. proactive paradigm, the mindfulness — so much jargon.   I cannot deny that this all feels exhausting sometimes, and I’ll admit that I fall back upon ingrained reactive habits and value judgments, and and and….*sigh*

I wallow in self-blame, another waste of time.

So.

Yes.

I seek control.

But the only control I seek in the end is self-control.

~~~

*This video opens my eyes to the mistake I’ve made concerning what accountability is.

 

 

 

Worldbreaker.

Everything’s fine.

Then, everything’s *not* fine.

2016 has been a rollercoaster..and I don’t think that it has just been a rollercoaster for me.

Look at the rest of the world, I suppose.

i-cant-wait-to-stay-up-until-midnight-on-new-9976352

It would seem that everyone is struggling with something…not just me.

Not just my struggles.

~~~

I haven’t been posting, mainly because I’ve been keeping to the relative safety of writing in my notebooks, because 2016 has brought so many changes to my life that when I look back upon where I was, emotionally and spiritually, on this day in 2015, I am agog at how much has changed in my relationships, my attitudes, my writing….hell, even my devotional/spiritual practices.

As a matter of fact, so much has changed in my devotional practice that my head is sort of… spinning.

It’s been an interesting year, to say the least.

~~~

At the end of 2015, I was coming out of a major depressive episode.

Certain aspects of my life were either stagnant or evolving in a direction that I didn’t want to travel.  I felt stuck and sad and angry.

I had decided to end relationships with several persons whom I’d come to over-value so much that I’d thought of these folks as the basis of my spiritual community….so deciding to cut ties with those friends felt like cutting ties with my sense of community.

As well, I felt stagnant in my spiritual relationships.  I needed something to change but I didn’t know what or how

 

Though I had hope for 2016, I’d never in a million years expected the changes that were in store for me regarding my marriage, my circle of friends (or whom I would have considered my circle of friends), how I’d come to spend my free time,the people, places and things I would come to value, the skills that I would develop or the way that my devotional/spiritual practices would be completely overhauled.

Yes, my spiritual practices would suffer a complete overhaul in 2016.

And that is why I have chosen WorldBreaker as the title of this post.

Because, oddly enough, in retrospect, one of the only constants I see in the pattern of 2015 to 2016 was …Loki

And yes, that is true…I am working with Loki now.*

Though in late December 2015, I’d even gone as far as to pack up all of my altars -including His – because I was feeling disconnected from all of Them.

I was throwing what was essentially a tantrum of enormous spiritual proportions.

homerissues

I was trying so hard to feel and to do, and yet all I could feel was an immense sense of frustration and disconnection.

I was feeling what I thought that I was supposed to feel and I was doing what I thought was the ‘work’ that I needed to do…

And yet I was ….not.

Though I will admit what I did feel was this:

I wish you all had one neck and I had my hands around it.

(Those, by the way, are the second to last words of convicted murderer Carl Panzram, just before he was executed at Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1930)

(Do you see the WorldBreaker yet?)

Because that, my friends, is how I felt (inwardly, of course) about the whole business of not just the day to day functionings of my mundane life, but my spiritual life as well.

In late 2015, I definitely felt that if Life were a person, I wanted to choke that motherfucker out…and hard.

But I am not a violent person, so I could not even begin to guess where those feelings of rage were coming from at the time.

But I do…now.

dont-be-upset-1

(Yep.  That was me…being upset.  And oh…not working on my shit.  But boy, did I think I was!)

So, what changed?

Well, I can’t exactly write a recipe book now, can I?

It was my journey from 2015 on and through all of 2016 that  required a change in attitude towards a lot of situations that I didn’t particularly like that involved people that I didn’t particularly like.

I was entrenched in a battle of control and blame in my mundane life, and I was believing that these situations were somehow within my realm of control… but they were not.

I was the face of acceptance on the surface, but underneath all of that, I was angry and withholding.

I kept telling myself that I had let go of the past, but I had not….not entirely.

I was full of assumptions and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I was waiting and hiding and grumbling to myself.

I had expectations based upon assumptions, and I was feeding an ugly vicious cycle of blame and insecurity.

In short, I was living in the past, but thinking that I was moving on.

I thought I was open.  I thought I was being accepting and fair and loving and generous.  I thought that I was letting go.  I told myself constantly that I was holding myself accountable.  I was convinced that it was I who was fair and open and honest…and others were not.

It wasn’t me who refused to be, it was them.

And in my spiritual life – well, there’s a mirror.  I was insecure, tentative…also angry.

I had so much stuff on my altars.  I was meditating every day.  I felt like I was constantly giving Them time, giving Them energy, giving Them thought.

So why was I having the dark night of the soul?  Why was I feeling a fallow time?  Why did I feel so disconnected?

Because…you refuse.

You refuse to be open.

You refuse to be generous.

You do not allow….

You do not permit….

It will begin…when you begin.

BEGIN.

And so, in 2016, I began without even being aware of what I was beginning.

(Enter the WorldBreaker, stage left.)

Looking back upon the year, I realize that there were many occasions wherein I was thrust into many uncomfortable situations.

I look back upon these uncomfortable moments and I recall feeling forced to explain myself in many ways.

A lot of these moments featured me being forced to examine myself – my social anxieties, my prejudices, my decisions, my beliefs.**

But 2016 also rewarded me – the year even brought me a lot of growth, and even some new friends – or rather, I re-connected with myself in re-connecting with several ‘old’ friends – which led to my social circle increasing exponentially and unexpectedly at the same time.

As well, 2016 brought me joy in unexpected places (Arizona) and heartache in others (Washington DC)…but in the end, the slow change toward actually letting go of my need to control/create a specific outcome led to unexpected and entirely unforeseen outcomes.

While I do not have a lot of the same people in my life that I had had in 2015, I do have people in 2016.

As well, in 2016, I have done things that I never thought that I would do, I experienced things that I’d never dreamed of experiencing before, and craziest of all, I am actually working with yet another God that I had once insisted that I would *never* work with.

(Hel, as recently as two months ago, I would have refused to even look at Him, let alone work with Him in any way.)

Funny, how things can change so completely and so abruptly, eh?

onedecision

But that, my friends, is the story of a decision for another day entirely. 😉

 

So that was the trajectory of my 2016.

A year of rapid, dramatic (sometimes even melodramatic) emotional and spiritual change for me.

Courtesy of a relentless Breaker of Worlds.

Hail Loki, indeed ❤

~~~~

*In retrospect, I realize that up to a point, 2012-2015 was essentially ‘making a good show of working with Loki’ compared to  actually ‘working with’ Loki  :-/

**I felt ashamed, exposed…and about three months ago, it peaked in that a few folks even vilified me for speaking my mind, for writing what I wrote in this blog.  And yes, it stopped me.  A lot.

someday

 

 

 

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