bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: food for thought doesn’t come with a drink

Some food for thought from Patheos…

This article:

 The Toxic Narrative of “Being Chosen” by Gods and Bad Boys 

came across my Facebook feed yesterday afternoon.

  I am glad that it did.

Misha Magdalene’s words have given me lots of food for thought concerning Deities and the topic of consent as this is an issue that has been on my mind for quite some time.

Like the author, I too have definitely noticed a particular toxic narrative be bandied about in several Pagan communities, and I agree with the author to some degree on the most problematic aspects surrounding the belief that one has been ‘chosen’ by a Deity, and more importantly, the inherent unhealthiness of attraction and desire to be chosen by  ‘bad boys’ (let alone Deities) 1

Now, before I get too involved, I do want to state that while I agree with the author on some points in their argument, I do disagree with some nuances of their argument.

Allow me to explain…

While I agree that it is a toxic and unhealthy thing to believe that devotees “are powerless protagonists at the mercy of domineering [Gods Who are]

socially inept aggressors who control the relationship” 2

(because I believe that such a mindset is an insult to humans, let alone Gods;  aside of the fact that  as much as one might be tempted to apply tenets of human psychology to Gods, They aren’t human…)

but more importantly, I disagree with the author that the Gods don’t choose Their devotees

(because, sometimes, They do.)

BUT… on the point of contention concerning consent – I do believe that just because you are chosen by a Deity

– Loki or otherwise –

1.) Being ‘chosen’ doesn’t confer some extra legitimacy to your praxis

and

2.) You don’t have to say Yes.

But….this article gave me food for thoughts that led to several jumping off points in my head concerning consent in regards to Deities, more toxic narratives regarding Loki as found exclusively within Lokean communities, as well as some convoluted thoughts involving the ‘legitimacy’ surrounding experience, praxis and UPG within said Loki-friendly communities.

~~~

  1. “…some folks derive both personal validation and self-esteem from the fantasy—or, in some cases, the reality—of being romantically involved with someone who’s just bad news, relationship-wise. They’re emotionally stunted, they’re dangerous, they’re “troubled,” they’re emotionally absent, or they have some other personality issue which makes them fundamentally a poor choice for an emotionally intimate relationship. The kicker, though, is that it’s precisely this unsuitability which makes them such a desirable relationship partner. The risk of being harmed—emotionally, financially, even physically—makes the dalliance far more exciting and gratifying than being involved with someone safe and, well, boring. The thrill comes from the danger, but also from that feeling of being chosen. Remember, of all the people this moody, dangerous, emotionally distant partner could’ve chosen, they chose us. The “bad boy” doesn’t like anybody, but they like us… and that makes us feel wanted, desired, validated. It makes us feel special, and “feeling special” can be intoxicating, exhilarating, incredibly seductive.”
    (from the article)
  2. Ibid.

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Month for Loki, Day 18: Lost…and found.

Since I am still struggling with several overlapping illnesses at this time – ear infection, sinus infection, and general malaise – you may that I haven’t had much of the wherewithal to write these past few days.

Hence the reason that I’ve gotten so behind in keeping up with my daily posts this July in the Month for Loki.

But I have been reading a lot – and this powerful post came across my WordPress feed today, concerning Loki as a God Who is rather popular with folks who have struggled with various forms of abuse, difficulty, and dysfunction in their lives.    I agree with her especially in this:

One of the biggest groups of people who tend to find themselves interacting with Loki are those who have been abused in some way. The ones who have lost themselves and need to be guided back – who need to learn who they are again. Loki teaches us that it’s okay to not be okay. He teaches us that it’s okay to be wounded and feel the wound so that it can heal properly.

While my experiences were not exactly the same as those of Ms. Kyaza, I can relate to a lot of her experiences, especially in regards to dysfunctional family relationships.

I can definitely identify with the ambivalent feelings that arise out of having suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those whom I trusted most to love and respect me.

In fact, there were several occasions wherein I found myself dangerously close to tears while reading her post, as her description of her thoughts and feelings about her mother and their relationship so closely resonated with my own experiences so powerfully.

Reading her post made me feel a strange mixture of feelings.

I felt both a sense of exposure and a sense of triumphant relief in reading this post.

I felt an incredible sense of exposure and shame – as in reading her words, I was so acutely reminded of the immensity of my own desire to please my mother (and in turn, my siblings) who often rejected my efforts by responding with anger, ridicule or outright dismissal.  And yet, I remember that guilt, that shame.  I had grown up feeling that somehow, if I could just do better, work harder, love more – then finally, I would receive love; I would deserve love.

And yet, while reading, I also felt an undercurrent of strange relief – here was someone who writes so eloquently of navigating emotional landmines that I understand.

I felt understood.  I felt heard.

I am not alone in this pain.

I am not the only one.

You see, I have both loved and hated my mother and my siblings – and as a result, in turn, as a woman and as a mother, I have both loved and hated myself.  I struggled – and still struggle – with the emotional scars of my upbringing.  I crave to feel understood, to feel safe, to feel loved, and yet I have been skeptical of the existence of a relationship wherein I can feel understood, safe and loved.  Sometimes, I find myself skeptical of those who have tried to nurture me, so deeply ingrained was my belief that I did not deserve even my mother’s love, the love of my brothers and sisters.

It took me years to decipher that it was not my inadequacy or failing, but the lack of self-love and incapacity to receive love that my mother (and perhaps of those even further back) suffered with that continues this horrible chain.

It affects all of my relationships. I have tried valiantly to be the mother that my own wasn’t, and yet, I still find myself wondering if I’ve fallen short, if I’ve done a disservice to my children.  As a person, I have endeavored to be emotionally reliable, compassionate, and kind, and yet, sometimes, I am a victim of my own perfectionism and pessimism, and my own distorted habits and worldviews.

I am estranged from my family, even today.

But the truth is, I am no longer estranged from myself.  I am no longer lost.

I had to learn to break the cycle of the past.  It is daily work to remain mindful of my emotional responses and reactions whenever I interact with others.  (Is it kind? Is it necessary? Am I responding from a place of love and understanding rather than from fear or anger, for example.)

I have learned to be acutely aware of my own negative self-talk and self-limiting behaviors and beliefs.  I am learning to accept myself and recognize my strengths and weaknesses, as well as accepting and recognizing that everyone else also has their own struggles with similar issues, with similar emotions, behaviors and beliefs about themselves – and none of us are perfect.  Perfection is stagnation.

I am learning to allow myself …to feel vulnerable.  To feel angry.  To be open to my own emotions and not fear the emotions, reactions, or responses of others.  I am learning to be accountable.  I am learning to let go of what doesn’t work and focus on what does.  I am learning to let go and trust the process.  Trust Him and trust myself.

Loki taught me a lot of these things.  He has taught me to embrace imperfection, to confront fear of loss or change, to let go of the need to control outcomes, to work with what I’ve been given, and most of all, to allow myself, to open myself to love.

Love the process of living, love the process of learning.

Just…LOVE.

~~~

Hail Loki, God of the lost and…found.

Thank You for finding me.

 

 

 

 

 

Instead.

I saw this post in my media feed this morning and it got me thinking that I have this issue:

How often I almost reflexively blurt out ‘I’m sorry’ when I mean to say ‘Thank you.’

I hadn’t really thought out the issue, except that I have been made aware of my habit of apologizing for everything – even for qualities, occurrences, and behavior that require no apology.

A friend of mine -who oddly enough, has a degree in psychology even though she now works as an insurance adjuster for a corporate law firm – was the most recent person in my life to make me aware of my ‘sorry habit.’   She was always pointing out how much it concerned her that I would say ‘I’m sorry’ for the most mundane reasons, and she would often challenge me to attempt to go a whole day without saying ‘I’m sorry.’

And as much as I tried, I couldn’t do it.

She encouraged me to be mindful of my responses to various situations, and even though she tried hard to convey all the reasons why I should do it, she never put it quite as powerfully or as succinctly as this simple set of comic strips does:

If you want to say ‘Thank you’, don’t say ‘I’m Sorry’   (From the folks at Mental Floss)

This is just what I needed, and I found this article quite helpful.

Thank you for reading!

 

this drippy cold rain is bothersome and i admit i am part of the problem

Source: this drippy cold rain is bothersome and i admit i am part of the problem

Whoa.

Though I did not expect this post to go in the direction that it eventually goes, I maintain that this post may give others some food for thought.

Sacrifice.

Sacrifice is the practice of developing the habit of giving without expectation of immediate reward,
and cultivating faith in the larger generalized reciprocity of the universe.
It requires a leap beyond our fear of scarcity, our miserliness in the face of uncertain yields,
in order to let go of a little of what we find precious so that it may be shared.

Sacrifice cultivates the discipline of sharing. It does not require that we give up everything,
but it does require that we give.

Siegfried Goodfellow