It’s harder, some days than others, to be a functional adult. There’s always something in my life to stress about, always something that needs to be done. But things progress, one way or the other, somehow. I’ve been focused on looking at life as a child would: appreciating the little things, spending time in the present enjoying all of life’s blessings. There are always blessings, although it’s difficult to find them at times. In these past few months, I found my way back to religion and spirituality, and it seems so strange: I spent so many years adamant there was Nothing and Nobody out there. My days begin with counting my blessings, opening my heart to the Gods, thanking the Universe for all it’s given me. It’s been a very long time since I’ve welcomed any sort of Higher Being into my life. It feels uncomfortably vulnerable, but I’ve been growing a little more day by day. My days are filled with reflection and prayer, but it’s not something I’ve done long enough to remember to do it every day. As somebody who was raised under Christianity, I find myself comparing all of the Pagan Gods to the Christian one, though they couldn’t be more different. If I forget to pray for a day or two, or forget to thank the Universe for my meals, or even if I treat somebody with a slight amount of disrespect – I feel I should repent, that I’ve angered the Gods, that they will have a vengeance toward me for ever after. It’s dramatic, sure. That’s what I’ve grown used to.
Meditation can be a grounding activity. Relaxing is hard to do; it always has been, for me. I try and embrace the silence, to ground myself with the elements and the environment, but I can never seem to calm my mind. There must be some kind of noise in my background: soft music, a wind-chime, background mumbling. I can’t focus my mind without something to focus it on. It gets hard to keep everything straight. Yesterday I left an offering to the Gods, an I sat in candlelit silence and meditated in their presence, and I felt at peace. It’s how I know They’re there, the peace. When the sun shines down on me and I feel welcomed and just pleasant. When I sit underneath the moonlight and feel at home and at peace. I am becoming one with nature, which I have never really tried all that hard to do before, but which I think I needed. It feels odd to explain to other people, still. It feels odd to explain to people who don’t believe the same things I do. It feels unwelcoming, sometimes, practicing my newfound faith around others, and I know that’s just because of my internal phobias. The phobia of ridicule. The phobia of society. Human fears. The more I ground myself and grow my self-esteem, the easier it becomes to stand up for what I believe in, and to be true to myself. Two things which, of course, I’ve been awful at for most of my life. Hail the Lady, and the Lord. I am improving.
Once more, I’m fumbling with balancing my internal environment with my external one. How is my subconscious connected to my relationships with others? It’s the journey of learning to be strong, grounded, assertive, and kind, equally. It’s a foolish thought of mine that sometimes I’m running out of time to perfect myself and figure out my life. It’s a foolish thought because, although I’m nearing my thirties, there’s more than enough time. There is this lifetime, and the next, and the one after that. There is, possibly, an infinite number of lifetimes. I used to lie in bed, unable to sleep, petrified of the thought of death and all its gruesomeness. This is something I have not done in weeks, perhaps months, since I was welcomed by religion. I suppose it helps, believing that I will be reborn into a new body after the death of my current one. I suppose it helps knowing there is Someone out there to watch over my body and my spirit.
They say you should do one thing a day that scares you. For me, recently, this was expressing myself truly on social media, in front of people I knew would judge me. This is always intimidating, to put oneself voluntarily into a vulnerable position, but I’m beginning to understand the growth that can occur from this. I have had more mental growth these past few months than I think I have had in years. Maybe other people can’t tell, but I can. I feel a different way about myself and my environment. Despite this, society is a harsh mistress. I can change myself, but I can never change someone who is unwelcoming to change, and I’m frustrated by this. But I’ve learned it’s pointless to try and change a person’s ways if they don’t want them to be changed. I’ve learned it’s a waste of time and energy, and that all I can really do is focus on bettering myself. There have been several instances in the past little while which have greatly disrupted my inner peace, and it takes time to quit allowing these things to affect you. I need to become calmer, to take a few breaths and balance myself, before jumping into conversations I am upset by. I know this, and I make a conscious effort to become a more peaceful person: because, though I am good at masking externally, my mind is seldom at peace.
I had a close friend, a couple weeks ago, decide she no longer wanted anything to do with me because of my sexuality and the things I am passionate about. I wasn’t bothered by this as much as I was bothered by the future effect of her bigotry on her children. It’s about the children. As a parent, it’s always about the children. I want to be better – calmer, kinder, gentler – for my child more than I want it for myself. This is the way it always is. I can put on a façade, pretend not to care about the hateful things people spew, but of course I care. Why can’t everyone be kind and understanding to each other? is a thought I’m often struck with. We can wish this as many times as we want, but the fact of the matter is that some people will always be hateful. And it has nothing to do with us. They are hateful because of their own insecurities, their own self-esteem, their own upbringing. When someone tells me I’m an awful parent – or I’m ruining my child’s life, or I’m stupid and don’t know anything – I can be upset by it. Truthfully, I always am. I’m learning how to separate personal prejudices from professional opinions, and how to disregard things I know to be untrue. Does this make sense? They say the most unkind people are the ones who need kindness the most. I guess it’s just hard to know where to draw the line sometimes.
It’s harder, some days than others, to manage anxieties and insecurities. There’s always some sort of anxiety, despite how hard I try to appear otherwise; it isn’t something that will just disappear overnight. Overcoming mental obstacles takes years of practice and self-awareness. It can be discouraging and uncomfortable and scary, because I think it’s necessary to learn how to let yourself be vulnerable, but I can do it. And you can do it, too, whoever you are, whatever you’re struggling with. You can overcome your obstacles, and find peace, and calm that thunderstorm that rages inside of you. Just breathe, and remember you’re alive, and remember you’re loved, and we’ll survive alright.