At seven years old my favorite question to ask every adult was “do you believe in God”. I received a lot of answers, most of which was “no” with atheism being trendy in the 80s. I wasn’t raised in a Christian household and the concept of God was abstract. My grandmother would tell me that Jesus died for my sins, but it didn’t mean much to me as a child who had yet to commit anything that would be considered a sin. We said the Lord’s Prayer in school and the words were hollow to me. My father was not in heaven, he was a long-haired rock musician who was larger than any concept of a God.
When I entered my late teens, I started reading about paganism and Odin. This was a god I could get behind. He sacrificed his eye for knowledge. He hung from a tree in order to reach enlightenment. I could see a purpose behind this kind of spirituality – for me growing and learning are a big part of my reason for showing up in this incarnation. This started me on a couple of decades practicing and following the pagan path. Through the years, I’d learned to honour and to develop relationships with the Gods. And over that time, started to see them as parental figures, similar to the Christian archetypes I’d been exposed to as a child.
Funny thing about parent/child relationships though – they often provide a breeding ground for dysfunctional behavior and this is what happened to me a about three years ago. I felt as though the Gods should “take care of me” given all the adoration and exaltation I’d given them. I felt as though my requests should be answered, that all my hard work be rewarded. I’d gone through a very challenging time in life – working harder than I’d ever worked and my existence was starting to become dry and material. I couldn’t see value in things beyond the jewelry I wore or the cash in my wallet. I was kind of angry that such spiritual person had to struggle so damn much. I had times of deep skepticism which fostered worry, anxiety and way more stress than I should have been carrying. There were times when I felt like I was losing my mind because I had so many thoughts flying around. And not the good kind.
As my challenges evaporated (or maybe I became stronger), I started to release the tension and anxiety I carried. I pulled out some of my old books, the ones that captured my imagination. I looked for the magic in the world that I was blind to because of my own drama. I found the courage to hope a little for better days to come. To open myself up a little more to love. I reached out to the Gods and I new and loved. My faith returned.
A lot of people believe that growth happens after a struggle. And when you believe that, struggle is what you get. Deepak Chopra talks about how a flower doesn’t struggle to blossom, it doesn’t try to speed up the process. It happens according to the Law of Least Effort.
Allowing life to unfold in miraculous ways with the Gods gently guiding me allows me to relax and to do what I came here to do – learn and grow. My teachers are the complex and mysterious gods.
And I’m their patient and faithful student.