“Know Thyself” is a truism, one of those little proverbs that’s sprinkled around like confetti. While it’s a goal most of us have, and it floats around in the back of our heads a lot, it’s much harder to do than it is to say.
I’ve always considered myself fairly flexible. I tend to like routine and adore schedules, but I’m willing to follow opportunities as they knock and go with the flow. Until now, growth for me has generally been something fairly incremental. I’ll examine myself, realize that something inside me changed when I wasn’t looking, acknowledge and process said change, and then move on. I haven’t had to force it, I’ve just had to notice that it had already happened and adjust. it’s been startling and uncomfortable, but for the most part I’ve handled it fairly well.
The few times it hasn’t happened that way have been beyond painful. I’ve had two major life crises. One left me utterly broken for over two years, suicidal and spiritually bereft. If not for my Lady’s support I honestly think I would have died. The second wasn’t nearly as bad, but still left scars. Both times my Lady was a source of strength, a lantern in the darkness to guide me back and the foundation upon which I rebuilt myself. I just had to trust Her.
Now all of that trust is getting put to the test.
I had drawn boxes in my head and hadn’t realized it. On the one hand, me. A Priestess, a votary, a living offering to Her. I serve my Lady as best I can, work with the other Realms, perform various services as I go, but I have been encouraged the whole time to set my own course. In a wholly different box is the Shaman. One who serves at the whim of the spirits, lives within very narrow boundaries, and whose courses are often set by other entities.
I know those boxes aren’t totally accurate – that they are in fact laughably simplistic – but that’s how I’ve divided it out in my head. I’ve been so, so grateful to be in the Priestess box and not the Shaman box.
Except now I’m being moved from one box to the other. Or the boxes are merging. My Lady is working with other entities to set my course for me. As always with Her, it’s my choice to embark on the path. But there are no do-overs, no breaks, no take-backs. Once I take the step it’s done, and my whole life will profoundly change. It’s a commitment that terrifies me, because I don’t know how much of what makes me me will be lost in the doing.
it’s been a huge struggle for me to learn to live my own life. One of my hardest lessons has been learning how to create and maintain boundaries, how to value myself beyond the services that I provide others. Now as an adult I set my own course. I no longer apologize for having needs to be met, for disagreeing with those around me, for having an opinion, for taking a stand.
Looking into my inner mirror, I see that my constant need to travel is part of how I’ve done that. I stay in control by not tying myself down. I live and leave at MY whims, no one else’s, because now I can.
What my Lady is asking of me is a bit complicated, but part of it involves being physically bound to a limited area for life. For the first few years anything more than a weekend trip away will be a lot to ask, and I’ll have to get permission. After that I’ll have a bit more freedom of movement, but not a helluva lot. Once I’m there I’m rooted. And I don’t even know WHY. I’m going into the situation with next to zero information. All I know is that I’m eventually bound for the East Coast or the Pacific Northwest.
My Lady is definitely one of cycles. The Wheel turns round, and I can see how this whole situation is bringing me right back to where I was when I started this whole process. Will I take the step, and hope it turns out differently this time? Will I put myself right back into the helplessness I tried so hard to escape? Or will I run away, preserving what I’ve worked for and finding it hollow at the end? Have I grown enough to lay the groundwork for a different result? Is this my final exam, or has everything just been a pre-req for this?
I’m looking at myself in the mirror, trying to know myself, and I feel blinded. I’m having to re-examine everything. The trust this requires is staggering, and I don’t know if I can do it. It’s not like the doing will be something I can grit my teeth through – it’s a permanent change that opens the door to a whole bunch of things that honestly freak me the hell out.
For now I can legitimately put this decision off for a bit. I can’t do it while I’m here in the South, and right now leaving is not a viable option. But it won’t be like that forever, and time grows shorter every day. I need to figure out which way I’m going to jump now, because when the question is officially asked I’ll need to know how to answer.