When I took oath to my Lady She gave me a few simple rules to follow. I was no longer allowed to smoke. I was no longer allowed to consume beef in any way, shape, or form unless literal starvation was my only other option. I was not allowed to work with any male deities at all (although gender-queer is fine). I had to work on taking better care of myself health-wise. Etc. All simple, relatively easy to follow rules.
I also knew at the time that there were other rules that would get added later, all revolving around me vastly simplifying my life. She didn’t explain the reasons why these things would be required, just that they would be. I took it on faith that everything would be explained at a later time, made a mental note to start transitioning that way as early as possible, and went about my day.
Which was a good move on my part. Because I’m finally beginning to understand, and I am blessed.
Over the last few weeks my life has been rather tumultuous. As of last month I am living alone for the first time in over 10 years (I’ve been in co-housing situations for all but 5 months of my adult life). I got about a week’s notice that I had to relocate, had to scramble to find a place, and ended up moving the weekend a hurricane hit. I moved by myself, in the dark, and the power was out at my new place for days after I arrived (meaning no A/C during a Southern summer). I also had weeks of coping with a lack of, well, everything. As a minimalist who’s been traveling and co-housing for years, all I owned was some clothing, a netbook and phone, and some toiletries. I didn’t have any of the standard house stuff (a bed, cooking supplies, a laundry hamper, forks) and had to do without all of it for weeks. My car lasted long enough to move me and help me settle, but died soon after. I had to resign from my second job due to transportation issues. With no support system here everything I had to do became much harder. And on, and on, and on.
I couldn’t understand why all of this was happening at first – I was too busy putting out fires and coping with a seemingly endless list of disasters to see the bigger picture. Six weeks later my life has completely changed, and I get it.
All of that tumult and all the uncertainty I just pushed through? Looking back I can see Her hand through all of it.
I am now a pedestrian again, with no car and surprisingly no real need for one. The place I moved to? The first (and only) place I had time to look at? Happens to be in one of the very few areas in this town with any public transit options at all. I had to resign from my second job, but my first one is also reachable by bus. Even more interesting is that after I moved I discovered that my work is relocating closer to my new apartment in December. I’ll be able to walk there. How often does that happen? My job is even casual dress, so piercings and tattoos aren’t an issue and I can wear whatever I like. I am making enough money to live on, but only if I’m frugal and keep things to the basics. I’m in the midst of transitioning completely to green toiletries and cleaning supplies I make myself. I do my laundry by hand, find myself strangely looking forward to it, and have found that natural materials are much easier to handle that way than synthetics. Aside from a few kitchen gizmos my electronics are limited to a netbook, a cellphone, and an e-reader – I don’t own a TV and have no desire to do so. I have an expected period of not working (this is a contract job), so I’ve started a food storage system to help prepare for that. As a bonus that system will also work as basic disaster prep, which is something I appreciate after Katrina.
My life is now meeting all the requirements I was warned about years ago when I dedicated myself to Her service.
My life is slower now. I go to work, I come home. I experiment in my kitchen as money allows, making my own detergent and baking my own bread. I feel so much more centered! Every task I do with my hands forces me to be more aware of the day-to-day, anchors me in the here-and-now, which is making my life loads easier to manage. I’m also gaining a more seasonal appreciation of time, as well as its cyclical nature. I have a set routine – and I thrive on a consistent routine. My stress level has plummeted so much that I generally sleep through the night. My creativity and patience with people have both spiked, and I’m more willing to reach out to others than I was before. And my spiritual practice is flourishing. Every day I am gaining a deeper understanding of what She wants from me and for me. This is the most content I have ever been in my adult life.
There are still adjustments to be made, of course. The learning curve is fairly steep. Luckily I have the next few weeks to make necessary adjustments – all the requirements I learned about during my dedication Ordeal officially go into effect on Origination. My Lady is patient with mistakes as long as I’m really trying, but I have to really try. I am eager to embrace the challenge.
As someone claimed by a deity I take a lot on faith. It’s fundamental. This whole experience has almost rewarded me for that. It’s not just understanding some of the reasons behind all those requirements I learned about years ago, either. I now know, beyond any doubt at all, that my Lady is looking out for me in Her big picture way even when if feels like my life is imploding. With that kind of rock-solid certainty, who even needs faith?