What is this, then?
This is my first post in more than two years. A friend of mine recently started following my piddly two posts, and I took the time to sort of go over them and get a feel for what I was trying to do then. I’m in a slightly different space, but much has remained the same. Let’s take a new look, shall we?
I am a imperfect human, filled with fallible issues and opinions. I look over the past posts about what I am, and why I became a Pagan. Why did I choose to become a Pagan? It spoke to me. That is the kind of phrase you get to hear tossed around a lot in the community. But in my acceptance of being a Pagan, in my acceptance of entering into this wonderful, beautiful tradition of “alternative” religions, I realized something fundamentally important. I don’t do anything constructive.
I am a contrary, sometimes-bitter, contradictory man. I deconstruct. I often criticize without offering alternatives, without offering anything truly worthy of recognition and sharing. I don’t create. To be sure, I pride myself on being able to cut through the flippant, often flowery, excuses some people offer. I am a force of unrestrained exposure of issues, of problems, and thoughts and ideas. This mentality is one of my entire existence, and Paganism is one such facet of it. To some people, I can come across as a smug, condescending prick. Other people, I’m just an irate asshole.
In regards to Paganism, I think I fall prey to this often because I am a solitary practitioner. I don’t have a community to showcase works, to relish and extol the creative, beautiful aspects of the faith. I do my own thing, and I exist in somewhat of a vacuum.
Being a solitary is fine. But adding the unnecessary, contrariness to it makes it unhealthy.
The concept of personal honor is important to me and I find, looking back on it all, that I have behaved dishonorably.
There is so much in this world that makes me sick to my stomach, twists me into a bitter, spiteful person. I wonder, who couldn’t be disgusted with what they see? With witch hunts in Africa and the perpetrators of them coming to the United States? Laws drafted to protect the rights of a very powerful majority of people at the expense of (often) innocent minorities. Where Pagan parents are dishonored and verbally and emotionally assaulted, or threatened with death, because they want to protect their children from a proselytizing, coercive form of a faith.
It is hard not to get swept up in an me vs. them, or an us vs. them mentality. But, like it or not, these people exist. And we have to work to get past them. I have pet peeves like everyone else. But…we are better than that. I know I have to behave better than that. I do not “turn the other cheek”. I stand my ground. But at the same time, I find myself being twisted in opposition, blindly, with my innate criticism turning darker and less objective.
It needs to end. I’m too old to be this angsty.
I’m not going to become some great person in the Pagan community. I do not know the inner thoughts about people who build themselves up as posters on Paganism, their faith, or any other subject. I have friends who post beautiful works, insightful pieces, and honestly help others with their views. And what do I do? Deconstruct, criticize, or generally host unhealthy thoughts.
My plan is to make changes. Change is something that’s been thrown around, every new year, every election, every time we get in a rut. “I will make changes”. How many truly follow through? I know my track record is abysmal. I lose interest. I lapse. I forget passwords, and get caught up in other, pointless, things where I don’t do anything. I have lapsed too long in stagnation in this, my faith, and in other things that I want to do with my life. Seriously. What have I done in the past few years, since I got out of undergrad? Nothing worth mentioning. Even if it is not noteworthy, I should be doing something I can be proud of in some small way.
I need to do this, to clean myself out. To be more constructive and to let go of this negativity. Not to be too New Age about it.
Oops. There I go again.
Okay. Maybe a little bit of criticism.
…a lot of it.
I am going to try to be more creative. More constructive. Less contrary and rant prone.
Let’s do this thing.