Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Tao of Goldilocks
I remember when, in the midst of praying one day, I "heard" something that sounded like stop groveling. I was an excellent groveler at the time. I loved placing my teachers, lovers, and peers up on pedestals. I prostrated myself in front of the idols I worshipped. It was so unfair as these teachers, lovers and peers were as human as I was. My expectations were ridiculous. Oh my.
Next, I was told it was time to stop apologizing (unless an apology was called for). That was after I left the witchcraft community. I left ungracefully (some would say disgracefully) and owed many apologies. Once I started apologizing, it seems I couldn't stop, even when I had done as much apologizing as was warranted. I went on and on until one day the Voice in Shower said, Enough already with the apologies!
After that it became clear that the disclaimers and explanations I habitually offered about my shamanic lifestyle were just another way of both groveling and apologizing. So I stopped the disclaimers, too. Now I'm hearing from my spirit guides and animal guides that I can become proud of my role as shaman and elder. That's a big step!
Pride is a quality that's discouraged in the society in which I live. It surely is. But my guides are not asking me to be arrogant. No. They told me that Pride is a harmonious virtue of body-mind-spirit, a triple faceted quality - not blended. It's interesting to think about. According to my guides, I embody this virtue sometimes but could embody it more often. It would behoove me to embody pride more often. This harmonious virtue will help me take the next steps in my work and in my life.
"Take it on," said my Reiki teacher when we received the master attunement. She said, "You don't have to boast about it, but own it, please." She was urging us to integrate what had just happened, to allow this to become a part of us. I have silver hair, brown eyes and I'm a Reiki Master. No more, but no less either. That is the essence of the harmonious virtue of pride.
It's also a sublime example of the Tao of Goldilocks, something I've worked hard for many years to achieve. My life was, once upon a time, always too hot, too cold, too soft, too hard, too big and too small, but almost never just right. Really, almost never. When my life was too small, well, that's when I groveled, apologized and explained endlessly. When it was too big, I was bossy and cynical.
For years I bounced back and forth from too small to too big, from too much or too little of just about everything. Boing, boing, boing! It's exhausting to remember. Interesting to note that I felt OK about the times when my life was too small - one of those weird quirks I share with many women who love to diminish themselves on every level. I was proud to be deflated. When I realized my life had gotten too big and that I was going around officiously lecturing everyone on how they should be, I was always embarrassed. We're supposed to lose weight, be quiet, not cause trouble and remain small. We are definitely not supposed to get cocky, no. I'll be the first to admit that Lecturing Reya is no fun to be around, but shouldn't I have been alarmed to realize I'd been too small, too?
After ten years on the psychotherapeutic couch, over the many years of learning and teaching witchcraft, of going through a number of initiations, meditating every day and growing old enough to mellow out a little bit, I eventually learned there are many paths through this world that are not so extreme. It was a revelation.
I say with pride of the Goldilocks variety that I am a shaman, a Reiki master, a lover of cake, and many other things. I make mistakes as often as I do good deeds - no more, no less. The path of spirit is clear and my relationship with God is intimate, joyous and life sustaining.
Coming up on age 61, I am more at ease with the complicated mix of myself than I ever have been. Growing old is not easy, but it yields great rewards. I am grateful.