(Personal rambling ahead; sense is not guaranteed.)
Always the best foot forward in a relationship, isn’t it? Sending out the first calls, getting used to the way Their names are foreign, shaped with a mouth used to speaking English, learning a few words of Their language. Searching out for some things They’re known to like, and the first time you are able to present it to Them. Learning how to make offerings, and the shy delight I felt that They seemed to accept it.
The first time I really asked for something, and I received Their blessing.
Then the smaller, but frequent calls. Like checking in, saying hello, including Them in my daily life.
It sounds so human, doesn’t it? Talking to the Gods like They’re best friends? Well, NOT quite like that, but the nuts and bolts of a relationship have some of the same components. My relationship experience is somewhat short, but the daily effort to show your care, your sincerity, that you WANT to know them meant more than the occasional gift and offering keeps a friendship alive.
I also learned that eventually, They’re going to see the unsavory parts of me. Of course They can, They’re Gods. Not the sins, not the general khat’sa of being a mere human. They’ll see that too.
It was the first time I showed I didn’t trust Them.
The first time, I thought I was going to die. I was afraid of dying in my sleep, the way my heart wouldn’t stop racing. Didn’t have the meds yet to control my blood pressure, and I’d already taken a ride to the ER. I was scared. I would die alone and scared in my bed, in the dark, and not knowing which Gods to call out to. For though I had stepped away from Christianity, knowing the prayers, knowing what to say was a safety net. Looking for that safety net in the old prayers, and not in the Gods I professed to seek and care for…well, it made my hypocrisy clear to me. I wasn’t ready to trust Them.
The crisis passed, and I spoke to the Gods again, who for me are the Canaanite deities. The only thing I could offer was honesty, and apology. While I did not sense coldness from Them, the truth of my own cowardice was enough to remind me.
Here I’d like to say “And I learned my lesson, and we’re totally Best Buds now.”
Actually, I even did it again. Showing Them my…losing side. I have anxiety issues, and they can be made worse by coffee, junk food, or even just that time of the month. When this perfect storm strikes, I get afraid. Of everything. I’m afraid to go to work. I’m afraid of the criticism that hadn’t even happened yet. For two hours in the morning, I was ready to call in sick and stay home “to rest”.
The side that gives in, that gives up, who retreats behind weaknesses and all the bad, disparaging, discouraging things people have ever said about me. It had nothing to do with thinking They weren’t going to come through for me. I wast ashamed of showing Them my personal weaknesses. The positive things I have found from acknowledging my weaknesses are; realizing that switching from one spirituality to another does nothing (nothing!) to fundamentally change what I did/was before. And two; all last change must be done through my own hands and heart. I think it’s a misconception that the Gods are going to transform you without your consent. Yeah, something is going to change–but the you-ness remains: the accomplishments, the wounds, the questions and the dreams.
It can be hard to swallow that I didn’t give the Gods my best. It’s a bitter pill, but one that gives me strength to say, “I apologize. Let’s try again.”