If you were to ask me my thoughts regarding getting permission to do something, even just two years ago, I would have said “It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.”
I’ve always loved that phrase – if you ask someone in authority for something, or to do something, there’s a very good chance they’ll say no; but if you don’t ask, and just charge ahead, maybe everything will be okay. Or so I reasoned at the time.
Maybe a part of me still believes that, but it’s fading. For a few reasons.
I have, like most people, a few habits or beliefs that I’m working to shed. Or maybe you’re not working to shed yours, or don’t even know they’re there. No judgement from me, I’ve been there. Sometimes it’s scary or confusing to even know where to start.
One of my bad habits is somewhat of an illegal thing, which I won’t go into details about here. Just rest assured reader, that it involves no violence or stealing, and hurt no one but myself. And is in the past now.
For sometime now, I’ve prayed to the Mother, and despite making a promise to myself to be honest with Her about everything, I’ve never brought my habit up. I made all sorts of excuses to myself about this ranging from semi-plausible (“well if She has a problem with it, She’ll tell me.”) to the frankly stupid (“maybe she won’t notice!”). In my defense, I am blessed to receive images from Her both during meditation and dreams that have a lot of guidance in them; Her telling me She doesn’t like something is certainly possible. However, I have made a choice to let the Goddess into the WHOLE of my life. Pointedly not-talking about a big chunk of my life is hypocritical at best, especially when the whole reason I wasn’t talking about it was over fear of what She’d say or do.
Realizing this, and struggling with it, I prayed to Her a while ago, and confessed everything; why I did what I did, why I felt it was justified, why I would never let it affect my devotions, how I responsible. I am embarrassed to say I began to cry really hard; I admitted that I hadn’t brought it up out of fear of Her response, and that, since I provide my habit to myself (not bought from someone else), my ability to provide for myself anything, in ANY way was actually a big self esteem thing for me.
Which I meant. I have only began to realize lately that I have talents and abilities and skills that are worth something.
To be able to naturally produce something on my own, that had value to me, was part of what gave me joy from my bad habit. A big part.
As I sat there, weeping, I didn’t know if I could even finish speaking and do what I planned to do, which was to symbolically give her my bad habit, and trust Her to do what was best. I had written it out on a little slip of paper, folded it, but was crying and struggling to do it. But it in the end, I realized there was no other option if I wanted to live with myself – other people are free to do as they like, again no judgement from me (my bad habit is now legal in several places, and I believe it should be here, despite what this post may make it sound like) but I can’t pretend to trust and love the Goddess in all things, and all Her forms, and then not trust Her with my own stuff.
Calling someone a hypocrite has long been my worst possible insult. I despise it in others – I can’t live with it in myself, at least not anymore. Though I don’t despise myself, or others, for it like I used to.
So eventually, all covered with tears and maybe even a little nose gunk (a lady should never have to admit snot has been in her presence), I said, “I give this to you, Ma, and trust you to decide what’s best.”
I then placed my little slip of paper in my Goddess Box (more on that another day), and thanked her. I felt calmer, and more cheerful, though still worried over what would happen. Praying to the Goddess, at least for me, has never been a isolated, “maybe something will happen” incident. I wondered over Her response.
A few nights later, I had a dream. I was with my stepmother, and we were both enjoying my bad habit. But then I accidentally ruined most of it – she comforted me, reminding me that I still had a little left.
Then I was alone, under the influence of my bad habit, at a drive-thru window, trying to order chicken nuggets, despite the fact that I haven’t eaten meat or poultry in 3 weeks and am not intending to in the near future. But I was so messed up, the lady on the other end of the speaker box couldn’t figure out what I wanted. She ended up giving me a sandwich.
And I guess it was a decent sandwich, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
Then I woke up. I wrote it down dutifully, like I do all my dreams, but honestly had no clue what to make of it. It was much shorter than my regular dreams too; most of mine involve long stories and lots of different things happening, kinda like a movie. This was just weird. It wasn’t even that entertaining. It wasn’t even that great of a sandwich.
A week later, and my bad habit-thing was ready, or mostly anyway; a small amount of it was ready for me early, which is nice. On the whole, my entire harvest/supply ended up providing me with even more than I’d planned! I was very excited, and while still somewhat nervous, unsure of the Mother and Her thoughts, I decided to enjoy the small amount that was ready early. The other 90% would have to wait another day for me to prepare it.
I promptly used most of the small portion available, and it started out glorious. But then I began to feel off. Maybe fear of upsetting the Goddess was ruining my experience (though I was more nervous than afraid by this point), I don’t know. But whatever caused it, I did not have my normal bad habit experience of pleasant numbness. I felt jittery, anxious, fearful and confused. My brain felt outside of my control. Understand that I am not a newbie at my bad habit – I know it’s different varieties and effects, and being the nerd I am, know quite a bit about the science of it, how it works in the human brain and body. I have read countless books, articles, even studies on the naturally-occurring chemicals involved.
But I hadn’t felt quite like this before. I immediately assumed, when it wore off, I had simply accidentally ingested too much, and the next day consumed the rest of what was ready early, which was less than the day before. I was immediately back in scary-town.
The next day, somewhat agitated and burnt out after two days of unpleasantness, the other 90% of my habit was ready, which filled me with both excitement and trepidation. I carefully prepared it as usual, only to discover, to my horror, afterwards that I must have done something wrong, somewhere, because no matter how much of it I ate, it did NOTHING.
All the rest of my supply. Gone. Somehow.
I have a theory about what I did wrong (though even that is iffy) but it is irrelevant, really. Because I understand the dream I received now, and am grateful to the Goddess for what She did.
I told Her how being able to provide for myself was important to me, and so my harvest was especially bountiful. I only got to enjoy a small portion of it (like in my dream), but even with that small portion, I did not enjoy myself (also like my dream – f**king sandwich).
She understood my need to provide for myself, and gave me a chance to do so – before allowing me to see how my habit could be very unhelpful to me at this point in my life. She then removed the habit, but only after I had been shown the above.
I have heard from others with habits like mine that once you get involved with energy/spiritual work, your brain and body don’t always react like they used to with such things. When you work with energy, or even just meditate and pray for long periods, it helps to have a clear and focused mind. And while I know of many who use intoxicating substances in aid of Tantric practices, shamanic journeys, and prayer, that takes time, practice, and guidance to do successfully. I do not have these. They also require very responsible use of the substance, treating it as part of a sacred experience, which I confess I am not the best at.
The Ma’s decision was therefore very fair, and in its delivery, the epitome of kindness. She could have taught me a lesson without explanation, without care for the pain it may cause – the police could have caught me, my supply could have not finished successfully at all, or the place where I grew it could of up and burnt down. She once cracked a shelf in half, somehow, that I was using as an altar to Her mid-prayer, while I was asking Her about needing to get a new altar (the answer was yes, it seems!). She is capable of extremes. That thing with the shelf left me slack-jawed.
However She is never cruel. That shelf She broke? Later that day I went altar-setup-hunting on a very limited income and found a perfect table sitting outside a used furniture store that was dirt cheap. Inside I also found a beautiful table cloth (for an altar cloth) and two vases and could afford it all. I was delighted. By the end of the day, I had a new altar to the Ma that made me feel happy and proud when I looked at it, which is more than I could say about the original. It is the favorite thing in my home now, simple as it still is.
She could have been harsh to me about my habit, though now I can’t fathom why I ever worried She would be. I call her the Ma for a reason; good mothers are never needlessly cruel, and what parent wouldn’t do their best to comfort their child while still keeping them healthy?
I know this post is getting long, so I’ll finish with this: maybe with people in your life, you can get away with begging forgiveness instead of asking permission. Maybe. But the Divine, however you conceive Her/Him/It to be, is not going to go for that – I have no doubt the Ma had Her plans for dealing with my little problem if I never brought it up.
Just as I have no doubt that She probably pushed me to feeling I HAD to bring it up (though I like to think my own sense of honesty was mostly responsible). I often say and admit things to the Ma that would probably shock you if you were there to hear me; though I try hard to always be respectful, and cultivate as much love as possible in myself for Her, I strive for unflinching honesty. When I still have occasional doubts in Her? She hears about it. When I feel frustrated and stuck, wondering where Her help is? She hears about it. When someone’s a dick to me and I feel like going She Hulk on them? The Ma gets the full story, angry-Krissy-raving sometimes included if I’m still worked up. And when I’m suddenly struck by the realization that She has been helping me and I didn’t even notice? She hears about it, plus some tearful apologies for the other day when I felt all stuck and made you listen to it (Sorry Ma).
If you plan on praying to ANYTHING, with true faith, the Deity of your choosing will take an interest in your whole life. And you can either accept that, learn the lessons you need to learn and be grateful (remember what I said about good parents never being needlessly cruel?), or you can fight and rebel against those lessons. You can get angry, or fearful, or lose faith and dismiss the whole thing as nonsense.
…well then why were you praying in the first place?