I have been lucky enough in my life to receive some really awesome gifts from some really awesome people. I’m not necessarily meaning the most EXPENSIVE gifts; but instead simply things that I truly needed, or had a large emotional impact.
But of all the gifts I’ve received, and all the pleasures I’ve been blessed enough to be granted, none come close to Her.
Just Her. The knowledge of Her was a gift – one I was never truly aware of for many many years having grown up in a primarily Christian setting. The idea of Her existing, even before I could really bring myself to admit She was real, was intoxicating, enraging, scary, fascinating, beautiful, repulsive, and strangely logical all at the same time. I am having trouble, as I write this, just conveying how powerful the gift of the idea of Her alone was. I guess maybe you have to be there.
But if the idea of Her was a gift, prayer to Her became an even greater one – though it’s a gift that all too often, especially in the very early days, has been hard to appreciate. So many of my morning prayer sessions have been fogged over by clouds of my own fear; “Will saying this upset Her?” “Will thinking this upset Her?” “I slept late -will She be mad I’m praying later than normal?”
This went on and on in my head for sometime (and honestly it still does sometimes – you can’t imagine the terror I felt when I accidentally burped during prayer), though it is fading now. And I’ve written on here about overcoming fear before. And though my fear may sound silly, it comes from old places – growing up, my mom could be very emotionally abusive, and as a result I came to expect all mother figures would be cruel, and eventually leave me. Combine that with all the Angry-God-The-Father talk I heard growing up in church and it’s no wonder that now, as a adult, I am having to literally retrain my brain to accept a extremely revolutionary (for me) thought:
That maybe I’m not so bad. Maybe the Goddess does love me; maybe She won’t leave me. Maybe She is going to stay.
This idea was so foreign to me that I felt horribly guilty the first time I thought it. I literally physically cringed, my stomach spasming, and mentally began tearing myself a new asshole. How dare I assume that I’m good enough for such a thing. How dare I assume all my many awful qualities would warrant the love of a Being so powerful. How dare I assume that this Being, after apparently creating me and watching me all this time, could possibly love me.
…But that’s the thing. That’s what was tripping me up for so long, and is maybe the greatest gift She’s given me (so far): making me realize how fucking crazy my idea of motherhood had become.
See, when you grow up around something everyday, it becomes your normal. And even though I might know logically my mom hurt me, it was still, deep down, my “normal” for moms to treat their daughters that way. Like I mentioned in my past post about my mom, I am working to forgive her now, and this isn’t about blame. But that was my mom-normal. But it’s not normal. Not at all. In fact, most mothers I think, including Her, love their children with a total acceptance and fierceness that boggles the mind.
And it’s only now, as time passes and the Goddess gives me dream after dream of guidance, plus a comforting presence in my life, plus guidance throughout my days and in my mind and in the people and events around me, that I can begin to accept Her even-greater-gift-than-I-mentioned-above-because-I-was-lying-for-dramatic-effect-I’m-sorry:
Her love itself. Because we can all GIVE gifts or love (of a form) ourselves – people give crappy gifts and fall in love without trying every freaking day.
Receiving gifts, especially receiving love, in a gracious and accepting fashion, is much, much, much harder.
Even in little ways we refuse love and gifts and even loving gifts – we argue when a family member or friend tries to give us a item or small amount of money “No no no, you don’t need to do that,” or deflect compliments by insulting ourselves “What? No, what are you talking about I look like shit today!”
People spend huge chunks of their lives looking for easy money, easy love, easy beautiful gifts for themselves, and yet refuse even the smallest gifts from those close to them. This doesn’t make you humble – it reveals you as fearful; fearful of receiving.
But gifts are everywhere, both spiritual and physical, and, for many of us, the only thing keeping us from prosperity is our lack of acceptance of them. Giving a gift is powerful of course, especially a truly meaningful one – but so is receiving. To open yourself, be vulnerable just a bit, to accept something new (even as small as a compliment) into your life. To trust the person giving to not judge or criticize you for accepting what’s offered.
Even just the little things, gifts you can give yourself. Like dancing. I don’t even mean going out – today, at the advice of a friend, I put on some Fleetwood Mac and danced around my apartment for a bit. I needed it. It felt powerful and beautiful and okay, yes honestly, a little silly. But that’s okay. The fact that I am alive, and on the path I’m on, and have enough money to support myself right now and food in the fridge and a family who loves me and Goddess-love all around me and am just ABLE, physically, to walk, talk, climb, jump, fuck, and yes dance…these are all gifts. I am grateful, and embrace them now.
Please kindly do so as well.