Friday, March 25, 2011
You know, my friends often played at super heroes, but I never did. I always wanted to be Laura from Little House on the Prairie. What does that mean? Perhaps my means of serving others is more mundane. I liked animals enough, but never felt a call to save them, or the world.
How have youthful dreams influenced the choices you have made as an adult?
As a child, I just knew that I couldn't be like my mother. I suppose that's a normal feeling, however my own circumstances were different enough to make it an important choice. Ending that cycle of abuse before it continued was of immense importance. I dreamed long and hard about having another mother, any mother but the one I had. Then I found the Goddess of the Wiccae, and discovered that I'd had a decent mother all along, I just hadn't known about her. She led me to other Divine Guides and spirits and gods, and eventually to the path I am currently on.
Who are your current heroes and heroines?
I have to say, of the people I personally know, Alison Jacobs is one of my greatest heroines. She's the lady who was the interim pastor at my church when I first joined, and she brought home to me the adage about "minister being a verb, not a noun." She embodied what I myself wanted to be in a minister, and she listened and encouraged me as I sought out a way to make that come true. There are other people who influence me: Gray's mother, sis, my daughter, my friend RussetShadow. But Alison is the one that touches me in my soul, a real soul mate.
That call is what brought me to seminary, so yes. I've felt the call to serve for a very long time, but didn't know how to follow through. I muddled through my early years in Wicca, trying to answer a call that the particular tradition couldn't really respond to. It was like having a phone but no service - I wanted to answer but there just wasn't anything on the line. Finding The New Seminary really made the difference to me. It gave me a place to channel my need to serve and a way to answer that call. In some ways it's opened a whole new bundle of questions that need answering, but that's alright. Eventually, I'll get where I need to be. It might even be that where I am now IS where I'm needed most.
How do you keep your heart open and not get overwhelmed by the needs you see around you?
Sometimes I get overwhelmed, though less now than I used to. I've mastered the art of saying, "No," when necessary, and I'm fairly good at prioritizing things when I have to. I don't always do these things (hence I get overwhelmed sometimes) . Mostly, I try to be honest with the people around me. If I'm feeling over-tired or over-stretched, I let them know. That way, there's no surprise if I have to walk away for a bit to recharge.
How do you know "when to hold, when to fold"?
I try to listen to my body and my mental processes. If I'm tired all the time, it might be time to fold. If I am sick, or stressed, or feeling "thin" or "stretched" in some way, again it might be time to fold. I try to be vigilant for those feelings so I have the opportunity to finish a section or part of what I'm doing before folding, thereby leaving a situation in a good place rather than a bad one. If I'm just feeling disgruntled or out of sorts from one or two small things, I will try and work my way through it. Again, that honesty is important, not just for others but for myself as well.
I like to go on retreats, listen to instrumental music, and write. Sometimes I like to do things like chop wood and carry water, and other times I like to do yoga or tai chi. It really depends on why I need to replenish, and how long I have.
How do you balance your needs with those of others?
Right now, I'm stressing over this one. I think I used to do a pretty good job of this, but with the pending poly-divorce, I have been shying away from balancing my needs with the people who have opted out of the relationship. Mostly, I just want to see MY needs are met, and the needs of my family, and not worry so much about THEM. I realize this is not a great way to look at things, but at the moment it's where I am. Time may heal those wounds, but right now they're pretty fresh.