I’ve been hesitant about posting these thoughts because they were the foundation of a lot of my posts on my old blog and I didn’t want this project to turn into that experience again. Part of the reason I shut down my old blog was because I felt that, by constantly talking about this, it was bringing me down even further and partly keeping me from moving forward. I would go back and reread those old posts, remember old feelings, and essentially just begin the cycle over again: happy, apathetic, depressed.
But after reading Satsekhem’s latest post on her desire for spiritual nourishment, I think I can post about this again without beginning that downward spiral once more.
I mentioned before that I was depressed after Anubis abandoned me, but that’s not the whole story. In truth, I had been feeling depressed when it came to my faith and my spirituality for about two years before those events. It’s a frightening thing, feeling like your Path isn’t good enough for you.
I had been lost for awhile, wandering through The Forest, before finally lacking the strength to walk through The Forest after Anubis had left me. My magic and my beliefs felt superficial, but no matter what I tried to do to crack through the glossy veneer of Pagan that I had adorned many years ago, nothing helped. I felt like a joke, a caricature of the Pagan faith, like I was play-acting at religion and nothing I did had meaning. There was a dull ache inside my chest. It sat there, heavy on my heart, and I carried it with me daily but I never spoke of it. It was due to this that I began my previous blog, to voice the concerns and issues I faced each day and try to make sense of it.
I think it’s that ache I wanted to write about when I started this; that heaviness you can feel inside you when you know there’s Something More Than This, but you don’t know how to get it. You can’t find it and no matter what you do you can’t dull the ache. It’s almost dense and it feeds off your insecurity as you try to fill it, as you dig in the soil of your soul and try to fill that gaping maw. I can feel it again, just now, a remnant of those years I spent in darkness, depressed and empty, devoid of spiritual meaning. I longed for something, but I didn’t know what.
There are times in our life we feel this way. Maybe not everyone, but some. Times we feel dull or useless, wondering if what we’re doing with our lives means anything. There always has to be Something More Than This, something we’re missing, something we lack. It’s an ache, an emptiness, a gaping maw of despair that refuses to yield. Reading Satsekhem’s post tonight, I remembered those feelings. I don’t know if this is the same feeling as she’s going through now, but it reminded me of them.
What I think that experience boiled down to, in the end, was a lack of faith. I believed, but I don’t know that I had faith. For much of my spiritual life, the life I’ve led since I began this crooked Path and even before, I’ve described myself as a “wannabe Mulder.” I want to believe, but I need evidence. I need facts and I need data. Most of all, I need experience, preferably on my own. I think that’s what I was lacking then, what I needed to fill the hole I felt inside. I needed something to push me, to show me that “Yes, it’s real.”
As a kid, I’d had my experience with Anubis “tapping me on the shoulder.” I’d experienced other things, too. Seen things. But I was a creative child, so as I grew older, I pushed those thoughts away, packed them in a little box, and labeled them as fake and manufactured by my wee child mind. Today, I still wonder if everything I recall is truly a memory or an overlay of something I’ve read on settings I grew up in.
When I began to walk this Path, I began recalling these experiences. Other things began happening, too. I’ve heard it said that when you begin to walk this kind of Path, Things and Beings begin to take notice of you. Perhaps that’s what happened. But even so, I doubted. I was skeptical. I shook my head and walked with blinders, thinking surely these things were not real.
And then I lost my way. I found myself deep in The Forest, lost and off the Path, stuck in the muck and the mud without a light to guide me. The darkness had closed in. I was lost.
Writing this now, I’m finding myself lost again. Originally, as I began this post, I had a point. I know I did. But as I began to write this, I realized I had a lot of thoughts and feelings that may not have been as completed as I thought they were. Perhaps I’m still a little lost. My lantern might still be a little too dim to fight away the darkness in The Forest, but I have it now, where I had nothing before. I’m walking again, and that’s enough for now.
This might require another post in the future. Perhaps it’s time to reread those old posts once again.