Avoiding Yourself

Recently, I’ve been poking about the pagan blogosphere.  This isn’t something I’ve done with much seriousness since, what, 2003?  At that point, there really wasn’t much good pagan blogging going on.  I kept coming across scads and scads of teenage girls’ LiveJournals, almost all of which which blatantly ripped off Scott Cunningham and Silver Ravenwolf.  They’d be intensely updated for a month or so, then abandoned for the rest of time.  The frustration was overwhelming.

There’s still far too many of these blogs clogging up the search engines, but good circles populated by excellent authors have sprung up in recent years.  Often, many of these authors are respected by other pagans and have even published a book or two of their own.   Lately, I’ve been rather addicted to T. Thorn Coyle’s Know Thyself.  Thorn is, of course, the author of Evolutionary Witchcraft and the host of the superlative podcast Elemental Castings.  She’s definitely something of a Craft powerhouse, and her work is fascinating.

Lately, though I can’t get a specific post of her’s–“Rallying Cry: a Rant”–out of my head.  More accurately, I can’t get the introduction out of my head:

I recently spoke with a spiritual direction client who had been not stepping toward the altar every day, not sitting in meditation or contemplation, not engaging will or making time. Why? Because ze was afraid at what ze might find. My response was this :

“Avoiding yourself does not make your life go away.”

Here I am, doing these Roderick exercises, going to circle meetings, and doing a lot of stuff that makes me look like I’m stepping up to my altar, but–in reality–I’m still hiding.  I’m not doing meditations.  I’m not really working with energy.  I’m not grounding.  This carries over to my day job, too.  I barely get my class readings done, I’ve not been pulling together amazing teaching plans, I’m not keeping abreast of journal articles, and my own research is totally and completely pathetic.  To be honest, it even carries over into my personal life.  I barely exercise, I don’t date, and–outside of running errands or going out to dinner with Johnathan–I almost never leave my house.  I sit and watch TV and play on the internet all day long.

It’s all because I want my life to go away.  I’m not happy, per se.  I’m doing a lot of things that make me busy and make me look like I’m walking the witch way, the scholar way, the domestic goddess way (several of my housemates tell me I’d make an excellent wife…which I suppose is meant to be a complement), but it’s all a show.  I’m not getting fulfillment out of any of it because I’m not getting deeper than the show.  And I’m not doing that because I’m scared.  I’m scared I’ll find that I just can’t hack it.  And if I can’t, then what?  What do I have left?

It’s about time that I admit I need help and actually go and get it.  I’ve reached the extent of my high-functioning avoidance capabilities.  If I actually want to be able to live life, I’ve got to work through this fear.  I’ve made a deal with Johnathan that I’ll actually go to therapy after finals is over.  And I’m terrified.

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