Nothing makes me growl and bare teeth faster than the sight of narrow-mindedness. Thank goodness that for every brain that willingly rejoices in the stinky bosom of stagnation, there is a wild heart ever-refusing to be touched or brought down by its diseased stench.
Today, I celebrate the Autumn Equinox and “dance to [the beat of the] spiritual freedom, self-respect, and honesty” of my dear friend, Sarah.
I might be one of the most stubborn individuals sucking on Mother Nature’s sweet breath at the moment. I’ve always let my heart walk in front of me, pulling me by the sleeves; showing the world that when I love, I love hard, and that my ways will be chosen by me. But my brain knows better than to choose blindly. I understanding that the world is a mysterious place, and that rushing forward like a raging lunatic can eventually drown me in silliness.
I know, I know, I need to stop metaphoring around and get to the point. My apologies; I needed to gather my thoughts first. Here is a bit about what has rattled my witchy heart:
Self-Appointed Jesus Spokeswoman: “I don’t understand why promiscuity and the inability to stay in a lifelong relationship were removed from Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist.”
Me (instincts stuck somewhere between growling and puking on my former colleague’s shiny mental health counselor’s shoes): “Is that a real question?”
She gave me one of those looks that said: Of course it’s a real question. You well know that I’m incapable of thinking and speaking at the same time. It’s dangerous for the wellbeing of my stupidity.
I blinked a few times, reminding myself that baring teeth to show displeasure might not be the best way to start discussing an issue as important as individuality, reality, and the fact that the world is made of all kinds of people who live at their own speed and under their own beliefs.
Me: “How long have you been in your current relationship?”
Self-Appointed Jesus Spokeswoman: “I’m not seeing anyone at the moment. Helping others find the way and spreading the word of my Lord Jesus is a full time job.” *pleasant smile*
Me (Perhaps a little meaner than necessary, but hey, a witchy woman does what she must, right?):“Maybe you should allow Jesus’ actions speak for him for a while. That way you can spend some of your time with a partner. I’m almost sure that having a relationship with someone other than a deity will help you see that people come in all kinds of flavors.”
Self-Appointed Jesus Spokeswoman: “I have meaningful relationships with diverse groups. Twenty-eight people on my caseload, remember?” *not so pleasant smile*
Me (Trying to conceal my disbelief, but probably failing): “Client/counselor relationships can be meaningful, but they will never—they should never!—be anything like what you can share with a romantic partner or even a close friend. It would not only be illegal, but also it wouldn’t be the same thing. You can’t understand the dynamics of all relationships by examining someone else’s problems.”
The conversation went on and on and on. By the time we circled back to why the Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist no longer includes marital issues or what some groups define as promiscuity to make assessments, she had stopped listening to me and was ranting about how “hell is full of people who think they know everything.”
I almost told her that I hoped the administrators of her Know-It-All-Hell kingdom saved her a cool place, but I didn’t say anything. I was feeling too sorry for her and her delusions to relish in the fact that if her suppositions were accurate, then she would spend eternity wishing for a glass of cool common sense, air-conditioning, and second chances.
That exchange took place at the beginning of the summer, while I attended a Psychology of Violence workshop. It seemed that whenever we discussed extreme criminal behavior (i.e. a sadistic rapist abused and murdered a prepubescent girl, or James Holmes shooting down a movie theater crowd) someone would say something about how the actions “would fit in God’s plans.” In the same way, when an individual was resilient and fought genetics, social status, gender, and everything you can think of and did well in life even when circumstances were less than favorable, the same group of people would say that “God is very powerful and there is proof of his work.”
Both statements were usually received with nods, and perhaps some thoughts of amén. I understand that, for belief is a very powerful thing. This is what I don’t get—actually, I do. I just wish that someone could explain how people can rationalize this:
You would think that in a society that claims to believe in an all mighty power, a person will be exulted when she says, “I’d been spiritually dead for quite a while, so when the Hindu goddess, Saraswati came to me one night I couldn’t have been more surprised… She had planted a seed of Compassion, of Hope, of Understanding...LOVE.”
Um, no, my Luvs, as Sarah’s post, “Your Deity Has The Wrong Name,” explains how all gods are not created equal (in the eyes of some, at least). When a friend of hers, who has been writing a book on faith, asked her for her testimony, Sarah was happy to give it. She got this in return: “I have a small dilemma. The publisher stated that they are having difficulty moving forward with it’s publication because of your mentioned ‘saving’ by Saraswati and not God. Just as I respect all faiths, I respect their opinions. So, with a heavy heart I am going to ask you to let me ‘tweak’ it and remove the Saraswati part.”
I would love to say that I was surprised, but I’ve been there and the t-shirt still smells of bullshit. In fact, any Witch or other persons who choose to live by their own hearts and let other people do the same know that what happened to Sarah is somewhat the norm.
So why am I sharing a story that might be as common as white bread? Well, because it isn’t. Every person makes their tale special, and Sarah’s response to the writer’s request is deliciously hers.
Sacred things don’t always look alike, but when put side to side, their grins are quite similar.