The Day of Answering All of Sekhmet’s Words 2015.

Alternate Title: Look at Your Life; Look at Your Choices.

I’m honestly beginning to dread this shit heap of a holiday.

Considering the fact that last year’s “festivities” ended about a month after the date in question and with the ache from an arm recently released from a fiber glass prison, no one can really blame me for not looking forward to this day. I should also not be particularly blamed for the fact that when the morning of the ninth dawned, the first thing I did was look outside to assure myself that there was not a thick coating of ice on the ground.

By the time I left for work, I kind of felt like I was doing well. I mean, I didn’t know really what was going to happen or what sort of wayward lesson was going to get tossed my way. But you know, I had managed to leave the house without fracturing any bones. That seemed practically like a double win in my book. Just fix my gold star on my chest because I was totally winning. Twice.

It was about halfway through the day before the Lesson presented itself. I was rather expecting something of course but not what showed up. I can’t even really say that the lesson came out of left field. It was so unexpected that it was more like a meteorite landing at my feet from the asteroid belt.

If I had stopped to think about it all, I never would have even considered the lesson that presented itself to me.

When I got home and had some time to myself, calming down after the Lesson appeared, I just looked down at the icon I have of Sekhmet. I stared deeply into the little icon’s eyes and asked her, how is this what I need to pay attention to? What sort of Words are these? It’s only an icon I spoke to, but I could feel the intensity of her presence as though she was standing behind me.

That night, I turned to her in my dreams and she whispered not unkindly, “This is the lesson.” There was no argument to brook. I wouldn’t have truly tried; I’ve learned that there are things that require my attention whether I want to give it or not. This was definitely one of those moments where whatever arguments I may have formulated would have been ignored.

This was the Lesson I needed to pay attention.

The Lesson was family.

A happy family

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.Manual of Muad’Dib by the Princess Irulan

I work a lot, even though my hours would show that I am barely full time. When I’m at lunch, if I don’t walk away from my desk, I’m working. When I get home, I’m getting calls from people who are on call with questions. When I’m getting ready for sleep, I’m thinking about what the next day will be like. When I’m sleeping, I’m dreaming about the place. I work a lot.

The S.O. works just as much as I do. His jobs are all over our area, some as far or further than my own. He has to deal with the logistics of making sure the job is done within a timely manner, keeping the ownership entity happy while his boss screws up something, as well as ensuring the proper materials are available.When he’s not working his day job, he’s tending bar at night. He works a lot, too.

While his reasons are financial, mine are stress induced and caused by idiot coworkers. We’re both in the same boat, but at least he likes his second job.

This work situation, of course, impacts my child. When he was younger, we were there but now that he is older, we have less time at home with him doing the quality time thing that he still needs. This is both of our faults though necessary in certain instances (like the S.O.’s second job or when I’m on call) and the results are beginning to manifest.

When the lesson showed up, I had to walk away. I was angry because of the situation, but mostly I was very angry with myself. I wasn’t focusing on what was important and what was right in front of me as much as I should have been. I know that I need to work in order to survive, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of my family.

I took stock that night and realized that while the issues seemed insurmountable, it was just a perception. I could overcome them through hard work and sheer determination. I had spent too many nights wrung out from sheer exhaustion because of my job and I needed to figure a way to allow the exhaustion to hit while simultaneously repairing things while I have time to do so.

Seemed a bit like a tough pill to swallow, but not everything is impossible.

After calming down, I had to look deep inside. I realized that the issues had been A Thing for a while and I had known that. I just hadn’t done anything to ameliorate the problems. This seems to be an ongoing theme lately. I know something is happening – I just don’t do anything to fix it until I have to.

My relationship with my wild river...!!!

It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be. – Manual of Muad’Dib by the Princess Irulan

I knew there would be more to the Lesson. Nothing is as simple as it looks.

Slowly, I began delving a little deeper each night into this. It became difficult to look at the big picture. I had become narrowly focused. It was like looking at an Impressionist painting too closely; there is a whole image to look at, but you can only see the brush strokes in front of your nose. The haystack or starry night you could be looking at is lost in the shuffle.

In one of those timely things that seem to happen when you’re head isn’t in the game, someone I follow on Tumblr posted about how they consider themselves as a part of a divine family unit with their gods. I read through the post a few times, digesting the message. It kind of clicked that while my meat space family unit was important, for obvious reason, so too is the divine family unit(s).

It may not be what others could expect to find with divine siblings, cousins, and the like but it is a family unit. There is the main grouping of Ptah and Sekhmet with me in the tertiary, child role. And then there is the sub grouping of Hetheru and Heru-Wer with me as a tertiary, fulfilling multiple designations at once.

It occurred to me that I’ve been neglecting them, too. I wish I could lay the blame for my neglect with something that isn’t me. But the only person to blame is myself, just as with my relationship with my son and my significant other.

I am the one constant in these situations.

As important as my gods have been in my life, I have found myself doubting and feeling unable to buoy myself beyond it. The stagnation isn’t really helping either, of course, but the dragging my feet thing that I’ve been doing is only causing damage to all parties involved..

I know what I must do in order to fix the damage here. I can see the path quite clearly. It’s just a matter of kicking my ass into gear and getting it done.

Repair

Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic. – The Sayings of Muad’Dib by the Princess Irulan

The lesson I learned last year was about my own impatience. I’ve given up on arbitrary dates to get things done and slowed down enough to take a look at the scenery. That’s part of the reason why this post, as with last year’s, is coming around a month after the holiday in question.

This year, I had to slow down again, only this time to a snail pace. It was the slow but steady movement that aided me in bringing the lesson into sharp focus. I had to stop long enough while I went through this lesson in depth. I had to look at myself in the mirror and reassess what “important” really means.

Money and survival are a top priority. I like having a roof over my head and being able to put gas in my car. I like being able to buy offerings for my gods and providing for them. But so too is a good and solid foundation for all of my family units. It’s a balancing act and I haven’t been balancing very well. I have to learn to do that better.

It’s a slow process. Bouncing back isn’t an immediate thing. Even knowing that, it’s still a tall order to fill some days. But I know that there is a bright light ahead. It won’t be perfect when I get there, but it will be a vast improvement from the way things are now… hopefully.

This year, just like last year, I looked at my life.

This year, just like last year, I looked at my choices.

I found things that I wasn’t pleased with and I began the learning curve on how to cut that shit out.

Relevant Posts

  1. The Day of Answering All of Sekhmet’s Words 2014
  2. Divine Family Unit by Seek

The Day of Answering All of Sekhmet’s Words 2014.

Alternate Title: Look at Your Life; Look at Your Choices.

As usual, I had no idea what the point in this celebration is supposed to be. What kind of words should I be answering? Are they good words or bad words? Is there are a lot of cursing alongside those words or is this all clean language? Are they words or are they Words? Is there a little of heka threaded through those words? Maybe there’s absolutely no heka involved, though; or maybe even the whole thing is related to heka in some form or another and I have to answer them? That’s really just the age-old problem with recreating a dead religion, though. You don’t know what the fuck you’re doing nine times out of ten, so you slap-dash some shit together, call it a day, and hope for the best.

So, I went into this celebration having no fucking clue what I was supposed to be doing. As the days clicked by one by one on my calendar, I found myself beginning to worry about what the hell I was expected to answer for. I mean, I’m kind of a jerk. And I do whatever the fuck I want to do. And maybe, perhaps, just maybe, I’m not a really good devotee. Fuck. The anxiety about what the hell this holiday was for began to seriously mount up. Each day dawned with me having no fucking idea what the hell I was answering for or about. It was made even worse when someone else mentioned that the times they had celebrated this particular festival, they had been called to the carpet.

Shit.

My anxiety was really beginning to spiral out of control. I would find myself staring off into space, trying to envision what I could expect.

I decided that worrying about it, though, wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I mean, worrying about something is all well and good for people with anxiety (like me), but it doesn’t actively accomplish anything. Luckily, work kind of took off around that point and it was an all hands on deck situation. I kind of had the mindset that since there was nothing I could do to fix whatever words I had to answer for, then I may as well just fucking take whatever gets thrown at me. I mean, to be honest, if I was a fucking bad devotee, then by fucking golly, I was going to be a bad fucking devotee. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it. It was stupid to believe that I could have possibly have fixed all of my fuck ups in a matter of weeks. So, I shrugged it off, wiped my hands clean, and waited for the big day to appear.

I’ll admit that I had butterflies when I woke up that morning.

The day in question dawned icy and chilly. (What do you expect in early December in Massachusetts?) A lovely sheen of ice had coated the entirety of the world outside during the overnight. It was so thoroughly covered that people everywhere went skidding the moment they stepped outside. My coworker destroyed a pair of shoes when she stepped out on her front porch that morning, sliding down her porch and into the yard. My landlord’s truck went rolling down his driveway – a giant hill – after he put it into park because of the layer of ice. I was just one of many who went down and just one of hundreds who “luckily” damaged a bone in offering to the unforgiving Winter Gods. Or, perhaps the god in question was a certain temperamental Irt-Re I know and love? My first thought when I wasn’t freaked from all of the damn pain was: Well, this is certainly timely.

I spent about half of my day at work. I had no idea that I had damaged anything significant. Honestly, when I went down initially – besides being embarrassed that my ass went skidding down the fucking driveway – it kind of felt like I had hit my “funny bone.” You know the one. The bone in your elbow that when you hit it just right, it really fucking hurts and everyone says about how totally not funny it is to hit your funny bone. Yeah, that’s the one. It felt like that only a lot worse. So, I went to work since I was able to move the arm (any poor person’s self-analysis after taking a tumble).The pain intensified, though and about halfway through the day, I told my boss that it felt like my arm bone was on fire so I was leaving for the hospital. I spent the rest of the afternoon and a good portion of my evening at the ER, getting X-rayed, being told it couldn’t be “too bad” since I was carrying a 1 pound (or less) purse in my injured arm’s hand, and just generally being miserable. All other worries and thoughts were gone in the aftermath. When I was medicated and splinted, I considered the circumstances again. Was this a sign?

Divination was all I had to figure this shit out and I couldn’t even shuffle a deck since my arm was all bound the fuck up. I ended up using one of many apps on my phone; all signs pointed to me being a big, dumb, fucking idiot. I could have salted the back steps and the driveway before stepping outside. I had noticed the ice coating on the car and on the railing and on the recycle bin. But I had decided it didn’t look “too bad,” even after being warned by a few people on Facebook that it was much worse than it looked. As I told the SO later, this whole fucking experience was best summed up as: “look at your life; look at your choices.”

With that phrase echoing in my head, it occurred to me that I may have discovered what the fuck that damn holiday was all about.

I got tossed in a fiber glass prison two days after the holiday. My sentence was for three weeks. The radial elbow was only “a little fractured.” (Side note: that was actually a phrase the doctor at the ER used when describing the fracture. When he said that, I just wanted to walk the fuck out of the ER and go to a better one. What fucking doctor uses that phrase? I mean, why not tell a woman she’s only a “little bit pregnant.”) I got nearly a month of time to do nothing except to look at my choices, to look at my life. Oh, so very much joy.

You know what, though? I found a lot of interesting things in those three weeks. I found out things about myself, which was pretty important. Before the three weeks, I felt very much as if the person looking back at me in the mirror was a complete stranger. I often found myself wondering when I had decided that this was going to be who I had become all those years before. I found out things about what I wanted out to my life, what I wanted to do with that life, and how I wanted to approach things. I learned things about my shadow work, things about my religion, about my family, and everywhere in between. At the heart of every facet that I looked over, I found a single overarching theme throughout. That was kind of disconcerting; I hadn’t expected to find a pattern: impatience.

I am an impatient person. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I really fucking am an impatient person. I can teach people things, but if someone doesn’t get it after three or four times, then I grow impatient with their learning process. I end up doing it myself, even in the teaching, because of that impatience. (Let me tell you, this is very difficult for me as the parent of a child in elementary school. This is also a problem for the SO.) People taking dictation from me had better be able to write 95WPM (like me) otherwise, they’re too damn fucking slow. People who are only going 10MPH over the speed limit are the slowest fucking assholes and need to get the fuck out of my way. Honestly, the circumstances are immaterial. Trust me when I say that I am impatient and many of my choices over the years are based on that impatience whether I realized it at the time or not.

Do you want to know how hard it is to do anything with one warm, even a subordinate arm (my left arm was the one I went down on), stuck in a fucking cast? I hope many of you are saying that you don’t know how difficult it is. For those who don’t know, let me assure you that doing anything with a cast is enough to take many of your spoons allotted for the day. Now imagine who hard this all must be for someone who is headstrong, independent, and impatient. Yes, those three weeks were really difficult. I whined a lot.

But as much whining as I did because the SO had to wash my ass-length hair (and had absolutely no fucking experience with how to wash really fucking long hair), I also spent much time being introspective. Through all of the whining about how I couldn’t read any of my fiction books because they’re all mass market paperbacks and I couldn’t fucking hold them up for long periods of time, through all the nights I spent staring at the television screen in disgust because I couldn’t fucking type a damn thing on my computer, for all of the fucking moments where I woke up in the middle of the night because the weight of the cast on my fingertips had put them to sleep, I was spending a good deal of time inside of my head and thinking about my own impatience. I chose primarily to focus all of that inside-me on the not-so-painful but after a while, with nothing else to do, even the most painful and taboo subjects got glanced over, worked on.

Again and again and again, I kept seeing the same old warning sign: impatience ahead.

I’ll use an example to illustrate my point.

Just before Thanksgiving, I had a pressing need to destroy a bond that did me no favors in the keeping. I arbitrarily decided everything had to be gone, that I had to get rid of this bond by year’s end. I had plans (which I hope to detail in a further post because I plan on seeing this shit through) and nothing was going to stop me! The thing is that there is no arbitrary time frames for removing sickly bongs. It’s a slow process if done properly. I know that consciously, but nope. I had to take between four to six weeks to clear it all out. By rushing it, I was playing with fire, honestly, and quite possibly could have made things a lot worse on myself. And as I am hurtling on my head-long way towards disaster, or possible disaster, I fractured my fucking elbow. This made doing any of the writing and any of the heka that I had planned for this batch of shadow work impossible. So, I back burnered the whole damn project until I had the time, the ability, and the wherewithal to complete it properly.

While waiting the eternity (three weeks in real time, but legitimately, time is fucking relative and it fucking felt like 20 weeks to me) for the cast to come off, the urgency that I had felt about getting the shadow work done… Well, it faded. I took up doing other aspects of that working instead. There were items that I was leaving out and items that I needed to address as well, but I thought I could just do everything in six weeks with no problems. By slowing down and taking the time to see to other items internally, I was able to feel stronger as I slowly shed the bonds in both mind and body. Since I took up those other aspects that I had been ignoring, I found the whole process to go much more smoothly over all.

In looking back through my other shadow work adventures, there are two themes throughout: “I don’t want to” and “get it done now.” I wasn’t actually mandated to remove this bond as I had been at other times and in other circumstances. This was all my own idea (for once). And yet, I went into it with this sense of urgency that it had to be done before some “important date” and for what purpose? The only answer, of course, is that I was listening to my own internalized impatience.

Throughout the three weeks that I was encased in my fiber glass prison, I slowed down. I stopped rushing head long into pain filled waters, arbitrary cut offs, and instead, took the time to sight-see. I revised myself without that red hot impatience. I found it possible to breathe easily for once. And you know, I actually took a look around myself for the first time in ages. I don’t know if that qualifies as what people would call “stopping to smell the roses,” but it kind of felt like that was what I was doing. What I do know is that I feel a lot lighter. I don’t know how else to describe it, honestly. It’s just as if the millstone that had been attached to my neck was finally removed.

I looked at my life.

I looked at my choices.

I found things I wasn’t pleased with and I began the learning curve on how to cut that shit out.

I can’t say, conclusively, if this is what the festival is supposed to be about. I honestly doubt that this is how the ancients went about celebrating it. But, it doesn’t really matter. I’m only recreating a dead religion, after all.