There is a lot going on in the world right now. Much of it is tearing apart the fabric of society as we know it, and with it, a lot of people’s sanity. Everywhere I look there are arguments about how we should all best live our lives and it’s difficult to watch, yet I have this feeling that it’s all going to be worth it some way down the line.
When I started writing this today, I began by wanting to talk about respect, its meaning and why we need to do better at it as modern-day Pagans. I knew my subject and what I wanted to say yet every time I tried to write it out, I got stuck. Unable to move further, to get my thoughts down and by the time it came around to tea-time, I was feeling more than frustrated. I had gotten quite angry with myself for not being able to be coherent on this subject because its important right now and I have all the feels about it.
I wanted to scream at the world and ask why we can’t all just respect each other and our respective ways of life.
I see honour given to those who gaslight, gatekeep and have no particular thing worthy of admiration while those that are humble, are trying their best and who are quite frankly great people are maligned, mocked and pushed aside. What is it with us humans and what is it with those who lap up the respect that they don’t rightly deserve? As someone who is highly sensitive to emotional changes both out there in the world and inside my own inner world, I feel this in every cell of my being. And it hurts.
What I realised as I was sitting on my back door-step being angry at myself is that right now there is an amazing thing happening both within the Pagan community and the world as a whole, it just takes being able to see past all the horribleness to find it. An epiphany moment – woohoo!
What we’re experiencing right now is a healing crisis.
So, what’s one of those then?
A healing crisis is what happens when we know something that we’re doing is bad for us and the people around us, but we keep on doing it all the same. Our subconscious mind knows this and eventually creates conflict so that we pay attention to it. It’s uncomfortable to say the least. It’s the point where we hit a wall and have no choice but to change the thing that’s wrong or accept our own destruction. If we’re going to make those changes and survive, we have to face up to the harmful thing we’re doing and heal our relationship with it.
The difference now is that instead of seeing it with one person in my healing room, I can see it happening to the smaller community I am a part of and if I look further out from that, the whole of humanity. It is the uncovering and calling out of trauma so that as it is seen and understood, it can be learned from and healed. This lack of respect I was so angry about earlier is a symptom of the healing that is needing to be done.
Within the Pagan community I see issues with so called leaders who are really just people who have no personal power so seek to suck it out of others to make themselves feel better. I see cultural appropriation instead of appreciation. I see bullying and the mocking of people's beliefs and experiences, and I see people thinking they are better than everyone else for what reason only they know. It shouldn't be like this and the damage it does goes far deeper than any of us will ever truly know.
Within the wider world I see the same issues just on a larger scale.
Thankfully though, I see now that the healing process has begun. Thanks to the bravery of those who are speaking out about the injustices done to them, many people are questioning if what they believe is right and finding they’re lacking somewhat so are making changes to their understanding and core beliefs. There is the flip side too in those that fight for maintaining the status quo so they don’t lose their perceived power, even though that power is in itself an illusion they have created to hide from their own pain and control their world.
It may take a long time for me to see that mutual respect that I long to see so much in the world, but it is possible. Of course, just like a person who is suffering, we may also head the other way and destroy ourselves but just like any good optimist, I have an indestructible belief that we will find a way through.
So right now, lets fight to get past this crisis and bring about the healing we all so desperately need to enable us to be better and do better. Maybe then we can have that real respect that the world so desperately needs.