Transactional relationships and asking for things.

A post in another forum popped up the other day about transactional relationships with Gods and other Powers and spawned a bit of a conversation on what it means to ask Gods for things. A comment was made that stated going to a God or Power to ask for something was hubris and that made my eyebrows go up. I had to google to make sure I knew what hubris meant [excessive pride towards or defiance of the Gods] and I came up scratching my head. I don’t see a lot of defiance in asking for things, except maybe when you know that it defies Their wishes but that seems like a separate question.

I have a very transactional relationship with Him, at least for now, and it seems to be working. He is very much ‘of this world’ and understands that things cost money etc. He also comes from a place where interactions with Him are very transactionally based. I don’t ask for things that aren’t Needs or at least very strong Wants. I neurotically analyze what I’m asking for and my motivations for doing so before I do. I don’t want to cash in all my chips, as it were, nor do I want to be needy in ways that I think might displease Him. Of course, that’s taking on the responsibility of judging what is and isn’t important to Him and that not be my job..but it makes me think about my motivations.

I have only been asking for what I can’t accomplish on my own or need an extra push with. I don’t know how I feel about asking for things that aren’t needed or strongly wanted, but a lot of my life is hand-to-mouth so it makes sense that my spiritual life works in the same way. Maybe that’s something I should think about.

My asking ranges from ‘please grant me patience’ to ‘I’ve done all the work, please help me get into school and make it financially possible’. I know I might not get any of those things, or that I might have to learn a lesson along the way. I sure have when I’ve asked for patience or strength. Asking for something specific, like school, has been different. I’ve done all the footwork—all the paperwork, the essays, the phone calls, the excessive bureaucracy—and my part is now done. I couldn’t sit back and wait for an opportunity to show up, I had to make my own opportunity and work damn hard for it. Now that I’ve done the work, I can ask for the path to be smoothed and the financial obligation to be eased. Do I expect to get in on my first go? Honestly, no. I expect to be deferred. Is that a failing on His part? I don’t think so. It may not be the right time or I may have other things I need to do, but that doesn’t mean I give up—it means I go to plan B. Since I’ve asked for financial help, I don’t expect a bag of money to fall from the sky [though that would be nice], but I do hope I get subsidized federal loans.

I guess it boils down to that, when I ask for things, I don’t expect the easy path to get there. Why should I? Maybe it’s that it’s tied to the dynamic I have with Him—we have a very traditional leather Daddy/boy existence [should I write a post on that? Maybe I should.]—but I am expected to earn what I get. Nothing is without a cost and that’s a lesson in the value of things. Earning things, to me, also makes them taste sweeter. Sending off the application and associated paperwork for school tasted GREAT and I can’t imagine how good it’s going to feel to return to classes, wherever I end up. It’s only been in the last couple years that I’ve really learned how good it feels to earn something.

Part of what works for me in the transactional relationship that we have is that it places immediate and apparent value on things in my life, including me as an individual. As someone who struggles with self-worth issues, this helps me a lot to be able to see tangibly that yes, you am worth the effort it took Me to do xyz for you. I suspect this is not coincidental. I also know that I’m not just getting given things for the hell of it, earned or not. I know that this is an investment in my future. He expects certain things of me now, though they are few and far between, and I am quite sure my responsibilities. The expression ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ is tossed around quite a bit in my field and I’ve found it to be true.

It took a long time for me to be comfortable asking Him for things. I thought it was a sign of weakness to have a need that I could not fulfill on my own. The tide sort of changed when a diviner told me that He would be there if I asked Him for help. I started by asking for help with non-tangible things and a lot of the time it took the form of ‘HELP!’ until I figured out how to verbalize more and flail less. I ask for things like patience and strength a lot. I ask for guidance in making the best possible choice [but I refuse to rely on guessing what His preference might be anymore—if He has a preference that is important to Him, I am trusting that I will be told that or figure it out in some way]. I ask for my eyes to be opened to the path before me. I ask for smooth transitions [work, school, etc.].

To my great surprise, He started delivering on some of these things. Color me floored. I never expected to heard, never mind be answered. I guess the die-hard doubter in me needed to be shut up once and for all and He managed that quite well. I imagine that my surprise amuses Him. My gratitude grows every day, whether I can see His hand on things or not. He’s given me so much already and I often think I’m not worth it, but clearly He sees things differently. Him having an investment in me keeps me going on the hard days.

I feel like there’s a class in this somewhere. Maybe on transactional versus devotional relationships? Maybe something just on transactional relationships with Deity/Powers? Maybe both? I’ve not really taught something like that before, but I feel like it’s really important to talk about.

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~ by Alex on April 26, 2012.

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