Current Affairs and the Changing Face of Sacrifice

I started school this week and it has already drastically changed my life. Almost all my ‘free time’ is now ‘study time’ and I can feel the unimportant things sloughing off, as it is very, very important to me that I do well in my classes.

This has brought about change spiritually and, so far even though it’s only been a few days, it’s been for the better. I promised that once I started studying the things I need to study for my degree program, I would continue to study topics that Mr. Mister has announced that He would like me to know more about or become proficient in. With that in mind, I just finished Tell My Horse and am about halfway through a book on hoodoo and conjure work, and I have a book on American vodou waiting for me. Studying, in some ways, has turned into a devotional act.

I’ve also sat with Him a few times and, though it mostly feels unproductive, I’m glad I did it because that’s what He wants. Somehow, with the starting of school, my resistance has started to dissolve. I realized the other night when I was in a near panic attack induced by school-related stress that I was plain tired of dancing this particular dance with Him, that I just want to do what I’m supposed to without fighting, without having to know why every step of the way, and without questioning His motives and His commitment to me with every breath. I didn’t really realize how exhausting that was until I was in the middle of it. I have too much to do and too much to think about and piling up the mental furniture between Him and me is just not on my to-do list. I don’t need a pillow fort to announce that I find my own personal journey difficult and challenging. It’s called Work for a reason.

With all of that in mind, my understanding and experience of sacrifice has started to change in little ways. I’ve sacrificed a lot in the past—my sense of self, my sanity, my ability to work, etc—and a lot of that was not necessarily by choice. Sacrifice now, however, is voluntary in some ways. Like, right now while I’m typing this out. I really need to be jumping on my reading for next week, as I have well over a hundred pages to read, notate, and learn. Logically, I should not be writing a blog post but I promised to update as regularly as I could and I promised the entry in specific to be done yesterday, but I forgot as it never made it onto the master to-do list. I am staring at my text book right this minute and it is calling my name, but this needs to come first. He needs to come first.

Starting school has changed my faith, too. It was a huge act of faith for me in several ways to start taking classes again. First, it was an act of having faith in myself. I have a really shitty academic track record and did not do well in college the first time around. I was kicked out of my first undergrad school because my grades were too bad for me to continue there. In truth, I was unprepared and far too unstable to be doing higher education. So, my decision to return to college has been challenging because it has required that I trust myself to be ready and stable enough to do what is required of me and trust that I have my own best interests in mind. That’s a whole lot of faith for someone who struggles really hard with having any faith at all.

Second, and perhaps more important to me, was having the faith that I was not making a huge misstep that was going to piss Mr. Mister off or that was going to take me further away from my path than closer to it. This is the first time I’ve made a huge life decision without seeking any sort of divination or shamanic counseling. That in itself was a challenge, as it felt like sitting on my hands. I believed, and still do, that if I got divination on the possibility of a return to school, that the outcome would slow my feet and cause me to stagnate once more, which is a huge issue in my spiritual life. Instead, I chose to take that leap of faith and went through the process without even asking for so much as an opinion from anyone else. The best I can gather from Mr. Mister is that He is neither opposed nor in favor of me going to school and is more concerned that I do the Work than how it gets done. I have explained to Him that this will bring me closer to doing what He wants if He intends for me to stay in the field I work in, which I’ve gotten a yes on, and it will contribute to my priest training as well. I pitched it as an investment in the future, which I think amused Him, as I am not used to talking in business terms at all. It’s appropriate, though, as Mr. Mister is Mr. Business, after all.

The extra structure is also benefiting my spiritual life already. Now that I can carve out time specifically to do something, it feels like less of a burden. When I had the curse of too much free time [and I am sure I will complain bitterly about this at some point], it was too difficult to get things done because I could always just do it later. I don’t have later now.

The last few days have been transformative and I don’t know what it is, but it feels good. I feel like I’ve accomplished something, even though I am just at the beginning of the semester with a whole lot of hard work ahead of me. And I have accomplished something—I got myself to school and that feels good.

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~ by Alex on September 6, 2012.

One Response to “Current Affairs and the Changing Face of Sacrifice”

  1. “I realized the other night when I was in a near panic attack induced by school-related stress that I was plain tired of dancing this particular dance with Him, that I just want to do what I’m supposed to without fighting…”

    That’s sort of where I’ve been lately with Loki and Hela, particularly concerning my living situation. Once it was made clear what was and wasn’t negotiable, though, it was relatively easy for me to just decide that bitching and moaning wasn’t worth the time or energy anymore, and therefor to just switch my focus onto what needs to get done versus what I can’t change.

    Here’s to breakthroughs and new beginnings. Sounds like school is going to be awesome for you!

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