I Was Wrong.

I’ve been dealing with an interesting sort of phenomenon lately across several different branches of spiritual communities that I have absolutely partaken in more than I’d like to admit. The concept of being wrong, particularly in a spiritual sense, is upsetting at best and destructive at worst. It’s not a fun experience, nor is it something anyone I’ve met really revels in. Everyone, however, is wrong at some point and if anyone intimates they aren’t, they’re lying, full stop.

I used to be very sensitive about being wrong. I didn’t want to be wrong, nor was I interested in admitting I was. There are times I am willfully wrong in that I have been presented with solid, can’t-argue-with-it fact and essentially gave it and the person delivering it to me a great big middle finger. There are times I am wrong that are born out of ignorance and/or a lack of having all the available information before me. There are times that I am because I haven’t done enough research or because I have assigned knowledge to someone who comes back as being wrong on their own. There are times that I am wrong simply because I done fucked up and there are times when I have been wrong for reasons unknown to me currently.

There’s something viscerally unsettling about being wrong. It calls into question what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how you got there in the first place because you very likely didn’t set out to get turned around. There are questions of ego—I can’t be wrong because I’m better than that!–and there are questions of fear—if I am wrong, that must mean that everything I’ve done is wrong or that everything is meaningless. There is the big, heavy question of sanity [which is an entire blog post in it’s own right]—am I wrong because I am talking to sock puppets in my head?

It’s not that I enjoy being wrong or run towards it–quite the opposite–but, at least for now, I have some kind of peace about it. I guess that maybe I have internalized through repeatedly banging my head against the wall that it’s going to happen and, while I can do work in the best interests of it not happening, there will be some point in time where I am completely, totally, and astoundingly wrong. Again. Because, you know, I’ve been very wrong before. One of the most important lessons I learned from my former teachers was that being wrong was a foregone conclusion, failure was inevitable, and that what I did with both of those occurrences was just as, if not more, important than the actual falling apart and/or misstep.

Those are all very uncomfortable things and I have sat with every one of them, and still do when I find myself in a place where I have somehow screwed things up, which happens. I almost wrote ‘which still happens’, but that communicates the idea that I somehow think that being wrong is something to grow out of. It’s not something that goes away, not by any stretch of the imagination, though it often lessens the more experience we have in our back pocket. Being wrong is a universal experience that applies to all areas, but it seems like being wrong spiritually or magically has somehow become verboten and in line with failure on multiple levels. Failure is different than being wrong—failure is the inability or active decision to not to correct what is wrong. We all fail, too, and we all will fail, but there is a difference between the two.

I was thinking about all of this tonight when I decided to start writing down how I have been wrong in connection with my spiritual life and explorations. This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list because that would be way more pages than anyone wants to read, but these are the current ‘greatest hits’ of when I have been incredibly and undeniably wrong.

I completely misread and misunderstood my relationship with Sekhmet.

This is a seriously cringe-worthy one for me because of how much of an ass I made of myself. I had worked for Sekhmet for a few years on what I thought was a limited and short-term contract and, as the assignment frankly sucked in just about every way possible, I walked away holding a lot of anger and animosity towards Her. Imagine my surprise when She kept knocking on the door and was none too pleased with me. It took someone doing oracular work on my behalf for the message to get pounded through my head—there is animosity here because you have brought animosity into the relationship via your assumption that it is over. Talk about a humbling moment of ‘goddamnit, Alex, you really put your foot in it this time’.

How did it happen? I made too many assumptions—the first assumption was that there was nothing between Her and I. The second assumption was that it was over because I said it was over—I had negotiated my way out of the unpleasant assignment and I thought that this meant I was done. The third assumption was that, as the Mister had shown up and staked a claim on me, She couldn’t have any right to any part of me. This one is particularly hilarious in hindsight, as I am surrounded by people who have relationships with multiple Powers Who ask different things of them. I didn’t connect any of the dots there, though.

The most personally damning mistake I made, besides being a disrespectful and self-important asshole, was that I could not see outside my sphere of understanding. I couldn’t see how that what I was being told in what I thought was one arena really belonged in another arena. I’m thinking about a particular session of divination I had where the diviner looked at the situation I was floundering in and said that what I was doing was learning priestwork. I thought he meant priestwork for the Mister. I was wrong. Had I been able to think globally and get out of my own way for a hot minute, several years of casually skipping down the wrong road would have been avoided.

I assigned monogamy to my relationship with the Mister.

This one has blessedly been minor in terms of the impact on my life and on my relationship with Him thus far, but it was a HUGE misstep in my understanding of who I am to Him and what our relationship is.

How I came to that conclusion was pretty simple—I was being lazy. Monogamy with the Mister would make me miserable, but it would also make things much easier in some arenas. At base, it would allow me to divest myself of the responsibility of sorting through the issues I have with the relationship I have with Him and with other mortals. It was a selfish misinterpretation of what reality actually is. I’m not even sure it was a misinterpretation, as it may have just been wishful thinking. Regardless, it was incorrect.

There was also some willful ignorance and creative interpretation of what was actually going on to reach that decision. At the time that I had this fleeting flight of fancy, I was in a relationship with a mortal. I entered the relationship without consulting Him [another mistake], but He let it stand for a variety of reasons including that I wasn’t being held to monogamy. It would stand to reason that my very being in a relationship with another mortal sort of proved that point but, via a variety of hilarious stretches of logic, I didn’t allow that to be recognized by my brain. Somehow, I allowed myself to believe that there was an exception to the rule that I had made up and there really, really wasn’t. It was all a creation of my own baggage around relationships and the mortal I was dating at the time.

When I came to the realization that I had been dreaming up ways to be irresponsible, I got divination to make sure since I clearly couldn’t be left to my own devices on the topic at that time, and the divination confirmed it—monogamy was not a requirement, nor was it actually on the table. There are some specifics around how I may operate within mortal relationships and I am toying with the idea of asking for more oversight in this area, but monogamy appears to be a laughable concept, at least in this moment.

I didn’t do my own research.

When the unnamed Orisha started knocking and the very likely identity was being thrown around, someone told me to go buy a particular Saint candle for Them. Catholic Saints are largely syncretized with Orisha [and with the Lwa, too] and that’s not unusual at all. What is unusual is that I didn’t double-check for myself before going out and buying a candle in that Saint’s name. It felt funny once I got it in my car, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I got the distinct impression that He wanted a different sort of candle [a white candle] and, when I got home with the Saint candle, I mentioned that to the other person. They supposed that it was maybe because He wanted something simple or something about a fresh start and I put away the Saint candle since it clearly was not what was wanted.

I didn’t have time in that moment to double-check my weird feelings, but I did later and the person who had suggested the Saint candle was wrong in their information. They had given me the Saint association to a completely separate Lwa—a Power from a completely different religion—that was in no way related to the unnamed Orisha and boy was He [the unnamed Orisha] pissed. Not pissed at the other person in any way more than that they had missed something key, but pissed at me for not doing my own legwork and committing to a course of action before I had investigated things for myself. I think He was particularly pissy because the misinformation gives credence to the general idea that the Lwa and the Orisha are interchangeable and He was perfectly happy to disabuse me of that belief, as I had fed into it via acting without looking. I mean, He was damn pissed that I hadn’t had the wherewithal or respect to do my own research instead of just believing what essentially had been His faulty mouthpiece, but that was there also. Nothing like getting a fiery Orisha not known for patience after you.

I didn’t listen to my instincts.

If my disaster with Sekhmet was cringe-worthy, this is on the level of packing your bags and disappearing in the dead of night because the shame is otherwise too much to bear.

I fell into a trap of buying into someone else’s stuff. They claimed to have a good line to the Mister and that was something I chose to believe, rather than investigate on my own. Why? The ramifications of them being wrong was too damning—not because of what they were saying, but because of how I regarded them, how they allowed themselves to be regarded, and how we related to each other.

This came to a head when the stakes got really high. I was given a message by them that the Mister was putting a choice directly in my path—either engage in a particular sex act with them with or engage in that same sex act with Him while He was riding them. An obvious conflict slapped me in the face and I was sending out emails with requests for divination before the message was even cold, because that is what I do when big things show up out of almost nowhere and I don’t immediately get a gut punch of ‘this is one hundred percent fitting’.

The divination came back [bless those three diviners, two of whom dealt with me speaking in incredibly obtuse ways so as to get as blind a read as possible] and, while it didn’t completely shut down what was going on, it produced many questions as to what was really going on. I chose to not give into the creeping feeling those questions produced, though, because I chose to place my trust in the clarity of the other person in the situation no matter what the red flags looked like and how I was warned by others about those red flags.

I began making preparations for what I was choosing when things went sideways. It came to a head when the person involved said that they didn’t care about what was going to happen and, should I choose to abstain from making a choice, it was going to happen anyways either during a specific period of time or as a seemingly random event. Essentially, I was going to be raped if I didn’t comply to what was being presented to me.

I’m deeply ashamed of myself for it taking extreme statements such as those for me to snap awake. I didn’t even fully snap awake—I got more divination and it was even more to the point than the last round had been. Things weren’t safe and were in fact actively headed in the direction of ‘this will damage Alex’, so I called the whole thing off.

That still didn’t settle it, though, and after a conversation with another friend, I went off to yet another diviner for another blind read on the situation—had I been mistaken? That was when the nail got firmly driven into my heart about how I had truly fucked up. The diviner had zero familiarity with me, had never spoken with the Mister before, and was only given the broad strokes of the situation and what I was concerned about. I sent them the initial information and their first reply consisted of ‘this isn’t the way it usually works for me, but your God just showed up and said that the facilitator is full of shit’.

The diviner went on to do the full reading and was able to provide me a lot of really wonderful insight, but the message was exceptionally clear—yes, my assessment of the situation had been correct and, by being told that, I should know whether or not I made the right choice. The sinking feeling that comes with knowing you fucked some shit up by buying into what wasn’t real to begin with is understandably grim. That’s the least of the issue, though. It’s the side effects of the fucking up that are the worst—this brought unnecessary complication to my relationship with my God and I allowed it to happen because I had some seriously misplaced faith in another mortal. I knew better, but I chose to be blind towards that.

This has had both expected and unexpected ripples in my life and some of them have been good. If anything, it has reaffirmed the place the Mister has in my life—nothing and no one comes before Him, period—and it has only driven home that the advice I have been given in the last six months and the big choices I have made since then are in line with that reality. I’ve become a sort of spiritual mercenary in my own life—if it is keeping me from Him, holding me back in any way spiritually, or otherwise interacting in my life in a way that is detrimental to my overall well-being, it has to go. I’ve had to pull the trigger on some things lately that I would preferred not to have, but if I am to be ruthless in my pursuit of Him, I have to be ruthless in all arenas that do not fit the instructions and directives I have been given. Those are the good things.

The bad things? I hurt Him. That is the worst thing, ever. There’s nothing I can do to change what happened and I can only work on taking care that it doesn’t happen in the future. Hurt doesn’t evaporate for mortals overnight and it doesn’t for the Divine, either, and all I can do is show Him via my actions that I deeply regret what happened and demonstrate that I am doing everything within my power to not let it happen again. This includes consulting with myself above all things and listening to the still, small voice that I have been cultivating for the past almost-eight years.

And there you have the top four fuck-ups of my spiritual life. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the times I have neglected to consult the Mister on life-changing decisions, when I unconsciously set to work sabotaging myself during my apprenticeship, or the time in the not-so-distant past that I had a magical working go sideways.

I am blessed with having survived all of my instances of being wrong thus far. I mean, I wince when I think about how I essentially told Sekhmet, of all the Gods, to go fuck Herself, but She didn’t tear me apart. Don’t know why, but that’s why She is Divine and I am meat-based. I often end up having to learn things the hard way—I was reminded of that when I was discussing something with one of my best friends this weekend. I said something that he had said to me months ago and he looked me square in the face and said ‘imagine if someone had told you that before all this happened’ which was a very kind and very polite way of saying ‘I fucking told you so, you goddamn stubborn dumb ass’. I tend to be that stubborn and I have no idea why the Gods are patient with me as I bumble about and do things that make Them roll Their eyes, hold Their heads, and likely look at each other in ways that clearly say ‘is he even fucking paying attention?’.

I think the only thing that keeps Them from slipping a divine noose around my neck sometimes is that I attempt to learn from my fuck-ups. I will never ever forget one of my former teachers looking at me after it had been revealed that I screwed something up and uttering those words that every student hates to hear–‘so, what have we learned here?’. I don’t always learn the first time [or the second, or the third..], but I like to think that the boomerang distance between me making a mistake and me evaluating that mistake has grown smaller. I surprise myself when I find myself trying to put together the pieces of what fell apart because my inclination a couple years ago would have been to burn it all down and walk off. I guess sometimes unhousebroken puppies can learn new tricks or, at least, not to piss on Daddy’s good shoes.

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~ by Alex on November 7, 2013.

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