This past Saturday night, I was in deep ritual with Brighid and Her Sacred Flame. I felt the intensity of the energy raised, swirling around the altars and the hearth. I felt my prayers as they landed- received and accepted by the witnessing fire.
Coincidentally (except not) while that ritual was taking place, someone I love very much and had spoken over while in sacred space was harmed by the actions of another person. As I have been witness to their healing process, I have been sad and I have been angry. I have been scared and raging and, periodically, in the midst of all of that, I have managed to sit down and meditate or pray and re-center myself.
I have realized, in this process, that I am not as elevated and spiritual as I would like to believe. I do believe that there are times and circumstances where laying curses are necessary (Monsanto, anyone?) but, on a good day, my “curse” is usually to wish a sudden enlightenment on someone- a brilliant and startling clarity that brings about instant transformation. But this situation has been 180 degrees of difference. A couple days ago, I told someone that I wished for that person to be “dragged backwards through the sphincter of the Universe.” I don’t know what that would look like, but it sounded almost painful enough to satisfy me.
It’s also had me thinking, as we have entered this month of honoring Black History, about the long and painful history of violence against the bodies and spirits of Black people. It’s made me think of the spouses and families and loved ones of those who have been harmed or killed as a fallout of somone else’s ignorance or hatred.
I have tried to be grateful for this opportunity to access a deeper compassion for a whole new group of people. For having a richer understanding of the families and friends of those who are in danger every day for their jobs or because of their neighborhoods or for any other reason. Those people who cannot change the circumstance, who can only wait, putting themselves aside to support a loved one in healing while dealing with all of their own fears, fury and anxiety. There are so many feelings that happen for those who stand on the sidelines- witnessing and loving and unable to do anything.
I have listened, I have cried, I have raged and I have prayed and I’ve tried to remember that there are times when things “just happen” and there are times when there is something more at work. I cannot call myself priestess and not hold faith that an event of such magnitude and such synchronistic timing is bringing something of value that must be considered.
From my blessed mother, I received the wise counsel to simply “Be still.” But stillness is so hard for me. When something happens and I am upset I want to take action. To just be still and do nothing but feel what I am feeling is torture.
“You do not want your need for action to supercede their connection to their own experience. Action is not yours to do.” she said. And hearing the wisdom of that, I finally stilled. I slowed down and I listened and I realized- I’d felt connected to so many people because of this situation (whether known by me or not)- to the person I love and others who also love them. I connected with others all over the planet who live in circumstances where they ache with worry and love for another. There was a web of connection that I had sought and found between all kinds of people. But, in all of this, I had left out one crucial person. The one whose actions were the catalyst for it all.
So I end this to you, the perpetrator. I look to see myself in you, the one who acted with cowardice, abandoning all consideration of others or loyalty. I look, and find, myself in you, puffed up with bravado to hide your fear. My declarations that you must be brought to justice, that you cannot be allowed to transgress against my loved ones probably bear some resemblance to your need to protect and defend yourself against any perceived slight, large or small. My outrage, my desire that you be made to pay for your error is likely no different from your own outrage and need for retribution on behalf of yourself and your wounded ego. I’m not as evolved as I like to think I am and if any of the curses I have heaped on your head in the past few days come to pass, woe be unto you. And to me as well, I guess.
It appears that we both have a lot to learn from the one you wronged. You wish you could be as strong. I wish I could be as forgiving.