Feb ’02

Toxic Discoveries

Let me apologize in advance for the lack of levity in recent chapters, I am going through something quite serious and I am sure that after reading this chapter that you might understand a little better.

This month I saw more of what I was beginning to feel back in January – that emotionality, you know? Well it turns out that it was the beginning of a cyclical downturn. I have always felt that life is a matter of cycles and although we can do our best to stay in the high place of that cycle, eventually one must drop down to the low place and arise again. It was almost as if my “lifting” in January was actually the final trigger I needed to just hit the bottom.

This month, I overstepped my boundaries as an iyawó without even knowing it. In the effort to be dutiful and faithful, I made a mistake and was corrected and punished severely by my godfather for having done so. In that same week, I came to realize that many of the issues that I thought I had dealt with in the last 7 years of true spiritual dedication, were resurfacing from a first-person perspective. I have always noticed that the lessons we learn in life keep coming back to check and see if we had really learned them, and usually it comes in a third-person event, like a friend going through what you went through, just to give you a different perspective and to “quiz” you and see if you really learned what you were supposed to learn. Well, this time the lessons came smack into my own life. I was faced with many of the problems that I have which arose from my adolescence. I have the capacity for a very acidic tongue, and a quick wit. Both of these things having honed themselves as a self-defense mechanism as a teenager for being harassed, teased and persecuted because of being gay. I was never athletic or muscular, nor was I violent, so punching someone out was not an option, so I learned to throw a really good and fast insult in defense.

As I grew and matured, I had no need for the insults any longer, and I found that humor was far more interesting, so my sarcastic edge grew in as a scar to heal the pain of my adolescence. Unfortunately, that sarcasm has its consequences and I came to realize in this month that many people just don’t understand my intentions when I speak sarcastically, and I hurt some of my god-siblings’ feelings with the things I had said or done.

The other thing that I learned this month is that my desire to be accepted as a child manifested itself in the attributes of over-achievement, eagerness, impatience, and a thirst for knowledge. I wanted to be the smartest and most adept of my peers so that I could prove to others and myself that I was valuable. This “trying too hard” got me into trouble this month when I over-stepped my boundaries as an iyawó and really upset my padrino. I had quite an ego check, and it was a very difficult week when all of these things hit at once.

I have therefore been spending this month looking inward. I have been analyzing my patterns of behavior and my traits in an attempt to find the root of all of these behaviors and issues. I want to heal that root so that I can be the best “me” that I can be. BUT I am consciously doing so in a gentle and easy manner. I am not driving myself with a hot poker like I normally do. I am just keeping my eyes and ears open to the patterns around me as I live each day. I am reaching for my former divination tools of the tarot to help look inside of me and around me to get different perspectives. A wonderful blessing was sent to me by God in the form of my spiritual friends all contacting me again in the span of the same week. Members of my old religious affiliation have either been emailing me, or calling me or I have just been running into them at the bookstore out of the blue. They have all helped me to remember the peaceful person I was when I was a priest in Wicca, prior to ever being crowned with Ocha.

I think that this initiation has helped boil up a lot of what I need to work with this year. They say that love expels that which is not like itself. Perhaps it is Shangó’s love for me that is helping to vomit these ugly traits up and out of my being for my self-improvement. I definitely get the message from him that he doesn’t want me to change, he only wants me to be the best “me” that I can be. And that is what any truly loving father would ever want from his son, in my opinion.

Next Chapter >>> Inside Outside

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