Sometimes, we drop the ball. Sometimes the ball is bouncy and it bounces back. Sometimes it’s glass and it shatters. Life is like that and we are imperfect beings. I have reasons for the balls I’ve dropped in my life. Stress, poverty, frustration, mental health, life’s challenges. Since March 2020, my life has gone weird. I was already starting a transition period of my life. My kids were grown, I was missing something outside of parenthood. I was searching, and creating a new aspect to my life, a new career perhaps, or path. 2020 sort of stopped many of us in our tracks.
A few months of postponing isn’t a bad thing, but 2020 also decided to throw a lot more shit at us. For me, I lost friends, as they passed into the next step of their journey. I homeschooled my kids for the first time, and as much as I love the idea of homeschool, it is something best done from the start. My older two rebelled against this new arrangement, things were tense, all our fuses were short. My kids were in their own transitions- from child to preteen, and preteen to teen. Hormones and boundary testing and all sort of emotions that they didn’t (and don’t) know how to deal with. Identity building was abound, and not just myself.
My youngest, luckily adapted best- she missed her friends, but she thrived. For myself, I was taking a certificate course, homeschool three kids and by early 2021, why not throw in a second certificate course? I also was studying magical studies (this is one of the places where I dropped the glass ball completely…) I was doing my best, after all, life goes on and we had to live, but I gotta admit- there were mental repercussions to this sense that life had gone topsy-turvy and it's return to "right" was not inevitable.
I am not a “things happen for a [good] reason person. I believe there was another path that got destroyed with Covid, the one where I didn’t have to deal with that shit, and proceeded with a “normal” life transition. Friends that passed would still be with me, cheering me on, and my development would not have included black skies and two years of winter. I feel stunted, deprived of the light I needed to grow.
Over the last two years, I’ve asked myself a lot of questions as I’ve dealt with this transition, stagnation and frustration. While I’m not a things happen for a [good] reason person, I am a “when [bad] things happen, we learn” person. We learn every daily, from good and bad, from trial and error, and when things don’t go our way, we adapt. That is survival, and that’s what I feel I’ve dealt with the past two years. Survival mode. We’ve seen the good and the bad of humanity. And we still are, though it affects many less than it did. On my side of the pond, in my little bubble, life is back to normal. No masks, no distance, no “we’re in this together” (well, a good chunk of my area didn’t have this to begin with.)
So I stand here now, two years after my life transition began…not in the same place, but not where I thought I’d be. I feel very much at the start of a new transition- not the same one I was at two years ago. Perhaps that transition was never meant to be, or perhaps this transition is simply a deeper, more powerful transition than it was before. My goals are slightly changed, and I wonder if the person I would've been is as different from the person I'm becoming now is as it feels. Or maybe this transition was inevitable from the start, no matter which path and life events happened starting two years ago.
I’ve been lucky- I’ve had my faith in the Gods, Spirits and Ancestors to guide me. It hasn’t been easy- I don’t pretend that they are wishing machines- I insert a few prayers and they grant me my heart’s desire. It’s really more like this-
Me: I need to change.
Them: Here’s a clue book! Hope it helps.
Me: Shadow? Friends? Water? A map with no path, just a lot of mountains, valleys and a few holes into the underground?
Them: Yeah! Good luck, but don’t worry. I’ll walk with you. Give you a few pushes. A few tests too. You’ll be stronger for it. You can thank me later.
Me: … Isn’t there an easier path?
Them: Well yeah, but trust me. TRUST ME, it’s not worth it. You won’t grow. You won’t really change. You’ll be back here before you know it. Like before…
Them: It’s your choice, after all.
And of course, they are right. It is our choice, we can take an easy path. But in the end, what does the easy path teach us? If we don’t go on a deeper, and harder journey, what changes? What in us grows, what in us soaks in the experience in a way that truly transforms us?
In my most recent workings with The Morrigan, she reminded me that I had a choice in my path, and she showed me what my life could be on either choice. One, I was happy-ish, but alone and not that much changed. The things I struggle with were still there. In the other, I was stronger, connected to friends and supported. I had grown, I could see that in my demeanor and in my eyes. I will struggled with things, but I had the strength to endure, and people in my life to help bear my burdens. I was happy, and changed for the better. My last vision in that scene was friends on a bright sunny morning, drinking coffee and laughing.
You might think, oh, well that made your choice easy- and that’s not true. That second path was the one that had to include hard work. Perhaps impossible dream chasing that had no guarantee of coming true. The Morrigan reminded me, through a friend when I reached out to help discern, that she made no guarantees of success, but she also was not asking for me to be victorious. She was asking me to be a warrior and still keep fighting- as I was on the verge of giving up those dreams. I also have to face fears. What if the person I'm becoming isn't the person my family loves? What if the change I need does not align with theirs?
The tl;dr version of this post is as follows. Life is hard. We can face it alone, or with our Gods. Our gods don’t grant wishes but aid us in moving forward. We do the work, and sometimes that work is going to be hard and painful. But like children learning, you don’t get much from getting all the answers right all the time. Sometimes the best learning is done through failure, and maybe, maybe just maybe, dropping the ball is a way of learning. And it’s ok to cry, to shed tears, to feel that clutch of tightness in your chest, and feel as though the world is burning around you. When we turn to our spiritual sides, whether that is the simple belief in something bigger than ourselves, or named Gods, Goddesses, Spirits and/or Ancestors, we don't face everything alone.
There is no perfect fix. It is the nature of humanity to strive for perfection when imperfection is unattainable. Look around- I bet your “love and light” friends are ignoring their darkness, your “life is about balance friends get unbalanced frequently, and your “my vibe attracts my tribe” friends have periods of intense loneliness. Even the most “enlightened” people of the world have bad days- you might not see it though. Some people handle the bad days better than others, some have learned and learned again how to face it.
How do we learn this? Going deep. Shadow work, meditation, being honest with yourself. Do you think street performers who can stay still for hours could do that the first time they tried? What about acrobats, doing inversions without falling? They have all been through a process of training their bodies and their minds, practicing and strengthening. And honestly, I would bet they all went through periods of doubts and fears. Our lives, spiritual paths or every day existence is not any different. Some days are going to be fails, some failed days are going to be failed weeks, months and yes, longer. Some things will be out of our control- and it’s up to us to figure out what we can and cannot control and how do we deal with the stuff we can’t control. And if you can, do it sooner rather than later. Waiting makes it harder. Trust me on that one.