Elizabeth posted this nifty post about love as action, and how love as an action is far, far more reliable than love-as-an-emotion. It is a great post, a timely post, and one worthy of your attention. Go, read.
This, oddly, has made my mind return to compassion. Not difficult to do this week. I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary last weekend, on the 9th, and the proceeded to have hardships at home. One cat or another was ill with the stomach ick (which seems to have finally run its course) every day since my anniversary; Beth has been going through some rough patches, and I was hit with a migraine that knocked me on my ass for a day and left me shaky and jumpy the following day. I was called on to be a caregiver and supporter, to see after the cats and worry over them and watch them, to offer prayers on their behalf (thank you, oh Glorious Bastet — I was prompted to finally get Her shrine in order. It’s not ideal, and we need a step-stool to attend to the shrine, but She presides over the house from Her lofty vantage point over the Beloved Dead (critters) shrine, and this is proper) as well as helping Beth navigate her way through her rough patch and allow Odin whatever He desired of me . . . and then to plant myself in bed with ice upon my head when it was that or take my eyeball out.
That wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time immediately after my anniversary. I wanted the time to be savored, to be special. I wanted to bask in my awareness of Poseidon in my life, wanted to spend time in prayer, in communion, wanted to spread the day into a whole week affair — with no activities planned that to be aware and be open. I wanted a week of stillness, of as much of a retreat from the mundane world as I could manage. And instead, no.
Instead of being compassionate this week, I have felt harried and resentful and hurt. I have felt like a fool, for being excited about this anniversary, when I am rarely moved to be excited about anniversary dates. I am more of an in the moment sort of person. I carry His love all of the time, just as I carry the weight of the death of loved ones, so the anniversaries more or less are just another day of carrying that weight. But, this time, I was excited. Ten years. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal; I am well past ten years of being His. We’re approaching the twenty year mark for that particular milestone. And yet, ten years of being wed to Him, ten years of living a life intentionally devoted primarily to my gods, of this sort-of-not-quite monasticism. It didn’t start right at the wedding, mind you, but the wedding started it. And it’s a big deal to me. And I couldn’t focus on it at all. So, then came the resentment, which is a handy little cover for the hurt. Stupid hurt.
I am not driven toward compassion because it comes easily for me. I am not driven towards it even because I necessarily want it. Compassion is, before ritual, before devotional activities, before prayer, what love in action looks like on my path. Because Poseidon insists on it. And, I’m moved to share, sometimes I utterly fail at compassion, even within my immediate family. Beth might say especially within my immediate family. She, Odin, and Poseidon have borne the brunt of my lack of compassion this week, and Poseidon by His nearness only — everything else has had absolutely nothing to do with Him, and I’ve lashed out anyway.
Various things yesterday, including the aforementioned post, helped to drive home for me where corrections needed to be made. Do I trust Odin, or just play lip service to trusting Him? Usually, the trust comes easily. Lately, I guess not so much. They decide where my path goes, not me, damn it. And if that means I spend the week after my anniversary in service, as They dictate that service, then that is only fitting and proper.
Utter exhaustion helped, too. Can’t muster up the energy to be angry or anything other than just open when one is utterly exhausted.