I was young when I met Poseidon — at once world-weary, cynical and jaded, and very, very young. I can remember feeling exhausted. I’ve mentioned before that, had I not been at the end of my rope, I don’t know that I would have reached a point where I could even let myself open enough to let Him in. I didn’t feel young, then, though looking back now . . . looking back now, my heart weeps for little Jolene, and I want so badly to shelter her from that life. I look at people I know now who are older than I was when I met Him, and who still seem so young, not in how they act so much as just . . . I don’t know. Young. Young in a way that calls up maternal instincts. Young in a way I want to protect them from the world.
The gods and spirits are not human. They’re not a part of our world-views and cultural mores. We dance along a wiggly line when it comes to consent, free will, and wrong behavior, I think, when it comes to gods and spirits. There have been times when Poseidon has pushed on some thing or another, when I’ve drawn my line and He’s shoved me over it, seemingly without regard to my ‘no’. In my experience, with the gods and spirits, no does not always mean no. I won’t get into the ethics of that, because I don’t believe this is something that can have a hard and fast rule. What’s permissible for me won’t be for you, and what you might take in stride may break any progress I’ve made toward being a functioning adult who navigate through the assortment of realities that make up my life. I find that poking at the ethics is a fun, interesting, thought-provoking exercise, but for me it always comes back to trust. I trust Poseidon. Even when He dangles me over some horrible edge for my own good, despite my fighting.
I’m tempted to say: “That doesn’t happen much these days,” but that’s not entirely true. What’s changed is I no longer fight simply to fight.
He’s seen me through so many stages of my life. It’s poetic to say that He held my broken pieces while I healed, but it’s also truth. He’s the one that demanded I be selfish, that I put myself first in my life, that only in doing so would I heal some of my deeper wounds. Only in doing so would I ever wind up in a place where I could say that self-care and self-compassion are not only important but necessary. It has only been through focusing so much on myself back in my twenties that I could reach a place of service, of truly being able to share who I am with my family, my loved ones, that I could admit finally that, you know, yeah, I have worth simply by being me. I have something to offer, and more to the point here, I believe that I do.
I squirm a bit, when I realize that I was but a child when we met. There was nothing even hinting toward a romantic love at that point, but it still makes me a bit weird, from time to time. He has never treated me as anything other than a person, a being worthy of respect, and of being taken at face value. A being whose emotional and mental states of being have always been important and real, even when they haven’t necessarily reflected truth. I’m not sure how to explain that. He’s never dismissed my concerns or fears as being silly, or immature, irrelevant or unworthy of His time. I can’t say He’s always been kind, but He’s never been intentionally cruel, and His patience seems to have no end.
Did He know? That day when I saw Him for the first time? Did He know how much He’d be changing my life? Did He know already that He wanted me for Himself, or did that grow as the relationship grew? Some questions He only ever answers with, “the why and how do not matter. The is matters,” and I honor that. But, I had no idea. And it’s such a huge thing to me. And if HE also had no idea, or some idea but wasn’t sure . . . ah, the beauty that is existence unfolding.