The past few weeks have been, to say the least, challenging. There have been so many things going on around here. I have been working far too much overtime on my job….sometimes pulling in as much as 35 to 40 extra hours of overtime in a week. I have also been in the midst of dealing with some other issues that have been trying to pull on me…..personal, emotional….you know the regular stuff that life throws at us. During this time it seems that more and more animals have been calling out for help…..including my own. Add to this list, a really noisy new upstairs neighbor who talks on her phone louder than I scream across a field.
Yesterday, I had a meltdown. Now when I say meltdown, I mean meltdown…..I was fed up. My roommate walks into my bedroom without knocking while I am trying to decompress. I was lying across the bed with one of my cats by my side and he comes in with an issue that could have waited. So I proceed to get up, storm out of the bedroom and begin shrieking like a banshee about how I need “me” time and how I can never manage to get it. Then my partner comes home. Thankfully I was able to greet him calmly…I told him that the animals had all been fed and pottied and that I was going for a drive.
I drove to a nearby park. It was rather deserted. It reminded me of the park that Harry went to in “The Prisoner of Azkaban” with the rain on the swings and just the creaking sound of those swings. I was fine with that. There was no one there to ask me questions, no one there to need anything. The squirrels and chipmunks were even keeping their distance….which is unusual. I took the time there that I needed to calm down and then realized that this was something that was going to have to be dealt with if I was to ever have time to myself.
The first step I took was to contact my landlord, who is also a friend. I explained the situation with the new neighbor, who is only subletting for three months while our real neighbor is out of state. He is fairly close to her so he said that he would have a word with her. It was so bad, that I couldn’t even sit in my courtyard without her loud voice interrupting rituals or even meditation as she dumped cigarette ashes over into my circle. I have noticed…it is quite a bit quieter and calmer this morning.
The second step that had to be taken care of ( and I know this can be an ugly word sometimes) was setting boundaries for those that I live with. Explaining to those in the house that I must have my quiet time or “me” time in order to be a better friend and partner was a bit of a challenge. It is hard to look into the eyes of someone who loves you with all his heart and try to explain to him that you need some time away from him….especially when all he wants to do is be with you and love you. I carefully chose my words. “I must have some time with myself, by myself to work out the kinks in my brain, soul, and spirit. If I am able to do this, it makes me able to concentrate so much more on you when we are together…and I want to be able to give you my undivided attention when I am with you. I want to be able to honor you with my whole mind, body and spirit.” He understood, and I believe it started a whole new way of communicating between us.
The roomie was simple. I have learned with the roomie it is best to just be blunt and up front. Spew what I am feeling out and then wade through what he doesn’t understand. That was accomplished.
Now, with my pets, I have learned that if I sit down and explain things to them…..yes, I talk and explain and reason with my pets….that they catch on pretty quickly. I explained that I really appreciate that they want to be next to me and on me and that I would love nothing more than to pet and rub them nonstop, but that I need time to essentially be petted on myself. They all sat across from me on the chair most of the rest of the night. The chihuahua was looking a little more dejected than the rest, so I brought him up into my arms for a cuddle and of course he slipped me the tongue.
It is times like these that we need the support of other friends in the Craft. I had wonderful suggestions…..most of which encouraged me to have the powwows with those around me. As far as the courtyard situation…..earplugs will be a start and I intend to let her know not to throw ashes down on me…..of course running skyclad in the courtyard might just do the trick.
A wonderful friend offered a “Bubble of Love and Light” spell. It will help to enclose me in my “happy place.” We all have to have that happy place where there is no fear of anyone trespassing. Mine was encroached on this week and everything inside of me raised up and roared.
I walked a lot last night. I walked to the pond out behind the condos. I walked in that park. I walked through my courtyard. Realizations came flying at me like kamaze crows. We can never effectively comfort others when we don’t have or take the time to comfort ourselves. We can never hope to do workings for others if we don’t do the same for ourselves. The indigenous people always did purification ceremonies before going before the Great Spirit. It is ourselves that must be purified before going before the Goddess in behalf of someone.
Before bed last night, I took a bath ( after warning anyone who interrupted that it would be in their best interest to leave me alone). I sprinkled sage into the water. I added lavender oil. I burned sage as I bathed and reflected on the things inside me that needed to be purified and changed. After I got out of the bath, I smudged myself once more with sage…..by this time it was 3:30 am. Everyone….and I mean everyone in the house, possibly even the complex was asleep. I built a fire in my cauldron in the courtyard and listened to the sound of my own breathing. I created my circle, invited in the elements…..and I recharged. I brought myself to the hands of the goddess and told her how empty I was. She was as faithful as she has ever been……she poured and poured and poured into me. I felt as though I was glowing. I cried before her explaining that I had emptied myself out over the past few weeks and that I felt like a shell. She breathed more life into me. She affirmed to me that I needed more nights of just this. Wait for everyone to be asleep, even if it is 4 in the morning. Come to the courtyard and just breathe. Especially in those times I feel that there is nothing left of me because that is when she can work the strongest. Just breathe. Inhale her fragrance. Just breathe.