When I was a kid, I remember mama always telling me, “Now you be sure you play nice.” Every time I walked out the door to play with the other kids in the area, to go fishing, to romp with the animals….I always got that same mantra. “Now you be sure you play nice.”
I have already told y’all that I was a mischievous child….not mean, just mischievous. I loved to put baby green snakes where they shouldn’t be…or put a ‘hoppy toad’ down the back of my cousin’s dress…I even switched out all the eggs in the henhouse and put em all under different mamas. I never did anything out of maliciousness as a little one. I just liked things that would make me laugh….but I could always hear mama’s voice ringing in the back of my head….still do today. “Now you be sure you play nice.”
This week, in the midst of the busy-ness of work and home and everything in between, Goddess gave my ear a tweak. First off, I am a witch. I don’t keep up with all the different traditions that are followed. I am not really Wiccan….not Gardenerian…I am a plain old solitary witch. I honor the Sabbats, follow the wheel of the year, can call the directions as well as anyone, cast a circle fantastically (well, in my mind) and do wonderful magickal spells. I have always followed a particular part of the Wiccan Rede, though. I have always abided by, “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” I think it all just stemmed back to my mama. I just needed to play nice.
This week, several times as a matter of fact, I was made madder than an old wet hen. My boss pissed me off several times. I had to deal with some local delinquents who had no respect for others. I also had to deal with a client or two that just ripped me a new one because of someone else’s mistake. By Thursday, ‘An harm none’ was about as far from my mind as it could get. I was angry, tired, and quite literally fed up. I had determined that I was going to let everybody have it……Open up a can of whoop-ass.
As I reached the point of no return, a client came up to me at work. His bill had exceeded what he thought that it should be and he proceeded to chew on what little nerve I had left. He started spitting out cuss words and his arms flailed harshly as if he might hit me at any time. The veins in his forehead started pulsing….and he screamed. Loudly. I could feel it welling up inside me. The anger that had been festering all week long was going to come to surface whether I liked it or not. It was going to come out in one big ‘KABOOM’ and no one was going to be left standing.
Just as I breathed in enough air to spew every ounce of venom that I just knew was coming. I opened my mouth and the word “Sir” came out. With that one word, the man in front of me put his hands to his face and began to sob uncontrollably. His body wretched and shook with every tear. I watched in a matter of seconds as the tough exterior shattered and gave way to the man underneath. It turned out he had lost his job and then his dog got sick and this bill was a large chunk of what he had left in the bank. I could feel the hand of the Goddess gently grab the upward corner of my ear and pointedly say, “You play nice!”
Last night I went back to that familiar phrase, “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” I meditated on it….I rolled it back and forth around my brain and my heart. I went into the courtyard under the moon and talked back and forth with Lady Luna. Well, let’s just say that I pissed and moaned and she listened for a bit. “Sometimes I just want to make somebody feel as bad as they made me feel. Sometimes people deserve it.” As I said, she listened for a bit…then I began to feel her end of the conversation.
She took me back to a time when I hurt many people. I deserved to be burnt to a cinder. I had been careless and thoughtless and many, many people were left in the rubble. If anyone deserved to be ‘hexed’ or punished, it was me. Instead, those around me, determined within themselves to pick up the pieces that were left of me and help me rebuild myself. It was a hard road and I am sure there were times that they wanted to forsake the journey….but they stayed right beside me.
At this point, I could hear Goddess whispering in my ear. “There is no need to harm anyone. There is no need to ‘get even.’ You see, people do more harm to themselves.” “You want to see the person who is constantly bragging about their accomplishments, which are mostly lies, come to justice, but they are living in a cage that they have created. The lies and false accomplishments have become their bars. They can never let their guard down for fear of showing the true self underneath.” “The boss who makes your life a living hell during the day goes home to a house with no good emotion. A wife who lost her love for him long ago….and he drinks the night away to help him forget.” “The teenager who craves attention that they don’t get at home. They are constantly told that they are stupid or useless. Negative attention is better than none at all, in their mind.”
I sat there stunned. I had been so wrapped up in my own anger this week that I had completely blinded myself to seeing past the outer shell of people. I had studied Psychology in college until there were no more courses to take….I should have realized this.
People are not so unlike animals. I deal with both types of creatures everyday. When they are afraid, they frantically do whatever they can to survive. They yell and growl to make you back away. It is only when you approach them on their level…where they hurt the most that the healing can start.
I am reminded of a few more words….”In perfect love and perfect trust…” If my motives are always filtered through love, then I have created the most powerful magick possible. Yes, I can still be hurt, but I can also offer someone or something an opportunity to fly….to experience healing.
When I cook, I can tend to over-salt. I got this, too, from my mama. One trick she taught me was that when there is too much salt, add a potato to soak up some of that salty taste. Same way with people….sometimes they just need someone to help take away some of the hurt so that they can see long enough to start walking toward a path of healing.
That’s the way it was with me so many years ago. Had someone not been willing to ‘harm none’ and walk me through in ‘perfect love and perfect trust,’ then I wouldn’t be the person I am today…..and thankfully I am still changing every day of my life.