Druidry doesn’t have commandments. In ADF, we’re taught Virtues: Wisdom, Piety, Vision, Courage, Integrity, Perseverance, Hospitality, Moderation, and (metaphorical) Fertility. Though it isn’t explicitly named as a virtue, the idea of reciprocity is big, too. It’s kind of bundled into the concept of Hospitality, if you really think about it.
Hospitality is what ensures that no one is left behind, and everyone is taken care of — the person who turns up on your doorstep with nothing may be the person to feed you when you have nothing. It builds the reciprocal relationships that provide for everyone’s survival during hard times.
I have a hard time with reciprocity sometimes. Not because I find it unpleasant or mentally difficult to reciprocate; it’s just physically hard. I had a very tough time coming to terms with the idea of being disabled re: being taken care of, and all of the fear of abuse and abandonment that it brought up. Even when I got past those thoughts, I had to contend with the idea that I wasn’t always going to be able to return the favors I need to live. It severely impacted my relationships, even fractured a few of them.
All of this is to say that I think I’m having some kind of survivor’s guilt super hard, and it is extremely confusing.
The thought process goes a little like this:
- I’ve needed to be taken care of in the past, and wasn’t really able to return the favor.
- A pandemic strikes, and suddenly my efforts and expertise have a lot more impact.
- I feel more useful, and much less bad about all of the times that I needed help in the past. A silver lining!
- … It’s totally not okay to find a good side to a situation that’s causing so much pain to so many people.
See what I’m saying? It’s a hell of a thing to grapple with.
How much of a silver lining is okay to have?
My therapist recommends adding some joy to every day, in whatever form that may take. I’ve been painting more, and trying to do guided meditations that focus around the Law of Attraction. Usually, I don’t really want any truck with The Secret or Law of Attraction for reasons. Right now, though, I feel like being forced to listen to affirmations and focus only on the positive might be the nuclear option my brain needs.
I’m kind of kicking myself for not re-upping my supplies when all of this first hit the news — I’ve got some sweet orange oil, but not much else in the “joy promoting” area. It isn’t an area of magic I usually have to dabble in too often, but man I’d love to get my hands on a piece of genuine citrine, or even some dried hyacinth flowers!
(Seriously, though. I can lay a hex, break it, flip it, and reverse it. I can draw in love, chase away enemies, cleanse a space, ward a house, protect a vehicle, revive a plant, perform more kinds of divination than you can shake a stick at, and more. Joy, however, hasn’t been an area that I’ve focused on very much. Go figure!)
I hope you’re staying in and holding up well.