How Do You Order Up Your Pagan Group?
Author: Greenbridge (Ellen Bergstrom)
Would you call it bold and spicy? Or is it more like creamy and smooth? My guess is that it is more like the former, bold and spicy…and perhaps even outrageous, loud, and obnoxious, angry, or even destructive. Hopefully it has not gotten to the physically violent level as yet, but hey, give it time.
Am I being a bit sarcastic here? Well, yes, but there is a lot of accuracy in what I say. Pagans are often obnoxious, loud, angry, and even attacking each other. What’s wrong with that you say? Don’t like the “fluffy bunny” approach? Well okay then, you violent ones, why don’t you all stick together. Perhaps you will all destroy each other eventually or else mellow out to realize you really don’t want your children, your grandchildren, and continuing generations to be as mean and nasty a bunch that you were.
Perhaps as you reach your elder years, become sick and frail and unable to care for yourselves that you’ll really begin to appreciate those “fluffy bunnies” that signed up to care for people like you. Perhaps so but if you get a caretaker like you, a mean one, what will they do to frail ole you when no one is watching. Perhaps it will only be then. Or maybe not even then. Maybe you will say you are tough enough to put up with the abuse, abuse that you yourself have given to others during your life of eating fluffy bunnies for snacks and fun. You may have to only realize it on your deathbed when you finally figure it out. Perhaps you would have lived longer, or perhaps even recovered from this elder illness you had but alas none of the fluffy bunnies survived to care for you.
Well now. Obviously I am not the obnoxious mean type of pagan I talk about (but I used to be, I’m in recovery I guess you would say.) Or you may think I am what you may consider to be a fluffy bunny or at least advocating that kind of thing. Think again. Actually, the term “fluffy bunny” was invented by those who are perhaps arrogant and self-involved to the extent that they wish not to consider the needs of others except when they are being patronizing. Patronizing is a lot like the “trickle down” stuff. Give a few crumbs to the peasants to keep them quiet and get credit for being generous.
The real fluffy bunnies are infants and small children who are being raised in love and kindness. They are still naive, of course, they are children, and are filled with love and hope. They want to spend their days discovering new things and having lots of fun. They think kindly of others and want to help those in need and it comes from their hearts. Few of us adults have been able to retain that kind of spirit. Too many of us have become tainted, rebellious, and skeptical. Or perhaps we were spoiled rotten and never learned to think of others except for “our own.” Others of us harbor hate in our hearts and will destroy others when given the chance.
Some of the greatest people among us are those who have been deprived of the necessary love and kindness that all children should have received yet discover that the hateful way they were treated is not the life they chose. These people have learned that love and kindness is strength not a weakness. They realize the worldview is upside down. Strength means kindness not meanness. They have learned that being kind to others often will bring that back to them. In fact they have learned that true respect of others is only respect for the self. They discovered what is perhaps one of the greatest secrets of all: that we are all connected. And since we are all connected, hurting others is like one hand trying to harm the other. In short we all hurt.
I have a theory why so many Pagans are so mean to others and even to other Pagans. I think it is because so many of us have been forced to follow old fundamentalist ideas like those of the Fundamentalist Protestant and the Catholic Church. We learned that to be considered “good” we follow what we are taught to do but not necessarily what the others do who taught us. We learned that life is mean, tough and competitive as we grew up with it. We learned to rebel against these awful ideas as young people since we have a brain. But then instead of joyfully entering Paganism, some of us bring that anger and hate right to the place we thought would be the best for us. Think of it. Bringing your hatefully past to a place you think will bring you to some kind of happiness in life.
Some of us never learned how to love and kind to others. Some of us never learned what joy that kindness brings into your life. Instead we were taught that it was a sign of weakness. We learned we had to fight and compete. Or perhaps we were so spoiled and rotten we never learned to even consider the needs of others.
Perhaps we learned we had to talk loud and take over the discussion, not allowing others to talk. Perhaps even we were taught to belittle others who have ideas different from ours. Perhaps even we were taught physical destruction against the property of others or even violence such as hitting, etc. Those who continue to be nasty perhaps have never learned the skills of kindness or the understanding of the strength it takes to be kind. These are just simple social skills that anyone can do to show respect for another human being. The strength comes in when they are practiced.
Turning the channel now.
Aaaahhhhh. Now I enter thoughts of love, kindness and peace. As I do so, I leave behind the abusive parents I had, the mean teachers, the hypocrites from the church I grew up in, the bully kids at school, the bullies at work. And those bullies at the last Pagan gathering I went to. I relax by myself and with others who are like me interested in having a loving and peaceful world. I know that is the only way I can fully develop all my talents and abilities and create the life I want.
There are many of us Pagans, those of us that want love and peace. We are not “fluffy bunnies.” Many of us are still full of piss and vinegar…spicy as all get out! We are very strong women and men who despite all the meanness and destruction in the world around us are strong enough to be kind to others. We care lovingly for those who need our help. And we care lovingly for our loved ones and for ourselves. We have known how easy it is to be mean and nasty to others…we did it ourselves. After all, that is how we were brought up too! But we realized it was the cowardly way out. We decided we did not want to be cowards.
We found out that after all it is the harder life to have in the long run though it “seems” to be easier. We discovered that it just seemed easier because it was something we were accustomed to doing and thus it was an automatic response. Being kind… that was hard because we never did it before. But when we started doing it, it turned out to be a happier life after all. We found out that it is a far easier, better, and more enjoyable life to simply be kind to others. We found that we could be kind to everyone, not just “our own.” When will you find that out, now, or will you wait till the moments before your death.
Oh and about that “bold and spicy” as opposed to “smooth and creamy”, I’ve decided that I don’t have to chose either one. I can have one of them today and perhaps the other tomorrow. I can have them both! I also discovered that I could add and subtract from things, juggle them around and make them the way I like. I choose to add kindness to the “bold and spicy” label but I delete out the mean part. Think I’ll create just that. Care to join me? Why not have it all together? What would you create? Let me know? I promise, I’ll be kind.