I write a lot of informative posts, teaching metaphysical basics. I’m constantly getting private messages – I’m open to that because I enjoy teaching, I enjoy sharing knowledge and helping others grow. I end up with a lot of people coming to me with “So I experienced this. Was it real? Can you check?”
I think that people who start a metaphysical path have this idea that they’ll say a few magickal words and suddenly the Halls of Knowledge(TM) will suddenly open and they will be able to know all, do all. I used to call it Magick Wand Syndrome. But there’s a lot of insecurity in dealing with the unseen realities around us – “what’s my imagination and what’s actually there?”
We’ve all been there… but those of us who get past it… get past it by figuring out how to trust ourselves – and sometimes validation is helpful… but not when it becomes a crutch.
I feel like… if I keep checking for people, they’re never going to trust themselves. I said to one – “I see/sense the world through my own filters, my own experiential lens – if I don’t line up with yours, then you’re going to doubt your experience more than you do now, and that loss of confidence will block you further. Stop asking me to confirm your experiences, and start asking the universe to give you signs that can confirm for you. You need to believe in yourself more than me, or anyone else, if you’re ever going to get anywhere.”
I have had that same conversation like… I dunno… 9 times in the past four days? So I realized I needed to write this.
There are a few mistakes I made when I was just starting out on a magickal path. My choice of path has changed, but the mistakes that I see others making are the same ones I made, too.
Don’t compare your experiences with others. You don’t know what gifts they have, you don’t know where they excel and where they don’t. This is an online community. For the most part, you’re not going to see the most human parts of us – we don’t often share our failures, we don’t talk about bathroom breaks or how we put pants on… but we’re human just like you. We’re flawed, just like you. There are absolutely places where you excel and we don’t – just because you don’t know them yet doesn’t make them invalid. When you base everything you hope to achieve, all your expectations, on the achievements of idols – you will fail. You will never measure up to an illusion.
I spent so much time thinking to myself, “If I had that person’s training/upbringing/opportunities I’d be so much further along now!” It’s not a race. You discover what you discover when you’re ready to discover it, and not before. If I’d had someone else’s upbringing, I’d probably still be right where I am now, because I’m me, and not them. The same goes for you. Previous opportunities lost or received does not mean that you’re behind or deficient.
Don’t use hero worship as an excuse to fail. Sometimes, we look at our idols and think, “I’ll never be like them, they’re so wonderful and perfect.” No, we’re not. Just because I don’t share all the ways I’m SO not perfect and all the parts of my life that totally are not working out for me doesn’t mean I don’t HAVE THOSE. Just like you. I see this so often – people idolizing someone, and then not following their own path, but following that person instead, and constantly comparing themselves and not measuring up to that illusion they’ve created of that person. You’re never going to measure up to an idealized person.
A friend of mine who runs a very successful Demonolatry forum and attached store has insecurities. She has days where she cries. Her insecurities sometimes cause her to go along with a situation that’s not the best for her or others, because her insecurities make her afraid to move. Every way she turns, someone gets hurt, and she doesn’t want to be the one to step on toes.
I have insecurities. Actually, sometimes I have that exact same insecurity. I also have MOODS. There have been times I’ve just gone on the warpath and snapped at everyone in my way. I get impatient and fed up with stuff, and I go on the warpath and make sweeping decisions that ARE NOT MINE TO MAKE… and people get hurt.
Another very successful practitioner who runs an online magickal store wears trouser socks. I know this because at a chat party 8 years ago, a fan won a prize and asked for their prize to be a pair of his socks. He handled it quite gracefully, but… look at this from our perspectives. How would you feel if someone thought so highly of you that they wanted to wear your clothes, as if wearing them would somehow help them to be awesome, too? Like, say you’re fantastic at a sport. I suck at sports. Can I wear your jockstrap so suddenly I can throw a ball better? I don’t want to do any of the work you had to do to get that skill… I just want your jersey.
It’s creepy – this hero worship. It’s not healthy for you, it’s not healthy for those of us on the receiving end.
Once upon a time, these practitioners were two years old. They threw temper tantrums in grocery stores because they wanted that stuffed animal or those cookies. JUST LIKE YOU. They grew up. They learned things.
My demonolatry friend didn’t just learn about demonolatry and working with demons from her family – eventually, she actually gave up most of her life to pursue work with other human beings, and demons, with skills she wanted to learn. She gave up safety, and her family worried. She sacrificed to get where she is – it was hard work. Her achievements are based on pain and struggles… and they’re not over yet. She’s still moving forward, and there are still a lot of mountains to climb.
Once upon a time, every practitioner was an apprentice who didn’t even know how to cast a circle. They got where they’re at the same way everyone else does. They trained. They studied. They fought for their place in the world.
All the things I write for you – never forget that I am autistic. That I have PTSD. That I suffer every day. Never forget that I have migraines so bad I have to pad my panties because I lose control of my bladder during them. I Am A Human Being. I have problems. I’m not perfect.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO SUCCEED. You just have to try. And when you fail… you have to try again. A different way. And keep trying.
None of your heroes are heroes. Don’t compare yourself and set yourself up for failure. It’s hard, grueling work to get where we are. If you want it, you’ll pay for it. But it’s worth it.
So many people ask me questions, every day. I’m not the only one who gets flooded with questions. I enjoy helping people, I have the time. I don’t mind doing a quick google search for you if I don’t know the answer but I do know how to find it. I don’t mind sharing my experiences and what I know. However – I really don’t like it when people put my knowledge above their own personal experiences. I feel, sometimes, that my answers matter more than your own, and that’s NOT HOW IT SHOULD BE.
It’s important for you to do your own research, your own experiments. It’s vital that you get your own answers, and that you test those answers. It’s ABSOLUTELY THE MOST VITALLY IMPORTANT THING EVER THAT YOU LEARN WHAT’S REAL AND NOT THROUGH YOUR OWN SENSES. You have to learn to trust YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES… or why are you here? It’s important to discover yourself, and the magick inside you – and you won’t do that if you’re constantly looking to your idols to provide you with the things you feel you lack. You have to go out and learn how to provide for yourself. Our answers aren’t always going to be the best answers for you because you are an individual universe, unfolding in your own way.
Spells, connections to deities, companion bonds, articles that offer advice – all these are just TOOLS. They’re not meant to supplant ACTUAL EFFORT. Please stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Please stop looking at successful people and deciding that success is an impossible goal for yourself – and please stop defining success by the paths your heroes are walking. Believe in YOURSELF… and believe in OUR humanity. Believe we aren’t perfect… and that you have a chance.
Test your intuition. Explore your senses. Learn what’s real for you. You don’t need us to tell you what’s real – we won’t always be there. You HAVE to learn this for yourself – learn to believe in yourself and your intuitive experience.
Think of it this way. There are two types of people in this world. Both suck at sports. One type looks at sports and says, “I’m really not good at that – I’m going to try again. I’m going to listen to teachers, and I’m going to train my muscles. I’m going to keep practicing until I’m better. When I’m better, I’m going to see if I can push myself further. How far can I go, if I keep trying?” The other type of person says, “Those people over there are so much better. They’re just gifted. They’re naturally better at sports. I’m not. I’ll never be like them. I’m just not going to try.”
Who do you want to be?
Success is different for everyone. There is no measuring stick for success because what makes me feel successful is getting out of bed in the morning, and what makes you successful is being able to cover this month’s car payment, and what makes your idols feel successful is something completely different.
Don’t measure us by your standards. Don’t measure yourself by ours.
I love you.