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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,880,778  

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Question of the Week: 41 - 5/14/2001

What Makes You So Special?

What do you think is special about you? We generally aren't conditioned to believe that it is okay to think well of ourselves. But the point could be made that if we can't see what is 'special' about ourselves then we are constantly at the mercy of other people's opinions. We all know that compliments come and compliments go. So do criticisms. Claiming your own specialness allows you to keep your equilibrium through both the good and bad reviews of your life, behavior, work, religion or whatever anyone else feels free to comment upon.

Do the people in your life see your specialness? Have you dared to be open enough to show them? Ask a friend or acquaintance what they think is 'special' about you. Did you both come up with the same answers? And if you have always wanted to tell someone else what you think is special about him or her, here's your chance to do it!

 Reponses:   There are 33 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Ye Gods, What A Question! What Makes Me Special? Why, The Same... May 14th. at 3:45:24 pm EDT

Aedh Rua (Prophetstown, Illinois US) Age: 35 - Email

Ye Gods, what a question!

What makes ME special? Why, the same things that make YOU special: a complex interaction among genetics, life experiences, and the background of the soul.
So complex is this interaction that no two people are alike, but this is a truism.

In ancient Irish psychology, this mixture of factors is called dluth, a word which means warp, as in weave. Our identities are "ina dluth", which is to say, "in the warp", woven into us. The most important element of dluth is dan, a word which can mean art, vocation, talent, destiny, all as a unified concept. Our dan, and we each have one, is what we are in the end meant to do; whether we do it is up to us. Still, it is a part of ancient Gaelic tradition that everyone has a dan, everyone has value.

I probably know what my dan is, but that would be telling.......

I suppose that my knowledge of all of the above is part of what makes me special, but only a part. Most anyone can gain knowledge, if they are motivated enough.

Otherwise, my specialness is in no way special. We all are unique, and we all have something to offer. The problem is that we live in a society which only values those unique offerings which can make someone money. As a result, most of us are devalued, and learn self-hatred, to at least some extent.

Interestingly enough, the fundies, and indeed, virtually all religions, also deplore this state of affairs. Now, if we could all cooperate with one another -- Pagans, Wiccans, Xians, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and all the religions I am forgetting, alike -- we could maybe do something to ensure that everyone is valued. Of course that would mean giving up our efforts to persecute others.........

I've Always Been Told I Was Special, Both Admiringly And Mockingly, And... May 14th. at 3:58:36 pm EDT

Moondragon (San Francisco, California US) Age: 24 - Email

I've always been told I was special, both admiringly and mockingly, and growing up it was painfully obvious that I was very different from my peers. After a while I stopped my vain and exhausting attempts to 'fit in' and just started doing my own thing. Which is a lot like swimming upstream when you're a teenager. Now as an adult I'm away from that whole mentality of trying to be like others. I can more clearly see what sets me apart from the herd.

Allow me to extol my own virtues for a moment. (Wait - allow me? Whose permission do I really need but my own?)


I am special because I always try to do the right thing even if it means sacrificing for a stranger. I can confront my own phobias and overcome them. I never grew wisdom teeth. I've been given the gift of music and I share it constantly. I can open Band-Aids with the little red strings. I am can create a sacred space instantly wherever I am. I have an almost perfectly functioning body and I thank her every day. I make terrific Indian food. I can gargle any song in the world.

So many people I see every day can't take the time to stop and see the specialness in themselves. They see other peoples specialness and the think of themselves as unspecial, it doesn't matter how many cool things they think, say, feel or do. Instead of being miserable comparing themselves to others, I'd like to see them thinking about those things that make them unique. We're all of us different, and we each have a special role to fulfill in the Universe.

Ouch - That's Harder Than Talking About Faults :-) This Subject Is Something With... May 14th. at 7:04:17 pm EDT

Trish Telesco (Western, New York US) Age: 41 - Email

Ouch - that's harder than talking about faults :-)

This subject is something with which I've been struggling for some time. There is part of me that always wants to do "for the sake of______ (fill in with propriety, fashion, etc.). There is another part that's plagued by the "enoughs" ... not doing enough, achieving enough. In recent months several friends and the Universe have come by with the clue-by-four and said... LOL... enough!

Each of us is special and unique, and each of us has gifts to share. My talents come in very mundane disguises: organization, professionalism, drive, fortitude, and seeing things through to completion (in a Pisces!). I also feel I'm a steadfast friend, a giver (who has trouble receiving sometimes ... grf), a guide for some and student to others, and reasonbly creative (but don't ask me to draw!). See, therein is the balance and why we need each other. You have talents I do not. I have some you may not. But when we bring together our community and work as a whole, we can make a difference!

Ok, hopping off the soapbox.

I'm Special Because I Make Others Feel Special... *i Can Sing Well... May 14th. at 10:47:33 pm EDT

Annwyn (Christchurch, New Zealand) Age: 30 - Email

I'm special because I make others feel special...

*I can sing well enough to have my Voice Master tell me I could go far, if I really want to. I've sung my heart out at friend's weddings, and that's made them feel special.
* I'm a teaching assistant at my local Polytechnic, in classes that I am also a member of - I signed up for a beginners paper to fill some time, and since I am considered as 'too advanced' in skills to be in the paper, I might as well help out some of the people who are struggling. When they achieve improved grades, they feel special.
*I still live at home, but at a reduced board rate, as Mum gets a live-in housekeeper and I'm living on student allowance (yes, they allow us to live...just). Mum loves coming home to a clean and tidy home, so that makes her feel special.

But, aside from making others feel special, I also have a few talents of my own that make me special...

*I can tell a good bedtime story
*I always try to smile at people
*I am capable
*I am organised
*It only took me 3 years to get the gumption to actually drive the car I'd bought myself. (for me, that is a big thing...procrastination rules!)
*2 and a half years ago, I gave up a full-time job to go back to tertiary education. It was scary, and exciting, and now, I'm addicted to the student thing at 30. AAARRGH!
*I can manage to survive on $50 a week; after tax, petrol (gasoline) and board have reduced my $150.
*I love my family, my pets and my friends. Heck, I can even love my clapped out old car when it refuses to start and I'm running late for a class.

So, having tooted my own trumpet loudly and long, I will depart, leaving ringing in ears and echoes of ego scattered behind me!

Goddess loves us all!

I'm Very Good At Staying Calm In Crisis Situations. It's Been A... May 14th. at 11:59:44 pm EDT

Dreamweaver (South Bend, Indiana US) Age: 34 - Email

I'm very good at staying calm in crisis situations. It's been a great asset at various times in my way-too-chaotic life to be able to stand apart from a crazy situation and think through what I should do instead of just reacting. I know that it has kept me out of trouble on many occasions.

I Think The Fact That My 16 Year Old Daughter And I... May 15th. at 1:16:18 am EDT

Pandora MoonDragon (Atlanta, Georgia US) Age: 36 - Email

I think the fact that my 16 year old daughter and I both study witchcraft(SHE got me into it!!!.....altho she is more interested in paganism in general)and she really WANTS to spend time doing things with her ol' lady...THAT makes me FEEL special! Not too many moms out there who can claim that in this day and age!

As The Intro Says, We're Not Used To Blowing Our Own Trumpets... May 15th. at 8:15:02 am EDT

Jools (Rhyl, England UK) Age: 34 - Email

As the intro says, we're not used to blowing our own trumpets, but here goes nothing!

I'm a good listener and I don't judge. If those around me have troubles, it's usually me they come to first, because they know they'll get a shoulder to cry on, or someone to yell at, who won't hold it against them, or blurt it out to the rest of the world either! They also know that if it's at all within my capabilities, I'll do anything to help anyone, and that they can call me any time, day or night, and I'm as willing to listen and make tea at two in the morning as I am at three in the afternoon! That's it, really - apart from the fact that I make a wonderful chocolate cake too ( which has played it's own part in comforting a few folks!) , which is ruinous for the diet, but your taste buds will love you forever!

Goddess and God be with us all, cos we're all special in our own unique ways!

When I First Read This Week's Question, I Was Repulsed. Normally, I... May 15th. at 1:28:47 pm EDT

John (New Naumkeag) Age: 34 - Email

When I first read this week's question, I was repulsed. Normally, I try to focus on God or others as the source of good or special things in my life so as to cultivate humility and to shift the focus of my soul from ego to the Divine.

But, it is a valid question. Not answering it is actually a sign of false humility. As the saying goes, "God doesn't make junk." We're all here for a reason, a Divine reason, and neither our common humanity nor our human limitations negates the fact that we are all, individually, special. So, and in no particular order ...


--I am intelligent and intellectual.

--I can discourse at length but I can also pithily get to the gist of something.

--I am a good speaker and a good listener.

--I am a good writer and a good reader.

--I am a good teacher and a good student.

--I can be serious or whimsical.

--I have a kind heart.

--I am psychic and mystical enough to have a constant awareness of the Divine in and beyond all.

--I am experienced enough to know that the psychic and mystical sides of life are true but that they are not all of Truth Itself.

--I have lots of experience (good and bad) in living real life. For example, I went from a background of privilege to a homeless shelter, then to practicing law to a disillusionment with practicing law; then to running my own business to disillusionment with that. For some more examples, I have also experienced: the ordinary and the great, the mundane and the esoteric, travel and staying put, adventure and monotony; health and sickness, wealth and poverty, power and weakness, success and failure, triumph and tragedy, love and betrayal, marriage and divorce, births and deaths; foolishness and wisdom, despair and faith, sin and redemption, prayer and magic, free will and fate and free will again; ignorance and Truth. Looking back on the roller coaster of my life so far, I'm sometimes amazed at all that I have experienced. I havenŐt "done it all" or even come close, but I have (in retrospect) experienced a lot in life. Sometimes, I muse that about the only things I have not experienced are having children and dying (and dying I have come close to on several occasions).

--I (thus?) have a great amount of solicitude, empathy and sympathy for the vicissitudes and varieties of human experience, especially human suffering (both as consequence from choice and from events coming "out of the blue").

--I (thus also?) have a tremendous amount of certainty in the need for people to learn to rise above pain and pleasure --treating pain and pleasure as two sides of the same "coin" of life, which is meant to be used and not hoarded-- in order to live morally and in Truth.

--I (thus also?) continuously try to realize and live Truth.

--I can honestly say that I have no fear of death, that both suffering and joy are tolerable as well as necessary companions on the road of life, and that wasting the gift of this life is what I truly fear and is thus what I work to overcome.

(Others have remarked that all of the above statements are true about me. They also tell me that, with my talents and experiences, I should probably become a professor. If I did, I would probably go into philosophy or comparative religion. Then again, I may end up as a renunciate. Or, both. Whatever I do next, I just turned 34 on Saturday, 12 May 2001, and with all that I have been through, and with being alive and sane and regaining my health, being 34 years old has never looked better.)

I am also special because...

--I love coffee, tobacco, tequila and the other pleasures of life, with both moderation and gusto.

--I look good.

--I love life, in its ordinary and everyday parts as much as the extraordinary and esoteric parts.

--I am a Witch.

And, I am special because of the tremendous amount of blessings I have been given. I could write for pages about them, but here I'll just mention these: life, love, family, friends, teachers, students, joys, sufferings, freedom, Truth.

Blessed Be.

New Naumkeag, U.S.A.
Tuesday, 15 May 2001

If My Friends Knew I Was Writing This, I'd Never Hear The... May 15th. at 2:11:14 pm EDT

Stazya (Chicago, Illinois US) Age: 33 - Email

If my friends knew I was writing this, I'd never hear the end of it. I actually have a fear of talking about myself or being talked about - anyone know the name of that phobia? But I know it's something I have to get over so here is my first attempt:

I'm special because I'm a teacher. I don't mean that's my profession (though I am a corporate trainer - it seemed a natural fit), I mean that there's something about me that makes people understand whatever it is I'm trying to explain. Not only do they manage to understand it, but they take what I've told them and move on to make it their own. People are drawn to me because of this. I spend my days listening to people, telling stories and learning what life has to teach me so I can share it with anyone that asks. Maybe it's really the seeker who's special and I'm just blessed to be the one they're looking for, but if my friends are to be believed, then this truly is my gift.

Ok, so I backed off a little at the end, but it was a start wasn't it?

I Am Special Because I Love A Beautiful, Wonderful, Intelligent, Witty And... May 15th. at 7:43:49 pm EDT

Linds (NYC, New York US) Age: 20

I am special because I love a beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, witty and incredible woman, whom I hope to spend the rest of my life with. :-) Love ya, darling. You make me be the best that I can be, and you are certainly what makes me special.

Wow, This Is A Topic That Most People Are Usually Hesitant To... May 15th. at 11:40:10 pm EDT

Angie McMullen (Montoursville, Pennsylvania US) Age: 22 - Email

Wow, this is a topic that most people are usually hesitant to talk about(including yours truly here:) ). I'm special because I've been blessed with someone to love and love me back. I've also been blessed with 3 wonderful animals that own me more than I own then(sarcasm: as if another being can truly own another being). Also I'm a Wicce who has found this remarkable religious Path and belief system. Some People would say if they were in my position that their life would be horrible but I think my life is great and am happy with it so far.

Love and Light


I Think I'm Special Because I'm Still *here*. My Parents Split When... May 16th. at 11:21:02 pm EDT

Heather (Deep in the Heart, Texas US) Age: 19

I think I'm special because I'm still *here*.

My parents split when I was 2 (after they gave my [still unknown to me] brothers up for adoption). My grandparents raised me until they died when I was a pre-teen. I had an abusive father who recently died. My mom joined the army, and has hardly ever been around. I went through 15 different homes/living arrangements and 10 schools. I didn't graduate. I've been through 4 jobs. I'm only 19. I'm paying for my own braces from working a retail job. I *still* don't know how I've gotten through it all.

I think I'm special because I'm still *here*.

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