Nothing Special... Part Two
Article ID: 15320
Age Group: Adult
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Author: The Redneck Pagan
Posted: May 12th. 2013
Times Viewed: 2,480
So let’s see… in my last essay, I basically told a handful of people that they are not special… and softened the blow by saying neither am I. So now that I have pissed people off, let’s see if I can pull my foot out of my mouth long enough to explain.
Really and truly, in many ways, none of us are special. Let’s look at me. I had an “average life”. I was born in the city, and my parents had my brother when I was five. We lived in a house; I went to school, played in some team sports here and there. Took some dance classes. In high school, I did some choir and some drama. I even took art (my poor instructor must have cried every time I handed in a project. I cannot draw to save my life) . I went to University, graduated, and worked a few jobs. I rented a small basement suite for a few years, got close to and fell in love with my husband. We bought a house, got married, and now pay taxes, have pets, run errands, everything else one associates with being a functional member of society.
Just like millions of others around the world.
Even in my Witchcraft, I am really nothing special. My story is a very common one. Raised with a smattering of Christianity here and there, but not really finding it fit. Eventually finding out about Witchcraft and Paganism, devouring everything I could get my hands on, feeling like I was coming home. Practicing on my own, amassing my tools, reading, trying out spells, reading, trying to learn to meditate, reading, making charms, reading. Even my Book of Shadows is rather boring. I have one that has all of my spell work in it, and another one that I made for all my devotionals, Sabbat information, God and Goddess information etc. They are both two small black books, nothing on the cover, which I bought at Winner’s for ten bucks each. Recently my husband and I have started on a family Book of Shadows for our shared spiritual aspects. I paid a bit more for this one but it is still just a plain brown leather book.
Once again, the just like other Witches around the world.
You see, I feel the problem lies in our definition of ‘special’. As Pagans/Witches and the like-minded, we all know that words have power (I know this; I just have a heck of a time remembering that! . We have loaded the word ‘special’ to have a variety of meanings, and have focused on the wrong ones. I debated giving you the Webster’s Dictionary definition, but to be honest, I get bored reading those. Suffice to say, when people think of the word ‘special’ we think of a diamond ring, a brand name purse, a fancy car or a multi-million dollar home. When applying the term ‘special’ to people, we think of a sports player, a great leader, or sadly, a celebrity of some kind. Now obviously I am speaking in very generic terms here. Some of us might think of our grandparents, a sibling, or a lover. Or, ourselves.
In order to be special, we humans will do crazy things! We will buy the very best clothes, designer labels that cost way more than they are worth. We will max out as many credit cards as we can to get that Coach purse, the Guess Jeans (or whatever the hot brand is today) . We buy cars that are more expensive than what we need, because they look good and show the world how ‘special’ we are. Women spend thousands on cosmetics every year (okay, I am guilty of this one; I love eye shadow. I have far more than I need in all kinds of sparkly colours!) to be gorgeous, to be admired… to be special. We may spend thousands to have the best house, one that makes us the envy of the neighbourhood… to show to the world how special we are.
Even worse than monetary cost we expend in our hunt to be special are the things we are willing to do to our bodies. Women will pluck and wax their eyebrows, shave their legs and use harsh hair removal techniques in order to get that perfect look. Men will even wax and shave parts of their bodies to get the slick skin of a body builder. We will spend hours in the gym to get that perfect six-pack or tight butt (going well above and beyond the exercise our bodies need to be healthy) . Or sadly, we put ourselves on crazy diets, starving ourselves, some even as far as making themselves sick to stay beautiful (or there are some on the opposite end, who get addicted to foods, who eat for the pleasure it brings, or to mask pain, to make up for a perceived lack of specialness… but that is a topic for another blog) . Some people who use drugs such as steroids, to build muscles and get that special look. Most frightening of all, we cut open our own flesh, carving chunks of it out, or implanting foreign objects in, so as to get that perfect cup size, to fix the funny nose, to get the booty we have always wanted… For what?
To be beautiful, to be noticed and admired… to be special.
Now, not all of us are appearance-driven, so there are many other crazy things we do. We try to read all the trendy books, the best sellers to show how well read we are. Academic elitists write long articles, blogs (might have put my foot in my mouth here... again) or books filled with long-winded examples to illustrate a simple point, or use words that are typically only found in the extra large Webster dictionaries, to prove to us how smart they are.
Gamers spend hours a day playing the latest greatest games, blowing thousands of dollars on an activity that gives no tangible results. Others will shop at the organic and free trade stores, walking around in the trendy free trade clothing. People tell those they meet about how good they are, how low impact they are… and argue with people over who is better at being low impact. And then there are the hipsters, who did everything before it was cool.
In our little corner of the social world (Pagans) , we have our Salem Witch descendants, our 5th generation witches, our Burning Times survivors, our Morgan Le Fays and Merlins. We also have the all high-and-mighty High Priests/esses. You know the ones, got into the craft initially as a form of rebellion, read a couple of books, maybe took some online classes and now are amassing as many worshippers as possible. We have some of our really staunch traditionalists: “Well I was trained as a British Traditionalist. You know… the real witches”. There are even the 3rd Degree’s, who have worked hard and amassed knowledge, and now dole out cutting words mixed with praise, feeding their followers’ need to be special while filling their own egos with their personal awesomeness (and also sometimes, their pockets) .
Thousands of people, doing thousands of stupid things...all to be special. Now I know this is not everyone; some of us are like this occasionally, others used to be like this and then grew a brain, and some people are never like this. There are exceptions to every rule, every stereotype, every mould and every example out there. But there are lots of people like this out there. And I don’t mind admitting, I have fallen into this trap myself, and sometimes when I do something silly like compare myself to others, I still fall into it.
But again, I say our definition is at fault here. We think of ‘special’ as being something grand and spectacular, when really everything is special…. Don’t believe me? Okay, look into reproduction. We start as the fusing of a sperm and an egg, a mish-mash of incomplete chromosomes from our parents. Then the single chromosomes from your father’s sperm finds their match in your mother’s egg and somehow line up and create one complete cell. That cell then duplicates itself; then these two do it again to become four, then eight, then sixteen. As these cells multiply, they slowly, over nine months, do crazy things like create the heart, the lungs, and the most amazing piece of all, the entire nervous system, including our brains!
There are so many things that can go wrong (and actually do, spontaneous abortions due to abnormalities are still being measured scientifically but could be as high as 50% of all pregnancies. Usually these occur so early that the woman did not even know she was pregnant) . The fact that we have successfully populated the entire planet, to the point of risking overcrowding is a miracle. The fact that you today, are able to read this and go about your day-to-day living is a miracle. And then add to that the idea of consciousness, and as pagans, think of alternate planes, think of the merging of a soul with the body and them interacting as one from birth until death! Whole new spin on life as a gift, isn’t it?
We are all special. We are of the Gods. I believe that everything, the Gods created the basic building blocks of life. Every part of our essence and being is infused with the Gods. ‘Remember thou art Goddess, or thou art God’. I also believe we are incarnated when and where we are for a reason, to further our personal growth and to help the growth of all around us. Every second of the day or night, you have the chance to go out into the world and do something that makes a difference. Maybe it’s a kind word to a stressed cashier, holding the door for the person with their arms full, smiling at a stranger, visiting a shut-in loved one, feeding the homeless, helping an animal in distress, ANYTHING!!!!
The Gods put us here and now, for a reason. Your soul exists for a reason. You were born and grew up for a reason. You are who and what you are for a reason. Don’t waste that precious gift chasing after an ideal of what you think will make you ‘special’. Embrace that you ARE special. Now go out there and make this world a better place in your own special way!
The Redneck Pagan
The Redneck Pagan
Location: Alberta, Alberta
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