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Words, Wrants and Wramblings

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Wren Wrants A-Z ...

A Letter To My Daughter

A PumkinHead in the White House

A Real Bad Day For Witchcraft

A Real Reason To Vote

A Time for War, a Time for Peace and a Time to Browse the Bookstore

A Wonderful Piece of News

The Aftermath of Columbine High School

Beating A Not-So-Hasty Retreat

Behind Enemy Lines

Breakfast Will Be Served In Fifteen Minutes...

Building a Circle of Trust

But What Will People Think?

By Their Furniture, Ye Shall Know Them

Caution: Restricted Area

Cleaning Out The Junk Drawer

Community Power Who Holds it?

Community Thoughts on Tempest Smith

Compelling without the Yelling

Confessions of a News Junkie

The Consistancy of Change...


Coping with Grief

Cramming It Down Our Throats...

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't

Declaring Your Personal Independence Day

Did Your World Change Too?

Dreaming in The Dark...

There is No Zuul

There's a Rabbit In The Moon...

Excavating the Dinosaur Altar

Fair Use, Copyright and the Pagan Net

Feeding Our Young

The First Day

Gather 'Round The Fire

Getting Back To Nature

Getting Back To Normal

Getting Rid of What Bugs You

Gifts That Keep On Giving...

The Giving Circle

Gods In A China Shop...

Good And Evil: In The Shadow Of Littleton And The Garden Of The Gods.

Good Will Toward Men

The Great Hamster Myth

Happy Beltaine!

Happy Brigid's Day Everyone!

The Heart of A Mechanic

Helping Hands

Helping Our Own

Hidden Hatred Haunts Pagans

Home is Where the Spirit Is

Homosexuality and Public Policy

The Household of Priests and Priestesses

If The Hissy Fits

In A Mirror Darkly...

In Your Dreams

The Internet Reaches beyond Washington

It All Happens Locally

It Is Your Destiny

It's Maypole Week 'Round the World

It's Tribal Time!

January Arrives Wearing A White Coat

Judging Amy -- Wren's Thoughts

Killed a Goat Today

Knot Charming

Learning How To Fly

Life With Mikey

Listening To The Story

Listening To The Woods

Living In A Banana Republic

Living Through A Drought

Logging On and Speaking Out!

The Long and Short Of It

The Love of Ordinary Things

Mabon... a Man for all Seasons

Magick's Arrow

Mamas, Don't let your Babies...

The Media Story Is Often Not The True One

Mercury Has Left the Building

Minding Your News P's and Q's

Mixed Blessings

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Staying Gold

Author: Wren
Posted: May 7th. 2001
Times Viewed: 7,446

Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,

"Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold." were the final words that Johnny, one of the main characters in S.E. Hinton's classic book The Outsiders, speaks to his best friend, Ponyboy. Johnny and Ponyboy were both born and raised in a social class known as 'the greasers' - a fact that was expected to both seal their fates and rule their futures. Yet within each of these young men was another person-a real person-who did not fit the stereotype of who the world thought that they were. Ponyboy loved reading and sunsets. Johnny had the heart of a hero and the soul of a poet. It is only through the often brutal and ultimately tragic events that unfold in the story that the reader comes to see the 'real' person beneath the tough exteriors forged by the boys' surroundings. (No matter what your age, if you have never read, "The Outsiders' before, pick up a copy.)

The struggle to be 'who we really are' is never an easy one. Circumstances, financial status, family dynamics and peer pressures may all gang up on the individual in an effort to mold and shape the personality into this thing or that thing. An artist brought up in a family of lawyers or doctors will have just as much of struggle to remain true to his/her personal Muse as would a disadvantaged child trying to rise about the squalor and lethargy that stares him/her in the face each and every day. Authenticity comes with a price - a price which one must be willing to pay. But the rewards that come from living a life in authentic awareness are beyond measure.

Regular readers know that Wren is an avid fan of the varied works of Abraham Harold Maslow. Maslow's theories of 'self-actualization' continue to have relevance-perhaps even increasing relevance-today. In 'Future Visions', Maslow writes:
"How much of your dignity and pride depend on concealment and secrecy? How would you feel if people could always read your mind and know what you were thinking all the time? Or, if they could physically see you at all times-naked, without privacy or concealment, in all your private and secret activities? The dignity and pride that would then remain are your only REAL dignity and pride.

In order to regain authentic dignity and pride, try not concealing, not relying on external signs of validation (uniforms, medals, a cap and gown, labels, social roles). Show yourself as ultimately naked and self-revealing. Show your secret scars, shames, and guilts. Do not let anyone force roles on you. That is, do not act the way that other people think that a doctor, minister, or teacher SHOULD act if it is not natural for you. Do not conceal your ignorance. Admit it."

Maslow's self-actualizers (which are found in large numbers within the Pagan communities) are willing to do the work that it takes to be 'real'. So if you don't happen to like -or pay the outrageous sums for- 'ren' clothes (which are sure to be back 'in' as soon as 'The Mists of Avalon' airs), wear your jeans if that is what you are comfortable in. If you would rather take some time to celebrate the Holidays alone, do so. Decline social invitations that are no longer meaningful to your life and spend the time doing something that is. But becoming self-actualizing or authentic is not just about saying 'no' to those things in your life that no longer work for you. It is also about learning to say 'yes' to the things that will.

Say 'yes' to calling in a quarter at the next ritual even if you are very, very nervous about it. Say 'yes' to reading new materials or alternative viewpoints. Say 'yes' to writing that article or essay and dare to put yourself -your real self- out there for the world to see and enjoy. Say 'yes' to something that stretches your imagination, expands your boundaries or makes you reach just a little further than you ever have reached before. The gift of the 'real' you is a gift that only you can give.

Maslow continues:" One might say that 'the individual does not have to be victorious to be accepted by the gods'. This statement makes the point very well about psychological success. It also intimates that there isn't a single monolithic hierarchy of success or failure in life, but that many hierarchies exist. Perhaps ultimately each human being is a hierarchy unto him or herself, because in the final analysis, one's task is to be oneself well."

Stay gold!

Photo credit: This beautiful altar shot came in just this morning from Lady Heather (web: from Lady Lake, Florida (USA)... "Here is a picture of my daily altar. I mainly use it for morning and evening devotions. It is proudly displayed in the heart of my home, the living room. I hope you include it in the wonderful pictures you place on your home page". Thanks Lady Heather for this inspirational image!

Article Specs

Article ID: 4510

VoxAcct: 1

Section: wrenwalker

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,791

Times Read: 7,446



Location: Tampa, Florida

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