>Always the Wanderer

>If I was crazy, would I truly know it?

Is the fact that I question it often a sign of sanity? Or is it instead, just an awareness of INsanity?
I grew up religion-less. Not only did we have no real religious upbringing, but there was no spirituality either. Not that rare in Western Canada.
My mother was a youngster when she had me. Her and my birth father did not stay together. When I was two, my mom married a Jewish man. He adopted me as his daughter. Before the wedding, my mother converted to Judaism. A few short years later, I had a Mikveh and was given the Jewish name Adina. However, other than the most commonly celebrated Jewish Holy Days, such as Chanukah and Passover, there really was no proof that we were a Jewish family. I had no idea what the celebrations were about.
When I was 16, I became pregnant and wanted to marry my Roman Catholic boyfriend. So, of course, I was baptised Roman Catholic (on my due date. My first born son however, was a bit stubborn luckily and was not born until 12 days later).
I went along with Catholicism for awhile. It was beautiful. Magical almost. When I decided to leave my husband two years later, I left the church as well. I had become a bit bitter toward the Church. I felt that they condoned bad behaviour (my husband was from a family of abusive alcoholics and he was no different unfortunately) by simply allowing them to confess their repeated ill treatment of themselves and others with no encouragement really to right their wrongs. I of course was viewing it all through the eyes of an angry, hurt 18 year old with a small child.
So, for many years after that, a decade or so, I was pretty darn atheist. Then I came across something called Wicca. It had the fancy ritual stuff that I had come to love from the church, yet a whole new world of ideas and beliefs and freedom of expression. It was beautiful.
I wanted to incorporate these new traditions and ideas into my family life and into my own life , and I was very successful at doing so. For the next few years I was a practicing Gardnerian Witch with a little coven, along with my best friend and my new husband (who had been a dear friend of many years. Friend turned lover, turned husband) .
Anyone in the Craft, fortunate enough to be close to a big pagan community, as I was in Vancouver knows that pagans know how to throw one heck of a party!!! Every 6 weeks, some new change in the earth’s life cycle is happening and it is celebrated whole heartedly.
My husband and I decided to have a child together. I had three much older children from a previous life, but my husband had none of his own. This resulted in many life changes. The parties stopped, no drinking or smoking or being in places where indoor smoking was going to be taking place. I stepped back from the pagan way of life and sort of cocooned during my pregnancy.
We then moved about an hour out of town two months before our son was born. Total relocation for me and my kids. We had been in the same neighbourhood for more than a decade. The move was weird for me, but I wasn’t sad or homesick. It was like shedding a layer and emerging. Our son was born. And then about 9 months later I was pregnant again with our second son (my fifth child and fourth boy)
During this time, my Wiccan ways were quite neglected. Nursing non stop, awake all night with crying babies, diapers, hormonal imbalances etc etc…. the days of dancing about in circles with wreathes in my hair felt like light years away. Anything that we did try to put together for some reason never really worked out. And the amount of work it took to put together seemed odd. Why wasn’t it fun? Why wasn’t I looking forward to these celebrations anymore? I realized that it was starting to lacking something to me. I was noticing an absence of substance.
I had never been able to really jump on board with the God and Goddess as anything more than made up personifications. Female and Male aspects of the one Divine personified so that we could more easily send and direct energy toward them which in turn sends energy and love to ourselves because the Divine resides within (etc etc) I saw them as abstract archetypal figures. And it occurred to me that they were no more real than I had felt God was. So why had I been so quick to toss Him out?
About this time I stumbled across a blog by Fr.Jordan Stratford of the Apostolic Johannite Church. I had been googling ‘Witchcraft and Gnosticism’ to see if there were links. I found his blog to be a wonderful read and began looking more deeply into Gnosticism.
Of course, my Wiccan mind still was personifying, and Gnosticism in the sense I was beginning to learn of was quite perfect. Logos and Sophia. Male and Female aspects of the One. The Divine.
So now, I had the beauty of the ritual, plus alot of liberal freedom, because the Gnostic Churches I have been acquainted with are very open to everyone, regardless of your denomination, gender, or sexual orientation. There is all sorts of room for study, contemplating, analyzing etc. I looked online for good forums where I could ask my zillion dumb (to me) questions. I came across a forum that I posted at a few times, but for the most part I was afraid to post because I was pretty sure I would be smacked with the ‘stupid stick’ which some members seemed to carry about quite proudly.
So, I started a website called Spiral Inward, with a forum attached called The Gnostic Cafe. We just celebrated our one year birthday 🙂 During that year I have joined and then dropped out of, a Gnostic Seminary, as well as a Gnostic-ish lay monastery. My views and opinions constantly changing as they grow. Wanting SO much to run a Gnostic church one day, with grace and beauty. Day and night, my mind filled with thoughts about the Nag Hammadi scriptures, the different myths and systems. But one day, my brain just called out “STOP”
I listened. No more studying, just experiencing. Just sitting… cocooning again it seemed.
I started attending an Anglican church. I needed a real, physical sense of community. Something I could experience on a regular basis with other people. Even with Gnostic tendencies, it’s quite enjoyable. One just sorts of views things as a Valentinian… looking for the deeper or alternate meaning within everything. Reciting the creed, and the Lord’s Prayer… then I started some studying again.
Working this time within the Universal Church of Autogenes, a very liberal Church with many Schools of Thought. I originally joined the Valentinian school of thought because it seemed like I was living that sort of life. I read a few Gnostic texts, as well as the New Testament, as well as books regarding the compilation of the New Testament, Early Christianity etc.
Then the next bit hit me. My realization that if I want to follow the teachings of Christ, that I wanted to study his teachings and that was it. I didn’t want everyone’s story and myth about the supposed virgin birth, and his death (the only two things about Christian teachings that seem to leap out at me) . I didn’t want to read all the letters from supposed leaders of the early church to the supposed followers. It would be different if these stories were presented as Myth, (as much of the Old Testament is) but they aren’t. In the Christian community they are presented in a way that is supposed to show us that Jesus was born , and somewhere along the way (or BEFORE, as in John) he became Divine. Whether it be the New Testament, or whether it be the Gnostic Cospels, it was all a bunch of writings about different people’s understandings of Jesus’s life , and their understanding of God’s real agenda (while promoting the belief of their particular community.
So, enter The Gospel of Thomas. No Narrative. No Opinion. Just a bunch of sayings. Take ’em or leave ’em.
Good ol Thomas. Is it genuine? Well, is ANY of our writings anywhere genuine?
For me it’s about as genuine as it’s going to get. And there is a whole lot of room in there to figure out who we are. It’s all about knowing ourselves. I am currently in a Thomasine order within the Holy Monastic Order En Deus. It’s a comforting good place for my heart.
I find myself wondering lately…. Jesus was a Jew. He taught Jewish stuff, but with his own interpretation. If he existed (and I am going with the opinion that he did) then to me he seems more like one of today’s Reform Judaism or Progressive Judaism Rabbi’s. An enlightened teacher. With sayings of wisdom. He followed Jewish customs. But he taught it all with a modern twist. Although Jewish Mysticism wasn’t to make it’s public debut for quite some time after Jesus’ death, one can’t help to wonder what sort of pre-Mysticism might have been going on behind the curtains.
So, that leads me to this turn.
I attend an Anglican church, but I do not believe Jesus was God. I do not believe he was Divine, well not any more than you and I were.
I believe he had a message. He wasn’t the only man from his day with a message, but was the most charismatic perhaps, and left the biggest impression and therfore had followers that resurrected him after his death. Not resurrected as we read in the New Testament, but resurrected in Myth. Although I can’t imagine what Jesus would think if he were here today. Rather than kicking off a movement of liberal thinkers of Judaism, (much like the Reformed/Progressive/Reconstructionist branches of Judaism today) a religion rose up that was based on the death of him. Based on Jesus as a sacrificial lamb. Sure, there are still threads of his actual Jewish teachings here and there, but they are heavily shadowed by the Myth of his Life and Death.
Lately, beginning some light study on Jewish Mysticism, and Kaballah, as well as these nagging ideas of Jesus’ non-divinity, I feel myself drawn back to that pool. The pool I was terrified to go in at my Mikveh. Being welcomed into the Jewish community, as a young child, but with no idea of what or why. Now, 30+ years later I am wanting to get back to the root of it.
I did not realize how beautiful Judaism was. I am not naive and I realize that I would only ever be accepted into a progressive branch of Judaism, but that’s okay. The rituals, the observances, the mindfulness. There is a deep rich culture.
Just after the festival of Sukkot began (unbeknown to me – I had never heard of it) , I had some correspondence with a Rabbi from a local-ish progressive Synagogue. He encouraged me warmly to delve into this current holiday, to read up on it and learn more. I did this, and then of course kept reading. Not only about Sukkot and the Sukkah , the waving of the branches and the seven Guests but about much more… the Shabbat, lighting of the candles on the eve, before sunset, all those things I never realized while I was younger and a newly made Jew and I thought. Wow. Pretty deep. Yes, it is Myth , but it is recognized as Myth (as much of Christian customs) . But more than Myth it is the replaying of the Jewish culture from thousands of years ago, adapted now for a more modern world (in more liberal branches) , a work and celebration of the preservation of a whole culture.
Not just based around the birth and death of a Jewish teacher, not just a constant reminder that someone ‘died for your sins’.
Christianity stems from Judaism, and yet so much about Judaism is left untaught and unrecognized. Too much hang up still from some Bible Thumping type Christians that still think ‘Jews Killed God’.
So, yeah. Still wandering. Still learning. Still trying to find my way home.
A trip back to Judaism might be called for. Maybe it was a turn off I missed awhile back when following this map to God.
Blessings for a joyful Sukkot


>ADHD – Or, ‘Living Life with a Broken Filter’

>Okay, this is a tough one to post. Mainly because I’ve been pretty anti-ADHD all my life.

Anyhow, here goes-
I’ve always felt that I have a broken or missing filter.
Think of yourself as a coffee pot (hehe, I talk about coffee whenever possible)
The filter is there to keep the grounds out of the brew and only allow the flavour through. If there’s no filter, everything just gets into the beloved bean-juice and you end up with a pot of muck.
Ok, forget the coffee pot example and visualize this.
Surrounded by a filter that allows only the important stuff in. Kind of like panning for gold.
Well, growing up I always felt as though I was WAY to receptive to everything. Sadness, happiness, anger (rage actually)… kind of like everything just got right to me.
I always felt instead like everything just came right through. Constant noise, frenzied thoughts, half ideas, a bombardment of chaos. Every once in a while, something really interesting comes through that warrants attention, and I’d cling onto it, almost obsessively, because for a period of time while paying attention to the bright shiny thing, the clutter in the background wasn’t noticed. However, soon after, before I’d even finished off with the one bright shiny thing, something else would be in my peripheral vision, and off I’d go to catch that too.
Hmm, not sure if any of this makes sense, but it’s a ramble off the top of my head.
After a while, a person (like myself) with a broken filter, gets used to trying to find the most interesting, most stimulating thing falling through, because you learn that it’s the best way to shut out the distractions. That’s called hyperfocus.
I used to laugh when they said my son was adhd, because Id think of his addiction to videogames, and how I would have to tear him away from them. Attention deficit? Hell! How about too MUCH attention… I realize now that alot of adhd peeps tune out the noise like this.
I realize that that is what happens when Im on the comp and realize that I forgot to make dinner or do chores etc.
Yep, having a broken filter also seems to make for alot of misconceptions. Imagined slights and hurts, because I am reading WAY too much into stuff. Hey, it’s hard to separate the actual gems from the random sand and dirt that makes it through.
I also realized that over drinking, over spending and over eating was a way to calm down.
Oddly enough, not long ago it hit me. After a drinking, eating or spending binge, there would be a sedated, humble, quiet time. I wouldnt call it a depression, but it was like a needed reflection.
I would sabatoge myself to bring a bit of quiet to my brain. Lying low made it less likely that I would care enough to pay attention to all the crud coming through that broken filter.
They say adhd is outgrown as an adult. Well, not outgrown as much as we learn to cope better.
However, for people near my age group I’m 38) it often feels instead as its gotten worse. (from what I hear from others who just now are realizing its adhd)
I think the reason is simple.
When we were little, the stuff coming through the filter was pretty simple and uncomplicated.
Then, we hit adulthood, and WHAM the internet is here now. We didnt have this SUPER cool, instantly stimulating information super highway as children.
So now, those with adhd, (and adhd’rs are prone to engage in stimulating behaviour) are challenged with a brand new experience.
Its not like as kids it was super exciting to read the phone book, or read an encyclopedia, in fact, for many with adhd, this would put us to sleep!
But now, there is wikipedia! You can find out everything you wanted to know, (and everything you didnt) right there! And forget turning pages… you can scroll and click! woot!
And there’s message boards! You can give your opinion any time you want, no waiting to take turns, no worries about interrupting, lol….
So, up until recently, I was on different antidepressants. Off and on, over many years… not chronically. I noticed though, that the meds never helped with my impulsive, overly sensitive behaviour, they just helped with how I FELT about it.
They didnt help me with over spending, over eating, over drinking and over ‘enter random act here’, they just made me feel less bad about doing those things.
In going over the Conner’s rating scale I had given to me years ago for my now 16 year old son, I realized…. wait.
That sounds like me.
All of it… well, except I can wait in lines now, and I’m not SOOOO oppositionally defiant… those are things Ive learned to manage over the years… but the rest of it? Oh heck yes.
All the years I laughed at doctors who were telling me my son was adhd, and that THAT was the reason for so much of his horrid behaviour (he is quite different from my other two older children who are pretty darn easy going)… I realize I think I was wrong.
I assumed he couldnt be adhd because I saw SO much of myself as a young teen in his behaviour, and I was never diagnosed with adhd, I was just told I was over sensitive, and talked too much and had an anger management problem. (did they diagnose adhd back in the 70’s?)
But now I realize that all those years, I was probably adhd. (I’m still not on board with medicating young children however, I think that it should be a LAST resort after counseling and therapy, and food changes etc, adults can tell you how shitty they feel on a med, or what sort of crazy things are going on in their brains as side effects, kids don’t know how to do this and often, when it comes out in behaviour, they just get medicated for that behavioural side effect as well, which causes a horrid domino effect)
Now, final thing I have to say… I hate the term adhd. I am sure they will come up with a different term for it one day. It just seems inaccurate.
There are a bunch of people who have some very severe debilitating issues in life, and the similarities in symptoms are very striking.
Should be called Missing Filter Syndrome or something.
Definitely something amiss.. something that helps to filter out the over abundance of constant thought and movement/restlessness.
So, anyhow… that’s it for this entry.
Ive started 25mg of Strattera. Weaning off the 25mg of Zoloft because I dont want to be on both.
Let’s see how THIS goes.

>Filling the Void

>

Love comes from the Divine. Or rather, the Divine IS love. It exists within everything, permeating this realm through cracks and fissures we create through awakening. (a concept I recently read again in Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom Way of Knowing)

I had some rambling thoughts today. Very rambling. Be warned. 🙂

As children we receive hugs, and cuddles and we are ideally made to feel valued important and significant. As children we wake up in the morning, wondering what the day will bring, finding the miraculous in the mundane.

Not all children are brought up to feel this way. Some children never know what it is to have their heart filled with love from those around them. Usually because those around them don’t know how to love them. Or themselves.

These children often grow with that emptiness inside of them. An emptiness that when they were younger, they filled with a special toy, or a favourite food, or a favourite program. They learned how to fill that void with ‘things’. They create a false sense of love by attaching themselves to inanimate objects.

They continue to grow and as adults still just keep on filling the void. This is not common just among those unloved as children, but also common for those who although loved as children, during the process of growing up got caught up in all the ‘feel good shortcuts’. However, those who had a good loving upbringing have an easier time bringing themselves back to the true love of the Divine because they at least had an opportunity to experience it as a child. They are more likely to have a memory of it, however vague.

For those who never had it, sometimes their whole life can be spent filling that vacant space with things that go away. They feel no purpose, or calling. They get caught up in addictions of drugs, or alcohol or food. Trying to fill that strange emptiness that they aren’t even aware of. It has always been there. Trying to fill it has become as natural as trying to fill lungs with air.

They might become abusers in relationships because they are trying to fill a void with a sense of power, they might become the abused in a relationship, because they are trying to fill their void with a false love – easy to do, if you haven’t experienced true love.

Wandering around, sad and lonely.

Wandering around angry and lonely.

Wandering around feeling empty.

It’s easy to feel lonely even for someone who has many friends. If they don’t know love.

To say Love can solve everything might sound ridiculous. But really, it’s all about the love.

Divine Love.

Open yourself to God. Not God ‘the-bearded-guy-in-the-sky-who-sits-on-a -throne’. God, the Love. The sparkle of light on the water of the ocean. The overwhelming feeling one gets when laying their eyes on their child for the first time. The amazing colour of the air just before a storm ensues. The contours and textures of the different clouds in the sky. The smell of the earth after the rain…. that FEELING you get when you allow yourself to be mindful of those such things… that is Divine Love. That is God. Tap into that source. You come from it. You will return to it. It is yours.

Everything you do, try to do it in love.

As you nurture and draw out this love, and as you share it with the world, it magnifies and grows. Think of how easily your mood can be changed from sour to acceptable when someone flashes you a sincere smile, out of the blue, while passing you on the street.

Don’t fill up on nothing.

We have to learn how to connect to that eternal source of love. We need to fill ourselves with it, and share it with those we come into contact with. We draw the love out from within ourselves, from the Divine source. From God. That love flows back to God and creates an even greater abundance from which to draw upon within ourselves.

If we keep filling up on nothing, then ‘nothing’ is what we are going to have to draw on.

Fill up on love.

>In the Wind

>In the beginning I was in the center of the One who loved me.
Then my birth brought me into a world of wonder.
As a child, I loved to play.
So, as many good children do… I pushed limits and wanted to do things my own way. I did not want to come in when I was called.
I played, I got dirty.
I got lost .
I travelled aimlessly. Time passed, and I was frightened.
I thought I could hear my name being called… but it was faint and I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. So I wandered about. Places would look familiar and then I would realize that rather than a familiarity because I was going in the right direction, the sameness was because I was going in circles.
After some time, I found comfort in my circling. I even bedded down and called it home. I was tired of looking for my way back, and in all honesty… by that time, I was beginning to forget what home was.
I adjusted . I ate. I slept, I even met with others . Life went on. Eventually I was oblivious to my origin.
Then, one day, when the trees danced, I heard the call. It was beautiful. I immediately remembered that I was meant to be somewhere. Someone loved me. I was lost.
The voice carried in the wind. Guiding me.
Into open arms I ran. My heart full and my being wrapped in perfect happiness.
I am so glad that I heard the call to return home.