So I read this, which compares spirituality to martial arts as an intro and asks if your spirituality is good enough for you. (My phrasing, not the writer’s.)
And I thought about it. Hmm. What has my spiritual path, in all its twists and turns, done for me?
I took up martial arts in Sekhmet’s name, which deeply affected my self-identity and my physical health and my ability to relate to people, all for the better.
At Sekhmet’s request, I learned (and continue to learn) an amazing amount about ancient Egypt, not just religion and mythology but also magic and their forms of ethics, which parallel nicely my Eastern-based ones. And I have bonded deeply with friends and met wonderful people, found an entire community in fact, through this.
I completely revolutionized my personal paradigm in order to drop all the shoulds and keep only what was true to me, in experience and belief. This process also meant leaving my attempt at being a hard polytheist and adopting the “diamond metaphor,” which I later learned represents what’s called monolatry. Conveniently, this is the Kemetic Orthodoxy point-of-view – and my paradigm-shift had Sekhmet as its catalyst.
I committed to improving and caring for myself, in all ways. Part of that was physical work, again in Sekhmet’s name, but all the emotional and mental bits have been zen-based, working towards peace and compassion and gentleness. That zen work, seeking to live in Tao (and in ma’at, as it turns out), has been possibly my greatest challenge.
“An’ it harm none, do as ye will” was also a world-changer for me. The harm-none part goes hand in hand with the above-mentioned peacefulness, but the other part stands out brightly: I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to play by the rules or abide by expectations. I can make my own life, forge my own path, and seek my own fortune. So I have, and I have a wonderful, amazing, rather unpredictable life; it is not as adventurous as some, nor as secure as others, but it is mine, and I dearly love it.
My entire worldview is entrenched deeply in the natural world, its soil and its creatures, its rhythms and its cycles. This has not so much changed or catalyzed my life as grounded it, buried it with the roots of the mountains, kept it safe and solid as long as I remember to reach down and touch the earth. I understand more, about anything and everything, when I look at things through animal eyes. I grok the human animal, and I find more compassion for my fellow living people of all species by knowing how the brain and body work. Life makes more sense when my heart lives in the soil.
Yeah, I think I’m pretty okay with my spirituality. :D